Investing in Ability 2013 Events

Presented by the University of Michigan Council for Disability Concerns
in collaboration with University Human Resources and
the University of Michigan Health System
All events are free and everyone is welcome.
If accommodations are needed, contact
at least one week in advance.
IA Flier
Please print and post this PDF.


Wednesday, Oct. 9

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM (light refreshments at 8:30)

Annual Mental Health in the Workplace Symposium: “Searching for a Compass: Faculty, Staff, Physicians, Human Resources and the Workplace”  

The symposium has reached capacity and registration is now closed. Registrations submitted before 9/13/13 were accepted in the order they were received. If your information was received after our cutoff number, you will be contacted and put on a wait list.

All others who registered will be contacted with a reminder email. If you receive a reminder email, please be sure to attend the symposium as a courtesy to those who were unable to register before the symposium reached capacity.

Faculty, staff, physicians, and human resources may struggle to understand when a leave of absence from work and accommodations with return to work are appropriate in situations involving mental health impairments. Dr. Saragoza will present a framework that provides a consistent approach to these complex issues.  A panel will follow his presentation.


Philip Saragoza, MD is a forensic psychiatrist with the UM Department of Psychiatry and the State of Michigan’s Center for Forensic Psychiatry who serves as a consultant on issues related to psychiatric disability.


Palmer Commons
Great Lakes Room, 4th Floor
100 Washtenaw Ave


Monday, Oct. 21

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Super Service Dogs! See how they help!Service dog
(Download PDF Flier)
Come and meet dogs and pups in training to be service, assistance, guide and therapy dogs for individuals with disabilities. You will be amazed at what "man's best friend" can do to help people live a fuller life.

Two Locations:
East Ann Arbor Health Center, 4260 Plymouth Rd.
University Hospital's Towsley Triangle


12:00 – 2:00 PM


Lunch & Learn with Disability Advocate Richard Bernstein

(Download PDF Flier)


Attorney Richard Bernstein, who has been blind since birth, will be speaking on various disability topics such as overcoming barriers, reducing stigma, and eliminating stereotypes. Attorney Bernstein works pro bono for many disability causes. He will narrate his own personal experiences, including his serious accident in Central Park last year and his lengthy recovery.  He has recently returned from an extensive trip to Australia where he spoke at numerous events. He is now training for his 18th marathon, the 2013 New York City Marathon. Pizza will be provided.

Read Richard Bernstein's full bio here.

The event is FREE, however registration is required due to space limitations. Register here.

Alumni Center
200 Fletcher Street,  Ann Arbor


6:30 – 8:30 PM

3rd Annual Allies for Disability Awareness Art Show: Opening Reception
Come out and celebrate the amazing work of artists who are members of or allies to the local disability community! There will be live entertainment, free food & drinks, and the opportunity to meet and greet the talented artists themselves. 

Please Note: While the opening reception takes place Monday evening, the exhibition itself will free and open to the public for two full weeks: Monday, October 21 - Friday November 1.

North Quad
Room 2435, 1st Floor
105 South State Street

3:30 PM – 5:30 PM
First Days: (dis)Ability in the Classroom

In this session, the CRLT Players present a series of trigger vignettes designed to provoke conversation around a range of issues related to student disabilities in a college classroom. Following the performance of each vignette, participants are challenged to identify strategies by which they can create more inclusive learning environments. Please register at:

Palmer Commons
Great Lakes North room, 4th floor
100 Washtenaw Ave

Tuesday, Oct. 22

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Service dogSuper Service Dogs! See how they help!

(Download PDF Flier)
Come and meet dogs and pups in training to be service, assistance, guide and therapy dogs for individuals with disabilities. You will be amazed at what "man's best friend" can do to help people live a fuller life.

Campus Diag near Hatcher Graduate Library
Wolverine Tower

12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
The Human Animal Bond, a conversation with Paws with a Cause

After you've marveled at the super service dogs, come hear a representative from Paws with a Cause speak about the importance animals hold for all of us. There will be a live demonstration of the interaction between a dog and its client, with commentary by the dog’s trainer. We will see how they work together and thus we will be able to appreciate how helpful a service dog can be.

