October 2015      
Volume 10      
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Table of Contents

A Note from Matt

DIG in the News

Kids Crusaders

Welcome Lisa Goodman

Halloween Safety Tips

The First Steps to ending Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

Guardianship Video

Domestic Violence Grant

Out and About with DIG

He will never go to a "normal" school

Give Miami Day 2015

The Wallet Card

Fire Prevention


Step up for Students

Have Fun on Halloween but Stay Safe

Your Upward Journey

Litigation: Are Doctors Required to pay for Interpreters?

A Parcel of Penguins


Matt posing with a statue of pepe le pew     notefrommattA Note from Matt.....
  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.  It is the one day of the year that I can shed the normality of regular, business-as-usual life.  Sesame Street started an autism awareness program  with an new muppet named "Julia" and sees "amazing in all children."  I see amazing in all people, especially those who are not society's definition of "normal".  I appreciate our new normal that celebrates diversity, including neurodiversity.  So for Halloween, be who you want to be, and be safe.
Julia, the new muppet on sesame street  
diginnews clip art of a newspaper that is folded   DIG in the News 
More Fallout From DUI Arrest, Broward Judge Rosenthal Stepping Down, October 8, 2015, Daily Business Review Read more: http://www.dailybusinessreview.com/id=1202739293800/More-Fallout-From-DUI-Arrest-Broward-Judge-Rosenthal-Stepping-Down#ixzz3p3LF893y
Judge Rules Against State In Flap Over Children's Medical Program, CBS 4, September 23, 2015 http://miami.cbslocal.com/2015/09/23/judge-rules-against-state-in-flap-over-childrens-medical-program/
State Softens Stance On Screening For Children's Medical Services, October 19, 2015 http://news.wgcu.org/post/state-softens-stance-screening-childrens-medical-services
Disabled man's family claims housing discrimination - Relatives believe death may have been avoided with proper housing. September 30, 2015, News 6 Orlando - http://www.clickorlando.com/news/disabled-mans-family-claims-housing-discrimination/35579222
Lesbian Couple Denied Entry Into North Miami Beach Club, South Florida Gay News, Sept 30, 2015 - http://southfloridagaynews.com/Local/lesbian-couple-denied-entry-into-north-miami-beach-club.html
picture of Halloween candy pumpkins and candy corn with a jack-o-lantern in the right corner
Halloween at Home
Have a bowl of candy ready and enjoy passing it out to trick-or-treaters. Of course you need some tasty treats for yourself! Try "Ghosts," pretzels dipped in white chocolate with milk chocolate eyes and a mouth or a Goblin Green Smoothie. You can never go wrong with decorating cookies as pumpkins, bats, and ghosts. If you don't want sweets get some bubbles and temporary tattoos for some nice inedible treats!
julie  Kids Crusaders Corner Kids Crusaders Logo
Nick and his parents went painting this month at Paint with a Twist in Fairport, NY.  They made a present for Adam.  Adam runs for Nick. 
Nick and his dad working to paint the flower.  Nick is using his finger tip to make the flower petals  Nick, Julie, and Alex with the final painting   Adam smiling with the painting hung on the wall behind him Nick, smiling and wearing an apron covered with paint
Welcome Lisa Goodman Lisa signing the oath of attorney with Judge Muir.
