September 2015      
Volume 9      
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Table of Contents

A Note from Matt

DIG in the News

Kids Crusaders

The FL Supreme Court and Reasonable Accommodations

MDC students work on a marketing project

Top 4 Date Ideas


Guardianship Video

Domestic Violence

Out and About with DIG

Miami is Kind

AARP Livability Index

The Wallet Card

Subsidies for SGA Purposes

Cosplay - One way of hanging out with friends

Your Upward Journey

Litigation: When the denial of a reasonable accommodation leads to tragedy

A Parcel of Penguins

Matt on a boat in Miami Beach with Max, Ros, and Franco in the background.    notefrommattA Note from Matt.....
Stereotypes are common in persons with disabilities in sports and recreation, and the sky should be the limit.  Many persons with disabilities destroy any stereotypes that sports and recreation are solely limited to the able-bodied.  In 2006, I first met and became friends with Andy Houghton, who taught and implemented adaptive sports programs in California, Bosnia, Kosovo and Vietnam.  Cyclist and cruiser Matt Hendricks, who was profiled in the last edition of the DIG newsletter, is an avid sportsman.  Over the years, we have fought for inclusive programs for kids with autism, or kids who are deaf.  Now, with adaptive video game controllers or even controllers with eye tracking, video games are now available an accessible!  "NO BARRIERS"
diginnews clip art of a newspaper that is folded   DIG in the News 
Judge To Decide Dispute About Special-Needs Children,
Judge Deciding Special-Needs Children Dispute -  Aug 26, 2015 -
Ira H. Gessner and Connie Nixon: Changes risk diluting medical care for children, Sept 13, 2015
Judge slaps Florida for purging sick kids from treatment program, September 22, 2015
Lesbian Couple Says Strip Club Refused to Admit Them Because They Weren't "Escorted by a Man"  September 17, 2015 -
Miami Dade FAWL and Dade County Bar Association recognized for leadership in diversity, Sept 1, 2015 -
julie  Kids Crusaders Corner Kids Crusaders Logo
Julie will be back next month to join us for another exciting adventure in Kids Crusaders. In the meantime, if you haven't had a chance to check out the amazing Facebook Group I Run for Michael, please do. "Buddies" are desperately needed as there are over 3,000 runners just waiting to be paired. The I Run 4 group, joining hearts and families one step at a time!
Pictured below is one of Nick's runners, Jen Seid who completed a half marathon today and dedicated her 13.1 miles to Nick. Thanks to a great phone app called RaceJoy, we were able to track Jen as she ran in real time via GPS and even send her encouraging cheers!
Please sign up today or refer your friends. You won't regret it!

Jen holding up her new jacket. Nick smiling up at the camera
Picture of the front of the FL Supreme Court Building in Tallahassee, FL flsupreme 
Can Judges from the Florida Supreme Court get a Reasonable Accommodation for a Disability?
On Monday, September 14th, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga, 62, underwent successful surgery for kidney cancer at Shands Hospital in Gainesville. Doctors had discovered the cancer in its early stages through routine blood tests earlier this year. They advised him to have the kidney removed. Justice Labarga was expected to be hospitalized for seven days. However, after surgery, Justice Labarga began working at his job remotely, with Barbara Pariente, another cancer survivor, serving as acting chief justice during any time he is incapacitated. According to the Court, "Doctors found no signs that the cancer had spread and predict a full and quick recovery for Florida's 56th Chief Justice and its first of Hispanic descent.'' (click here to read more)
MDC Students working on a marketing project for DIG this semester
Thank you to Professor Barrow's marketing students at MDC. They are going to work on three different projects for DIG this semester. We can't wait to see what they create.
 the MDC marketing students that are working on a project for DIG is semester
TOP 4 DATE IDEAS and you never have to leave home.
And the foods to go with them

MOVIE NIGHT: Whether inside in front of the TV or outside in the back clip art of a movie ticket, and movie popcorn. yard, nothing is more fun than a favorite movie and some fancy popcorn. (click here to read more)
GAclip art of game night with pictures from famous games like scrabble, dominoes, cards, and dice.ME NIGHT: Any board game or cards will do. It you have a larger crowd, not just two, then you could play several games and then rotate game stations. (click here to read more)
Picture of a carpet picnic with food on a carpet on the floor.
CARPET PICNIC: Nothing is more fun than an indoor carpet picnic, no bugs, no rain, no sun to interrupt you. It can be in the living room, family room, porch or wherever you have a carpet. (click here to read more)
clip art that shows the word movies in front of a big red star.
BINGE WATCH NETFLIX: This is such a common activity now that I found recipes for binge watching Netflix on the internet. (click here to read more)
a drop of water in a pond.  the symbol for mindfulness. Mindfulness -- Follow up
By: Ben Goodman
None of us likes the idea that our doctor is practicing on us, but she is. None of us likes the idea that our lawyer is practicing on us, but he is. We may dislike even more the idea that we are practicing law on our clients...but we are!

If you practice in the legal field, you have been practicing to practice since before you were even licensed, before law school even. And, once you are licensed, you continue to practice, and to learn, and to become better at practicing. Hopefully, the better you get at it, the more value you are providing to your clients, and the more they are valuing you. (click here to read more) 

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.

And then click the link to the video:

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at
symbol for twitter, a blue square with a white lower case t. Follow us on Twitter: a blue twitter bird in a white square.


