CfDC Minutes — August 8, 2017

ATTENDING: Jack Bernard (Chair), Anna Ercoli Schnitzer (Coordinator), Brandon Werner, Cathy-Alice Koyanagi, Dianna Woods, Donna Omichinski, Jane Vincent, Janet Keller, Jason, Chris, Kathleen Mozak-Betts, Matt Holliday, Meaghan Haas, Megan Marshall (Welcome back to U-M, Megan, and congratulations on your new position!), Mina Ajam, Sue Bade, Tracy Wright, Jim Eng. Plus four remote participants via BlueJeans.


COUNCIL HISTORY: Anna passed around cards, asking for a few words about members' impressions of the Council--to be included in Council history being written for the first time in 20 years. If you have any additions, please send them via email to, or phone 936 1402 and leave voice mail message. Thanks!

READING DISABILITIES: Jack discussed status of Marrakesh Treaty (no news) internationally signed by 100 countries (not US), delayed by publishing stakeholders and "held hostage" until too late with present "chaos" in US, which prohibits lending of our materials abroad. Hathitrust administered by U-M has huge number cooperative digitized holdings available for those with reading disabilities:



Cathy-Alice described three issues pertaining to difficulties caused by design:

  1. Having to fill in forms with no CC machine to enable visually impaired to feel empowered and independent;
  2. New "self-service" Kiosk that is inaccessible to visually impaired patients (and no Braille) and also to wheelchair users who cannot approach it;
  3. Menu in cafeteria has fluorescent writing that is difficult or impossible to read.

Cathy was told that accessibility might be inserted retroactively in self-serve Kiosk, that menu listings were "standard label" throughout U-M. Cathy gave a shout-out to Dr. Andrew Kraftson, located at Domino Farms, who printed out information in 14 pt font specifically for her.

Possible solutions to above design problems:

  • Jane and Voices of Staff working on alternate languages and formats, so will check on this;
  • Michigan Medicine Disability meeting soon--can discuss.
  • Scanner possibility for menu?
  • MHealthy involvement with improving legibility of menu?
  • Lisa Bartlett in Printing Office could assist;
  • Jane said ITS will "bake-in" accessibility along with other DEI proposals. Ergonomics seldom at the table with designers/architects.

Philosophy: Jack spoke of opportunities with these challenges; e.g., his smartphone is example of positive changes with technology--he photographs and then enlarges photo to see details. Also, people want to do the "right thing," but fear offending individuals with disabilities.

Discussion: Many different roads needed for wide variety of disabilities. Helpful to solicit constituencies; also affected people should speak up because of the changing nature of the world (More disabilities in the workplace and the academy, changes in culture and the law, Baby Boomers and others will have more needs as time goes on). Carole Dubritsky, former ADA Coordinator--now retired, did structure needs assessment but not all buildings could be covered. We could use crowdsourcing to gather information.

Ideas: survey; anonymous form for Council website to lodge needs and also one for SSD and Dean's Office. Mina discussed possibility of instituting a feedback method similar to AA See/Click/Fix for U-M feedback re: accessibility. Jim Eng is our new Council webmaster.

Jack will propose the possibility of a U-M Fix-It initiative to Hank Baier, CFO of Facilities. Follow-through and accountability very important. Pilot program perhaps through Council website?

Anna gave (loud) shout-out to Paul Guttman of Plant for helping with accessibility issues whenever needed through the years.

Jim brought up incident of illegal parking in accessible parking spaces and discussion ensued.