Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Volume #5
May 2017

Table of Contents

Matthew standing in front of the FCF poster as a 2017 Honoree.
A note from Matt.....

Last week I was recognized by Florida's Children First as the 2017 Outstanding Advocate for Children with Special Needs.  This honor gave me the ability to highlight the constant vigilance that is required to ensure that children with disabilities are not denied care on a wholesale basis, and to alert the public how per capita Medicaid caps would place the heaviest burden on medically complex children.  Until our priorities change as a community, parents who have children with disabilities will need to fight for the care and services needed for their children to obtain the opportunity to be involved in community life.

DIG in the news
May 3, 2017, Deaf patients get go-ahead to sue Boynton's Bethesda hospital, Palm Beach Post, http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime--law/deaf-patients-get-ahead-sue-boynton-bethesda-hospital/RUr2HU0uSIdokAx3SSIoJL/
May 4, 2017, Community Voices, Honoring Child Advocates, Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/community-voices/article148613644.html
May 9, 2017, Court Allows Hospitals To be Sued Over Deaf Services, CBS Miami, http://miami.cbslocal.com/2017/05/09/court-hospitals-sued-deaf-services/
May 9, 2017, Deaf patients win right to sue Baptist Health for discrimination, Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/news/health-care/article149532479.html
May 9, 2017, Court Allows Hospitals To Be Sued Over Deaf Services, WUSF, News Service of Florida, http://health.wusf.usf.edu/post/court-allows-hospitals-be-sued-over-deaf-services#stream/0
Miami 10, 2017, 11th Circuit Says Deaf Patients Can Sue Hospital Over Lack of Interpreters, Daily Business Review, http://www.dailyreportonline.com/id=1202785817442/11th-Circuit-Says-Deaf-Patients-Can-Sue-Hospital-Over-Lack-of-Interpreters?slreturn=20170422160850
May 11, 2017, Deaf Plaintiffs Gets 11
th Cir Court Supprot to Proceed in A.D.A. Hospital Lawsuit (in ASL), The Daily Moth, https://www.dailymoth.com/single-post/2017/05/11/The-Daily-Moth-5-11-17
May 12, 2017, 9 Investigates access issues at local parks, WFTV9 Orlando ABC, http://www.wftv.com/news/9-investigates/9-investigates-access-issues-at-local-parks/521735503
May 12, 2017, 2 More Charges for North Miami Cop in Shooting of Unarmed Therapist, NBC6 News, http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/2-More-Charges-for-North-Miami-Cop-in-Shooting-of-Unarmed-Therapist-422108553.html
May 12, 2017, 2 More Charges in Shooting of Autistic Man's Caretaker, Associated Press, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/florida/articles/2017-05-12/2-more-charges-in-shooting-of-autistic-mans-caretaker
May 12, 2017, North Miami police officer arraigned on charges in Charles Kinsey shooting Jonathon Aledda's trial scheduled for Oct. 10, Local 10 News ABC, https://www.local10.com/news/crime/north-miami-police-officer-arraigned-on-charges-in-charles-kinsey-shooting
May 12, 2017, Elevan cargos contra policía de Florida que disparó a terapeuta afroamericano, Diario Las Americas, http://www.diariolasamericas.com/florida/elevan-cargos-contra-policia-florida-que-disparo-terapeuta-afroamericano-n4121812
May 12, 2017, Aumentan cargos a agente SWAT por disparar a terapeuta negro, La Verdad.com, http://www.laverdad.com/mundo/120155-aumentan-cargos-a-agente-swat-por-disparar-a-terapeuta-negro.html
May 14, 2017, Pacientes sordos pueden demandar a Baptist Health por discriminación, El Nuevo Herald, http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/sur-de-la-florida/article150485657.html
May 17, 2017, 9 Investigates local housing agency denying claims for special-needs families, WFTV9 Orlando ABC, http://www.wftv.com/news/9-investigates/9-investigates-local-housing-agency-denying-claims-for-special-needs-families/523262916
May 17, 2017, Arnaldo Rios - His trauma matters, How did we get into this mess? David M. Perry on language and power, http://www.thismess.net/2017/05/arnaldo-rios-his-trauma-matters.html
May 22, 2017, 'I was panicked': Deaf patients struggle to get interpreters in medical emergencies, STAT, https://www.statnews.com/2017/05/22/deaf-patients-interpreters/
Out and About with DIG
Connect Miami - Venture Cafe Miami
Miami, FL
Family Cafe
Orlando, FL
FL Bar Conference
Boca Raton, FL
FL Recreation & Parks Association
Orlando, FL
Give Miami Day 2017
Online Event

connect miami with a green background.


Thank you Florida's Children First for honoring Matthew and Carlos Martinez for the wonderful introduction.
FCF poster for the Child Advocacy Awards & Reception.

Public Defender Carlos Martinez awarding Matt with the FCF 2017 Honoree award.

