Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Volume # 6
June 2017

Table of Contents

Matt and Max sitting together in their ADA 25th Anniversary shirts
note A Note from Matt....

In the 1970s, when the rights of persons with disabilities were beginning to be recognized,  Congressman Charles Vanik stated that treatment of persons with disabilities is one the  country's "shameful oversights," which caused persons with disabilities to live among society "shunted aside, hidden, and ignored."  It is our job to ensure that the clock is not rolled back and that the rights of persons with disabilities are safeguarded, and the pillars of community involvement, including  healthcare, housing, and education.
DIG in the news
June 5, 2017, El Nuevo Herald, Familia de autista presenta demanda contra cinco policĂ­as y la ciudad de North Miami

June 7, 2017, NBC6, New Images from North Miami Police Shooting

June 9, 2017, Daily Business Review, Mental Illness Becomes Major Issue in Legal Community
June 9, 2017, Courthouse News Service, North Miami Police Face Lawsuit Over Arrest Of Autistic Man, Shooting His Caretaker

June 17, 2017, Youtube, Something Special: The Wallet Card Video -MDPD
June 22, 2017, Law.com, How a Miami Court Ruling Could Affect ADA Compliance Nationwide.

June 23, 2017, CBS 12.com, Autistic child arrested at school threatened with more charges, http://cbs12.com/news/local/autistic-child-arrested-at-school-threatened-with-more-charges
Out and About with DIG
Project SEARCH Conference, Pennsylvania
FL Recreation & Parks Association, Orlando, FL
Give Miami Day 2017

DIG staff and interns sitting a conference room table eating lunch.
DIG Lunch and Learn

Matt standing with staff from the city of Pompano Beach.
Training at the City of Pompano Beach,FL

Debbie, Matt, and Lucy, with John Finch.
Meeting John Finch and learning about the ABLE United

Debbie with Kat in front of a booth a family cafe.
Debbie & Ms. Wheelchair Florida Kat Magnoli

Debbie, Matt, and Max next to a family cafe sign.
Debbie, Matt, and Max at Family Cafe

It's a Trap
By: Matthew Dietz

Florida's newest knee-jerk reaction to Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the role of experts in ADA suits, and the effect of state law in Federal Court. It contains all of the hallmarks of a frustrated and sloppy defense lawyer after resolving his only ADA case.
Section 553.5141, Florida Statutes, permits certification of public accommodations as compliant with Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act if they have a remediation plan completed by an expert that required issues to be re-mediated within ten years.

Click here to read more
satellite picture of a hurricane storm.
Hurricane Preparedness
By: Estefania Re
Kids Crusaders Logo
kids Kids Crusaders Corner
By: Julie Fioravanti 

Julie is hard at work on a new story for next month.  Here is a new picture of Nick.  This is before and after he eats his favorite desert.

Nick smiling with a full plate of chocolate cake and then with the same plate empty.

purple ribbon for Domestic Violence month with the words love shouldn't hurt written on it
MiA Miami Inclusion Alliance
By: Sharon Langer 

There are many factors that can act as barriers to persons with disabilities leaving a domestic violence situation. One of those factors is whether a person feels welcomed when seeking help from the service network. In order to create a welcoming environment, the words you choose to use from intake to completion of services, do make a difference. The words you choose can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and reinforce out dated attitudes or can show
respect and understanding.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at Sharon@justdigit.org.
head shot of Lisa standing in front of legal books.

This is my second summer out of school and gainfully employed so it is my second summer accepting that "summers off" are not a thing in the work force (unless you are a teacher). Not having summers off are not our only woes on the eastern/south eastern coasts of the United States, we also have to be prepared for the inevitable, Hurricane Season. Having a plan for how to make yourself, your loved ones and your property safe is the best way you could be prepared during this season.

Click here to read more
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Logo for Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG).

Kids Crusaders Logo

Animal Partners Logo

head shot of Lesly

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.
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Shop Amazon Smile

Head shot of Justine
justine The View From Here
By: Justine Chichester

I read this quote the other day and it really resonated with me. "Stop hating yourself for everything you aren't. Start loving yourself for everything that you are."
I've been making some progress in my physical therapy lately. I started walking a little outside in front of my house. Using my walker, I'm able to take some steps down the ramp outside of my front door. I've managed to also walk a few more steps down my driveway, which I was so scared of when I first started. Most recently I've been able to take a few more steps down the sidewalk in front of my neighbors' house too.
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The Wallet Card Logo.  A blue hexagon with the words the wallet card in the hexagon.
wallet The Wallet Card Project
By: Deborah Dietz 

The wallet card is a tool for young adults or adults to use when come into contact with law enforcement; either as 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.

Click here to sign up for a wallet card

The Wallet Card Project is a collaboration with DIG, CGPD, and UM-NSU CARD.
Debbie and Lisa standing with police officers.
Update #1

Wallet Card Training with the officers at the Village of Pinecrest Police Department.

buddy ball league players and first responders on the baseball field.
Update #2

Southwestern City School District and Grove City Police Department & Jackson Township Fire Department
The Buddy Ball adult league was able to combine the Wallet Card Project with our First Responder's special even game. For this game volunteers from the Grove City Police department and Jackson Township Fire Department participated as buddies for the league players. Following the game the participants were given their wallet cards and were able to practice using them with the first responder volunteers.
seattle team members standing together.
From left to right:
Shaun Bickley - Autistic Activist
Linda Black - Parent
Robin Tatsuda - Facilitator/Moderator
Officer Chris Coles - Seattle Police Department
Mental Health Professional Mariah Andrignis - Seattle Police Department

Update #3

Seattle Children's Autism Center event on May 18 th

Title: Autism and Police: Staying Safe Together

Hosted by Seattle Children's Autism Center

Collage of five pictures with the students and police working together with the wallet cards.
Update #4

Training with The Miami-Dade Police Department and Hope for Miami Project Genesis.

Link to Video
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The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
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 as mugs, journals etc.

Logo for the fair housing video series.

A colored drawing of an open box with 3 small penguins surrounded by stuffing.
A Parcel of Penguins

A PARCEL OF PENGUINS: an Animal Counting Book is a Children's book that teaches unusual names of groups of animals. The book is entertaining and informative for all ages. 
Click here to purchase the book
red box with the word donate in it.
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.

Disability Independence Group, Inc.
Expanding Opportunities for Person with Disabilities
Thank you to the organizations that support our projects.
the children's trust logo.  Three children standing next to the words the children's trust

impact fund logo.  red equal sign and then the words impact fund

Disability Independence Group | 305-669-2822 | info@justdigit.org