Graduate Library Gallery Room# 100


1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Knox Adaptive Technology Tour

(Download PDF Flier)

Learn about assistive computer technology products and services offered at the Knox Center Adaptive Technology Computing Site and many other places on campus, including adjustable tables, programs for people with visual and dexterity disabilities, and Read & Write Gold, software to help with reading, writing, and notetaking that is available to all current U-M community members at no charge. See blueprints for the expanded Knox Center, planned to open on the second floor of the Shapiro Library in 2014. Tours hosted by Jane Vincent, AMLS '86, Knox Center coordinator."

1128 Shapiro Library, 919 S. University


Thursday, Oct. 24

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Paul Skripnik Recital

(Download PDF Flier)


Paul Skripnik, a musician and composer for many years, was unable to use his talents when epileptic seizures prevented him from performing.  

The part of his brain that spawned his seizures was close to areas that controlled his ability to play piano and percussion, and other tasks requiring manual dexterity and higher brain function. But with advanced brain monitoring, surgical planning and neurosurgery at the U-M Health System, an operation spared those areas while eliminating the source of his seizures. He is now seizure free.

As part of the Gifts of Art program in the University Hospital Lobby, Skripnik will play an interlude he was able to compose after his brain surgery.


University Hospital Lobby


2:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Epilepsy Lecture, Oren Sagher, M.D., and Simon Glynn, M.D., Paul Skripnik

(Download PDF Flier)

U-M neurosurgeon Oren Sager, M.D., and U-M neurologist Simon Glynn,M.D., will discuss Paul Skripnik’s case and surgery. Dr. Sagher led the surgical team that performed Skripnik’s surgery and Dr. Glynn and his colleagues carried out a full array of tests and imaging to determine if Skripnik would be a surgery candidate. Skripnik will also speak to the audience about his personal experiences, both before and after the operation, and how his life has changed.

 MCHC Auditorium
(After passing the Mott East Elevators and the Vending/Newspaper Lounge, follow the main hallway as it turns to the right. The Auditorium is on your right, 2nd and 3rd doors, F2305.)


7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Legal Rights of Students with Disabilities: Innovative Strategies and Approaches to Resolving Disputes

(Download PDF Flier)

Do you have a child who has a disability? Are your aware of their legal rights?

Laura Athens discusses the legal rights of students with disabilities from preschool through high school. Protections under the Individuals with Disability Education Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act will be reviewed and educational options and dispute resolution options will also be discussed.

This event is cosponsored by the UM Council for Disability Concerns as part of the Council's Investing in Ability Week.

 Ann Arbor District Library (downtown branch)
343 S. 5th Street, Ann Arbor

Friday, Oct. 25

9:30 AM – 12:00 PM
James T. Neubacher Award
and Certificates of
Appreciation Presentation Ceremony

Presentation of Certificates of Appreciation followed by Neubacher Award presented by U-M Regent Julia Darlow. Refreshments at 9:30 AM.      

Rackham Building, Assembly Hall 4th floor
915 E. Washington     

12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Shifting Faces of ADHD: A humbling journey from psychiatrist, to dad, and back again

Thomas Fluent, MD., is a Clinical Assistant Professor and serves as Medical Director for Ambulatory Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Hospital and Health Systems. He has evaluated and treated child, adolescent and adult patients and families with ADHD across multiple settings for over 20 years.  He has 25 years of combined active and reserve military duty in the US Navy.

Dr. Fluent treated patients and families struggling with the impact of ADHD on their lives for many years prior to adopting his son in 1997. As a child psychiatrist and father to a happy little girl, he was confident at the time that he possessed the requisite skill and understanding of the disorder to effectively help patients and parents navigate the challenges ADHD often presents on family relationships and individual social and academic development.

As his son entered school and began to struggle, Dr. Fluent quickly discovered that many of his assumptions and perceptions about the disorder, the patients themselves, and the parents caring for them were ill-informed and woefully lacking in appreciation of the profound impact of the disorder on the life of the child and the family. In this presentation he shares his humbling journey with his now college student son, some lessons learned in the process and the impact this has had on his approach and care for these patients and families.

Come to gain and share insights about how families meet the challenges of ADHD. Questions and answers and refreshments follow the presentation.

For more information, contact Geraldine Markel, Ph.D., at


Monday, Oct. 28

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Two perspectives on depression - Eric Hipple: "Real Men Do Cry" & Blake Wagner: “inkblots: Tiny shifts can lead to BIG changes."

