CfDC Minutes — September 12, 2017

ATTENDING: Lisa, Evan, Natalie, Russ, Jim, Jeff, Randi, Tracy, Patricia, Laura Janet, Cathy, Taimi, Kathleen, Anna, and the wonderful staff of IT

Jack welcomed Council members, and introductions were made

Proposed ADA Changes

Anna provided items for discussion:

It will take 180 days for a business to respond to an ADA claim

Jack: There's no question this is a bad idea. I've learned more about the catalyst for this. A bunch of aggressive plaintiff lawyers who are using the ADA to basically generate revenue for themselves. (like ambulance chasers) Active plaintiffs are so aggressive that it is forcing property owners to combat nuisance suits. Most properties can't make their space accessible immediately. Most of the time, [these complaint] are about attitude. Here, when there is a complaint, there is a ready response, and effort, a system in place.

This kind of law is not the solution. Imagine not being able to get to a hospital or to vote. (I don't have to pay attention to this for 3 months, and then I only have to acknowledge it, not fix it.)

More articles:

Jack: I don't know about politics anymore. In the past, there is no question that if constituents complained to representatives, it did have an impact. Try writing letters to senators who you agree with and who you don't, but always find something they did that you liked, and then tell them what you are concerned about now. Communicate well: I'm a thoughtful voter, considerate.

Disability politics is not purely partisan politics. Richard Nixon signed the Rehabilitation Act. Bush signed the ADA. Obama signed the ADA amendments. Acknowledge that you don't think these aggressive plaintiff firms are a problem, but this isn't the solution.

Q: Constitutionality of this?

Rights of a citizen in play, but data has to be collected. Disputes can take decades.

Challenges: people with disabilities, especially hidden disabilities, do not necessarily recognize each other as part of the same constituency. There is an identity problem. What all people with disabilities have is a loss of time.

Cathy Alice: So many people with disabilities do feel as if they are incarcerated, because of the loss of access and resources to do the things that independent people can do. The unreal world is a cluster of support. The united voice is stronger that the individual whisper.

Jack: Describes small business impacts

Examples from media:


Joelle Fundero (

Disclosure Program

Knowledge Community

ASKJAN (Job Accommodation Network) has examples of accommodation letters

Disability Visibility Project: facebook page

Program for college level: "You Have No IDEA" > information not shared, assumptions made that student will get all the help he/she/they received in high school

Clothes Closet: donate gently used items for students to choose business-appropriate wear will pick up or accept mail-in donations; each student can pick out 3 items for free to wear to interviews

Russ Ellis

Attended International Conference of Mobility Specialists. Invitations from other countries (Singapore) to learn more about OT and O&M training. Lions Club providing white canes to new-onset visually impaired. Working with VA Hospital, as well.

Janet Keller & Tracy Wright

Discussion on how to work with faculty who may have a mental health issue. FASAP & Campus Mindworks mentioned as resources for training on how to have these conversations, how to approach a person who may be in distress. Depression Center. University Health Service. CAPS. Compilation of resources can be found at:

Jack Bernard

Robert Sellers and Katrina Wade-Golden are preparing Diversity Summit Nov. 6-10. (Big events are on Nov 7-8). Also, there will be collection of data on disability (de-identified) with good questions having been asked. EVENTS requested? Suggested MK Czerwiec for intersectionality of disability & diversity. University census includes some data on PWD at UofM. Presentation forthcoming on survey questions & results.

