CfDC Minutes — July 1, 2009

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug K. White, Vice-Chair; Laurita Thomas, Special Guest (Welcome, Laurita!); Gerald Hoff; Tom Bayer; Jill Rice; Sue Bade; Jim Knox; Paul Guttman; Carolyn L. Grawi; Tracy Wright; Eleanor Chang; Carole F. Dubritsky; Scott Williams; Stuart Segall: Alex Kazerooni; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Introductions were made around the table. We welcomed Laurita Thomas, AVP and Chief Human Resource Officer--our special, invited guest. Jack made several introductory comments including the important announcement that we will be receiving funding, with the Office for Institutional Equity as our official sponsor; therefore, we will be able to focus on obtaining speakers for Investing in Ability events.

Investing in Ability Doug led the update of the planning for Investing in Ability Week with input from various members: Carolyn on Sadashi, Jim on the Adaptive Technology Open House; Gerald on the Wheelchair Basketball Game (everyone please attend!); anna on Sadie Wilcox (she is a marvel!). Sue emphasized that people are often unaware of the adaptive technology available on campus. Carolyn asked to have the CIL Open House (she mentioned "Art in Motion" and "Many Ways of Seeing") listed on the calendar for Monday, Oct. 26th from 2 to 4. Carolyn also suggested that we try to encourage academic units to celebrate our week by expanding their curriculum to include it.

Neubacher Award Committee Anna reported that the 5 members of the Neubacher Award Committee had efficiently and unanimously decided on a recipient (to be announced later) and will be awarding 25 Certificates of Appreciation, which we view as a very positive surge in the curve of number of recipients.

Council’s Progress through the Years Jack described the welcoming language for asking for accommodations that the Council had proposed for syllabi, admission letters, and, eventually, offers of employment. He attended a meeting of college and university attorneys, where interest was expressed in what our Council does as a model for others. He emphasized that contractual agreements re: software and services should be discussed up front as part of the RFP re: accessibility as per the Google Book Search settlement model. There was a positive response from other institutional representatives. the Android phone with finger sensitivity and more refinements to come. Jim added that Talking Points has a version for the Android. The Council's function is to serve as a conduit between community members and these new technologies. Members talked about raising consciousness about disabilities, meeting expectations, directing users to proper sources of assistance, more sensitivity to accessibility and building issues (digital and interactive signage (Dental School is piloting), kiosks of correct height, etc. at UM; Scott will be taking care of UM website accessibility issues. Carolyn mentioned the AT loan fund that can provide money for any time of needed adaptive technology. Mention was made of the bonding of UMHS with Central Campus through collaborative efforts of Council members and the opportunity to share and strategize approaches. The Council facilitates the sharing of information from all over campus and coordination/mobilization of resources. Jack mentioned that he has been on the Council for 17 years and he praised Anthony Walesby as being an outstanding advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Future Directions Members discussed continuing to focus and highlight Council efforts through the website. We have been successful for all these years despite lack of a budget and now with a budget, we can concentrate on obtaining the speakers we want and need. We will continue our cross campus collaboration. Our Google Book Search will provide 30 million accessible books to visually impaired individuals free of charge.

Special Guest, Laurita Thomas Laurita thanked the Council members on both a personal and professional basis. She told us that she was instrumental in implementing the first #504 standard years ago, regularly calls Carole nowadays about accessibility issues (e.g., Golf Course Building). She praised the objectives and the commitment and passion of members to make a difference.

Announcements Carolyn announced the July 9th workshop at AA Center for Independent Living on Disability Accommodations and the Law (see attachment), the Kickoff to I-Ride, and the Sept 11th Gala Auction. More information to follow.

Carole announced that Colleen Green of the Big House/Big Heart 10K Run in October, led by President Coleman—which has a segment of 1 mile that people with disabilities could participate in.

Jack announced that he spoke to the National Canadian Institute for the Blind and will be presenting at the National Federation of the Blind (2,000 visually impaired participants).

He will be the recipient of the ALA Copyright Award next week in Chicago.