The University of Michigan invited staff members of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living to join them in their “Investing in Ability” week celebration. Staff members attended “Maximizing Your Ability in the Workplace” where 3 featured speakers, including the 2011 Neubacher AwardRecipient, Richard Bernstein, captivated the audience with their personal stories on overcoming great challenges to achieve professional success. The inspirational speakers brought an energy and inspiration to the room that left the audience with a new special meaning for “You Can Do It.”
Speaker Richard Bernstein, 2011 Neubacher Award Recipient, an attorney practicing in the Detroit area, brought home the message of being able to accomplish ones inner dreams for equality for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Richard won many honors and awards from “Keeping Them Honest” for his work on behalf of wheelchair users to various awards for his community involvement including the Spirit of Detroit Award from Detroit City Council for his work establishing the Sarcoidosis Center of Excellence, a Special Recognition Award from the Macomb Intermediate School District for advocacy on behalf of students with disabilities and their parents, the Children’s Advocate Award from the National Council of Jewish Women…and the list goes on!
Craig MacFarlane inspired the audience with his “Can Do” message through personal stories. At the age of 2, Craig became 100% blind. Determined to live a full life, Craigwon 103 gold medals in a variety of sports including: wresting, track, snow-skiing and water skiing! By the young age of 19, three documentaries aired on National Television depicting his accomplishments. In his adult career, he continues to share his message with large corporations including: A T&T, Ford, GM, IBM, Coke and many more. Coach Barry Alvarex invited him to speak to the Wisconsin Badgers…and they ‘coincidentally’ won the Rose Bowl that year. Coming from Craig, the words “You Can Do It” certainly have a special meaning.
Jack Bernard, an attorney with the University of Michigan’s Office of the Vice President and General Counsel, spoke on his personal experience with disability and how it motivated him to advocate to incorporate fair use of analyses in several different areas including the University of Michigan Law School. He too has received several awards for his advocacy including: the american Library Association’s L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award, First Decade Award, University of Michigan’s Neubacher Award, Toy Johnson Trust Award and a Saturn Award for leadership. Jack has been at the center of the University of Michigan’s participation in the Google Book Search project as lead copyright lawyer. Most notable are his contributions to this project which made access for persons with print disabilities possible. This exciting accessibility opportunity is catching on to the rest of the University of Michigan open educational resources initiatives.
Get Involved in Advocacy at the Ann Arbor CIL:
To get involved in advocacy efforts at the Ann Arbor CIL, please contact Carolyn at Carolyn@aacil.org or call 734-971-0277 x 16.