CfDC Minutes — March 2, 2011

Attending: Jack Bernard (Chair), Trish Meyer (Special Guest?welcome, Trish!), Tom Bayer, Gerald Hoff, Els Nieuwenhuijsen, Carolyn Grawi, Jill Rice, Margaret Houghton, Sally Haines, Anna Clements (welcome, Anna!) Christa Moran, Carole Dubritsky, Scott Williams, Carol Tucker, Tracy Wright, Stuart Segal, Sue MacDowell (welcome, Sue!); Alex Kazerooni, EJ Erwin, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

  • Jack called the meeting to order, and introductions were made around the table.
  • Jack told of being part of a 3-member panel at the Stetson Conference and concluding that UM is doing “remarkably well” in disability/accessibility issues; “we are not there yet but ahead of other institutions.” Scott was praised for being an “accessibility resource for the world.” [sw: hyberbole alert]

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Jack announced that Doug, Council Vice Chair, would be retiring soon. Anna will have title of Council Coordinator.
  • Several of Tom’s CTN Disability Resources shows will soon be posted on the Council website (Gerald/Anna’s and Els’s).
  • Carolyn announced that there will be a CIL Fund Raiser on May 12th, for which she is seeking table hosts. It will be at Kensington Court. Carolyn will supply further information about this event and about both individual and systems advocacy events to be held on April 7th and 8th.
  • Christa announced that there were 1500 youths attending the MBLGTACC Conference at UM on Saturday in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Spectrum Center and she urged that the oppressed (gay, disability, immigrant community members should work together for social justice.
  • Jack brought up the topic of curb cuts that still are covered with snow. UM teams shovel the curb cuts, and then the City plows them in again. Stuart is reviewing process for wheelchair users. Housing is working with SSD to resolve issues for students. Carole is working with snow crews and 24/7 call station to establish priorities. Our representatives will come back to Council to discuss progress. Main UM Gateway has snow removal number under ”disability“ as does Council website. Accessible parking spaces need priority, as well, to make sure that snow is not piled up around them impeding descent of wheelchair users. Suggestion of having snow shovels at entrance to buildings (union issues with this?). Council is working on making campus accessible for mobility impaired?working toward solutions, not playing blame game.

SPECIAL GUEST: TRISH MEYER from the UM Depression Center:

Trish described the Depression Center, its mission, composition and website. The Center offers centralized resources on mental health along with modules for living. She told about the upcoming Conference re: Depression on College Campuses with Drew Westen speaking at the closing of the conference, which is open to the public. Jane Spinner is working with veterans on several programs. Special student spotlights are featured on the website along with relevant events. Additional messages from Trish and a few follow-up items:

  1. She will forward an e-mail message about the Drew Westen lecture at the Depression on College Campuses Conference for the committee and would really appreciate everyone's help in spreading the word about this event, as we want to attract a large audience for this talk.
  2. Council members should send Trish information about relevant events and resources, for posting on the Campus Mind Works website.
  3. If anyone on the Council is interested in attending the Depression on College Campuses conference, but either doesnrs’t have the funding to pay the registration fee, or can only attend one or two sessions, please contact Trish to work out something.

Her email is: Trish Meyer <meyerpa at med.umich.edu>

DISCUSSION:

There are three major types of disabilities requiring special recognition in planning events: those individuals with new disabilities, those who have coped with a disability for some time, and those who were born with a disability. Question: How responsive is Center to national events? The director, John Greden has been instrumental in establishing a national network of depression centers, 16 so far. CAPS has a crisis team for students on campus. Discussion of suicide prevention. Partnering with AA Public Schools for depression awareness and suicide prevention with intention of expanding to broader Washtenaw County.

IMPORTANT ADDENDA:

A student described having issues with accommodations for test taking, needing extra time that is not always adequately provided, stating that disability concerns should be a higher priority with professors. Jack and Carole explained that the Provost sends a letter about accommodations to all faculty and that by September there will be a new building ready as a testing center. There should also be in-service training re: students needing special accommodations as well as a change in attitude, in many cases. There is a standard syllabus through the Faculty Senate Handbook. Carole’s office should be contacted if there is a question or problem.

Alex circulated a sign-up sheet for a special public policy/technology project he is involved with.

The Council is seeking volunteers for:

  • The Investing in Ability Committee (that meets for an hour approximately every 2 weeks on Wed at 11;30 in the North Ingalls Building to plan the annual October events)
  • The James T. Neubacher Award Committee (members are sent nominee information by email and can respond by email; physical meetings are infrequent)

Please consider volunteering—we need your input. Please contact me (schnitzr at umich.edu). Thanks!

One more announcement that was made at the meeting concerns the Ring of Reciprocity known as Ripplleffect, a group you are welcome to join. It is an online community with a common purpose, devoted to helping others connect by posting and responding to requests. (As I explained, it is working well, for example, in assisting me in finding possible candidates for a panel of military women for the UM Veterans Day Celebration.) If you are interested in being a part of this, please contact Karen Dickinson (karend at umich.edu) who can explain more.