Newsletter 2019
A note from Matt......
This month, I am in awe over 16 year old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, who has the drive to take her activism across the globe and speak truth to power. 
 "I have Asperger’s syndrome and that means I’m sometimes a bit different from the norm. And — given the right circumstances — being different is a superpower."

Are you requesting to saddle the camel or cut off its hump? Reasonable accommodations under disability rights laws
Mr Shaw in his wheelchair hugging his dog
house under construction with a habitat for humanity pick up truck in front of the house and construction workers
On September 18 th, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided Schaw v. Habitat for Humanity of Citrus County , in a very easy to read opinion that spelled out the process for determining whether an accommodation for a disability is reasonable and necessary. U.S. Circuit Court Judge Kevin Newsom, the author of the opinion, acknowledged that the concept is a “little squishy”, and analogized that the difference between an accommodation that is required and one that is a fundamental alteration is the difference between saddling a camel and removing its hump. 

In 2006, when Albert Schaw was 20, he fractured his cervical spine in a wrestling accident and became a quadriplegic. Because of his disability, he was not able to get gainful employment and received Social Security Disability Income. In 2015, Albert rented a two bedroom home for $ 675 per month, but it was not accessible for him, to the extent that he could not even close the door of the bathroom because he used a wheelchair. 
Albert decided to apply for Habitat for Humanity’s Home Ownership Program because the payment would be less than his rent, and he would have the ability to be a homeowner of a house that he could actually use. However, Habitat for Humanity’s minimum income qualification to qualify for a home was more than Albert’s income received from Social Security. Albert requested that Habitat for Humanity either take into account his food stamp payment or a $100 per month support from his family to meet the minimum income requirement. This was refused, because Habitat for Humanity demanded assurances that the family support would not cease and requested the family set up an annuity plan or a trust. Not only would the creation of a trust be expensive, it may have also disqualified Albert from other benefits that he would have received.  As a result, Albert Schaw could not qualify for a Habitat home.  

DIG in the News
Out & About with DIG

Deaf Rights Training
September 27, 2019
Broward County, FL

Supper Social Club
October 7, 2019
Coral Gables, FL

Adventure Day for All
October 13, 2019
Coral Gables, FL

Supper Social Club
November 4, 2019
Coral Gables, FL

Give Miami Day 2019
November 21, 2019

Supper Social Club
December 2, 2019
Coral Gables, FL

10th Circuit's Fairness & Diversity Summit
December 5, 2019
Polk County, FL

Spectrum Family Fair
December 14, 2019
Miami, FL
give miami day with date 11.21.19
Participants and speakers at the HOMY Summit in Miami FL
Sharon and the other speakers from the HOMY Summit
Sharon leading a training at the HOMY Summit
Sharon at a breakout session at the HOMY Summit
Speakers from the University of Miami Petty Theft Symposium
Matt and the other speakers at the University of Miami Petty Theft Symposium
super social raffle winner Jansil sitting next to Matt
Supper Social Winner Jansil sitting with Matt
supper social club participants sitting eating dinner at CPK
Supper Social Club
supper social club raffle winner Simon sitting at dinner
Supper Social Winner Simon
Sargent Solis and sparky the dog
Sparky the Dog from the Miami Dade Police Department
Strategic Planning for Animal Partners Miami first meeting with all the partners
First meeting of the Stakeholders for the Animal Partners Miami Project (K9's for Kids grant)
Officer Alex and Roy the dog being introduced to the team
Roy the Dog from the Coral Gables Police Department
Miami Inclusion Alliance
The crime of sexual assault is under reported. This is particularly true if you are a victim with a disability. West Virginia S.A.F.E. is a sexual assault organization that has created a Training and Collaboration Toolkit that assists agencies in knowing the potential indicators of sexual violence and then using them to identify victimization even when victims are reluctant to disclose. This knowledge can be particularly important if you work with persons with cognitive and/or communication disabilities who may have limited ability to understand or disclose their victimization.  

The View from Here
Head shot of Justine
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go. They merely determine where you start.” -Nido Qubien

I’ve recently taken some time off from writing. In fact, even as I type this, I am taking a huge breath trying to get back into the spirit of writing down all of my experiences living with a disability. The reason for my recent sabbatical from writing is that in February of this year I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. After a routine mammogram, a mass was detected in my left breast. I had a subsequent ultrasound and biopsy, and then received the call from my radiologist informing me that it was, in fact, Cancer.

