Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Logo for Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG).
Newsletter - Volume #7 July 2016
A Note from Matt .   ..
I like food, all 240 pounds of me.  But, as in this picture, I love to cook, and could spend all day in front of my Barbecue.  We all have our places where we find our own inner peace, and cooking is mine. For Arnaldo Rios, it's toy trucks, and rocking and flapping his hands.  Each person is unique and has their own ways that they soothe their fears and their daily life pressures. 
DIG in the News

clip art of a newspaper that is folded
This month, there are thousands of articles about what DIG is doing, and how we are helping our clients.  Over 300 media outlets have written articles about Arnaldo Rios, the horrible shooting in North Miami, and the attempts to find housing for Mr. Rios.  To keep up to date, please friend Disability Independence Group on Facebook, or follow DIG at @justdigit or Matthew Dietz @dislaw.
Matt and Max standing with Julia the new character on Sesame Street.
featuredarticleThe Wallet Card Project -- Presented at the 47th Annual Autism Society Conference.

Two weeks ago, DIG attended the 47 th Annual Autism Society Convention in New Orleans, one of the largest autism conferences in the country, to spread awareness about The Wallet Card TM Project. Debbie, Matt, their son, Max, Dr. Diane Adreon from UM-NSU Card, and Lt. Barta from the Coral Gables Police Department all came to represent the project. We stirred up quite a bit of attention at our booth in the exhibition hall. On Thursday and Friday a local Louisiana Fair Housing group that DIG does a lot of work with, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, stopped by our table to spread information about the rights of persons with disabilities under the Fair Housing Act. This also gave us the opportunity to talk about service and emotional support animals and how persons with Autism can benefit from them. When it was our time to speak on Saturday, we packed the house and had standing room only in our presentation space. Overall, our going to the conference was a complete success, and we are continuing to look for other ways to spread awareness about The Wallet Card TM Project.  For more information about the project please email us at: walletcard@justdigit.org.
Out and About with DIG
clip art of a suitcase covered in travel stickers
9-8-16   Child Protection Summit, Orlando, FL 
9-9-16 ABC's of Emotional Support Animals, Tallahassee, FL
9-21-16  Shake-Shack Fundraiser, Coral Gables, FL 
2016 Florida Institute on Homelessness and Supportive Housing , Orlando, FL 
2016 DRBA West Coast Conference, Los Angeles, CA
12-7-16  Coral Gables Advisory Board on Disability Affairs In-house Training, Coral Gables, FL 
Shake Shack Party -- September 21, 2016

Flyer for Shake Shack event on 9-21-16 11am - 11pm

Matt and the guys sitting and talking at the NFHA conference in Washington, DC.
Fair Housing Leaders chilling out at the National Fair Housing Alliance in Washington, DC 

Our intern Lili holding Papo, a small dog that is one of our new clients.
Intern Lilli Balik and our newest client, Papo 

Debbie, Mizuki Hsu, and Matt eating dinner at Sergios Restaurant in Miami, FL.
Debbie and Matt with International Scholar, Mizuki Hsu 

The front facade with cut out images of cats and dogs of the new animal services building in Miami, Florida.
The new Animal Services Building 

Matt speaking about disability issues at the State Conference for County Court Judges.
Matt Dietz speaking on disability issues for the 2016 County Court Judges Conference 

Max, Matt, Debbie, and Lt. Barta at the DIG booth at the ASA conference.
Max, Matt, Debbie, and Lt. Barta at the ASA Conference 

Debbie and Renne Corrigan from GNO Fair Housing Action Center sitting at the DIG booth.
Debbie & Renee at the ASA Conference

Matt, Lt. Barta, Dr. Adreon, and Debbie speaking at the ASA Conference with a powerpoint presentation about the wallet card project.
Speaking about The Wallet Card Project 

Matt with our 5 legal interns saying goodbye with an ice cream party at the DIG office.

