CfDC Minutes — August 4, 2010

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug White, Vice Chair; Joan E. Smith, Tom Bayer, Ellen Stross, Sally Haines, Tracy Wright, Stuart Segal, Carolyn Grawi, Scott Williams, Carol Tucker, Karen Kuffner, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Introductions were made around the table.

We proceeded immediately to discussions and announcements since there were no special presentations or items on the agenda this meeting.


Background about two accessibility situations was described, one about entryway at AADL and the other at entryway of UMHS parking structure. Input was sought from Council members and short discussion ensued.


Anna passed around a Y folder aimed at services for older adults and stated that she would ask to have disability issues emphasized at the Y in the future as well, since the Y is now doing outreach to the community.


Questions about Investing in Ability schedule were entertained. We don’t yet have information about the speaker or topic of the first event yet. Carole will let us know when she returns. Sally is working on obtaining Continuing Education credits for attendees from the School of Social Work. There was a discussion about Mark Sutton, who will present to the “First Responders” about de-escalating situations possibly caused by PTSD, and whether we should have two sessions or just the one main session at Kipke Conference Room for the police and similar agents and another for a more general audience. Tracy reported that the DPS will provide the room, refreshments, publicity, and—if we like—registration. Joni offered to provide refreshments for the film viewing of “Lioness” at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery. (Note: Prior to the meeting, Joni, Tom and Anna had a discussion about closed captions on the film and how to retrieve them for the showing). It was brought up that we should invite veterans to our events, through the VA Hospital or through group homes, if we know any.


Congratulations to Carolyn who announced that she will be teaching a class at the UM School of Social Work. The title is: “Disability Issues, obstacles and Solutions in Today’s World.”


(Discussion to be continued in the future.)
As a result of an individual’s complaint, Jack introduced the topic of a gap, an ongoing “architectural problem” of centralized vs decentralized funding for accommodations resulting in no support for individuals who may be both staff (graduate students) and student--hybrids. This is a logical time for individuals to encounter a need to remedy this situation. Students go from being protected by IDEA in earlier education to having to fend more for themselves in higher education. The UM takes care of the students who need accommodation via SSD and Housing, and it is up to the departments to take care of the staff members. Doug explained how Housing, being self supporting, works. Centralization of funds would provide equity and perhaps more hiring of disabled by individual departments if they did not have to pay for accommodations themselves. There are some drawbacks to centralizing, e.g., colder, less personal contact. Karen described how this topics resonates across campus, since IT is now looking at compiling overall information and looking toward globalizing UM IT efforts. Landscape may be ripe for centralization.