Proposed Event for Diversity Summit: History of Council? Theme: Diversity Includes Disability

  • Who?
    • MK Czerwiec, invited speaker.
    • Event coordinators: Patricia F. Anderson, Anna Schnitzer.
    • Calendar: Bonnie Dede.
  • What? "Taking Turns: Health Care, Activism, and Community" In series: "Investing in Ability 2017"
  • When: November 6 2:00-3:30pm [set-up begins 1:30; clean up ends 4:00pm]
  • Where: Hatcher Gallery (Directions)
  • Description: MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse who uses comics to contemplate the complexities of illness and caregiving. She is the Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine and a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy & Media Engagement. MK has been making comics under the pseudonym "Comic Nurse" since 2000. She co-runs, a website devoted to the intersection of comics and health in education, research, outreach, public health, and more. MK's new book, Taking Turns, Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, is a graphic memoir, using comics and storytelling to explore the history of AIDS through the lens of her personal experience as a nurse and care provider on an AIDS ward at the peak of the epidemic. MK's personal story becomes a tool to leverage and share information, to expand upon and communicate research, as a resource for teaching, as well as to explore what does it mean to provide care in a context where cure is not an option. Her personal history becomes an original source in the broader context of the history of the AIDS epidemic, as well as relationships between stigma and disability in access to care for marginalized communities such as the LGBTQ community and communities of color.

Anna Ercoli Schnitzer

October meeting--possible guest presenter Pam Heatlie, Director of Office of Institutional Equity.

Television Show: “The Good Doctor” about young man with autism who becomes surgeon (preview sent by Gerald is on YouTube).

Please remember that we now have remote access via BlueJeans. Jason, Todd, and Sue are standing by to help with the technology. Please write me if you are interested in the remote connection.

Cathy-Alice told us a true and funny story about disabled hamsters (in connection with discussion about ESA in the dorms and after Randi mentioned that a python will soon be an Emotional Support Animal at UM.)

Important Message from Joelle

We’re excited to announce that the University Career Center’s Clothes Closet is having two on-campus fall events and one new off-campus event with JCPenney, called Suit Up, to kick off the fall recruitment season of fairs, interviews, and much more. We hope you’ll help promote these events by sharing this information with students through your newsletters, email messages, posting the flyers in your office/departments, and/or on your website. It will give our students a chance build their professional brand.

  1. University Career Center’s Clothes Closet Fall Event Information: Visit the University Career Center's Clothes Closet! Looking and feeling your best is important, whether you're working on building your professional wardrobe or preparing for upcoming interviews.

    Event Dates/times:

    • Wednesday, September 13th 2017 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
    • Monday, September 18th 2017 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    Location: University Career Center, Student Activities Building 3rd Floor

    For more event details, please visit Handshake!

    Come to the University Career Center's Clothes Closet to take home business professional and business casual clothing for free! Each student is allowed to take 3 items from the Clothes Closet each semester.

    Important note: The Clothes Closet event is drop-in style, and we will allow 15 students shop the closet at a time. Please note that there could be a 15-30 minute wait. Wait time may vary.

    Donations: The University Career Center is continuing the Clothes Closet which served over 800 students in the past year. We welcome your support in building up our selection of business casual and professional clothing items.

    We are collecting all types of professional clothing (business casual to professional) for all sizes.

    We are in need of:

    • Feminine dresses sizes 2-6 or small-medium
    • Feminine Blazers 2-6 or small-medium
    • Professional bags/briefcases
    • Masculine button-ups - small sizes
    • Masculine blazers/suits sizes 36-44
    • Masculine shoes sizes 9-10 and 11.5-14

    Please bring your items to the University Career Center, located on the 3rd floor of the Student Activities Building, at your convenience.

    Thank you for your continued support of this project and assisting us in enhancing the career preparedness of our Michigan students. If you have any questions, please contact the University Career Center at

  2. NEW! JCPenney Suit Up Event Information: Suit Up- JCPenney is partnering with the University of Michigan to offer career wear up to 70% off. Everything you need to finish your look for the career fair or an interview. Shop suits, dresses, coats, pants, and shoes—all at deeply discounted prices. JCPenney will close their store to the public - this is a special UMICH student offering. Bring your UM ID to check-in and receive your 40% off coupon as you enter the door. More details can be found here: Should you need additional information or have any additional questions, please let me know.

Next meeting will be on OCTOBER 10th at noon in the Regents Conference Room, Fleming Building.

Questions/additions/corrections to: <schnitzr at>