CfDC Minutes — February 4, 2016

In attendence: 35+ people were in attendance for special Council meeting—we ran out of chairs and we filled the room completely!

Carole Dubritsky shared her experiences as our longtime ADA Coordinator. Her presentation was recorded and will be transcribed. Pizza, salad, bread sticks, fruit plate and the trimmings were available at this special meeting.

After Carole spoke and gave examples of interesting incidents and experiences that she encountered on campus over the years as ADA Coordinator, Anthony made a few remarks followed by Jack’s remarks.

The discussion then turned to ways to focus on disability and raise its profile in President Schlissel’s initiative on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (or maybe to be known as IDEA for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility—“Michigan’s Big IDEA”?).

Investing in Ability’s theme for 2016 will probably be “Diversity includes Disability.” (The IA Committee will meet to begin planning around this theme next week)

Other members expressed their ideas and listed current problems about disability/accessibility on campus:

  • Financial barriers to receiving adequate accommodations
  • Stigma about disabilities, especially to mental health issues
  • Central student funding if needed but no centralized funding on campus otherwise
  • Bully culture that demeans mental health conditions
  • Entire community needs education to change stereotypes since we are just scratching surface here
  • Students are the ones who will make the needed changes in the future
  • Lloyd’s presentation to the Regents should be repeated with follow-up (another presentation to Regents should take place very soon—expressed by former Regent Darlow)
  • Burdensome paperwork to State in order to obtain services needs streamlining
  • Importance of technology with campus expertise needed to ensure accessible designs in the first place
  • Make use of 2017 bicentennial to promote Council and showcase accomplishments
  • Assistive technology and increased accessibility plan by Scott Williams with Mary Reilly’s increased role in providing captioning