Volume 09 | September 2018
Your monthly news & updates
A note from Debbie....
Voting is one of the most important rights we have in America. I feel very strong that we have a duty to vote. I believe that every vote counts and it matters.

The general election is November 6, 2018. In Florida, we are voting for a governor, a US Senator, and the list goes on all the way down to our local elections and to the amendments on the ballot. 

The ballot is going to be long this year and several important issues will be decided. 

Take the time to learn about the issues and the candidates. REV UP Florida has created three different candidate questionnaires (governor, senate, attorney general) about disability issues. Urge the candidates to fill out the survey and let us know how they feel on the issues. 

Our hope is to get all the candidates to take the questionnaires seriously and let us know what they would do for people with disabilities, if elected.

Stay tuned for more information next month.  
Why is that dog a service animal?

“How Can THAT Dog be a Service Animal???” - What type of Training is Required for a Service Animal?

When a person brings a dog into a restaurant or any business open to the public, all eyes are drawn to that person. Is the dog a service dog? Is the person a faker? Is the dog an emotional support dog or a “real” service dog? How can that dog be trained? 

Primarily, the rules are different for animals in public accommodations and in housing. In public accommodations, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a service animal is a dog or a miniature horse that “is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.” The only requirements to be classified as a service animal under federal regulations are that the animal be (1) individually trained, and (2) work for the benefit of a disabled individual. There is no requirement as to the amount or type of training a service animal must undergo. Further, there is no requirement as to the amount or type of work a service animal must provide for the benefit of the disabled person.

clip art of a person walking a service dog
REV UP Florida
Stay tuned for our candidate questionnaires next month.

Our next telephonic meeting will be on Friday, September 28, 2018, at 10:33 am

Call in information:

REV UP Florida! Planning Call
Friday, September 28th at 10:30 AM
Call-in: (888) 670-3525
Participant Code: 6386375586#
concentric circles in different shades of blue that show the ripple effect of the disability vote from families to friends to advocates to educators to professionals to providers to bureaucrats with a person in a wheelchair in the center
Out and About with DIG

Advocate Training & Applying for SSDI 101
September 27, 2018
Miami, FL

REV UP Florida (phone call)
September 28, 2018

Attorney Training: SSDI Appeals: Everything You Need to Know
October 3, 2018
Miami, FL

Supper Social Club
October 8, 2018

Adventure Day for All
October 13, 2018

Fostercare Review Volunteer Training
October 16, 2018

Supper Social Club
November 5, 2018

Give Miami Day
November 15, 2018

Supper Social Club
December 3, 2018

13th Annual Regional Child Welfare Conference
December 6, 2018

Judge Lederman at her goodbye breakfast standing with Sharon Langer Berta Blecke and Judge Gladstones wife
[ Judge Lederman good bye breakfast]
FILC meeting with CIL directors planning the new SPIL
[ Planning for the next SPIL with FILC and CIL's throughout the state]
Debbie Rachel and Woody at the CIC doing a training on civic engagement and disability
[ Training with Debbie, Rachel, and Woody at the CIC ]
LWV event a group of advocates standing and supporting increasing the number of poling sites in miami
[ DIG is supporting LWV-Miami to get polling sites on college campuses in Miami]
Yare smiling and holding a case of red bull
[ Red Bull delivery thanks to Ed]
supper social participants sitting around the table eating dinner
[ Supper Social dinner]
Support DIG on November 15
Kids Crusaders Corner
Julie will be back soon.
Kids Crusaders Logo
Miami Inclusion Alliance
In order to begin to really address the high incident of abuse in the disability population we must seriously address prevention .

Vera Institute of Justice, a national organization that works in partnership with local, state, and national government officials to create change from within, has outlined the following key points for addressing the need for prevention as a part of any strategy to eradicate violence against persons with disabilities.

They state that “ Intervention – responding after abuse occurs — is essential but Prevention – taking action before abuse occurs — is critical to ending abuse .” unfortunately, little attention and few resources are focused on prevention.

