Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Volume #10
October 2017

Table of Contents

A note from Debbie.....

Matt and I decided to go out to dinner for his birthday. It was a spontaneous decision and ended up being a wonderful evening. We are both so busy and even though we work together we don't always talk to each other during the day. So to go out to dinner with no distractions and just talk was an unexpected surprise. It is easy to forget how important it is to just have fun, no preparation, no planning, just go and do something you enjoy. I recommend finding the time to do something that makes you smile. 
DIG in the news
Out and About with DIG
Path to Inclusion Symposium
Orlando, FL
Give Miami Day 2017
Online Event

givemiamiGive Miami Day 2017
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Support DIG on November 16th.
This is a 24 hour event that begins at 12am EST on November 16th
Make a philanthropic impact by collectively supporting local nonprofit organizations.
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Debbie speaking at RTC-SAAC Conference
Debbie speaking at the RTC-SAAC Community of Violence Symposium

Erika and David standing and holding the proclamation outside Coral Gables City Hall.
Proclamation by the City of Coral Gables for Disability Awareness Month.

matt sitting with lucy with a pie and 2 candles.
Happy Birthday Matt!

Diamond with yellow checkered background and a black palm tree and the words California pizza kitchen
Supper Social Club Dinner for Disability Awareness Month

We had our first Supper Social Club Dinner on Monday, October 23rd at CPK in Coral Gables.  It was a fun event and we are looking forward to planning our next dinner. We will let you know which restaurant in Coral Gables is selected for November.   
Here are some pictures from the event.  
Marie, Thomas, and his aid sitting in a both having dinner.
Tables with supper social participants having dinner.
Eric and friend sitting having dinner.
Blake with his three children and his wife sitting at a booth waiting to order dinner.
Pat wearing a headband with lights on it standing next to Luisa.

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kids Kids Crusaders Corner
By: Julie Fioravanti 

Julie has been busy traveling to Denver, Colorado to attend the Testicular Cancer Summit.
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MiA Miami Inclusion Alliance
By: Sharon Langer 

It is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Here is information about Sexual Assault from MUJER, a local resource.

Sexual Assault

Rape and other crimes of sexual violence have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their communities. The crimes of sexual battery, child sexual abuse, stalking, marital rape and sexual harassment inflict trauma to survivors' physical and mental health and robs them of their sense of safety and well-being. The prevalence of rape also has wide-reaching impact on other cultural problems: rape is responsible for 11-20% of teenage pregnancies and for increased substance abuse and mental health problems including major depression, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rape is the most under-reported crime in America, so it is difficult to know how many lives are affected by sexual violence. The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that only 30.7% of victims report the crime to law enforcement.
  • One out of every eight adult women has been the victim of forcible rape, which is more than 12 million women in America.
  • In Florida, a sexual offense is reported to law enforcement every 42 minutes.
  • The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports that 12,388 sex offenses were reported in Florida in 2000.
Florida responds to the needs of sexual assault survivors in many ways. Community-based sexual assault programs and victim advocacy programs provide community education, counseling, hotlines and crisis intervention services for sexual assault victims.


If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sharon Langer at Sharon@justdigit.org.
Lucy sitting on a red chair with her head tilted.

It is finally fall and time for me to sit back and enjoy a pumpkin spice pup cup from Starbucks.  Here I am sitting on a Saturday morning in downtown Coral Gables.

Lucy sitting and eating a cup of whip cream.

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Asset Building for Individuals with Disabilities
Public benefit programs for people with disabilities, especially Supplemental Security Income (SSI), are not aimed at increasing assets and independence for people with disabilities as a result individuals with disabilities often have very limited income and few, if any, assets. The intent of asset building initiatives is that as individuals develop assets, they will be able to move out of poverty and remain out of poverty. Many asset building services for people with disabilities will NOT cause loss of critical SSA disability cash payments and essential health insurance such as Medicaid or Medicare.
Types of asset building services for people with disabilities:

I believe that if we all work together on education, support and advocacy we can buildup a reality for people with disabilities and low income families.


Lesly Quin

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justine The View From Here
By: Justine Chichester

"Just so you know, our two elevators are not working, so you'll have to use the stairs."
My husband, John, and I were driving to meet some friends for dinner the other night. We pulled into the parking garage near the restaurant and the ticket taker informed us that we'd have to use the stairs because their elevators were not working. "Well, that doesn't work for us because she's in a wheelchair" my husband said pointing at me. We quickly realized we'd have to leave and go elsewhere. There was nowhere to park. As we circled through the parking garage to turn around and leave, I got very angry. Why should I have to leave? Why should I be the one who has to miss out? Just because I can no longer climb stairs, I have to miss out on dinner with my friends? That just doesn't seem fair.
I'm still new to this and it can often be so frustrating. Not only do I face challenges at home in my daily activities such as getting dressed, showering, etc., the things most people take for granted being able to do so easily every day, but it seems to me at times the outside world is fighting me every step of the way...or every roll of the wheel.
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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.

We training the 2017 Project SEARCH students this month.  We had a wonderful time working with all of the students, teachers, the City of Miami Parks Department, and the City of Miami Police Department.

Thank you Children's Trust for all of your support with this project.

police officer speaking with a young man at a park.
Polce officer speaking to a young man sitting on a bench.
Project SEARCH students and the City of Miami Police

Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.

Working On the Go!
The traditional 9-5 work schedule was once the socially acceptable way of defining productivity. However, in more recent history, entrepreneurs and social organizations have changed the work environment to make more flexible and nontraditional work schedules the norm. Personally, I find that a more flexible work schedule does not limit productivity, but actually helps me to adapt to the various needs present because of the disability.
Life of an Entrepreneur
During college, my original plan was to become a physician. I've always had a love for medicine, and felt that medical school was the right path. However, the rigorous schedule during pre-med along with a full time job was far too much for me to manage physically. I found that a traditional school/work schedule was taxing on my body and did not allow me to be as fruitful as I could. Mornings have always been a challenge. To get up and ready as a wheelchair user may take an hour or longer more than the average. When you add requiring assistance to use the restroom into the mix, the stress being getting up and going before 9:00 am on a regular basis was difficult. Overtime, I opened myself up to creative possibilities, which led me to the life of an entrepreneur. I've been blessed to work for myself now for ten years - and it's been the best choice for my personal health. Ironically, as a business owner, I work many times over 40 hours a week - but on my own schedule. Now, that doesn't mean this lifestyle has led me to be a bum who sleeps in everyday, but instead allows me to get up and going with the ebbs and flows of my body - when I feel good, I do more. When I don't, I take it slower.
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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.

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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