Group picture for the new Educate Tomorrow project, Unite Miami.
Educate Tomorrow and the Unite Miami Group
Debbie sitting with FILC members at a long table.
FILC meeting in Tallahassee, FL
Debbie, Trevor, and Lisa at the UM practicum presentation.
Debbie and Lisa with Trevor our intern
Matt sitting in his chair with his thumb up smiling with a fruit basket and balloons.
Thank you VIP Kids for the fruit basket and balloons
DIG office wall with paintings by persons with disabilities and pictures of our clients and their animals.
Redecorating at the DIG office
Sharon standing in front of a poster at the GAL conference.
Sharon speaking at the GAL Conference
Matthew speaking at the GAL conference in Orlando, FL.
Matt speaking at the GAL Conference
Matt and Jon Kent getting ready to film a video.
Jon Kent filming a PSA video with Matt
Summer Interns hard at work
cartoon of a doctor communicating with a patient with an interpreter
Effective Communication

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.
Modern Hippocratic Oath
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
You can't always get what you want 
But if you try sometimes well you might find 
You get what you need
Rolling Stones
At least once per week, I receive a call from a Deaf person complaining that their doctor or hospital will not provide them a sign language interpreter for their medical care. The doctor insists that the patient should communicate by passing notes back and forth, using Video Remote Interpreters, or by trying to lip read. At the same time, the Deaf person insists that they must have an in person, live interpreter for any and all medical interaction. The doctor or hospital insists that they have the choice, and the Deaf person insists that it is their choice. Who is right?


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kids Kids Crusaders Corner
By: Julie Fioravanti 

Julie will be back soon.

purple ribbon for Domestic Violence month with the words love shouldn't hurt written on it
MiA Miami Inclusion Alliance
By: Sharon Langer 

Hurricane season is around the corner and if you are a person with a disability and also a victim of abuse, planning is very important to ensure your safety both during a storm and afterwards. There are additional safety risks and also challenges for victims with disabilities. While there is no scientific proof that emergencies, such as storms increase the risk of abuse, the rates of abuse do increase during emergency situations where stress levels are increased. The increased risk of abuse, coupled with the barriers that exist for persons with disabilities when they have to access services during a storm, make safety planning critical to ensuring safety.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at Sharon@justdigit.org.
head shot of Lisa standing in front of legal books.

Most National parks require an entrance fee. This may be surprising to many of you, who like me, thought admission to the National Parks was free. However, individuals with disabilities are entitled to a free lifetime pass to all National Parks! Further, even if the park itself does not have a fee, you could get a discount on the "amenities" the National Park has to offer that they would require a fee for such as camping or boating.

https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass to get started on getting your free lifetime pass today to visit these parks.

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Kids Crusaders Logo

Animal Partners Logo

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Work incentives Protecting Health Coverage for People with Disabilities

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.
Other health care options:

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Shop Amazon Smile

Head shot of Justine
justine The View From Here
By: Justine Chichester

I've had a love-hate relationship with my wheelchair ever since I was told I needed to use one two years ago. I have struggled with my chair being a constant reminder of my disability and all of the things I could no longer do. It was the barrier that kept me from activities as simple as climbing a flight of stairs or as long-term as my goal of running that marathon. In my mind, the list of things I couldn't do was endless because I was now a wheelchair user.
One day, after venting my wheelchair frustrations to a friend, she encouraged me to check out a few people on social media. They were people living with disabilities who were sharing their journey by posting photos and stories about their daily triumphs and struggles. She thought these stories might inspire me to change my mind about new my life on wheels.

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The Wallet Card Logo.  A blue hexagon with the words the wallet card in the hexagon.
wallet The Wallet Card Project
By: Deborah Dietz 

The wallet card is a tool for young adults or adults to use when 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.
Lorinda on a boat kissing a fish.

Accessible Florida Keys: A Great Getaway for Wheelchair Users!
Recently, I had the opportunity to take a quick 5-day vacation to the Florida Keys. Getting away from the office is always a challenge, especially with business booming, so we chose to visit Key West for a few days of fun in the sun. Known for its fishing community, The Florida Keys is located off the southern coast of Florida, forming the southernmost portion of the continental United States. They begin at the southeastern coast of the Florida peninsula, about 15 miles south of Miami, and extend in a gentle arc south-southwest and then westward to Key West, the westernmost and most popular of the islands. The islands lie along the Florida Straits, dividing the Atlantic Ocean to the east from the Gulf of Mexico. The southern part of Key West is just 90 miles from Cuba.

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The cover of the book Your Upward Journey by Patricia Bochi
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 as mugs, journals etc.

Logo for the fair housing video series.

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

A PARCEL OF PENGUINS: an Animal Counting Book is a Children's book that teaches unusual names of groups of animals. The book is entertaining and informative for all ages. 
Click here to purchase the book
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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.

Disability Independence Group, Inc.
Expanding Opportunities for Person with Disabilities
Thank you to the organizations that support our projects.
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Disability Independence Group | 305-669-2822 | info@justdigit.org