We will have to make prevention a priority if we are to meaningfully address it. We need to recognize that: abuse of people with disabilities is a serious problem, we must reduce risk,to fix the problem, and that ending abuse is possible when stakeholders take active steps to prevent it.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at sharon@justdigit.org
Lucille's Wall
By: Lucy
Thoughts after Hurricane Florence

I want to start this article by saying that I hope all of our newsletter readers that were effected by Hurricane Florence are safe and recovering well after the storm.

I am always concerned about my brother and sisters (and potential clients) - would they be permitted in shelters, hotels and other accommodations and would their companions know what to say to get them in the shelters, hotels and other accommodations.

We are in the midst of hurricane season. Please make sure you have a plan for not only yourself but for your furry companions. We are part of the family! (When Lisa wears white and black, she calls us twins. I’m not sure I would go that far and I look way better in black and white than her.)
Matt sitting at his desk with Lucy the dog.
Like our Facebook Pages
DIG Facebook Page - General DIG information
Deaf Alice Facebook Page - Issues related to the Deaf Community

Kids Crusaders Facebook Page - Issues related to medically fragile and medically complex children and their families

Animal Partners Facebook Page - Issues related to service animals and emotional support animals
Benefits Information
WIPA program and SSA Beneficiaries with Psychiatric Disabilities

A large portion of beneficiaries who could potentially receive WIPA services are individuals with mental health diagnoses. There is a high rate of unemployment/underemployment of this population.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security Income (SSI) both provide needed financial assistance to many people in the United States who have mental health conditions. The two programs are run by the US Social Security Administration (SSA). SSDI provides monthly income to individuals who are limited in their ability to work because of a physical or mental disability. Currently almost nine million individuals receive SSDI, and as of 2013, 35.2% of recipients qualify for disability based on a mental health condition. 


head shot of Lesly
The View from Here
I never thought it would happen to me. Honestly….I never even thought about it at all.

September 20 th of this year marks the four-year anniversary of the night I fell in front of my house. The night that changed my life forever. I find it very fitting that this day falls in the same month as Spinal Cord Injury awareness month.

The past four years have been an education in all things related to my injury. When I came home from the hospital after my last spinal surgery, I had no clue what many of the terms my doctors were throwing around REALLY meant for me and my everyday life. I had been labeled as “incomplete paraplegic.” What the heck did that mean? It sounded so foreign to me. Not to mention incredibly scary. So, I did the research, spoke to my physical therapists, asked tons of questions and started talking to people living with SCI for many years. It helped me understand some of what I could expect and helped me to feel that I wasn’t alone.

Head shot of Justine
The Wallet Card Project
The wallet card is a tool for young adults or adults to use when they come into contact with law enforcement; either a 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.

The Wallet Card Project is a collaboration with DIG, CGPD, and UM-NSU CARD.
Wheels & Heels
Lorinda will be back next month.
Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.
Education Information
educational support flyer that lists prices for consultations school meetings and legal representation
head of stephanie langer holding a business file and wearing a black and white polkadot shirt.
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Follow us on Twitter @dislaw
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Follow us on Twitter @justdigit
Shop Amazon Smile
When you shop Amazon Smile, you can support our organization.
Supper Social Club
Join us for dinner and conversation at California Pizza Kitchen in Coral Gables.

October 8, 2018
Supper Social Club-October 2018
California Pizza Kitchen, 300 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

10/08/18 6:30pm - 10/08/18 8:30pm

Supper Social Dinner.
I'll be there!
I can't make it
black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
Dragonfly Training
Watch out for our new training program called Dragonfly.

Coming Soon.
the word dragonfly and the to the right an image of a dragonfly.  the entire image is green.
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Follow us on Instagram
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Follow us on Instagram DisabilityIndependenceGroup
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 a mugs, journals, etc.

Disability Independence Group | Phone: 305-669-2822 | Fax: 304-441-4181