May 2014 
Vol. 5
Table of Contents
noteA note from Matt....   Matt with a parrot on his shoulder.
 By: Matthew Dietz 


School's out, and it's time for Summer Fun!


Summer is a time of inclusion and exploration.  Accommodations are not only for school or work; they are also available for camps, concerts, parks and recreation!  Whether you are boating, scuba diving, camping, skydiving, rv-ing or waterskiing, we want you to send pictures of you doing your favorite summertime activity with an accommodation.  We will post all of the pictures that you send us in the July and August editions of our newsletter. 
Hurricane Tip #1

Two red flags with black squares, indicating a hurricane.  

Did you know? Hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts until November 30. On average, about 10 storms are named each year. If you are interested in knowing the 2014 tropical cyclone names click here.







By: Faye Wright-Simpson A little girl at Broward Children's Center smiles and holds a sign that reads dreams come true.



For over 43 years, Broward Children's Center, Inc. has been a haven for children and young adults with disabilities in Pompano Beach, Florida. Founded in 1971, the program serves children with varied disabilities from all walks of life, which include autism, disabilities from birth, accidents, shaken baby syndrome, lightning strikes and other traumatic events which may have occurred in their lives. Programs and services include three developmental preschools, a Children's Comprehensive Care Center, two Group Homes, a Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Center, Home Health, a Center for Innovative Technology, Nutrition Program and Respite Services for families.

(click here to read more) 


  Members of Broward Children's Center visit a museum and observe a dinosaur skeleton. Kids and caretakers participate in a luau at Broward Children's Center.  


 julieKids Crusaders Corner  Kids Crusaders Logo


Happy Spring, finally!!! Welcome back to Kids Crusaders Corner. The month of May (at least in the area in which I live) usually brings wonderful spring-like weather, flowers blooming (as well as allergies), and Mother's Day among a long list of other things. This year we saw a final snowstorm, torrential rains, flooding, and then some sun and spring, almost summer-like weather.  

(click here to read more)


Nick as a baby in the hospital.  Nick as a baby.





      Ask Julie a question 


Chris Stein and his dog Morgan
chrisArt and More 
Stay tuned for a new story from Chris next month.



Hurricane Tip #2

Two red flags with black squares, indicating a hurricane.  

 Did you know? The difference between a tropical storm and a hurricane is their wind speeds. A tropical storm has wind speeds ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph, and a hurricane has wind speeds that are 74 mph or greater. A watch means that conditions, either of a tropical storm or hurricane, are possible, usually within 48 hours. A warning means that conditions, either of a tropical storm or hurricane, are expected, usually within 36 hours.  



Animal Partners Logo

         Join our animal partners Facebook page at:



sharonAnimal Partners-- A need not a want   Animal Partners Logo

By: Sharon Langer 


Disability Independence Group hosted a wonderful committee of animal advocates for a brainstorming session on how to work together with the GOAL of creating programs, support systems and strategies that will allow the elderly, disabled and those in nursing homes or ALF's to keep their pets or have the comfort of a pet. Some of the questions raised were: When folks have become elderly, ill, or need to go to a hospital or an ALF/nursing home, what happens to their pets? What if they are still in their home but can't afford animal care and pet food? What safety nets exist to assist someone in those circumstances? What can we do to create those services when they don't exist? How do we, as a community of people who care, begin a dialogue that promotes and recognizes the importance of one's pet to his or her health and well-being?  

(click here to read more) 

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at

Vacation Tips for People with Disabilities

By: Stephanie Woodward


As a person with a disability who loves to travel, I have encountered the good, the bad, and the ugly of accessibility (or lack thereof) on my vacations. To help you have the most enjoyable and accessible vacation possible, here are a few tips from my own experiences.  

(click here to



Stephanie at the Wizarding world of Harry Potter  


Stephanie with Mike from the movie monsters inc

Visit our website


Hurricane Tip #3

Two red flags with black squares, indicating a hurricane.    Did you know? The American Red Cross published a booklet to help people with disabilities prepare for disasters. It is full of helpful tips and strategies to help you get as prepared as possible. To access the booklet click here.

