CfDC Minutes — July 6, 2011

Attending: Jack Bernard (Chair), Patricia F. Anderson, Karen Dickinson, Jill Rice, Carole Dubritsky, Bob Meyer, Monique Kulick, Els Nieuwenhuijsen, Eleanor Chang, Randi Johnson, Steve Sarrica, Christa Moran, Ann Telfer (Special Guest), Terry Soave, Tracy Wright, Wei Wu (welcome!), Sally Haines, Stuart Segal, Alex Kazerooni, Sam Montgomery, Tom Bayer, Sue McDoswell, Paul Guttman, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes/coordinator)

Jack introduced the meeting by discussing the budget and the fact that this is the third year of 3 year support from the Provost. He would like to ask for a regular budget. The Council should have a treasurer, it was decided and there should be transparency as to what our expenses are, posted on our website. Anyone who would like to volunteer to be treasurer, please write Jack (bernar at


Ann Telfer gave a presentation on autism and the Ann Arbor Autism Foundation of which she is president, first telling us about her background. She worked in Catherine Lord’s unit before it was dissolved and now is on the staff of the UM Center for Language and Literature, which combines clinical and academic work. She works on a project with preschoolers in communication and counseling parents. The Autism Foundation raises and distributes funds for individuals (no age limit) in Washtenaw County (including UM students) with autism. It has a current project at the Hands On Museum training young folks to be docents there. It gives to NPO’s, provides funds for camps and for occupational therapy, etc. The Foundation is always looking for new Board members, for pr people and for folks to coordinate neighborhood centers. There were a number of questions about statistics on autism, about the DSM-5 new criteria (collapsing the autism spectrum without keeping Asperger’s as a separate entity). In 1996 the category was first established; diagnosis is occurring as early as 18 months now; there is probably a genetic predisposition along with an environmental element. Accommodation for patients with autism was discussed with easier to understand medical instructions, simpler plans, etc.. Self advocacy and transition from high school (504 plan) to college were discussed. The UM has an autism clinic at the Depression Center but is currently lacking two of the psychiatrists.

Investing in Ability

Anna gave an update on Investing in Ability events (Sally spoke about the fitness panel) with the theme of Maximizing Your Ability Throughout Your Life. Chris Peterson will be the keynote speaker and the venue will be the Ross School of Business, in conjunction with Positive Organizational Scholarship, a Ross unit. The Neubacher Award Committee has selected Richard Bernstein as the recipient of the Neubacher Award, and there will be about 12 Certificates of Appreciation, including one to the team of the students in the MSA Disability Commission.

Other matters arising

Anna and Els attended the memorial service for Pam Baker Trostle who gave to others up until the day she died, regardless of her own mental and physical problems.

Stuart and Carole announced that there is a new open position for a coordinator of the new testing center for undergraduates who need test accommodations. This will be open throughout the year and, as Jack said, Is “an amazing step forward.”

Carole has blueprints for the Yost/E. Quad renovations that people can view (cfd at

Jack mentioned that it is to the credit of the disability movement that more and more ASD students are making it into higher education.

Alex reported that the AACIL Gala event will be held on Oct 22d and that volunteers are needed (deadline July 27th). AACIL has a focus group on tactics about obtaining a job (don’t have to disclose disability).

Bob reported that the Kidney Foundation is having a fundraiser for camp with Mr. B. and his bicycle (with the piano going along with him). The bike route starts at the Chelsea Library at 1 pm on Sunday and progresses to the Wolverine Brewery.