DIG is pleased to introduce Lisa Goodman , as our new Staff Attorney.
Lisa graduated Cum Laude from the University of Miami School Of Law in May 2015, and was hired once she passed the Florida Bar Exam. During law school, Lisa was awarded the C.A.L.I. Excellence for the Future Award from her work in the University of Miami's Children and Youth Law Clinic. It was because of her work with that clinic that she knew she wanted to enter the Civil Rights arena of law which ultimately led her here. 
Lisa has a B.A. in advertising from the University of Florida. After graduating from UF but before attending law school, Lisa worked as a social media coordinator and we look forward to her utilizing those skills for us in addition to her legal work.  
She comes to us fresh, enthusiastic, and ready to work with and meet all of our clients.
   Lisa being sworn in by Judge Muir.
A word from Lisa...
Greetings to all DIG newsletter readers!
It is truly an honor to work at DIG. In my short time here, at DIG, it already feels like home and it is wonderful to be a part of the DIG family. I appreciate the warm welcome and I look forward to working with many of you!
Matt at BBI with the team at Syracuse University. mdc
Matt at BBI at Syracuse University
On October 6, 2015, Matt visited The Burton Blatt Institute (BBI) at Syracuse University.
Matt met with Peter Blanck, Mizuki Katsyama Hsu, Stephen Kuusisto, Wendy Blanck, and the rest of the team.
Halloween safety tips with a picture of a Halloween sky with a full moon and a witch flying on a broom and three pumpkins with jack-o-lantern faces
Halloween Safety
Are you going trick or treating for Halloween this year? If so, don't be tricked! Halloween is a popular holiday for people of all ages and abilities and is a day that has become focused on dressing up in costumes and eating candy (YUM!). Halloween's greatest dangers are not zombies, vampires or monsters but falls, costume issues and traffic accidents.
Click here for a list of Halloween Safety tips to follow so you and your family are sure to have a very happy and safe Halloween.
purple ribbon for Domestic Violence month with the words love shouldn't hurt written on it   sharon The First Steps to Ending Domestic Violence
Persons with disabilities are victimized at a rate three times higher than persons without disabilities. In 2012, 1.3 million violent crimes, that included rape and physical assault, occurred against persons with disabilities. If you are a woman, or have a cognitive, developmental or psychiatric disability your risk is even higher.
PEOPLE With Disabilities are:
*3 times more likely to experience violent victimization as adolescents
*3 times more likely to experience rape, sexual assault, aggravated assault and robbery
*3 times more likely to be sexually abused as children
WHY? You may ask, is this happening?
 There are a number of reasons that contribute to these higher rates. Significant factors include isolation in the community, reliance on caregivers for personal care, limited transportation, and the fact that persons with disabilities are easy targets because of societal stereotypes.
In our Domestic Violence column I will be addressing this very important issue over the next year.
My column will share with you, our readers, what we are learning on this important journey. Any questions? Email me at Sharon@justdigit.org.

