Thursday, November 20, 2008

Join the Fight! Disabled Student Fights to Live in University Dormitory


via Justice For All
A community that excludes even one of its members is no community at all!

The following news and action alert comes to us from Micah Fialka-Feldman and his parents Rich and Janice:

Micah Fialka-Feldman has a cognitive impairment and has been a pioneer in inclusion (pictured right, photo from Charles V. Tines/ The Detroit News). Micah has been taking classes, participating in clubs, and currently pays full tuition at Michgan's Oakland University. In 2007, the university gave Micah a tour of the dormitory, accepted his deposit, confirmed his "move in date" and then said NO. In the last 60 days, the student body, the local media and people from across the country have expressed support for Micah's dream and the right of all Option Program students to live in the dormitory.

The Oakland University Board of Trustees received many letters of support and a clear message that Micah and other Option students should have the right to live in the dormitory. The November 5 board meeting was filled beyond capacity (more than 150 attendees). Student government leaders, peers, community disability activists, agency advocates, family and friends spoke out to change the policy. They spoke of Micah's impact on their personal lives, the campus and the belief that inclusion should include dormitory living. Many speakers recognized the pioneering contribution of OU and they challenged OU to take the next step.

The university continues to say "no" while the students say "yes." The student government and the committee will be hosting a campus wide forum on inclusive education and the right to live in the dormitory on November 19, 2008.

Take Action!

. Spread the word to the media, to disability activists and concerned community members across the country.
. Below are links to articles, interviews and You Tube videos.
. Please make comments after you view the You Tube videos
. Send the stories and articles to your local media friends.
. Get the story on CNBC, CNN, NPR, Oprah. It is time for national media coverage.
. Place the links on Face Book, on your favorite blog.
. Check out
. Write Governor Jennifer Granholm at: P.O. Box 30013, Lansing, Michigan

Thank you for all your work and dedication.

Rich and Janice:

Media links:

Channel 4 TV Interview
Channel 2 - Fox TV Interview
Video Clips from the Board of Trustees Meeting on Nov 5 Board of Trusteesmeeting at OU (Comments from friends, student leaders and allies)
Micah's fight Continues, Oakland Post November 12,2008
OaklandPost Articles (University student newspaper)
Oakland Press News Article
Detroit News Article
Follow-up article on the Detroit News Web, November
6, 2008