CfDC Minutes — December 3, 2014

Attending: Cristina Sarmiento (Special Guest), Erin, Jane Vincent, Keila, Margaret Goebel, Janet Keller, Susan Barnes, Randi Johnson, Donna Omichinsky, Carole Dubritsky, Darlene Nichols, Phil Larson, Christa Moran, Stuart Segal, Lloyd Shelton, Jack Bernard (Chair), Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (Coordinator & Scribe),

After introductions, Jack praised the 2014 Diversity Leaders Awards, three of whom are Council members (and there are 2 others from previous Diversity Awards), and encouraged Council members to nominate other diversity advocates in the future.


Cristina Sarmiento, a third year student at the University of Michigan Medical School, presented on: “From Impairment to Empowerment: A Longitudinal Medical School Curriculum on Disabilities,” work done in conjunction with Dr. Arno Kumagai and Dr. Sonya Miller, Eleanor Chang, et al. (Further details and/or slides to follow.) She explained the goals, concepts, the patient-centered approach, societal focus, the social vs medical models, history of disability, advocacy, future hopes and complexities, etc.—all aspects of material that the first and second year medical students were exposed to in this curriculum that was intended to educate about disability issues and enhance sensitivity. Feedback for the sessions was very positive. It was announced that there will be big changes in the overall UMMS curriculum next year and in the future. Specific references made in the presentation were the motto “Nothing about Us without Us,” Aimee Mullins’s TED talk on the power of language, “Normality, Power and Culture,” by Lennard J. Davis, and the personal appearances of Tom and Laurie Sell. Although this material was presented only to the 1st and 2nd year students, Cristina announced that there is a possibility of continuing to discuss disability issues in the 3rd year of UMMS at the Friday Seminars in Medicine. During the Q&A there was discussion about captioning the medical videos (there are now three faculty members who are deaf), and Stuart said that SSD could do that.


Christa is co-chairing a national conference in mid-May on deaf medical professionals. Details will follow. Discussion continued about court cases re: deaf students being warned not to bring an interpreter to an interview, assumptions people make about people with disabilities, reasonable accommodations change over time on basis of technology.

Sally Petersen could not make this meeting but wanted to report that she will be new Chair of the Ann Arbor Commission on Disability Issues; also that Anna has been confirmed as a member; and that several Commissioners (including Lloyd Shelton, Carolyn Grawi, and Alison Stroud, et al.) were invited to participate in a panel in Derrick Jackson's Diversity Class at EMU this past Monday evening.

Phil urged Council members to attend future Army-Navy Wheelchair Basketball games, saying that the game was a wonderful event but that it could use a bigger audience.

Stay tuned for details about the Regents’ meeting on December 18th when Lloyd will address the Regents. So far, it is scheduled to be in the Anderson Room at 3 pm. If you are available, please show up to support Lloyd.

Anna reported that this year’s Investing in Ability events were the best that she remembers, that the 2014 theme (“Is Addiction a Disability?”) was very well received, and that we may continue with some variation of this same theme next year.


Judy Block’s exhibit at EMU celebrating the International Day of Disability

Report on Veterans Week events »

Judy Block (Special Needs Librarian at EMU) provided lists of celebrities/athletes with disabilities for the International Day of Disability.