Miami-Dade County also has its own hurricane guide to provide information about services and procedures available during hurricane season.  To access the hurricane guide click here. 


H.O.P.E. Fair Housing Luncheons in Miami Dade and Broward 

Sam, Sharon, Shanika, Matt, and Enrique at the HOPE luncheon.
Sam, Sharon, Shanika , Matt, and Enrique
Robert Fine, Shanika Graves, and Matt at the HOPE luncheon.
Robert, Shanika, and Matt
Rachel with Mr. and Mrs. Fisher and Sorenson the dog.

Rachel,Mr. and Mrs. Fischer, and Sorenson the dog





Rachel Goldstein

rachelInclusive Outdoor Recreation Opportunities 

By: Rachel Goldstein


 The official start of summer is almost here, and while I'm sure it will be a hot one, it also brings more opportunities for outdoor activities amongst families, friends and neighbors. Remember running around the playground when you were a child? Remember the games and competitions you would make up with friends at the park? Remember the feeling of achieving your personal best during a workout? (click here to read more)  

Accessible swings at Casey's Clubhouse at Grapevine.   A group of kids enjoying Casey's Clubhouse at Grapevine.

Overall view of Casey's Clubhouse at Grapevine.  


scales of justice lsac

Settlement between the Law School Admission Council and the Department of Justice will set the Benchmark for testing accommodations

By: Matt Dietz



On May 20, 2014, the Department of Justice announced a settlement with the administrators of the LSAT, the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), for alleged violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act for denying disability accommodations for test-takers.   For the past twenty years, testing agencies, schools, and the Florida Bar have applied different standards prior to allowing or denying testing accommodations. As a result, the person would need to re-establish the fact that they have a disability and produce ever-shifting amounts of proof, sometimes from preschool, to establish a disability. (click here to read more) 



Hurricane Tip #4

Two red flags with black squares, indicating a hurricane.   Did you know? If you are unable to evacuate on your own or need to evacuate to a special needs shelter, Miami-Dade County offers the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program. This program provides assistance to people who live alone or with family who are unable evacuate on their own or need more extensive care than is offered at a general population shelter. To learn more about the Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program (EEAP) click here. To access the EEAP application click here. The application is also available in Spanish, Creole, Braille, and Large Print. For more information about Miami-Dade emergency management click here.

Jodi Engelberg, Diane Adreon, Debbie Dietz, and Lt. Barta holding a check

sharkShark Tank Update...   

By: Debbie Dietz


We are writing our script and are in the process of selecting a video company.   

Logo for Nature Links for lifelong learning

Saturdays by the Bay:

At Historic Virginia Key Beach Park

Hours: 10:00am - 3:00pm, Saturdays

When: June 7 - August 16, 2014

Cost: $20 per day

(Scholarships and reduced fees available to qualifying individuals)

Location: This Historic Virginia Key Beach Park Trust,

4020 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149

For more information check out their website:



  Stephanie takes the oath with Judge Cohn at her swearing in ceremony.  Rachel,  Sharon, Debbie, Judge Cohn, and Stephanie





Hurricane Tip #5

Two red flags with black squares, indicating a hurricane.   Did you know? All of the hurricane evacuation shelters in Miami-Dade County are accessible, but not every shelter will be open for every evacuation order. For a list of the 2014 evacuation shelters click here. While service animals are permitted in general population shelters, pets are not. If you wish to evacuate with a pet, you will need to pre-register for a pet-friendly shelter. To access the registration form click here.   



litupLitigation UPDATE - Sabal Palm Condominiums v. Fisher

By: Matthew Dietz


Former Teacher with Multiple Sclerosis obtains a $300,000 settlement in her fight to keep her service animal in her home in Broward County


On May 8, 2014, Deborah Fischer and Larry Fischer obtained a $300,000 settlement against their condominium association for their three-year long fight to keep Deborah's service dog, Sorenson, in their home. As part of the settlement, Sabal Palm Condominiums of Pine Island Ridge agreed to promulgate policies that do not request unnecessarily intrusive information about a person's disability, especially in circumstances where the disability is obvious, and where the use of the dog evidently lessen the effects of the disability.  

(click here to read more)

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.

Donate Now!

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