Expanding Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
Volume # 8
August 2017

Table of Contents

picture from the book Oh, the places you'll go! with a pink and yellow stripped balloon flying across the page.
A note from Debbie.....

What is Hate?

There is no place for hate in our organization or in what we are doing. DIG, as an organization, does not support hate and works tirelessly to fight against hate in all forms. We believe that this is an issue that crosses party lines and as an organization, we want to make it clear that we do NOT support the hatred that has been going on in the last several weeks. Violence is not the solution and words do hurt. Chanting hateful words cannot be supported and DIG will continue to advocate for the rights of person with disabilities and we will support and stand with all other groups that are being discriminated against. You might not see us respond to every social media comment or post but know that we are unwavering in our support of civil rights and human rights. Our entire team is supportive of these beliefs and we are here as a resource for anyone that has questions are concerns. Dr. Seuss used children's books to pass along powerful messages, here is one that I have always loved from the story, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, "You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."

DIG in the news
Out and About with DIG
FL Recreation & Parks Association
Orlando, FL
2017 Child Protection Summit
Orlando, FL
Elder Concert
Oct. 2017
2017 Supportive Housing Summit
Orlando, FL
Give Miami Day 2017
Online Event

Matt sitting with our summer intern Nia.
Mercy, Yare, Sharon, Jordan, and Naimah standing in the conference room with Lucy sitting in front.
DIG staff with interns Jordan and Naimah
Interns Nia and Stephen with attorney Lisa working and eating ice cream in the conference room.
Lisa with interns Nia and Stephen
Michael, Max, and Lucy getting ready for an intern good bye ice cream party.  Michael is holding a can of frosting and Max is hugging Lucy.
Max, Lucy, and Michael getting ready for an ice cream party.
Sharon and Officer N. Badger at the Miami Dade School Police Annual Conference
Sharon and Officer N. Badger at the Miami Dade School Police Annual Conference
Unite Miami team sitting in DIG conference room eating lunch before the partner meeting.
DIG and Casa Valentina co-hosted the Unite Miami monthly meeting.
Unite Miami team standing at a table at the children's trust luncheon.  There are bright colors being projected on the ceiling and walls.
The Unite Miami Team attended the Children's Trust Champions for Children Awards Ceremony
lucy sitting in a chair wearing a tie with a laptop and matt sitting in a chair holding a chew bone.
Assistance Animals in Foster Care

This is a copy of an article that Matt wrote that was published in the Florida Bar Journal, September/October, 2017 Volume 91, No. 8 .

Eagle of Liberty holding two wolves one named intolerance and one named bigotry.
The Struggle for Civil Rights

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from the Birmingham Jail.
The struggle for civil rights involves a quest to embody the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness." When one person's right does not have the same worth as another's, it lessens the worth of all rights and the inherent dignity of each person.
We live in perilous times when those who seek to uphold rights are equated with those who fight to restrict rights.
We live in perilous times when we seek to ban any person from the military who is willing to put his or her life on the line to protect our country - gay, straight, or transgendered.

Kids Crusaders Logo
kids Kids Crusaders Corner
By: Julie Fioravanti 

J ulie will be back next month.
purple ribbon for Domestic Violence month with the words love shouldn't hurt written on it
MiA Miami Inclusion Alliance
By: Sharon Langer 

I thought it would be informative to share some of the
highlights from the latest report on persons with disabilities and crime. This report comes out every few years and unfortunately victims with disabilities, have not made any strides forward. While crime is down for persons without disabilities, that rate remained the same, no improvement, for persons with disabilities. The citation for this is below.
The Bureau of Justice Statistics has released its annual report, "Crime Against Persons with Disabilities, 2009-2015." From 2009 to 2015, the rate of violent victimization against persons with disabilities was at least twice the rate for persons without disabilities. From 2012 to 2015, the rate of victimization stayed the same for persons with disabilities, but decreased for persons without disabilities. (This and other information are available on the BJS website .)
  Click here to read more

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

Lisa will be back in a few months.

