CfDC Minutes — September 5, 2007

In attendance: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug White, Vice Chair, Martha Reck, Jim Knox, Gerald Hoff, Darlyn Vander Beek, Paul Guttmann, Carole Dubritsky, Margaret Hough, Carolyn Grawi, Tracy Wright (Welcome, Tracy), Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Jack called the meeting to order and introductions were made all around.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

Sam gave a 2-minute synopsis on disability programs at the University of Windsor, where there is no legislation requiring these programs but they are quite good (although they do not have the adaptive technology UM has to offer).

Carole has made a connection with Information Services (Jennifer McGowan at the Michigan Union) to use their web site for people to locate accessible entrances/bathrooms in a large number of UM buildings, with this list to be supplemented. List will also be on the web under Disability Resources.

Jack emphasized that Weil Hall has very accessible halls and classrooms, and Carole added that similar architecture will be available in the major auditorium of North Quad and in the Ross School of Business.

Anna announced that she had given Laura Bien of "The Ann Arbor Observer" our schedule of Investing in Ability Events.

Jack announced, regretfully, that there is still no budget for the Council.

Short discussion of Stadium lawsuit, which is still unresolved.

Short discussion of game with Appalachia State and the graciousness of the Winners (and the losers behaved fairly well, too).

INVESTING IN ABILITY

Discussion of new UMHS web site and the flyer for Investing in Ability that we will be using.

Jim talked about the Student Resource Center describing a series of flat panel screens at Duderstadt, Angell Hall, ATCS, Shapiro, etc. where we could point to our web site and advertise Investing in Ability.

There will also be targeted email campuswide. There will be 3 different banners on the web site, for which we need short, snappy ads. If you have any ideas for the banneers, contact Gerald (ghoff@umich.edu) or anna (schnitzr@umich.edu).

Doug reported that putting funding into the Council's own (new) account is working well. There will also be a contribution button on the new UMHS web site, so we hope to obtain some funding through that.

It was remarked that now that there are two web sites, confusion could ensue. Sam Jessie is caring for the UMHS site, and our webmaster Liz Wilson is working with the old CfDC site. Thus we have to coordinate and make sure that we give any information to the same person (to be decided).

Jack declared that CfDC members should attend as many events during Investing in Ability Week as possible--and to bring a friend (or two?). Some campus entities, such as student organizations, should be targeted.

NEXT YEAR:

Jack led a discussion on priorities and goals for next year and asked for thoughts from Council members. Members need to be more proactive, the consensus was.

Anna said that Carolyn Grawi and Tom Hoatlin gave talks at Multicultural Health Series and that this is a good start that we can build on. We should use the AA Center for Independent Living as a valuable source to raise awareness, maybe with sensitivity sessions (HR Staff, DPS) or brown bags. Past Multicultural Health events are archived and available online.

Sam suggested that we make a list of fundable projects for the Development officers--in case a funding opportunity arises. We should say exactly what we need the money for--brainstorming required for this, and Sam will take the lead. We might have a PowerPoint with pictures of what we do. Perhaps we can invite Regent Darlow later in the year. Also, Laurita Thomas--to ask her what HR thinks (and could there be a Disability Team under VOICES?) and to tell her in detail about our issues.

Jack suggested that we make a spread-sheet of past Neubacher Award and Certificate of Appreciation winners plus those who nominated them. We have the names and should invite these people. Any volunteers for making/maintaining such a spread-sheet?

Jack announced that the Council's having a budget is a priority for next year. He will make specific proposals. This may possibly be an opportune time now that the Stadium lawsuit is occurring and now that we have understanding leaders such as Regent Darlow and Laurita Thomas, people with sensitivity for disability issues. Ideally, he would like $60,000 so that we could afford a 1/4 person, send one Council member to one conference per year, and also give funds to other organizations that need funding (in addition to purchasing small items such as stationery).

Jack will continue his quest to have all offers for admission or employment include references to accommodations that are needed and can be supplied-an upfront discussion in order to prevent problems down the road. There should be a letter to every director of admissions with sample language. This needs President, Provost and Chief Financial Officer approval as encouragement. Doug thought we might discuss this with Regent Darlow if she comes to a meeting with us.

Paul suggested that we offer information to already employed or students and that we should do more than one thing/year. We need more visibility. And what about people who have the onset of disability while at UM? We need to communicate this to CAPS, UHS, and UMHS.

Doug agreed that we have to communicate/publicize/get the word out synergistically.

FaceBook and MySpace were discussed as means of communication-- this to be followed up.

Office of Adaptive Techology, hardware/software were discussed. We lag in some areas, excel in others. We need a webmaster for virtual accessibility and a person to make working space accessible--a three person disability office would be ideal, therefore.

Carole reported on a recent meeting attended by some 40 people from many campus units and the hospital. Their interest is to have uniform UM guidelines for accessibility and to create excellent web sites at UM. Unfortunately, there is no central entity to advocate for this; we at UM have no VP for Disability Affairs.