CfDC Minutes — December 2, 2015

IMPORTANT SCHEDULING ANNOUNCEMENT: Our January Council for Disability Concerns meeting will take place on January 13th, the SECOND Wednesday of the month. Same time (noon) and same place (Room 0205 LSA Building). Everyone is welcome to attend. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns (

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Coordinator; Jill A. Rice; Bob Fraser; Russ Ellis; Phil Larson; Els Nieuwenhuijsen; Brandon Werner; Scott Williams; Patricia Anderson; Donna Omichinski; Stephanie Rosen; Chista Moran; Darlene Nichols; Dan Rabosky (welcome, Dan!); Jim Eng; Seon-Hee Yoon; Natalie Nordby Chen; Janet Keller; Lloyd Shelton.

Introductions were made around the table.

The Chair told several stories (Pastafarian lawsuit for right to have driver’s license photo with colander on head; holiday socks exchange nipped by Jack).


Congratulations extended to Phil for successful Veterans Week and to Gerald for “fantastic” Army-Navy Wheelchair Game. Lloyd reported that there will be a meeting of the Students with Disabilities and Their Allies next week (2 preliminary get-togethers have already been held). A-Ride Service underwent a transition and is serving more people now; white sedans of dedicated fleet are observable around town. Michigan Flyer (Air Ride) and Metro Airport still not getting along well (new rule: only 1 bus can stop at a time so other has to circle). Buses are always on time, the ride is smooth, and the service is very polite.

Presentation by Stephanie Rosen, Library Accessibility Specialist

Reported on 3 new positions at Library having to do with accessibility.

Reached out to CfDC, UMInDS, SSD so far with more to come (will work with campus partners; strategic planning; special projects; education and training of Library staff) Task Force on Accessibility formed; Working Group of E-Book Accessibility also formed.

Backstory on accessibility of ebooks published by UM Press pointed out by Steven Kuusisto: “I find it ironic that a press which publishes books on disability and culture has so little expertise in making its scholarly publications easy to read for blind researchers; but they are not alone. Try reading online journals or downloading articles from major academic websites. You will find it's a jungle out there.”

By the Book: A coalition of disability studies scholars formulate guidelines to help publishers produce accessible books.

The Right Thing to Do: The disability studies scholars behind guidelines on accessibility in publishing gain their first endorsement from a university press.


Goals & Challenges:

Activity: ensure tags persist into final version of books; shift workflow and processes; solicit textual descriptions from authors. February 11-12 (UMInDS) will present new workflow; lauded by NFB for the perfect example of how to respond although "we will never have all our balls in the air"--grace was shown in response to criticism; dozens of attorneys have inquired about how UM Press provides accessibility. Rackham dissertations (at Dearborn all are placed in Deep Blue; here some selected items are) Licensed electronic resources: 100's of thousands of unique vendors; lack of consistency and meagre accessibility; liability shared by all academic libraries.

Solution: long-term, consortium-based strategy within CIC; pool resources; share information; testing done but currently not shared; join licenses to leverage buying power; Changing procurement procedures (Kathleen Folger in charge); model policies and procedures; recommendations obtained from associations; appropriate license language


Signage with accessibility checks and balances; centralized ITS for more holistic approach to accessibility on campus; Scott very, very helpful Campus interactive map; accessibility is on layer and interface difficult to use. Central Student Government (CSG) assistance in bathroom mapping, gender inclusive restrooms; adding accessibility.

AXS map--not much known about it

Business app in progress

Medical School Information Systems (MSIS) and Medical Center Information Technology (MCIT)--need for standard campus-wide policy (difficult to merge decentralized systems)

Challenges in library stacks (height and font size of signs); 3-D printing of labels is possible; HINT: take smart phone photo and enlarge if you cannot see labels,

Miscellaneous Comments

Els broached idea about Neubacher Ceremony Certificate of Appreciation recipients being videotaped for 2 minutes each.

Dan asked a question about proactive accessibility, problems students may face, systematic survey of student issues with accessibility—survey of culture?

Jack responded that this is the most divisive issue faced by Council: census or willingness to be identified as having a disability.

Sample of syllabus language in faculty handbook; faculty don’t like to be told what to do, as we know.

Opportunities for consciousness raising about disability issues during orientation fewer now because of competition.

Students must ask for accommodation and assistance in college, which is hard transition from what they were used to in high school.

Ideal solution in future: Library to collect and index centralized storehouse of campus resources on disability.

Catherine Lilly is doing a survey of campus climate and Jack asked to have disability & accessibility included in diversity factors.

Lloyd met with Dr. Sellers and suggested that admissions letter include SSD language.

My thanks to Patricia Anderson for her assistance with these notes. /anna