Lucy sitting on a red chair with her head tilted.
  Lucille's Wall 
By: Lucy

It's about time I got my own spot on this Newsletter! For those of you who have not had the pleasure of meeting me, I'm Lucy! I am a case manager at the Disability Independence Group, Inc. and I have been working at DIG since January 2017. (Hence the "It's about time I got my own spot on this Newsletter".) Eight months at DIG and here is my debut!

First of all, what do you think about the name of my section, "Lucille's Wall"? A play on Lucille Ball since my name is Lucy.

Moving on and a little bit about myself- I love puppucino's and long walks. I relocated from Georgia to begin my career at DIG. As a relatively new Miamian and new employed, I am juggling Miami life and working. I have to say that I love how many places there are to go down here and the weather is beautiful. Serious inquiries only! - JUST KIDDING!!! You can't deny how much I made this section sound like the "about me" section in a dating app.

I love to joke around but I take my work very seriously. Over the last eight months I have undoubtedly brought joy to my co-workers and my clients. As DIG's case manager, I work in both aspects of the organization, the non-profit and the legal side. While working with Matthew and Lisa, I am responsible for handling the concerns of the service animals and emotional support animals who are the subject of litigation actions. With Debbie, Sharon, and Murphee I assist with grants, attend meetings and I hope to get involved more with The Wallet CardTM Project.

Like Our Facebook Pages
Logo for Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG).

Kids Crusaders Logo

Animal Partners Logo

Why Amazon Smile makes me Smile!
By: Estefania Re
            Everyone has a guilty pleasure, for some it may be a molten chocolate cake, for others a reality TV show, unfortunately (for my bank account) mine is Amazon shopping. My first thought when I need an item whether it be paper towels or a cute romper is: "oh I'll just buy it on Amazon." The website has proven countless times to be an affordable and convenient shopping experience, and Amazon Smile gives it that one key element that was lacking: giving back to the community.
            Amazon Smile donates 0.5% of the purchase price of certain items to a charity of your choice! However, you must make your purchase on the Amazon Smile website, which has a separate url than the regular Amazon.com. My advice? Choose Disability Independence Group as your Amazon Smile charity and bookmark the direct website!

Amazon smile logo.
Shop Amazon Smile

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

a blue twitter bird in a white square.
Follow us on Twitter
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.
Jansil getting into his car with a big smile on his face.
jansil My experience as a summer intern
By: Jansil Hueso-Newson

My experience working a tDIG was really great. It gave me the opportunity to meet really nice new people. My fellow interns and the staff members were so supportive to me. Debbie would always give me very interesting assignments,such as,organizing DIG's blog, inputting data into an excel spreadsheet, doing research,and reading court cases.I had a lot of fun talking to the other interns as I did my work. I especially enjoyed the pizza parties that we had as a goodbye party whenever an intern left.Overall,I had a lot of fun and I will hopefully be back soon.
Lorinda in front of a cabinet in her home.

When I graduated high school, I remember the last couple of weeks of school being a time where students spoke about their plans and teachers wished us all bright and fruitful futures. One teacher specifically, who taught technology and computers, asked the whole class one day to write down three goals they had for the future. On my list was graduating college, living on my own and traveling to beautiful places around the world. As he walked around the class, looking at student's bucket lists, he gave positive feedback and words of encouragement to many. When he saw my list, however, his attutude changed. "Travel the world, huh? I've traveled hundreds of times and let me tell you. With that thing (reference to my motorized wheelchair) you won't be able to go anywhere." His negative words surprised me and to this day I remember the shock I felt. Thankfully, instead of hearing his ignorant statement as truth, I used it as fuel for a life of adventure!

logo for instagram.
Follow us on Instagram
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
red box with the word donate in it.
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.
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 | 305-669-2822 | info@justdigit.org