CfDC Minutes — August 3, 2016

Attending: Jack Bernard, Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Gerald Hoff, Brandon Werner, Patricia Anderson, Jane Vincent, Scott Williams, Bob Fraser, Cathy-Alice Koyanagi, Jill Rice, Terry Soave, Bonnie Dede, Carolyn Grawi, Lisa M. Green, Natalie Nordby Chen, Stephanie Rosen, Paul Guttman, Darlene Nichols, Jim Eng, Donna Omichinsky, Christina Kline, Latisha Cunningham, Christa Moran, Janet Keller, Ben Howell.

Introductions: Welcome, Everyone!

Sidewalk graphics of historical markers (one-time-only, in anticipation of UM’s Bicentennial) are currently being tested.

Stage picture of James Earl Jones

Distributions: Anna handed out “preview flyers” with Investing in Ability events coming up in October; however, these are “a work in progress” and therefore are incomplete and inexact right now. Final versions will be prepared and publicized toward the end of August and beginning of September. Please stay tuned … we are working with a DIVERSITY theme this year. We will have panel discussions, presentations, and films.


Natalie reported on Abroad with Disabilities, a 2-day conference in 2017 to be held at U-M, requesting a hosting (2 rooms) venue for 75 attendees. Graduate Library Gallery a possibility.

Paul reported on the realignment of Facilities & Operations. It affects 1,200 employees. Construction Services was moved from Plant Operations to Architecture Engineering and Construction. There were several other changes which took place as well. The details will be published in the Record. If anyone wants a copy of the memo with all of the details they can write Paul at <pguttman at>.

Anna reported on future (December) meeting move to LSA Conference Room on 2nd level (reserved through June 2017). The room is large and comfortable. Technically-oriented members are welcome to check on electronic possibilities of room and report in.

Christa reported on successful deaf-blind all-day session with some 16 interpreters, including reps from Hurley Hospital.

Cathy reported on Oct 6th Toastmaster Blindness Awareness session at Washtenaw Community College (WCC), where all participants will wear dark glasses or masks for a meeting in the dark.

Stephanie reported on the talk she will soon give “Accessibility Brings Diversity” at UCLA’s Diversity in Libraries Conference, with preview for us on Friday, Aug. 10 at noon in Graduate Library Gallery-Lab.


Stephanie Rosen, our Library Accessibility Specialist who has been here 1 year now, headed the Taskforce for Accessibility with representation from every library unit. Presented snapshot of what we are prepared to support, where we need additional training, setting up workshops in future, focus groups, both good experiences with staff and physical difficulty/ barriers in way-finding noted, environmental scan of other institutions, vendor education, website needing work toward greater accessibility, images and graphics—problems/solutions.

Q&A Discussion: e-resources, guidelines, what is available re: accessibility (both texts (instruction) and software) at UMHS; discoverability of disability resources for staff and public (including patients). We are awaiting arrival of new VP for Communications and new CIO. (e.g., problem of disappearance of disability tag on main UM webpage). CIC (now called Academic Alliance) is group with more clout to negotiate with vendors for accessibility. Sometimes complete material is not included. Sometimes the form conforms to fashion rather than to accessibility.

Other matters arising

Lisa advised the group that she is a member of AHEAD and mentioned OCR re: accessibility and that we have to be in compliance. Difficult to force other units to comply sometimes (re: Jack).

Cathy reported on her recent Kellogg experience with considerable compassion gap noted. No CC machine in clinic. Lack of basic accessibility ongoing challenge for visually-impaired. She shouted out to those in waiting room for assistance with paperwork. Anna mentioned that we had discussion about assisting those with visual impairment at a previous meeting and discussion will continue when OT intern returns; also, now there is a social worker on staff, which should be very helpful.

Ben announced the upcoming accessibility lunches open to everyone. He will send schedule.

Jack announced the HathiTrust collaborative effort expansion to include members of public with print reading disabilities, whether or not affiliated 14 million volumes accessible right here and millions more from partners. Legal and moral mission to present information contained.

Stuart (SSD Director) working with Jack to emphasize SSD (location and assistance) before students enroll at U-M, so they know what is offered for individuals with special needs.

All-campus survey will include a question (maybe even 2) on disability.