November 2014 
Vol. 11
Table of Contents


 A note from Matt

Give Miami Day

Kids Crusaders Corner

Art and More

Book Review

Minority Mentoring Picnic

A call to action summit

Unity on the Bay Service

Shark Tank Update

Accessibility and Holiday Shopping

Is there a right-to-die?

Your Upward Journey

Litigation: A Mother's Worst Nightmare


noteA note from Matt....       
By: Matthew Dietz   


In this time of thanksgiving, I think of this WWII song. We need to give thanks for the progress that is made, but must ensure that we continue fighting on for equal rights for all. Here at DIG, we try to fight on all fronts - both by litigation and by education. But we are also thankful for our allies, both personal and professional that support our progress.

give Miami day logo with the date 11.20.14

Please support us on Thursday, November 20th. 

Click Here to Donate


julie Kids Crusaders Corner  Kids Crusaders Logo

 Stay tuned next month for another article by Julie.

Meet Julie's new puppy.


Art and More

By: Chris Stein 

Chris has started his own blog!
Book Review
I had the pleasure of hearing Marc William Pulver read from his book, Living Life With Autism: The World Through My Eyes, at Books and Books in Coral Gables about a month ago.


Marc is a 53-year-old man with autism who has written a book about his life from his early years to his present adult life. He writes about growing up, his teen years, the ups and downs, and his growing into a functioning adult.


He writes in a simple, readable, unedited, personal style. His writing is personal, passionate, full of grace and understanding, and includes the most important insights only one living with autism can relate to. This is a book for every member of the family.


Marc writes from his perspective. For example, "People like myself and others like me on the spectrum need positive reinforcements, not negative. They need something to boost up their self esteem." These simple words of wisdom could make all the difference to a young person who needs to hear them from someone who has been there, like Marc.


The book includes comments from Marc's mother, uncle, brothers and experts. Marc includes several pages of resources, which will be helpful to anyone who reads his book.


In my opinion Marc's book is a must-read for parents and young adults who are on the Autism Spectrum. It will help clarify and inform the family by one who lives and functions independently in a very productive way notwithstanding his limitations.


I highly recommend this book for your consideration.


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 Minority Mentoring Picnic -November 1, 2014

The logo for the Kozyak Minority Mentoring Foundation Annual Picnic


Matt Dietz and John Kozyak   Matt Dietz, Fla. Supreme Court Justice Peggy Quince, Max Dietz, and Florida Coastal School of Law Students  Criminal Defense attorney and author Brian Tannebaum, Miami-Dade Public Defender Carlos Martinez, and Matt Dietz




scales of justice

By: Sharon Langer 


Attorneys agree that accessibility is not only the law but a good practice. On November 7, 2014, 35 attorneys from Miami Dade's local Bar Associations gathered to learn about how to choose venues for their functions that are accessible and welcoming to all. Why is this newsworthy you might ask? It is newsworthy because unfortunately, events have been held in the past that were in hotels, restaurants or clubs that were not accessible, and precluded a lawyer using a wheelchair from participating fully. Our Florida Supreme Court, that generally weighs in on only the most important legal issues affecting our state... wrote a letter in February to every Bar Association in the state mandating them to take affirmative action to prevent similar discrimination in the future and to develop and implement plans and protocols for all future bar related activities that comply with the ADA and access requirements.

       DIG was proud to be a co-chair of this summit with the Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Dade County Bar Association. DIG has created a handy easy to use CHECKLIST that can assist any organization if previewing its venue before they sign a contract. We offer it to any of you that might want to use it for your organizations. It is just as easy to choose an accessible venue as one that is NOT.

      The important take away from this day was that the conversation has begun about inclusion and diversity and its value and DIG is committed to continue the discussion throughout the state. If you want further information email me.. Sharon

unity Logo for Unity on the Bay

Join us at Unity by the Bay on Sunday, November 30, 2014  

The Church will be honoring Matthew Dietz at their morning services

9:00am or 11:00am Sunday Celebration Services

Unity by the Bay

411 NE 21st Street

Miami, FL 33137


If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at [email protected]

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Jodi Engelberg, Diane Adreon, Debbie Dietz, and Lt. Barta holding a checksharkShark Tank Update...   

By: Debbie Dietz  


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.

Congratulations to Sharon Langer!

Sharon was awarded the Henry "Lat" Latimer Award by the University of Miami School of Law Alumni Association.  She received this award in recognition of her meritorious service as a mentor.


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Accessibility and the Holiday ShopperRachel Goldstein


By: Rachel Goldstein


 The holiday season is upon us... cold weather (luckily not here in Miami), good food, time with family and friends and of course, great shopping and holiday deals at all of our favorite stores.  Many retailers this year are even planning to open on Thanksgiving Day instead of starting their deals on Black Friday.  With at least 10% of our population with disabilities, more than 50 million Americans, each is a potential customer.  Maintaining an accessible retail store allows for full participation, will bring in new customers this holiday season and will keep them coming back.  (click here to read more)



                      Man in a wheelchair in the grocery store reaching for an item on the shelf

aaronIs there a right-to-die?

Headshot of Aaron Bates dressed in a suit and tie.By: Aaron Bates


On November 2, 2014, the following headline hit the newswires, "Brittany Maynard, right-to-die advocate, ends her life."1 Mrs. Maynard's story has captured the nation's attention in the weeks leading up to ending her life via assisted suicide, but why? What made Mrs. Maynard's story more compelling than the countless others who lost the battle to terminal illness? Is there a "right-to-die"? Are advocates needed in the development of a recognized "right-to-die"?(click here to read more)                       

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

The videos have moved! 

We have moved the fair housing videos to our website. 

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



Karl Hunt

Litigation: A Mother of an Adult with Downs Syndrome's Worst Nightmare.

By: Matthew Dietz


Mr. Dietz,

I have just found a note hanging on my door that R.... will not be renewing my lease. my worse fear, Karl has been hiding in his room since this has all began. the officer had told the Manager that this was all a mistake but now my world has come crashing down. i cannot even think of where i will get the money to move and work at the same time or even where we will go. i am sorry, bad things do happen to good people. . i have no idea what we are going to do, thank you for all your support so far but to add to this burden i am going to have back off this and make sure Karl doesn't end up homeless.



On August 25, 2012, Karl Hunt, a 23 year old man with Downs Syndrome, went into the office of his Palm Beach rental community, Reflections. Karl loves to watch a Japanese anime cartoon television series called Fullmetal Alchemist. While explaining the cartoon in the office, he drew on a map of the property and the property manager thought he said that he was going to sacrifice her, and then trap all of the residents in their apartments and set the property on fire. (click here to read more)



  Karl and cut-out of his favorite band, One Direction



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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