September 2014 
Vol. 9
Table of Contents


note Matt with a parrot on his shoulder. A note from Matt....       
By: Matthew Dietz   



Part of the goal of Disability Independence Group is to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities. This month, you will read about how we ensured how Cheylla Silva received interpreters for the emergency birth of her daughter, Zoey, and how we are working to ensure safe police interactions between Autistic people and the police. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us!


give Miami day logo with the date 11.20.14


DIG is excited to announce that we will be participating in The Miami Foundation's Give Miami Day 2014! Give Miami Day is an online giving event that encourages people to donate to nonprofits in Miami. This is our first year participating, and we couldn't be more excited. The competition will take place from midnight on November 20, 2014 until midnight on November 21, 2014. Be sure to check out our Facebook and Twitter over the next two months for updates about the competition, as well as about our many projects.



A purple heart medal with a purple ribbon and then a heart shaped medallion hanging off of it. WWII Veteran Receives His Purple Heart After 70 Years

By: Chris Arroyo 


Robert C. Bohm was born October 8, 1920, in Lorraine, Ohio.  He lived in Ohio, Illinois, and Iowa growing up and graduated from Muscatine High School in Iowa.  On October 29, 1940, he signed up for the US Army.


His first tour was in North Africa an his job was a lineman/communication specialist.  One day his troop was given orders that they would be joining forces in Italy.  Someone had o be left behind to close down the switchboard, and Bo was selected.  Several days ate when he caught up to his troop, he found that the previous night their campsite had been bombed and all had perished.  (click here to read more)

 Robert C. Bohm standing outside in his army uniform       headshot of Robert C. Bohm in his army uniform.


kids Kids Crusaders Corner  Kids Crusaders Logo
Stay tuned next month for another article by Julie.  She is going to discuss her summer vacation and random acts of kindness and paying it forward.
Chris Stein and his dog Morgan
artArt and More 

Stay tuned for more stories from Chris in the future.  Chris is currently working on an independent studies project at FIU on Ernest Hemmingway.


Animal Partners Logo

         Like our animal partners Facebook page at:




4 interlocking puzzle pieces. yellow, red, blue, and light blue. Autism CARES Act Renewed

By: Deborah Dietz    


President Obama signed the Autism CARES Act last month. The Autism Collaboration, Accountability, Research, Education, and Support Act of 2014, or Autism CARES Act, will reauthorize the Combating Autism Act for the next five years. The law will allow for $260 million annually for autism research, prevalence tracking, screening, professional training and other initiatives. The new law will also require that a point person be designated within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to oversee autism research, services, and support activities.


The Interagency Autism Coordinated Committee (IACC) will be expanded to include family members and self-advocates and there is a mandate to create a new report that focuses on the needs of young adults and youth during transition.


This is a very good news for the autism community. Stay tuned for more information in the future.


Headshot of Aaron Bates dressed in a suit and tie. legislationABLE Act of 2013: Update


By: Aaron Carter Bates 


On Friday, September 19th, Federal lawmakers announced that a deal was reached to permit The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2013 (S. 313/H.R.647) to move forward in Congress. The ABLE Act was introduced in 2013 and, with a model based on IRC 529 college savings plans, aims to amend Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code to allow for creation of tax-free savings accounts for individuals with disabilities. (click here to read more) 

ABLE ACT 2013 Take Action Now 

Find your house representative


Find your senator


Luisa standing in front of her art work. Luisa's Art Exhibition 

At the Colombian Consulate,

 280 Aragon Avenue - Coral Gables, Florida 33134

on Friday October 3rd, 2014

at 6:00pm-9:00pm. 

To see more of Luisa's work click here.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at [email protected]
Jodi Engelberg, Diane Adreon, Debbie Dietz, and Lt. Barta holding a checkshark Shark Tank Update...   

By: Debbie Dietz  

We have finished filming the video and we are now in the editing stage.  The video looks amazing!  We want to thank all of our actors.  They did an amazing job.   


You can order your own wallet card for free on our website at:


Just fill out the online form and we will have them mailed to you within a week.  If you want to customize the card, please add the details in the comments section.

seminarKnow Your Legal Rights Flyer for the Miranda Rights Training at CARD on September 20, 2014.

By: Matthew Dietz

On Saturday, September 20th, I had the opportunity to put on my professor hat and teach Criminal Procedure 101 to a very eager class of persons at the University of Miami. No, not for law students at the Law School, but instead for a class teens and young adults who have Autism and their parents.


A systemic problem in our community, and communities throughout the United States, is that police do not identify that certain behaviors of Autistic people are not indicative of criminal behavior. Disability Independence Group, UM/NSU Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and Lt. Bart Barta of the Coral Gables Police Department developed a program to assist both Autistic people to self-identify when encountering a police person, and the police in how to identify a person who may have Autism. The seminar is just one part of the program, and the other portion is a video that presents scenarios that may occur in police interactions and a wallet card that an Autistic person can use as a tool to self-identify to the police. For more information, please go to our website at


                                      Shop Amazon Smile
Rachel Goldstein

Accessibility Features of the iPhone 6 and iOS 8

By: Rachel Goldstein


Apple just put its two new iPhone models, the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, on the market and introduced the Apple Watch, which is set to be released in early 2015. Built-in accessibility features and the ability to download thousands of specialized apps have made the iPhone a popular smartphone choice amongst people with disabilities for the last few years. The new operating system, iOS 8, for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch was also just released and offers some new possibilities for users with disabilities. With the recent release of the new iPhones, as well as iOS 8, it is important to explore the assistive features that enhance the devices usability for people with disabilities. (click here to read more)



  picture of the accessibility features on the new iphone.    accessibility-assistive touch console picture on the new iphone


Visit our website

A basket of colored chocolate medallions and 3 chocolate hand that say I love you in ASL. 



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


baby zoey in the hosptial litigationLitigation: Deaf Mom-to-be gives birth in the wrong hospital?

 By: Matthew Dietz      

"Hello this is Byron, Cheylla needs your help..."


As a lawyer practicing civil law, you rarely receive a cry for help at 8:45 in the evening from a client. I knew that it was happening again - another client who is Deaf that could not get an interpreter for medical care.


I represent Cheylla Silva in a case against South Miami Hospital that was the subject of an August 30, 2014 Miami Herald article . We ensured - guaranteed - that Cheylla was going to receive a sign language interpreter when she gave birth at South Miami Hospital after her high risk pregnancy, so she would have the ability to understand the doctors and nurses. She would not be forced to contort her body to use a remote interpreter on a monitor that rarely works or pass notes during contractions. (click here to read more)

   Byron, Cheylla, and baby Zoey in the hospital.
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 [email protected].

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

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