What is Domestic Violence?
  • Domestic Violence is a pattern of behavior used to establish power and control over another person through fear and intimidation, often including the threat or use of violence.
  • Other terms for domestic violence include intimate partner violence, battering, relationship abuse, spousal abuse, or family violence.
outandabout clip art of a suitcase covered in travel stickersOut and About with DIG 
Sept 24-25         Children's Legal Services (CLS) Conference, Tampa, FL
Oct. 1                Rotary Lunch -- The Wallet Card
Oct. 2                Fair Housing Training, Miami, FL
Oct. 15              Rotary Lunch -- Update on Disability
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 18-20           OCALICON , Columbus, OH
Nov 19               Anti-Defamation League (ADL) Florida,  Luncheon, Miami, FL
Jan 29-31          CARD Statewide Conference, Orlando, FL
Flyer for the Fair Housing Seminar about the ABC's of Assistance Animals.  On Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, at 9am until noon, at 175 NW 1st Ave, 11th floor.  The event is free.
  Sharon represented DIG at the UM Butler Center event on September 9, 2015
Miami Is Kind Macaroons in European Style Pillow boxes delivered monthly at your doorstep miamiiskindMiami is Kind
Letting go of her career at DuPont from Barcelona, in Spain and moving to Miami, FL was not easy, but Silvia knows it was the most important decision of her life. Marc is now an adorable 12 year old boy that just happens to have autism. He loves riding his bike, dancing to Michael Jackson and baking. He's come a long way with the help of the Miami-Dade County Public School system.
But SilviLexus and Erin have mastered the Miami Is Kind Macaroons recipe a soon questioned what does the future hold for Marc and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities (DD)? The challenge begins after they turn 22. She quickly realized that employment opportunities looked bleak. "Companies seldom hire adults with Autism/DD. I will not sit and wait for companies to change their hiring policies. Instead, I have created solution. I'm a true believer that hard work determines who we are as individuals in society and that every member of society-including adults with autism, DMarc is a cute 12 years old boy with autismD -should have the chance to excel and contribute." Silvia decided to take this employment challenge head on, and opened Miami Is Kind, an industrial bakery determined to be the first factory for professionals with autism, DD in South Florida. (click here to read more)
AARP logo for Livability.  green grass with a yellow road with a city in the background. AARP's Livability Index 

The AARP Public Policy Institute developed the Livability Index as a web-based tool to measure community livability. Users can search the Index by address, ZIP Code, or community to find an overall livability score, as well as a score for each of seven major livability categories: housing, neighborhood, transportation, environment, health, engagement, and opportunity.

HERE to access the tool and to learn more.  
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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: 



2015 Bronze Telly Award for the Wallet Card Video The Wallet Card Video wins a Bronze Telly Award!
Category: Online Webisodes, Segments, or Promotional Pieces - How-To/Instructional
Judges evaluate entries to recognize distinction in creative work - entries do not compete against each other. Instead, entries are judged against a high standard of merit.
lesly Subsidies for SGA purposes
head shot of Lesly Quin
Are you a SSDI beneficiary working or wanting to work over the Substantial Gainful Activity ($1090 in 2015)? Are you receiving support from your employer? You can use Subsidies for SGA purposes
A few things to consider first: During an SGA determination, SSA looks at gross wages when they were earned, not when they were paid to you. For example, if you get paid every week or every other week you will have some months when you get an extra paycheck. SSA won't count that extra paycheck when it was received - they are only interested in when the work was done that you got paid for. In addition, they will deduct any wages you were paid for days you actually did not work such as sick leave pay or vacation pay. SSA considers many things in addition to the amount you received in gross wages such as:
  • The value of your work compared to non-disabled coworkers and whether you got help doing your job from an agency or your employer (Subsidy/Special Conditions);
  • Whether or not you paid expenses related to your disability because you were working, (Impairment Related Work Expenses, Business expenses, unpaid help); and
  • How long you were able to earn more than the SGA level and whether you were unable to keep earning SGA level wages beyond 6 months due to your disability (Unsuccessful Work Attempt or UWA).
Misa on Wheels, a cosplayer from New England, who has a disability and cosplays while using a wheelchair Cosplay- One Way of Hanging out with friends
By: Danielle Fine
I know from personal experience, that it's not easy living with any kind of disability, whether easily seen or an invisible disability. Though I won't go into much specifics or detail as to the type of disability I have, I can say that one of the things I suffer from is social anxiety. Having social anxiety makes it difficult for me to go out and do things with friends or go out and make new friends, in how some other people might do so. Luckily for me, I have found several ways to help me deal with my own social anxiety, while getting to make friends and hang out with some friends I've already met.  (click here to read more)  
Rachel at the Autism Speaks Expo on September 10,2015
   Rachel at the Autism Speaks Expo on September 10.  Standing behind a table with DIG materials, pens, and flyers.
A basket of colored chocolate medallions and 3 chocolate hand that say I love you in ASL.

Logo for the fair housing video series.   

Please click

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:                                 Facebook and Twitter: Your Upward Journey
Sammy Rosario and his grandchildren.     litigation Litigation: When the Denial of a Reasonable Accommodation Leads to Tragedy
Most times when a person requests a reasonable accommodation or a modification because of a disability, the accommodation or modification assists a person to live independently or lessens the effect of a disability. This includes a closer parking space, or grab bars in the bathroom, or an assistance animal. However, there are many times when a need for an accommodation is a matter of life and death. In a recent case filed by DIG and Belvin Perry of Morgan & Morgan, the denial of a reasonable accommodation led to Samuel Rosario's death at his apartment at the Logan Heights Apartments in Sanford Florida. (click here to read more)
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 

Disability Independence Group, Inc.
Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.
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