Volume 07 | July 2018
Your monthly news & updates
A note from Matt....
28 th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Significant barriers to community inclusion can be as big as steps or as small as straws. When Starbucks chose to eliminate straws due to environmental concerns, it did not take into account the need of some persons with disabilities who require straws to enjoy their drink. The Disability Community spoke out about inclusivity, and Starbucks listened.
screen shot of starbucks coffee post about offering straws to customers that need and request them
New Litigation
Disability Rights Florida Files Lawsuit Against Agency for Persons with Disabilities Regarding Carlton Palms.

scales of justice
Rolando and Yandy
Florida is one of 31 states in this country that doesn't fully protect LGBT people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.

Emotional Support Animal Complaint Settles After Battle with Condo

HOPE is pleased to announce that a settlement has been reached in a disability complaint that HOPE filed with HUD on behalf of two of our clients, the Johnsons.
In February 2017, Mrs. Johnson contacted HOPE for assistance with a reasonable accommodation request made for her husband to have an emotional support animal (ESA). She also sought help regarding fines imposed by the condominium association because of the ESA.

The Johnsons reside at a condominium community in Lauderhill, Florida. Mr. Johnson is a person with a disability who requires an emotional support animal.

Mr and Mrs Johnson with HOPE staff member Luxmy Panzardi
REV UP Florida
This week Florida officially started a REV UP Florida Chapter.

If you are interested in joining please contact either Tony DePalma at tonyd@disabilityrightsflorida.org or Debbie Dietz at debbie@justdigit.org
concentric circles in different shades of blue that show the ripple effect of the disability vote from families to friends to advocates to educators to professionals to providers to bureaucrats with a person in a wheelchair in the center
Out and About with DIG

Supper Social Club
August 6, 2018

August 23-25, 2018
San Antonio, TX

Supper Social Club
September 10, 2018

Supper Social Club
October 8, 2018

Supper Social Club
November 5, 2018

Supper Social Club
December 3, 2018

debbie and matt at CIL summer bash
Matt and Debbie at the CIL Summer Bash
Matt speaking at NLADA conference
Matt speaking on a panel at the NLADA Conference
Debbie and Matt with Mayor Gillum
Debbie and Matt meeting Mayor Gillum
Group picture at DIG for Nia's last day of work
DIG staff and interns saying goodbye to Nia
sign language interpreter sitting and interpreting at a financial training at capital one
Capital One financial training for the Deaf
Financial training at Capital One with a sign language interpreter
Capital One financial training for the Deaf
REV UP Voter Registration Week with the Enable Project
Kelly at Key Clubhouse for voter registration week
Day 1 - Key Clubhouse
voter training at CIL with DIG staff
Day 2 - CIL
voter training at CIL
Day 2 - CIL
registering people to vote at MDC
Day 3 - MDC InterAmerican Campus
Enable Project social event members sitting at a table eating
Day 4 - Enable Project Social Event
Enable Project members at social event
Day 4 - Enable Project Social Event
CIL staff at enable project social event
Day 4 - Enable Project Social Event
Day 4 - Proclamation from Miami-Dade County and Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava
proclamation for National Disability Voter Registration Week signed by Mayor of Miami-Dade County and commissioner Daniella Levine Cava
Day 4 - Proclamation for National Disability Voter Registration Week
Sharon and Kelly standing outside of the miami lighthouse for the blind
Day 5 - Miami Lighthouse for the blind
interns Kelly and Miriam at a voter registration event.
Day 5 - Miami Lighthouse for the blind
rev up campaign logo in blue and red
REV UP - Making the disability vote count
Kids Crusaders Corner
Julie will be back soon.
Kids Crusaders Logo
Miami Inclusion Alliance
I like to share new and innovative projects in the area of victims’ rights and share solutions that are cutting edge and hopefully game changing. I believe “ SEEK THEN SPEAK ” is such a project.


End Violence Against Women International ( EVAWI ) has received funding from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime to enhance and expand their “Seek Then Speak”, initiative. “Seek Then Speak” provides sexual assault survivors a way to interact directly
with a technology platform to gather information, explore options and connect directly with local resources to get help or report to law enforcement. 

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at sharon@justdigit.org
Lucille's Wall
By: Lucy
Recently, Lisa (you remember her-DIG’s Staff Attorney) took her annual family vacation which she claims she did not take me on because I do not have a current passport. I called her bluff and reminded her Airlines have not gone that far.

Anyways, feeling envious, I had Matt assist me with a little research on Lisa’s Family’s destination. Lo and behold, we came across, “Puppies and paradise.”