scales of justice
 guardvideoGuardianship Video


Recently the Disabilities Independency Group partnered with the Dade County Legal Aid Society and the Statewide GAL Office to present the training "Guardianship and Guardian Advocate Training for Attorneys." The training features a distinguished panel including the Honorable Maria M. Korvick. The presentation includes identifying developmental disabilities, everything you need to know about plenary guardianship and guardian advocates, and how to interview children with disabilities. The training was approved by the Florida Bar for 3.0 Hours of CLE credit. Watch the video on the Florida Statewide GAL Program website. http://guardianadlitem.org/training-advocacy-resources/conferences-training/

And then click the link to the video: https://youtu.be/dmD0R76Oeu8.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at Sharon@justdigit.org
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a black circle with the words Domestic Violence in white with a red slash across the diagonal dv Domestic Violence
Disability Independence Group has been awarded a Training and Enhanced Services to End Violence Against Women by the Office of Violence Against Women (OVW). We are one of only 6 sites in the country that was awarded these funds this year. With our partners, M.U.J.E.R, a sexual assault and domestic violence center, Dade Legal Aid, that provides representation to victims and CVAC - Miami Dade County's Victims Assistance Center we will spend the next three years working with experts from the federal government to create sustainable change within and between our organizations that will result in accessible, safe and effective services for victims who are persons with disabilities.
DIG will share with you, our readers, what we are learning on this important journey. Any questions? Please email Sharon at Sharon@justdigit.org.
a young man with a Halloween costume that turned his wheelchair into a DJ station with turn tables and speakers
Halloween at Home
No Halloween would be complete without some dress up. Dress up in a fun costume and snap some photos. Family costume ideas include the Flintstones, 101 Dalmatians, Super Family, Pirates, and even breakfast foods. There are also amazing and creative wheelchair costumes, such as DJ booths and ice cream trucks that are some of the best costumes you may ever see.
outandabout clip art of a suitcase covered in travel stickersOut and About with DIG 
Oct 26-28            Southeastern Regional Institute on Deafness (SERID)  2015 Conference, Myrtle Beach, SC
Nov. 10              MDC, The Lab Miami, lecture on technology and accessibility, Miami, FL
Nov. 10              Casa Valentina, Reach Out Event, Coral Gables, FL
Nov 13               2nd Annual AAIDD Legal Clinic Breakfast Roundtable.  Brooklyn, NY
Nov 18-20           OCALICON , Columbus, OH
Nov 19               Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Florida,  Luncheon, Miami, FL
Nov 19              Give Miami Day 2015, Miami, FL
DIG Speaks at Coral Gables Rotary
Thank you to Lt. Bart Barta and Dr. Diane Adreon for introducing The Wallet Card Project to Rotary. 
Thank you to Matthew Dietz for giving Rotary an update on the current disability issues in our community.
   Matt at Rotary Luncheon with Greg Martini the current president.
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head shot of Michael Kranzler adhdletter
"He will never go to a 'normal' school."
When I was in early elementary school, an educational therapist offered that grim assessment to my parents. I had just been diagnosed with extremely severe ADHD, helping us bridge the gap between my high aptitude and low performance. Every week, I would swear to my mom that I had turned in all my assignments for the week, but then she would come into my classroom, open up my desk, and find them crumpled up in the corners. Sure, I meant to turn them in, but somehow I consistently forgot.
Fortunately, my parents left me in the dark about what the therapist had said about me, not even telling me about it until I got into college. (click here to read more)
givemiami give Miami day 2015 logo
DIG is excited to announce that we will be participating in The Miami Foundation's Give Miami Day 2015. Give Miami Day is an annual 24 hour online giving event. It allows anyone in our community to make an impact by supporting local non-profit organizations. It will begin midnight November 19th and go until midnight November 20th. To support DIG and donate on the day of the event, visit http://givemiamiday.org/#npo/disability-independence-group-inc .
clip art of a pumpkin with a smiling jack-o-lantern face
Halloween at Home
Ghosts, spider-webs, pumpkins and more. Decorate your house with your own creations to set a spooky mood. Some unusual DIY decorations include Glowing Eyes: cut out the shape of eyes in some empty toilet paper rolls and then put glow sticks inside, put them in your bushes and they will glow outside. Painting pumpkins is another alternative, kid-friendly version to carving pumpkins. Grab your favorite colors and paint a face or design onto your pumpkin.
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Jon Kent, Dr. Diane Adreon, Alex Kent, Debbie Dietz (standing) and Lt. Barta and Haley Moss (sitting).  The crew and actors for the 2nd Wallet Card video. walletcard   The Wallet Card Project


Go to our website to watch the video and sign up for a wallet card:  http://www.justdigit.org/wallet-cards/ 



