CfDC Minutes — June 13, 2017

New venue: Regents Board Room in Fleming Building (street level). New technical assistance: profuse thanks to both Todd and Jason. Thanks to Patricia for taking terrific contemporaneous notes that were very, very helpful.

Attending: Jack Bernard, Chair; Anna Ercoli Schnitzer, Coordinator; Jeremy Allen, Public Affairs; Angela Baugher; Jim Eng; Taimi Megineu; Natalie Nordby Chen, Questar; Jim Cherney, Disability Scholar (Saline); Christina Kline, OEI; Jill Rice, SSD; Stuart Segal, SSD; Patricia F. Anderson, THSL; Jim Eng Library Tech; Lloyd Shelton, EMU Disability; Darlene Nichols, GL; Janet Keller, ISR; Meaghan Haas, Benefits ; Tracy Wright, Dean's Office; Laura Murphy, Adapt Design. Please let me know if I missed anyone ( and I will adjust--we strive to be as inclusive as possible in every way, including in the minutes.
Remotely calling in via BlueJeans: Carolyn Grawi; CIL; Donna Omichinsky; Tracey Falardeau Curtright, Flint Disability Coordinator; Sue Bade, Occupational Therapy.

New meeting space should be permanent but some flexibility is required of members because the Room may be occupied on some dates. Stay tuned for changes when necessary, please. Council now has 205 UM members and 75 non-affiliates, with 30-40 active members; however, PLEASE ATTEND IN PERSON WHENEVER POSSIBLE, and although it is great to have BlueJeans technology, please "do not become like Jack's children" depending on technology rather than speaking person to person by attending meetings and being together.


(1) Access and Adventure Colloquium.
October 7th.
Ferris State University.

  • disability awareness
  • universal design
  • working in education abroad
  • international studies

Call for papers officially closed but check with Natalie anyhow

(2) Investing in Ability Month (October) --Anna says Subcommittee is still working on series of terrific events. Please SHOW UP! We do this to educate & destigmatize. Make a friend and bring one. People who attend once, tend to come back. Neubacher Award Ceremony is especially a high point, both heartwarming and informative about individuals and teams doing good things for others re: disability issues.

(3) Christina Kline of Office for Institutional Equity. Plans for new / renovated Student Union available. Exciting, amazing, opportunities to engage. Learning to read blueprints is difficult. comments DUE THURSDAY. Email Christina.

Example of need:
The “accessible” entrance “ramp” on North side with awkwardly placed door that opens onto busy hall. New design is responsive to concerns raised over years; elevator to be added at other end of building, as well.

What this tells us? Over time, sharing information and concerns DO have impact.

(4) AAATA hiring consultant to look at A-Ride services. LAClocal advisory council (required by law). Effectiveness. New federal administration proposing cuts to support for public transportation. Compliment for AATA: NightRide was wonderful. Cost $2.50


President's Council on DE&I. Jack presented last week.


Topics to be discussed: ** What are we doing well? What could we do better?

Anna: student from Prof. Melanie Yergeau’s class will present group project when back on campus. Accessibility video in the past project from same class. Storytelling, story sharing. Ideas, methods, pathways.

Jack has been chair for 16 yearswow! Some of the things the Council used to do are now done officially by UM. ditto OSHA. ditto Engineering & Construction. there was a time where there was no concept of how to make things accessible. there was a group that went to buildings and test accessibility. so things have changed. high traffic spaces are now pretty okay. We have full-time people hired to make electronic environment accessible. We can move on and do new things. [Discussion of accessibility advocates retiring around campus] We get to be ahead of the curve; we identify issues and create growth around them; high traffic places on campus doing better and individuals being hired to perform tasks and sustain goals that Council used to do. We have several librarians (4 now plus IT assistance) who spend a considerable amount of their time on accessibility and disability issues.

People who have disabilities often don’t have a lot in common with each other because there isn't a disability community per se; it’s a disability constituency: mobility, sensory, mental health. What they have in common? Society has constructed in a way that takes extra time away from the individual. We can be a voice for the constituency, we can step in where they don't have the energy or opportunity to organize, we are advocates. There is not officially a campus advocacy group for disabilities. We serve that function in a small way. We are a role model for other campuses. Students can be very helpful but are here only fleetingly.

** Where to do more?

We need more marketing and recruitment to students?

  • Admissions important unit to collaborate with
  • student asked how to get a wheelchair for parent for campus tour (2 years ago)
  • relief maps
  • augmented reality (bicentennial has spurred this with talks ramped up. GPS markers that can potentially add a layer for accessibility)
  • we need to pull in other units who do similar work and collaborate with them

Disability advocacy social network analysis/map

  • boundary spanning
  • discover who else on campus is working in this space
  • PFA followup

Suzanne Bade

  • where to go to get help / resource guide available but people don't know about it
  • Links to resource: Change in Ability to Work | PDF version.
  • People's needs:
    • * where to safely get help without fear
    • * people often come for help too late in the process, when they are already at risk
    • * people making their own accommodations to get by--changes in ability that need accommodations
  • Donna: Works with finding positions for youth, says this is a fantastic resource
    • * creating jobs and accessible opportunities for young people
    • * Awareness of resources (ie. we have a stie license for Dragon Naturally Speaking)
  • Need: Processes & protocols in place in a easily discoverable way


  • Jack's philosophy: we get together for one hour/once per month & we go out and do "our own thing", which we tend to do well because we choose what we do
  • collaboration very important
  • SSD staff know many things Council doesn't know and do provide support and information but have an accommodation role, which is a different one from Council's

Council Web Site

  • keeps coming up
  • more support desired --only a few people have access
  • perhaps a combined blog & forum so more members can be involved and post information in a private Council space
  • Twitter? eg. hashtag #RampFail

Pinch points

  • students to get accommodations > syllabus language (revisit) (esp mental health issues); faculty fear of legal issues
  • letter of admission (inaccessible 'real estate')
  • offer of employment (ditto, no centralized process)
  • places people are reminded that accessibility support is available, reach out (most bang for our effort) and pinch points can effect change quickly

physically & emotionally accessibility need for accommodations changes over time does HR send out info on your anniversary

  • include paragraph on accommodations?
  • include exempt faculty & staff
  • add to annual process for supervisor training
  • add to annual performance process? (intentional decoupling of this as a conversation) (Provide service guide?)
  • Happy New Year from the Council! Tuesday after Memorial Day? Labor Day?
  • do you have a coworker with a question?