CfDC Minutes — October 7, 2009

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug K. White, Vice Chair; Gerald P. Hoff; Carolyn Grawi; Eleanor Chang; LuAnne Bullington (Welcome, LuAnne!); Carole F. Dubritsky; Jill A. Rice; Tome Bayer; Christa A. Moran; Jim Knox; Margaret Hough; Paul Guttman; Tracy Wright; and Guests from Eastern Michigan University: J. Silvo Goncalves and Adam Meyer; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Introductions were made around the table.

Jack started the meeting by saying that he asked his law school classes why we should make the Law School accessible, which always led to a discussion.

Jim announced that Anne Chi is engaged to be married.

Anna reported on the status of Investing in Ability and its concomitant publicity.

Doug announced that he will no longer have a P-card after Nov. 1, but we will ask for one for the Council itself.

School of Social Work is hosting one of the IAW events, so we are requesting that students there attend other IAW events. The School of Nursing will be informed about Sadashi’s event. Gerald reported that EMU’s Orthotics/Prosthetics Dept. was supportive about the Wheelchair Basketball games.

Scott announced that he has redone the Council website and invites feedback. He will add a contact page. He also announced that the IAW events will be featured on the UM Gateway next week. He also announced that it might be possible eventually to obtain a top-level domain name for the site, providing we had permission to do so.

Anna reported that the “Road to Freedom” photographic exhibit will be shown at the Health Sciences Libraries (Taubman Medical Library) from Oct 26 to Nov 6. The exhibit is available starting Oct 19th and we are searching for a venue for that earlier date.

Also, Anna received a message from Council member Alida Silverman to the effect that she has a photographic exhibit that you may be interested in. She wrote:

Just wanted to let you know that I have a photo exhibit of about 40 Photos at the Cancer Centers Survivors Gallery.

The exhibit was to be hung Monday & I have not been up there to see it yet but it certainly fits in with the art & Abilities week. If you have an addendum of exhibits to add to the official exhibits ; you can add my show at the Cancer Center on floor B 1 - corridor that links hospital level B1 to Cancer center level B1. That corridor is called the survivor's gallery.

There is supposed to be some publicity going out about the exhibit from the GIfts of Arts program at the U of M.

Next topic: What Council wants to do in the future, besides planning and carrying out Investing in Ability Week.

Jack related that he had seen a PBS show that was very impressive, about two women who helped each other, one with Down syndrome and the other with cerebral palsy. He also mentioned seeing “And You Can Quote Me on That,” about UM students originally produced some time ago with Pat McCune. Another documentary mentioned was about UMHS and its OT/PT units.

Jack explained the Google project as related to people with visual impairments. After documentation that individuals have print disability, they have access to everything digitized. Perhaps access can eventually be expanded to non-UM individuals after the settlement. No staff member has asked for access yet.

Discussion of Library for the Blind and its collection that will need to be kept together because of severe cuts in State of Michigan. LuAnne explained that the Library used to be a gathering place for the group.

The next item for discussion was the Arborland AATA bus stop change forcing people to cross Washtenaw to catch a bus going In the opposite direction. Buses #4, 7, and 22 are involved.

Question was asked about whether the Council should help in community issues that may also affect UM. Jack reminded us that as Council members we would have to act in principled ways, not ranting or raving. In rough times the disadvantaged are disproportionately affected. Baby boomers aging will reveal more disabilities.

This will be an ongoing discussion.

LuAnne explained that the visually impaired have difficulty with new technology, but old machines break down. Digital divide was discussed briefly.

Adam gave a brief report, praising Silvo for a great job and saying that additional resources had been secured at EMU. Adam has been in his position at EMU’s SSD for one month now, having come from St. Louis. The next steps will involve assessing and evaluating campus activities relating to disabilities. There will be a small Investing in Ability program at EMU starting Oct. 19th.