CfDC Minutes — November 3, 2010

Attending:

Jack Bernard, Chair; Doug White, Vice Chair; El Nieuwenhuijsen; Pam Baker Trostle; Megan Marshall; Laura Swiderski; Steve Sarrica; Ellen Stross; Philip Larson; Carole Dubritsky; Stuart S. Segal; Martha Reck; Gerald Hoff; Tom Bayer; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (minutes).

Introductions were made around the table.

Investing in Ability Week 2010

Jack praised the events and thanked the Committee for their hard work, saying that the veterans appreciated the commitment shown. The dedication of the James E. Knox Computer Center was a lovely affair. Discussion about meager attendance (except for the events on Friday and the dog events). Jack said that he can help tie us in with some other groups next year; attendance by ROTC seems to have been left out. Phil reported that if the leaders are invited to speak, they can be very friendly with buy-in. Next year, MSA DISC can help alert the students to IAW. Pam suggested that veterans from the VA should be reached there because more comfortable. Jack announced that Roberta Knox might be able to help, having formerly worked as a lead administrator at the AA VA. Gerald plans to arrange transportation from the VA Hospital to the wheelchair basketball games. Doug suggested that the message is still getting out even if attendance seems skimpy at the events. We might promote IAW on local tv. Tom proffered ideas. Els thought the theme was powerful and that it is a good idea to have a theme. She worried about the transcriptionist who has to caption for two hours. The script might be prepared in advance (Anna always sends Sue Deer Hall copies of the write-ups in advance). Els wondered how long someone has to be associated with UM in order to qualify for the Neubacher Award (no definite time period). All events, ideally, should be videotaped. Jack mentioned that budgets are tight and becoming tighter. Anna said that events held in the Grad Library Gallery are videotaped and she will check where those videos can be found. (Anna checked later and was told that the IAW events probably had not been taped.)

Investing in Ability Week 2011

Jack suggested the theme of student issues, such as history of students with disabilities in higher education, transition from high school, how an individual with disabilities goes about getting a job, and generally a theme of reaching out to students. Megan spoke about labeling students. Ellen suggested this theme would also be of benefit to parents of young children, so we might attract parental groups to these events. Phil spoke about stigma related to veterans’ disabilities. Disclosure is problematic because of stigma and fear the confidentiality would be breached. Stuart said that hidden disabilities among students are 4 or 5 to 1. Disclosure occurs usually when the consequences of the disability are worse than the pain of disclosure. Megan said that many students are unaware of SSD assistance or of Paratransit possibility. Pam spoke of the NAMI conference on November 13th, with the idea of having a professor speak to NAMI at some point. The two videos: “Depression” and “You Can Quote Me on That” were mentioned. Now that we have momentum going it might be a good time to discuss climate for students with disabilities. There are more challenges for graduate students with disabilities. Students are accustomed to receiving many services (IDEA established in 1974) and assistance in high school but must find services themselves in college. Kay Jamieson, psychiatrist and speaker who happens to be bipolar, was suggested as a keynote (could we interest the Depression Center in sponsoring?). Tom said the confidentiality is important so disclosure would not work against an individual nor enter permanent record. Stuart said that Law School asks for need for accommodations in application, the only UM school that does that. It was decided that early discussion is best to eliminate unrealistic expectations of applicant. There used to be a tear-off sheet asking for accommodations.

James E. Knox Adaptive Technology Computer Center

Status: Now being staffed by students from noon until evening (5 or 7) on weekdays. Carole mentioned that some faculty members have adaptive technology needs. ITS is helpful but has limited experience. Scott Williams is expert in web accessibility but we need expert in adaptive technology for the Center. Jack assured Council members that there will be a big group of applicants.

Campus Accessibility Map

Carole led the discussion. Funding has been and still is a problem. There is some information that Mike Myatt collected when he was on campus, but it is not up to date. Focus groups would be desirable to have. Athletics and Housing can handle their buildings themselves, but there are 241 buildings that need to be checked for restroom accessibility. We also need to confirm accessible entrances, make sure that signs are accurate, point out which are the accessible restrooms, where is the accessible parking, how to get to and from transportation. Symbols have to be consistent on signs. Other schools have such maps. It might cost $125, 000 (or even $500,000 over two years, to do a major job). First entrances and then interiors would be inventoried. Els suggested training the trainer. There is a facilities manager for each building, but LSA manager, for example, has 6 buildings to manager. Carole said that Plant, Engineers, and Business/Finance already have plans with some content and ADA fund is generous (it paid for accessible Ruthven Museum entrance) but still overall funding remains a problem. Power doors have been installed in most venues. If Council can support the movement toward such a map and weave veteran-friendly campus into mix, that might be helpful. If anyone thinks of strategies, please email Carole Dubritsky or Stuart Segal.