CfDC Minutes — October 5, 2011

Attending: Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (serving as Chair in the absence of Jack Bernard --minutes); Melanie Nau, Adena Rottenstein, Scott Williams, Carole Dubritsky, Christa Moran, Els Nieuwenhuijsen, Anna Clements, Gerald Hoff, Ira Lax, Monique, Carolyn Grawi, Paul Guttman, Tracy Wright, Randi Johnson, Sally Lindsley, Patricia Anderson,

The meeting was called to order by Anna as Council Coordinator, who introduced our two guest presenters

Our presenters from Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), Mary Taylor and Marie Harrell, by means of a PowerPoint Presentation, gave the definition of disability and then described the mission of MRS, eligibility of patrons (this is not an entitlement program), the six steps to vocational rehabilitation, describing the desirable outcomes and goals, partnerships, the referrals and resources, medical evaluation, as well as the limitations of MRS. The presenters handed out a Customer Handbook called “Six Steps to Vocational Rehabilitation” and a flyer called “Meaningful Careers for People with Disabilities. It was emphasized that work history is important. Schooling does not help as much as experience. Modifications and accommodations can also be provided as well as referrals to other sources and advice about safety as far as job plans are concerned. There is no cost for the services that include vocational counseling, disability assessment, vocational evaluation, placement services, cover letter and resume writing, and, occasionally, on-site job clubs with ongoing workshops. Referrals may be made by the individual, the family members, hospitals, school counselors, mental health professionals and other community agencies.

Important information to know is that for patrons who are blind, the Michigan Commission of the Blind is the resource.

There were a number of questions from the audience that the presenters responded to. They described a virtual orientation as well as a physical one done by their office. All the offices are accessible, with sign language interpreters available as needed. Other questions can be referred to MRS at 734 677 1125. The website: www.michigan.gov/lara (click on Michigan Rehabilitation Services)

There were a number of announcements:

Carolyn: Announced that there would be a ToastMaster’s meeting on Thursday at 12:30 at AACIL. And also: Carolyn announced the presentation of the AACIL Gala on Oct. 22nd, saying it is the 35th anniversary of the Center.

Carole: Announced that the comments from the recent meeting about Yost renovation were incorporated into the plans.

Els: Announced that she would be giving a presentation on Disability and Culture at the Ann Arbor Council Meeting on Monday, October 10, 7:00 pm Els Nieuwenhuijsen will present to the Ann Arbor City Council: Ann Arbor Community Awareness: Diversity and Accessibility - main purpose of this "working paper discussion" is to to share research data we collected from interviewing 11 AA city leaders, 11 representatives of the "Best Accessible America cities", and from 4 focus group sessions focused on accessibility in arts and culture. It will be a 15 min. presentation with about 10 min questions. This will be the second item on the agenda. Everyone is welcome to attend.


Patricia: Brought to the attention of the members in the audience a book of poetry about disability called “Beauty is a Verb”.

Anna: Reminded the members of Investing in Ability Week.

Gerald: Reminded the members of the Army/Navy Wheelchair game on Nov 12th at 1. Free face painting, goodies, transportation.

Adena: Here is the link for the "My Disability Symbol" VoiceThread Project.