What followed were several months of identifying exactly what type of Cancer it was and what the best treatment would be for me. I never realized how little I knew about Cancer until I was told I had it. Terrified that now I had the “Big C” on top of my spinal cord injury, I immersed myself in research all the while trying to keep up my positive outlook on all of it. My biggest concern, of course, was how this would affect my physical therapy and my continued progress in walking again? 

Kids Crusaders
Kids Crusaders Logo
Julie will be back soon.
Lucille's Wall
Lucy with a sign in her mouth that says all guests must be approved by the dog.
Keep Your Pets Safe

South Florida is a busy city made of sunshine and good times. Not always is it that way with hurricanes, bad drivers, and rain on most national holidays. South Florida has its ups and downs. This is the same when it comes to your pets. This is a list of things you should know to keep your furry companions safe.

The Wallet Card Project
the wallet card words in a diamond shape blue figure
The wallet card is a tool to be used by a teenager or an adult with a disability. Currently, we have developed cards for persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or Intellectual Disabilities.
Wheels & Heels
Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.
Lorinda will be back soon

black rectangle box outlined with a yellow line and the words Supper social club in the box in white
We are having a raffle this month.

Everyone that attends will be entered into the raffle.

Raffle prizes.
supper social club flyer with dates for august september october november and december the flyer is red yellow and black
Supper Social Club - October 2019
California Pizza Kitchen, 300 Miracle Mile, Coral Gables, FL 33134

10/07/19 6:30pm - 10/07/19 8:30pm

I'll be there!
I can't make it
Benefits Information
head shot of Lesly
The proper use of Benefits (SSI)

First, you must make sure the beneficiary’s day-to-day needs for food and shelter are met. Then, the money can be used for any of the beneficiary’s medical and dental care that is not covered by health insurance, and for personal needs, such as clothing and recreation. If there is money left after you pay for the beneficiary’s needs, it must be saved, in Special accounts approved by SSA like Special needs Trust, ABLE trust account, IDA accounts, or PASS plan.

Benefits should be used for current needs such as food, clothing, shelter, utilities, dental and medical care and personal comfort items, or reasonably foreseeable needs. If not needed for these purposes, the benefits must be conserved or invested on behalf of the beneficiary. Where the beneficiary has unmet current maintenance needs, saving benefits serves little purpose and would not be in the beneficiary's best interests.

A payee must use benefits in the best interests of the beneficiary, according to his/her best judgment.

Food and lodging are considered first priority expenses. After that, clothes, health care and transportation are probably second tier priorities. Education and job training are important as well. Beyond that, the money can be spent for the emotional well being and recreation of the recipient. But given the amounts involved, there isn't much left for that.

ATV Florida!
access the vote logo with state of Florida in the middle with the words inclusive and accessible elections for all Floridians with disabilities
Join one of our new standing committees

ATVFL Outreach Committee – this committee will meet regularly to discuss planning and execution of ATVFL’s outreach efforts and related collaboration to counties and supervisors’ offices (our first phase of these efforts are underway and in draft format); this includes working to set up and build awareness of events such as poll worker education, equipment demonstrations, town halls and panel discussions with election officials, recruitment of poll workers with disabilities, voter education, et cetera.

ATVFL Candidate Engagement Committee – this committee will meet as appropriate to discuss approaches and opportunities to engage candidates for office at all levels of government (federal, state, county, and municipal) on the necessity of disability inclusion in voting/elections issues, but also on issues of importance to the disability community; this will include the possibility of structuring candidate questionnaires, organizing candidate forums, assisting others in the state hosting candidate events to make those events adequately accessible, compiling resources and information regarding website accessibility for distribution to the parties and campaigns, et cetera.

ATVFL Voter Engagement Committee – this committee will meet to discuss ways to increase voter participation and turnout within the disability community at multiple levels, including consideration of GOTV (Get Out the Vote) activities and efforts, planning for National Disability Voter Registration Week as well as National Voter Registration Week, and other needed avenues to ensure inclusion of a disability voting/elections presence in the state within other GOTV efforts underway.
Educational Information
head of stephanie langer holding a business file and wearing a black and white polkadot shirt.
educational support flyer that lists prices for consultations school meetings and legal representation

Your Upward Journey
The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
In a nutshell, Your Upward Journey:

It is Easier Than You Think!, is a three-part project (book, self-help seminars and merchandise sale).