Summer Interns 
Arnando Rios hugging his teddy bear sitting on his bed.
litigationLitigation: Arnaldo Rios
By: Matthew Dietz

On July 19, 2016, Mr. Charles Kinsey was shot when attempting to escort Arnaldo Rios back to the Miami Achievement Center for the Developmentally Disabled (MACtown). Mr. Kinsey, a mental health caregiver, was shot in the leg as he lay in the middle of the street next to Arnaldo, where he was rocking back and forth holding a toy truck in his hands. Following the shooting, the officers on the scene forced Arnaldo onto the ground where they pulled his pants below his hips, frisked, handcuffed, and then placed him in a police car for three to four hours. Arnaldo received no treatment or therapy. His intense trauma from the incident went entirely unaddressed. On the following day, upon returning to the group home, Arnaldo eloped to the scene of the shooting, and pounded the street where Mr. Kinsey's blood remained - shouting and crying. At that time, he was institutionalized at the psychiatric ward at Aventura Hospital.
Click here to read more
Like our Facebook Pages 
Kids Crusaders Logo 
Animal Partners Logo  
Kids Crusaders Logo
Kids Crusaders Corner 
Julie will be back next month with a new story.
Follow us on Instagram

clip art of two streets intersecting with each other.
dv At The Intersection of Disability and Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault

Many domestic violence survivors, are dealing with feelings of anxiety, sadness and frustration, among others. While food isn't the answer to all your problems, certain foods can actually boost someone's mood. Here are five to try:


Chamomile tea




A healthy diet is only part of the puzzle that is taking care of yourself, but may be the start on the road to recovery.

Click here to read more about the five foods
If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at sharon@justdigit.org
The Wallet Card Logo.  A blue hexagon with the words the wallet card in the hexagon.
walletcardThe Wallet Card Project

The wallet card is a tool for young adults to use when they come into contact with law enforcement; either as 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.

Click here to sign up for a wallet card

The Wallet Card Project is a collaboration with DIG, CGPD, and UM-NSU CARD.
Shop Amazon Smile
Amazon smile logo.
Lesly Lopez head shot
Work Incentives Protecting Health Coverage for Persons with Disabilities
By: Lesly Lopez

Many SSA beneficiaries are afraid of losing their health insurance coverage because of employment, however, SSA provides protections to SSA beneficiaries to be able to work and keep their Medicare or Medicaid.
Follow us on Twitter

a blue twitter bird in a white square.
Lisa Goodman head shot
Eating in New Orleans

Matthew Dietz, DIG's litigation director, was a presenter at the 47th Annual Autism Society National Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. While I am extremely proud that our Litigation Director presented at this conference, this article is not about that. However, you should consider that my segue into the real purpose of this article- to take this opportunity to discuss food with you. As such, it only seems right that I share some of my favorite places to eat in New Orleans.
I had the privilege of calling New Orleans home for a year,
so w hile Matt, Debbie and the rest of the office were preparing travel arrangements, speeches, pamphlets, and other necessary things for their booth at the conference, I had one of the hardest jobs of them all (disclaimer: self-proclaimed hardest job, not based on actual facts) - I was in charge of preparing a list of restaurants they needed to visit while they were in New Orleans for the conference.

Follow us on Snapchat

snap chat logo.
Israel and Lorinda
Summer Recipes

I could never in a hundred summers get tired of this. -- Susan Branch
  The temperature outside is rising, the sun is beaming, and keeping cool is key. While grabbing a bottle of water is the best way to stay hydrated, many people reach for an unhealthy option like an icy can of coke or iced tea. In an effort to make more healthy choices, try one of these delicious fruit water combinations.
Cucumber Mint
Pineapple Mint
Cherry Lime - One of my favorites
Click here to read the recipes
Logo for the fair housing video series.
The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
patuYour 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 as mugs, journals etc.


A colored drawing of an open box with 3 small penguins surrounded by stuffing.
penguinA Parcel of Penguins


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  debbie@justdigit.org. 
red circle with the words donate now! click here

Disability Independence Group, Inc.

Thank you to the organizations that support our projects.

the children's trust logo.  Three children standing next to the words the children's trust

impact fund logo.  red equal sign and then the words impact fund
  Disability Independence Group, Inc. | 305-669-2822 | info@justdigit.org | www.justdigit.org