(Download PDF Flier)

Eric Hipple

Eric Hipple will share his story of experience and hope with the audience and perhaps even touch on the recent NFL lawsuit that he and a number of other football players were involved with.

Read more about Eric Hipple.

Blake Wagner's “inkblots: Tiny shifts can lead to BIG changes” brief film series ( has grown out of his passion to converge clinical information and evidence-based coping skills with a hip and student-friendly, 2-4 minute film format about the distress and resiliency levels within college students.

Read more about the presentation here.


The event is FREE, however registration is required due to space limitations. Register here.


Sponsored by the U-M School of Social Work.

School of Social Work
1080 South University Avenue
Educational Conference Center (ECC) room 1840

Thursday, Oct. 31

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM
Hidden Stories: Coping Mechanisms and Support Resources for Individuals with Invisible Disabilities

(Download PDF Flier)

Panel members will share their personal stories of self-determination and drive to overcome challenges, discuss the importance of connecting to helpful support resources, and offer suggestions for institutional best practices. This workshop is aimed at individuals interested in increasing their understanding and awareness of hidden disabilities and the available support services and resources.


Jack Bernard, Associate General Counsel, University of Michigan

Panelists (topic)

Patricia F. Anderson, Emerging Technology Librarian (Celiac Disease)

Adena Rottenstein, PhD candidate in Psychology

Alison Stroud, MA candidate in Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy (Deafness/Hard of Hearing)

Douglas Weaver, Director of UMHS Financial Counseling and the Department of Registration (Depression)

Melanie Yergeau, Assistant Professor in the English Language and Literature Department (Autism)

Co-sponsored by U-M Rackham Graduate School.

Rackham Building, Assembly Hall 4th floor
915 E. Washington     

Sunday, Nov. 10

3:00 PM

The U-M Annual Army/Navy Wheelchair Basketball Game



WheelHoops Flier
(Download PDF Flier)

Come experience a battle of the backboards as the Army and Navy wheelchair  basketball teams tip off. All are welcome to attend this free event!

Just announced: This year's Grand Marshall is Robert P. McDivitt, Director, VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System

This event is a celebration of disability awareness and a highlight of Investing in Ability Week 2013.

The Crisler Center
333 E. Stadium Blvd. Ann Arbor

Wednesday, Nov. 13

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM

Harilyn Rousso reads from her new book“Don’t Call Me Inspirational: A Disabled Feminist Talks Back”

"If Harilyn Rousso were to use the feminist practice of claiming multiple identities through proclamation, she might name herself an activist, writer, artist, psychotherapist, Jewish New Yorker, disabled woman warrior. Learning to say aloud these ways of being, owning each with fervor and perspective, forges the arc of her memoir."  

-- Excerpt from a book review by Rosemary Garland-Thomson

Come listen to Harilyn reading from her compelling story as told in her book "Don't Call Me Inspirational." Refreshments will be provided and books will be available for signing and sale.

Sponsored in part by:
UM Council for Disability Concerns
Services for Students with Disabilities
Programs for Educational Opportunity
Disability Culture class
Nicola’s Books

Palmer Commons (Room TBD)


Additional Events

Marie Lane
An Ann Arbor ceramist who is legally blind due to glaucoma, Marie Lane discovered the world of clay in the fall of 2002. She enjoys creating an assortment of useful and whimsical ceramics incorporating various techniques. Her tactile reliefs and handcrafted creations are finished with either ceramic glaze or acid wash. Examples of each of these techniques are included in this exhibit. She has received instruction from Professor Sadashi Inuzuka of the U-M School of Art and Design from 2002-2012, the Ox-Bow School for the Arts and locally at Yourist Studio.
Gifts of Art Gallery – Taubman Health Center South Lobby, Floor 1
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
On display October 14-December 9, 2013

Open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.


U-M Silver Club 
U-M Geriatrics Center Silver Club Memory Loss programs embrace creative enrichment for its members. To further their creative programming, two of the groups, the Day Program and Elderberry Club, have partnered with U-M Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. Professor Anne Mondro’s students and club members share experiences and expertise to create one of a kind works of art.Retaining Identity captures the spirit of creativity and embraces a shared experience.
Gifts of Art Gallery – Taubman Health Center South Lobby, Floor 1
1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
On display October 14-December 9, 2013

Open daily from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.