Your monthly news & updates
A note from DIG....
In the interest of health concerns for our staff and members of the community, Disability Independence Group (DIG) will continue operating standard business hours 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., but we will manage day-to-day activities remotely. For the health and safety of all, we will not be able to have anyone visit our office.Our staff will continue checking emails and voice messages during business hours. We will do everything we can to assist individuals with urgent matters in a timely manner.
We look forward to assisting you during our standard operating hours of a 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday – Friday by phone (305) 669-2822 or email at .
Thank you everyone for helping our communities stay safe and healthy.
clipart of a coronavirus
Changes to Florida Statutes that effect Civil Rights and Fair Housing in Florida
Clip Art of a piece of paper curled at the ends that says the word law in the middle.
During the 2020 legislative session, there has been significant changes in statutes that prohibit discrimination in the State of Florida. These changes effect the way that civil rights claims are processed by the administrative agency that investigates such claims, the rights of claimants for they day in court, and it also changes how housing providers must ensure that their associations or properties comply with 55+ housing requirements, restrictive covenants, and how they evaluate accommodations for service animals. 

In Florida, the Florida Commission on Human Relations (FCHR) is responsible for investigating and resolving discrimination complaints in the areas of employment, housing, and certain public accommodations, as well as investigating state employee whistle-blower complaints of retaliation. 
Out and About with DIG
CANCELLED - Supper Social Club
March 30, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

CANCELLED - Supper Social Club- Trivia Night
April 9, 2020
John Martin's Irish Pub

Supper Social Club
May 4, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

Supper Social Club
June 1, 2020
California Pizza Kitchen

DIG in the News
Feb 27, 2020, Daily Business Review, Attorney Pushing Change Backs NY on Mental Health
Debbie giving a training to project SEARCH students in a classroom
Debbie at a wallet card training for Project SEARCH students.
sharon standing and training at the DVSAC meeting
Sharon having a discussion at DVSAC.
stephanie and her colleagues smiling and standing together after training in COPAA
Stephanie speaking at COPAA with her colleagues.
collage of pictures from a training at the childrens trust with roy the police dog
K9's for Kids meeting at the Children's Trust.
Matt smiling and holding a kitten during a cat cafe style CLE training
Matt speaking at a cat cafe style event.
collage of pictures from supper social dinner in february
February Super Social Club.
Yare wearing a unicorn headband sitting next to lucy the dog with a birthday candle on a dessert
Happy Birthday Yare
Miami Inclusion Alliance (MIA)
Since International Women’s Day was March 8 and I am focusing this month on women and issues that affect them. I would like to discuss violence against older women, especially those with disabilities.
There is a heightened risk of violence for older women aged 50 and over and is even higher for women with disabilities. It can occur in many forms and be committed by perpetrators that may include intimate partners, family members adult children, caregivers or members of the greater community.

Many times, older women experience multiple types of abuse including physical, sexual, financial and psychological. 

Animal Partners
Living with Your Senior Dog.

I admit that I enjoy calling my dog a puppy, but he is 11 years old and in fact a senior dog for his size. That does not stop me from treating him all to differently from any other life stage. Having a senior dog requires specific needs to still be taken care of, exercise, food, and training. Sounds very much like what you would be doing with any dog of any age. So, let’s talk about the difference within these categories.

Let’s start with exercise. As your dog turns into a senior: small and medium size dogs 10+ years, Large breed as early as 5 years of age, depending on breed. Keeping your senior’s dogs’ size not weight in mind you should still be trying to walk your dog once a day for around 20 minutes. They enjoy the time with you, but they benefit from lack of muscle degradation, bone issues, and weight problems. Unless your dog has severe hip dysplasia or a broken bone that hinders from proper walking a walk a day can keep your vet away. If you cannot exercise your dog physically, exercise them mentally. You can feed your senior dog half their meal for the morning and use the other half to hide in a Kong or in their toys to mentally stimulate them to look for food and move around among the house setting. There are multiple ways to exercise your senior dog, with technology on our hands you can find fun and interactive games for you and your senior pup to keep healthy.

Lucy with a sign in her mouth that says all guests must be approved by the dog.
The View from Here
Celebrate what you’ve accomplished but raise the bar a little higher each time you succeed.” – Mia Hamm

This month marks exactly five years since I began my journey to walk again. After suffering a spinal cord injury and being labeled a paraplegic, I made the decision to begin rigorous physical therapy to walk once again. I knew the goal was monumental, and I learned it would take everything I had (and then some) to achieve it. What I didn’t expect were the smaller achievements along the way which would become so important, if not even more meaningful, than the ultimate goal of walking again.

The definition of paralysis is the loss of the ability to move and to feel anything in part or most of the body, typically as a result of illness or injury. When most of us imagine someone who is paralyzed, we envision a person in a wheelchair, who cannot walk. When I suddenly became a person living with paralysis, I could have never imagined that it is so much more than that. So much more than just losing your ability to walk. Paralysis effects every moment of your life. Every single movement you can or can’t make. And there were so many things I could no longer do. The loss of the ability to do everyday tasks, like getting dressed standing up, showering, putting on makeup, jumping in my car to drive somewhere. These proved to be much more life-altering than the loss of my ability to walk.

Head shot of Justine
The Wallet Card Project
The wallet card is a tool to be used by a teenager or an adult with a disability. Currently, we have developed cards for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Intellectual Disabilities.
Access The Vote Florida
Our next meeting will be on Friday, March 20, 2020, at 11:00am.

Toll Free Call: (888) 585-9008
Conference Room No.: 133-116-452(#)
Benefits Information
Work incentives Protecting Health Coverage for People with Disabilities

Many SSA beneficiaries are afraid of losing their health insurance coverage because of employment however SSA provides protections to SSA beneficiaries to be able to work and keep their Medicare or Medicaid.

Extended Medicare Coverage for Working People with Disabilities.

Continued Medicaid Eligibility (Section 1619(B)).

Other health care coverage options while you work:

Market Place or Affordable Care Act

Medicaid Share of Cost or Medically Needy

Community Health clinics CHI

If you are a SSI or SSDI beneficiary and needs an individualized analysis of your situation please contact the Community Work Incentives Coordinator or benefits Planner in your area. 

For South Florida contact the WIPA project at

Lesly Quin

head shot of Lesly
Educational Information
The Evolving Laws Following Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Act and the Impact on Students and Families

House Bill 7065 was the third school safety package bill proposed by the Legislature since the 2018 Parkland shooting, and it was the first one to fail. I believe however, this failure is a good thing for students with disabilities. The illusion that these laws were about keeping students safe may be finally starting to crack. 

On February 14, 2018, a 19-year-old, former student, walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and shot 34 people. In less than four minutes, the gunman shot and killed 17 people and left another 17 injured. It was the deadliest school shooting since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut that resulted in the death of 28 people. The Parkland shooter was 19 years old and used a legally purchased AR-15 semi-automatic rifle during the shooting spree. This was the same type of firearm used during the Sandy Hook shooting and the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 dead and 53 injured on June 12, 2016. 

head of stephanie langer holding a business file and wearing a black and white polkadot shirt.
Supper Social Club - CANCELLED
black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
Your Upward Journey
The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
In a nutshell, Your Upward Journey:

It is Easier Than You Think!, a three-part project (book, self-help seminars and merchandise sale).