CfDC Minutes — April 6, 2011

In attendance: Melody Vanoy (welcome, Melody!); Carolyn Grawi, Tom Bauer, Gerald Hoff, Margaret Hough, Els Nieuwenhuijsen., Monique Kulick (welcome, Monique!), Jill Rice, Randi Johnson (welcome, Randi!); Doug White; Christa Moran; Carole Dubritsky; Jason Towler: Paul Guttman; Stuart Segal; Renee Echols; Adena Rottenstein; Alexandra (Xan) Luck (welcome back, Xan!); Alex Kazarooni; Karen Kuffner; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes and coordinator; please let me know —schnitzr at umich.edu—if you have any additions or corrections to the minutes).

In the absence of the Chair Jack Bernard, Anna, coordinating, brought the meeting to order and introductions were made.

Announcements

Doug introduced Randi who is the office manager for Housing Information. She will be doing some of the work that Doug has been doing in Housing. We should feel free to contact Randi with any accommodation questions.

Carolyn announced the availability of free workshops at CIL for advocacy week—on Thursday and Friday; 10 people have registered, but there is room for 30.

Anna described the universal design of the new streets, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways in Nice, France, enabling people to walk, push baby carriages, and use wheelchair locomotion without interference of curbs or similar obstacles.

Anna announced the formation of a vision support group at Kellogg Eye Center (KEC) that meets the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30, starting May 11th. Carolyn added that she has been asked to give a presentation including patient experiences at KEC, as well. Doug mentioned an artist Ted Gramsi who has a permanent display on macular degeneration.

Anna mentioned the survey that the MSA Disability Students Commission has just sent out requesting information from students with both hidden and visible disabilities. The students have worked very hard to perfect this survey and have done an outstanding job. They will write a report on the results to be shared with administration and others. This is a first on UM campus. View the disability survey.

GEO Negotiations

Renee passed out flyers about the negotiation re: graduate students with disabilities and described some of the steps and conversations that had taken place with UM administrators and with members of the Office of Institutional Equity. She particularly commended Regents Darlow and White as well as Libby Maynard as having a great concern with disability issues. The main factors involved in the contract negotiations were funding for accommodations, streamlining the system, avoiding confusion, centralizing to some extent although individual units could still make some accommodations. The contract has been ratified but must still be approved by the Regents. This is the first time that ADA Title 1 has been addressed in collective bargaining, she said. Although this covers only graduate students, all UM employees should eventually be covered by a centralized system in this way; there should be standardized forms to request funding. The process was collaborative and cooperative, thus revealing that such negotiations do not have to be adversarial.

Els asked whether the Jim Knox Adaptive Technology Computer Lab was involved, but the answer was that it isn’t part of the negotiations, but that SSD is involved; however, it was mentioned that all campus ergopods and adaptive technology are available to the whole campus community.

Alex provided an example from Vanderbilt University’s Office of Opportunity about resources accessibility with immediate tie-in to lab.

Adena described the core group of students addressing disability issues on campus from an academic or community standpoint. She stated the goals of 1) a safe and accessible meeting place for graduate students; 2) more visible community for persons with disabilities and their allies; 3) combating able-ism; 4) academic well being for those with disability issues. She spoke of securing funding for #1 (CART services, dog run, smart pens, accessible rooms, ergonomic stations). Another goal is to combine resources and connect them (several lists have already been completed, so these should be added to). Adena also reminded us of the UMInDS Conference on April 12th from 3 to 5 in the Michigan League with the theme of disability and violence. IGR is piloting the first ever Intergroup Dialogue on Ableism and recruiting a participant group with varying experiences regarding ability and disability. This is actually a 2-credit course. See attached PDF flyer if interested in further information.

Conference: Depression On College Campuses

Carolyn and Carole reported that the conference was excellent; they spoke of the common problems presented at the conference—prevention and early interventions re: depression and suicide and desirability of training of allies or advocates. There was discussion of a reach-out for students pre-CAPS. Friends might attend and share their impressions of what they learned. Stuart is on the conference committee and appreciates feedback. Carolyn indicated that the Council has been given one slot for the yearly conference, which she had the opportunity to fill this year. The keynote speeches will be available as video recordings on the Rachel Upjohn Center website.

Open House at North Quad

Carolyn and Els attended the North Quad tour and will present Carole with a list of their impressions re: accessibility. Els also mentioned the potential for instructing in ergonomically correct computer use at North Quad.

The meeting was adjourned promptly at 1 pm.