CfDC Minutes — September 4, 2013

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Margaret Goebel; Barb Shoffner; Amy Shepherd; Sue Bade; Hayley Osen (welcome!); Els Nieuwenhuijsen; Bob Fraser; Jane Vincent; Melanie Nau; Allyson Mackay (welcome!); Tracy Wright; Sally Petersen; Lloyd Shelton; Joan Smith; Carole Dubritsky; Carolyn Grawi and CIL intern (welcome!); Darlene Nichols; Clive D'Souza (welcome); Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Coordinator/Scribe.

Brief introductions were made around the table, and the meeting was called to order by the Chair.

Announcements

Carolyn announced the Gala Auction at the Center for Independent Living on 9/28. She said that both Glen Ashlock and Tom Hoatlin, longtime CIL employees, have taken other positions. She announced that Harilyn Rousso will also give an additional reading from her book to the SSW 773 class from 6:30 to 8 pm on 11/13.

Sally announced the grand opening of the City's Sensory Garden on 9/15 at 1 pm at Liberty Plaza; it will be named in honor of Pamela Baker-Troxel; refreshments will be served.

Melanie announced that she is training with Leaders in Policy Advocacy through the ARC Michigan, the Michigan Developmental Disorders Council.

Jack spoke about seeing the AAATA budget (he has been named to be on the Commission for "The Ride") and that he is interested in the amount spent on services to individuals with disabilities.

Conversations

Topic of pedestrian/bicycle/automobile safety. Ideas: more signage on roads to explain to drivers about pedestrian crossing; crossing areas unsafe because yellow lights do not mean stop to all drivers; people with low vision particularly at risk. Action item: Sue will write a letter from our Council to the AA City Council proposing that actual traffic lights (red/green) be installed at crossings. "It is important for our Council to have a voice in these matters."

Topic of Council goals/plans. Ideas: We should take stock of what our ongoing and sustainable objectives are and talk among ourselves about them. We bring objectives to Council where they germinate and grow and we make connections. After 30 years of existence, we have established some credibility. What else can we do and where are we headed? Should we engage our community with events throughout the year, in addition to those from Investing in Ability? Should we expand to whole community? Should we revise workshops and provide information on transition from k-12 to college? How can we prepare to sustain the Council in future years? We need more representation from important units (e.g., School of Nursing, School of Education, etc.) There are established groups for diversity at UM that are not aware of the Council or of disability issues (e.g., at ISR). There was a letter (written by the Chair) sent from the Provost to all the faculty about accessibility/accommodations, but what about the employees at UM? Attempts should be seriously made to spread the word about the existence of the Council for Disability Concerns (@ Connect the Dots Conference, etc.).

Topic of website. Ideas: Is it possible for the Council to maintain information on its policies and become a source of information online? Scott Williams maintains the Gateway website on accessibility, which includes a list of how to make websites accessible, which is very helpful.

Topic of confidentiality. Ideas: Although HIPAA is effective on the Hospital side, the campus side is not known for confidentiality. Supervisors are not necessarily required to attend instructional meetings on the subject, which has implications for self-disclosure about disabilities, since those data are not yet protected. However, federal regulations will soon emerge to require UM to survey employees to self-identify if they have disabilities and thus they are a "protected class." Disability issues are ever evolving with increasing numbers of individuals with disability being counted in the population.

Topic of interpreters for deaf/hard of hearing. Ideas: Whereas Hospital provides interpreters without patients having to ask, UM employees/students do have to ask. UM pays and requests should go to SSD (if student) or to Carole (if employee). There is also a new program for graduate students under Darlene Ray-Johnson at Rackham that will be very effective.

Topic of expanding Council resources to other campuses: Both Flint and Dearborn could benefit from Ann Arbor Council's resources and we should try to set up conferencing with these campuses as we had intended to do some months ago.