Volume 10 | October 2018
Your monthly news & updates
A note from Matt....
According to the American Association for Persons with Disabilities, people with disabilities accounted for over 35 million eligible voters in 2016, according to Rutgers University. That figure jumps to over 62 million eligible voters when you count family members in the same household – over 25% of eligible voters.  The disability community represents an important and potentially influential voting bloc. To make the disability vote count, people with disabilities need to be actively involved in the election process and press candidates to give their positions on issues that affect them and their families. Candidates that support the equality and full inclusion of disabled people will benefit from the power of the disability vote.
Is that pup really protected under the law?
Some people get their feathers in a ruffle when they see a fur baby being pushed around in a stroller. 

There are so many myths and misconceptions regarding assistance animals and emotional support animals that I will try to clear up a few.

Under the law, an emotional support animal is a tool that is similar to any other device or equipment that is used by a person with a disability to assist such person with his or her disability.  One of the tenets or guiding principles of the disability rights movement is that the person with a disability has the right of self-determination of their own health care choices. The use of animals for therapeutic purposes is a recognized method of lessening the effects of a disability.

Fat brown Dachsund dog in a baby stroller
REV UP Florida!
Don' forget to vote.

YOUR vote matters.

Election Day is: November 6, 2018

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

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

Give Miami Day is November 15, 2018.
Stephanie Langer and retired Judge Snook
Stephanie training with Retired Judge Snook.
Goodbye Breakfast for Judge Lederman
Judge Lederman retirement breakfast.
debbie and larry forman at the advocacy network breakfast
Debbie with Larry Forman at the Advocacy Network Breakfast for Champions.
Matt and Lucy waiting in line for Venetian pool swimming
Matt and Lucy waiting in line to swim with the dogs at Venetian Pool.
Training at Northwestern High School with City of Miami Police Officers.
Unite Miami training with students from Northwestern High School and the City of Miami Police.
Happy birthday Matt stephanie and michael sitting with cookies fruit and balloons
Happy birthday to Stephanie and Matt.
Matt and Chief Hudak sitting at starbucks
Matt and Chief Hudak at Starbucks for coffee day.
Debbie and Lisa in front of a pink city of coral gables police car
Debbie and Lisa in front of the new City of Coral Gables Police Car.
Matt and Marissa training volunteer for fostercare review
Unite Miami training for volunteers at Foster care Review.
stephanie sitting at a table with DIG materials
matt debbie and lucy at the disability fair in coral gables
City of Coral Gables Abilities for All event in downtown Coral Gables.
Kids Crusaders Corner
Julie will be back soon.
Kids Crusaders Logo
Miami Inclusion Alliance
DIG spends a great deal of time researching and promoting the importance of Human-Animal Interaction and the power of pets to heal. For a victim/survivor of domestic violence or sexual assault that pet may be their salvation in a world of chaos. Unfortunately, most shelters do not provide adequate space for pets when a victim is fleeing their home and seeking safety.

Many times victims worry about what will happen to their pet and that fear and worry keeps them in dangerous situations.
 “One half of domestic violence survivors reported they delayed leaving because of concern about pets,” says Mary Riedel President and CEO of Women in Distress, in Broward County. She has stated that “national studies have shown that 71 percent of domestic violence survivors report a pet has been maimed, killed or threatened.”

“It’s a huge barrier,” said Riedel, estimating that 7 out of 10 callers to the Women In Distress Shelter, domestic violence hotline need a place to put their pet. “Only 3 percent of domestic violence shelters are able to take pets.”

No longer will domestic violence victims have to leave their pets behind when they seek help at a shelter if they live on Broward County. Women in Distress of Broward County officially became the third domestic violence shelter in the state with accommodations for dogs and cats. Only Orlando and Naples also have a place to keep pets of domestic violence victims, officials said.

Their new building has space for 20 pets to live in kennels as domestic violence victims stay at the nonprofit’s 132-bed campus. Often, the center has to rent hotel rooms as its beds fill up, and Riedel expects the pet section of its facility will soon be filled to capacity, she said.