fireprevention logo for fire prevention week. with a smiling fire truck Fire Prevention
Fire safety is a vital tool that everyone can use to protect themselves and their loved ones in the presence of a fire. Being aware and prepared to avoid a fire is best exhibited by having multiple fire alarms in the home. This is the key message of Fire Prevention Week 2015; as many as 3 out of 5 home fire deaths happen from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Furthermore, these fires typically happen between 11 pm and 7 am when the family is asleep and unaware of a fire if no fire alarms are present or working in the household. The NFPA recommends installing a fire alarm in each bedroom of the house, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of your home. (click here to read more)
lesly The PASS Plan
head shot of Lesly Quin
A PASS (Plan for Achieving Self Support) allows you to set aside other income besides your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or resources for a specified period of time so that you may pursue a work goal that will reduce or eliminate the SSI or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits you currently receive.
Who can have a PASS?
If you receive SSI or could qualify for SSI after setting aside income or resources so that you may pursue a work goal, you could benefit from a PASS. (click here to read more)
drawing of a dog wearing an emotional support vest 
The ABC's of Assistance Animals 
On October 2, 2015, HOPE, Disability Independence Group, Dade Legal Aid, the DCBA Real Property Committee, and the Miami Association of Realtors conducted a comprehensive training on fair housing laws and assistance animals.  Keenya Robertson and Matthew Dietz were speakers, and Judge Bernstein introduced the program.  A special thank you to Gisela Munoz, Esq. for sponsoring refreshments.
   Matt speaking at our HUD workshop about the ABC's of assistance animals.
   Keenya Robertson speaking about the fair housing act at our ABC's of assistance animals training.
   Judge Bernstein welcoming everyone to the ABCs of assistance animal training
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development's Fair Housing Initiatives Program. The grantee is solely responsible for the accuracy of any and all information, statements, and interpretations. Such interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Government.
logo for step up for students.  with a red silhouette of a person stepping up. steps
Step up for Students
Did you know Step Up For Students helps administer TWO scholarships for Florida children?
The Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSA) helps families personalize educational plans for their children with certain special needs.  Students age 3 through 12th grade may be eligible if they are diagnosed with one of the following: Autism Spectrum Disorder, including Asperger's, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Prader-Willi syndrome, Spina Bifida, Williams Syndrome, or an Intellectual Disability (severe cognitive impairment). Students who are in kindergarten, deemed "high risk" due to developmental delays and, not older than 5 on Sept. 1, may be eligible for the year they apply.  The PLSA allows parents to direct scholarship funds toward a combination of programs and approved providers including private schools, therapists, specialists, curriculum, and technology - even a college savings account.
Another option is the Income-based Florida Tax Credit Scholarship (FTC), a program that provides financial assistance to low-income families with K-12 students to help pay for private school tuition and fees, or for transportation costs to attend a public school in another county.  If a family's household income qualifies for the free or reduced-price school lunch program (185% of the federal poverty guidelines0, or if the family receives SNAP (food stamps), TANF, or FDPIR, the student may be eligible.
Children who are homeless, or in foster or out-of-home care, also may be eligible for either of these TWO scholarships.
Step Up For Students in a nonprofit approved by the state to help administer both programs.  To learn more, visit www.stepupforstudents.org.
clip art of a flying ghost with a pumpkin head holding a sign that says be safe Have Fun on Halloween but Stay Safe
By: Danielle Fine
Halloween is just around the corner. The festive holiday of Halloween, also known as All Hallows Eve, is not just for children. Adults can join in the fun of the Halloween festivities as well. But while it's important for people of all ages to have fun on Halloween, it's also important for adults, not just children, to be safe as well. I will provide a guide to make sure that even adults can be safe, while having fun, on Halloween. (click here to read more)
A basket of colored chocolate medallions and 3 chocolate hand that say I love you in ASL.

Logo for the fair housing video series.   

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clip art of a pumpkin with a smiling jack-o-lantern face
Halloween at Home
There are many fun Halloween activities you can do in place of trick-or-treating. Put on a Disney Halloween movie and nibble on some of the treats you made. Read spooky stories with a flashlight. Hide clues around your house, put on some pirate music, and make a treasure map leading to a big prize at the end. The options are endless for a safe and fun-filled Halloween.    
The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi     Head shot of Patricia Bochi. She is in front of a boat that is in the water.
In a nutshell, Your Upward Journey: It Is Easier Than You Think!, is a three-part project (book, self-help seminars and merchandise sale). I intend to promote the book through self-help seminars and sale of merchandise, such as mugs, journals etc.

 The website is:  www.yourupwardjourney.com                                
clip art of a woman sitting in a chair with a baby communicating with a woman doctor with a sign language interpreter standing behind the doctor litigation Litigation: Are Doctors Required to Provide Interpreters for Deaf Patients?
At least once per week, I receive a call from a Deaf person complaining that their doctor will not provide them a sign language interpreter for their visit to the doctor. The doctor insists that the patient should communicate by passing notes back and forth or by trying to lip read. If the Deaf person insists on an interpreter, the doctor demands that the Deaf person pay the costs of the interpreter.
Why is this wrong?
For many persons in the Deaf population, English is not their primary language, American Sign Language is their primary language. The Deaf person's English ability may be in the Elementary School level. Also, the majority of English speech sounds emanates from the tongue, throat, breath, and are invisible on the lips. Only about 30% of English speech sounds appear on the lips. Approximately 70% of speech reading involves guesswork apart from the actual information received by viewing speech on the mouth. During a discussion on medical information, where the patient is usually nervous and anxious, this type of guesswork leads to misunderstandings, and may place the patient in serious danger. Also, written notes may be acceptable for short and simple conversations, such as asking a question in a store, but not when the information is long, important or complex.
penuins A colored drawing of an open box with 3 small penguins surrounded by stuffing.
A Parcel of Penguins
  You can now buy a copy of the book

For more information about DIG and to find out how you can be involved, please call or email our executive director, Debbie Dietz at 305-669-2822 or  debbie@justdigit.org. 

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