CfDC Minutes — May 2, 2012

Attendees: Special Guest Presenters: Melanie Yergeau (from UM English Dept) and Joyojeet Pal (from UM School of Information); Jack Bernard, Chair; Jill Roberson; Bob Meyer; Carole Dubritsky; Jane Vincent; Christa Moran; Scott Williams; Tracy Wright; Lisa Clark; Melanie Nau; Carolyn Grawi; Paul Guttman; Philip Larson; Lloyd Shelton; Virginia Grubaugh; Stuart Segal; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Coordinator (minutes).

Introductions were made.


  • Christa thanked Carole and Jill for their assistance in producing a very accessible spring UM Graduation Ceremony. A round of applause followed.
  • Carolyn reminded the group of the May 18th breakfast at Kensington Court at 7:30-9 am, also there will be a fundraiser in Saline for replacement of the trailer full of stolen sports equipment that was worth $50,000. Check CIL website for rsvp and further details (
  • Anna was notified on 5/2 that she received the 2012 Michael DeBakey Outreach Services Award and will be publicly recognized and pick it up at the Friends of the National Library of Medicine Annual Awards Dinner in Washington DC on 9/11. A round of applause followed.


Melanie described her studies in “autism as rhetoric.” She referred to the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network and the Loud Hands Project. She showed a biographical video of a child “stimming” a self-stimulatory behavior, which may be an adaptive response to a hostile environment. There will be a collection of stimming data and a log on the topic. Research will result in an open access anthology eventually. The University of New Hampshire is collecting data on this, as well. Melanie’s video with captions (that can be toggled on/off).

Joyojeet gave a brief background of his history, past work and interest in assistive technology with children as well as his research in India and Peru and other countries. He showed the attendees some summarizing PowerPoint slides of his research in connection with the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a worldwide movement with 110 countries as signatories. The intent of Articles 4, 9, 20, 21 is to encourage recommendations about disability to countries in conjunction with research and development in affordable technology; design and production of access; access to mobility aids and adaptive technology; and encouragement of private online concerns to provide reasonable accommodations. He reported briefly on 3 projects concerning visually impaired individuals, choice of adaptive technology, employability, and aspirations. His email for further questions is: <joyojeet at>