Apparently, a shelter capitalized on the vast numbers of tourists that visit each year to help socialize their pups and potentially get some adopted. I thought this was such a great idea as I, myself, was rescued from a shelter in Georgia. I hope this inspires some of you to visit some attractions off the beaten path next time you are away from home!
lisa and lucy having fun at work with picture filters
Like our Facebook Pages
DIG Facebook Page - General DIG information
Deaf Alice Facebook Page - Issues related to the Deaf Community

Kids Crusaders Facebook Page - Issues related to medically fragile and medically complex children and their families

Animal Partners Facebook Page - Issues related to service animals and emotional support animals
Benefits Information
Employment support for people with disabilities
If you are disabled and you are pursuing employment, you are not alone. You can find many agencies providing employment support and help you to reach your vocational goal. 

head shot of Lesly
The View from Here
“Medical necessity is defined as accepted health care services and supplies provided by health care entities, appropriate to the evaluation and treatment of a disease, condition, illness or injury and is consistent with the applicable standard of care.”

The latest piece of equipment I’ve obtained in my arsenal of medical devices, since my spinal cord injury, is the Bioness L300 Thigh Cuff. After a rigorous schedule of physical therapy and strengthening over the past two years, my right leg still tends to buckle when I walk with my walker, causing me to fatigue easily and have to stop and rest every few minutes. A bent right knee also effects my balance and makes it more difficult to stay on my feet for any long period of time. My physical therapist suggested the Bioness to me as a possible solution to help me straighten that right knee and hopefully re-educate my quadricep muscle to straighten, instead of buckle, when I walk.

Head shot of Justine
The Wallet Card Project
The wallet card is a tool for young adults or adults to use when they come into contact with law enforcement; either a a victim, a witness, or as a potential suspect.

The wallet card will help to clarify any interaction with law enforcement so that the behavior of the person with a disability is not misinterpreted as suspicious or as criminal behavior.

The Wallet Card Project is a collaboration with DIG, CGPD, and UM-NSU CARD.
The Wallet Card Goes to Camp Shriver at the Sandra DeLucca Center
This month DIG visited the campers at Camp Shriver to make them wallet cards and to practice safe interactions with the City of Miami Police Department. Thank you to the staff at the Sandra DeLucca Center and the City of Miami Police for making this a successful event.
city of miami police officers getting ready to role play with students
City of Miami Police Officers
group picture at sandra delucca center
First group of campers
group picture at sandra delucca center
Second group of campers
role play activities with police and students
Role Playing with officers and campers
police role playing safe interactions with students.
Role playing with officers and campers
DIG staff and interns at sandra delucca center
DIG staff and interns
Wheels & Heels
Lorinda will be back soon with a new article.

Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.
Education Information
“The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”
by: Lyndon B. Johnson (1966)

This week is National Disability Voter Registration Week and DIG has been holding events all over Miami Dade county to bring awareness and discuss the challenges surrounding voting for persons with disabilities. During this week it came to my attention that we are not doing enough to ensure that students with disabilities are aware of their right to vote and we are not discussing with them how to register to vote. This is a missed opportunity and this must change.  

head of stephanie langer holding a business file and wearing a black and white polkadot shirt.
sign that says register to vote with a big red check mark in the middle with a background of stars and stripes
Register to Vote!
Primary elections in Florida are right around the corner- August 28, 2018 .

The deadline to register to vote is July 30, 2018 . Registering may seem intimidating, but the process and requirements are simple!

However, keep in mind that Florida is a closed primary state, meaning you can only participate in the primaries if you are a registered party member.

button that says your vote counts
Who is running for office?
This is a list of the candidates for the August 28, 2018 primary elections of Florida. The candidates are organized by the office they are running for and then alphabetized by last name within their respective party. As the state of Florida is a closed primary state, primary elections are only for voters who are registered with one of the two major parties. As such, any third-party candidates or independent candidates will not be found in this list

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Follow us on Twitter @dislaw
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Follow us on Twitter @justdigit
Shop Amazon Smile
When you shop Amazon Smile, you can support our organization.
Supper Social Club
Join us for dinner and conversation at California Pizza Kitchen in Coral Gables.

August 6, 2018
black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
Dragonfly Training
Watch out for our new training program called Dragonfly.

Coming Soon.
the word dragonfly and the to the right an image of a dragonfly.  the entire image is green.
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Follow us on Instagram
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Follow us on Instagram DisabilityIndependenceGroup
Your Upward Journey
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 a mugs, journals, etc.

Disability Independence Group | Phone: 305-669-2822 | Fax: 304-441-4181