CfDC Minutes — November 2, 2005

5th Floor Conference Room, Fleming Building


Barb Chaffer Authier, Sue Bade, Jack Bernard (presiding), Mark Davis-Craig, Carole Dubritsky, Mike Elledge, Cathy Frank, Yvonne Goddard, Samir Karim, Jim Knox, Elizabeth Sikkenga, Doug White (minutes)

Investing in Ability Week

Investing in Ability Week was reviewed and discussed, as well as implications and suggestions for next year. Following are summary points based on that discussion and emails, as well as a final section related to videotaping of sessions.

Attendance at events was generally good, with some exceptional examples. Following are rough attendance figures:

  • Jane Berliss-Vincent talks on accessible technology (earlier in Oct.) – 20 at first talk and 12 at second
  • Designing Accessible Websites – 21 (23 registered)
  • Dogs on the Diag – about 100 interactions with students and others, despite chill winds
  • Tony Coelho keynote – 150 (113 HSSP students)
  • Retrofitting Websites – 5 (7 registered)
  • Dr. Gater’s talk on stem cell research – 100
  • Adaptive Technology open house – 2 students, 2 professors, and 2 staff plus ‘class’ of 15 School of Ed grad students
  • Breaking Through the Silence video and panel - 30
  • Danny Heumann’s talk – 20
  • Disability rights panel – 12
  • Creating Accessible Materials – 2 (5 registered)
  • CRLT Players – 30
  • Murderball – 525
  • Neubacher Awards Ceremony – 50 (16 at lunch)

Collaborating with HSSP for the Coelho talk, UMHS for the Gater talk, UMHS and Housing’s Residence Education for Murderball, and with CRLT for the interactive seminar helped greatly in guaranteeing respectable attendance. Such collaborations/partnerships should be encouraged and sought out for future IAW events.

Regarding publicity, having the CFDC website as the featured website on the UM Gateway, the feature article in the U Record the week before IAW, having the Coelho talk listed in the Ann Arbor Observer, having a feature article on the Neubacher Award honoree (Carey Larabee) in the Ann Arbor News and Anna Schnitzer’s daily email ticklers were plusses. It was disappointing that the U Record did not the list the events in their calendar. In future we should try to get events listed in the online DSA calendar and in the Michigan Daily’s and Ann Arbor News’ listings of events, and announced on Michigan Radio. Perhaps the Council could donate money to Michigan Radio or list them as a sponsor (e.g. have their logo on the poster) in exchange for a certain number of daily announcements. Key to better publicity is having the events, with all relevant details, planned early enough to be able to submit to the Ann Arbor News, to have multiple (instead of just one like this year) global and targeted emailings, and, perhaps most importantly, to be able to have the poster designed and printed early enough to get it distributed earlier and not be in “last minute” modality as we were this year. For next year having all events lined up by the end of August will be our goal, which means that planning in earnest should begin as early as January. Next year’s Investing in Ability week will be Oct. 23 – Oct. 27.

In line with wishing that more people had attended the events, it was noted that, though recognizing that council members have busy lives and are pulled in many directions, attendance at events by council members could have been better. For next year members should make an effort to attend as many events as possible. It was also suggested that each council member personally invite four or five people (who they think would be especially interested) to each event they’re going to be attending.

In thinking about next year’s programs, it was suggested that we try to find out what people like or want to see in planning programs, and not just plan what we, as individuals or as a group, think would be good for people. A well-attended, appealing event at the beginning of the week (like, for instance, this year’s Murderball event) could include announcements to the captive audience about the rest of the week’s events.

Nursing’s Grand Rounds was mentioned as a possible institution to partner with for some programs located in the Medical Center. Likewise the Business School, both for programmatic ideas and publicity methods and, as ever, Athletics. Possible community partners could include AACIL, the Ark, private printing companies, the Michigan Theater, and the City.

Taping of IAW events

Because of a request from Michigan Rehabilitation Services, at the last minute Barb Chaffer Authier was able to arrange to have an audio tape made of Coelho’s presentation. Once we have a copy of this tape back, a transcript can made and we hope to make this available on our web site. In future, such key IAW talks should be videotaped if possible, finances allowing. Cathy Frank reported that Dr. Gater’s talk was videotaped. Following up on a request, we were able to arrange to have the Certificates of Appreciation and Neubacher Award Ceremony videotaped (the DVD is currently in SSD’s hands for captioning). We hope to make this available on our web site. Whenever possible, captioned videos should be requested (from, for example, BMC) beforehand, since post-production captioning is more expensive.

Funding for the council

This was briefly discussed. Doug White reported that the $4,000.00 remaining from OIE’s $5,000 gift has been spent on IAW-related expenses and contributions.