Gray paw prints on a freshly painted white sidewalk lead to a brightly colored obstacle course and a mesh bag of fresh tennis balls.

The $350,000 center was made possible first by a $200,000 grant from Bank of America. Private funders, the Tate Family Foundation and the Community Foundation, donated $75,000 each. Other donors stepped up to cover the extra operational cost.

“This could be a healing place, especially for the children, after all they’ve been through,” said Sandra Juliachs, a senior vice president for Bank of America, Broward County, looking around. “It feels so happy here.”

If Broward County can do it, so can Miami-Dade County. If you are interested in working on this issue send me an email. Sharon@justdigit.org
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at sharon@justdigit.org
Lucille's Wall
By: Lucy
A day doggy paddling at the pool!
I was laying down on the seat of the car wondering where I was heading. Then the car started to slow down. I thought maybe its traffic? Mabey a bathroom break? But no we were getting out of the car to go to some type of pool I think it was called Venetian pool but I’m just a dog so I don’t know. We got out, checked in, then I saw so many dogs I just wanted play and meet them all.

I found out something really neat- Dogs are not usually aloud to swim at Venetian pool. That day was special it was Venetian pool dog day. And I am glad it was because I had so much fun I was learning how to swim better, played around in the pool, and overall had a very great day and get this this event only happens 1 time a year. My wish is that this event would happen every week heck every day. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to come back next year it was the best surprise ever.

BTW this happens every October. Also only 200 dogs maximum can swim at the pool and I was one of them. That is so cool. Venetian pool is very safe so no child that is 3 years or younger can go to the pool that day. That is good because I don’t want to hit a little kid by accident. That is some info I found about the Venetian pool dog day.

Matt sitting at his desk with Lucy the dog.
Matt teaching Lucy how to swim
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
Needy Meds: healthcare cost-savings program

NeedyMeds, celebrating its 20 th  anniversary, was founded in 1997 by a retired family physician Dr. Richad Sagall who is the current President. Realizing there was a need for a centralized information on healthcare cost-savings programs and with the Internet becoming an important resource, he decided a website was the perfect medium. As a national nonprofit, NeedyMeds remains dedicated to educating and empowering those seeking affordable healthcare. NeedyMeds achieves this mission by connecting patients to healthcare programs, offering direct assistance and facilitating programs. Since its inception NeedyMeds has grown considerably. The website has become the premier source of information on all types of programs that assists those who can't afford their medications or health care costs. With more than 20,000 points of costs savings, one of the most popular and effective ways NeedyMeds can help patients is still with their  Drug Discount Card  which can save users up to 80% off the cost of prescriptions, OTC medications and pet prescriptions purchased from a pharmacy. NeedyMeds home page receives over 16,000 unique visitors per workday and assists approximately 6,000 through their toll free helpline monthly. All of the services NeedyMeds provides are anonymous and free so be sure to visit their  website  or give their expert counselors a  call !

For more information about Patient Assistance Programs to help to pay for medications check our website. http://www.needymeds.org/
head shot of Lesly
The View from Here

“Being positive isn’t pretending everything is good. It’s seeing the good in everything.”
I get a lot of questions since my injury. People ask me everything from, “Why are you in a wheelchair?” To…”How do you drive a car now?” Or, “How do you get in the car?” And, yes, even “How do you go to the bathroom?” Yes, people can get very, very personal. But, I’m happy to answer and share my experience as best as I can, because most are just curious and almost all are well intending. Some of my fellow SCI survivors are offended at these types of questions, though, and that’s completely understandable too. Our stories are deeply personal and often times difficult to share. We, also, really just seek to live our best “normal” lives once again and continuous questions about our daily living tends to make that a little frustrating. I’ve come to realize, though, that it’s now my responsibility to share my story and my journey with those who are interested and who want to learn. Undoubtedly the question I get the most is, “How do you stay so positive?”

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.

November 5, 2018
black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
Are you coming to the November Supper Social Club?
California Pizza Kitchen, 300 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

11/05/18 6:30pm - 11/05/18 8:30pm

Supper Social Club.
I'll be there!
I can't make it
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: 304-442-4181