CfDC Minutes — June 2, 2010

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug White, Vice Chair; Tom Bayer; Gerald Hoff; Karen Dickinson ; Eleanor Chang; Ellen Stross; Tracy Wright; Paul Guttman; Liz Petty; Scott Williams; Stephen Sarrica; Margaret Houghton; Stuart Segal; Carolyn Grawi; Christa Moran; Joan E. Smith; Karen Kuffner (welcome, Karen!); Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes)

Introductions were made around the table.


Carolyn announced that CIL would be having a picnic on June 10th at Gallup Park from 3 until 7 with the usual picnic food, fishing, pedalling, etc. Carolyn announced that the U.S. Social Forum with parade would take place on June 22-26 in Detroit. The Disability Justice Committee will meet for grass roots imput. It will be an epic event and the only time in Detroit. Please contact Carolyn for further information () about transportation funding, etc. (

Anna announced that the Neubacher Award Committee has received very many very worthy entries this year and that the Committee would study them all very carefully.

Paul announced that he had passed along the list of suggestions about accessibility at the May 1st Commencement to Hank Byer who called it “wonderful feedback.” There had been a number of letters sent in by others re: accessibility and those people had been responded to and seemed satisfied with the responses. Much went well but we can always do better. “We have an opportunity to extend a hand, not shake a fist”(Jack).

There was a discussion of undergraduate accommodations (flashing lights), etc.


Jack discussed National Federation for the Blind’s report on Law School admissions re: accessibility. Our website is fine, thanks to Scott’s work.

Steve and Jack passed along the good news that Jim Knox’s former position will be maintained and even expanded—now that it is understood how important it is. MSU has 4 people in the position.

Updates on Jim Knox’s condition can be obtained at He is at home, and people are writing on the site and reconnecting with others and sharing resources. Jane Berliss-Vincent wants to make the site more accessible.

Doug announced that he will retire in April 2011 and encouraged Council members to volunteer to take his place. The role he has filled in Housing should be maintained as a socially conscious one for students who need special accommodations. In some schools the disability office makes housing assignments.

Local Hotels:

Discussion of local hotels’ accessibility: Some just proclaim that they are accessible but really are not. AAA reviews not always accurate. Maybe we can gather data ourselves and use a wiki to store information. CIL has capacity to check on systematically, but cost is a factor ($1000 per hotel inspection). There could be a sticker for hotels that are really accessible (inspected). Volunteers (Joni and Tom) to check out a few hotels. Perhaps there can be cost sharing accommodation activities with Athletic Department and housing for mutual financial benefit. It was noted that there are lots of inaccessible factors inside UMHS. Carol will be looking at these when she is back. A total accessibility check-up with results posted online is needed. We may need a basic assessment tool. We can have both a tortoise AND a hare approach to checking on accessible accommodations.

Council goals:

Can be either broad or narrow or both. We individually have passions that we can establish with the support of the Council and can build on for the whole disability community. We can identify a need and take responsibility for it (Jack).

  • Campus/Community outreach
  • Compliance
  • Education
  • IAW events
  • Community partnerships
  • Serve as a sounding board
  • Policy development
  • Resource development
  • Innovation around accessibility and inclusion
  • Partnering with university units
No meeting in early July because of holiday. Next meeting will be July 14th.