Our History

Disability Independence Group was born in 2002 out of the frustration with the reality that persons with disabilities did not have adequate representation in the legal profession.  The result of the lack of representation was (and continues to be) results that were not optimal due to the fact that lawyers, judges and juries could not relate to disability discrimination.  In other words, if you do not know, work with, or are friends with a person with a disability, then you could not deliver justice.

Starting in 2003, DIG worked with the Florida Bar to create a disability initiative to identify disability as an essential element to inclusion and diversity.  This included identifying how to remove attitudinal, communication, and architectural barriers to the legal profession, and drafting rules to ensure accommodations for all persons with disabilities to access the Florida court system.

In 2011, The Wallet Card® Project was created by DIG in collaboration with The Coral Gables Police Department and The University of Miami Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities.

In 2012, DIG worked in partnership with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA) through a FHIP grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to create a series of ten (10) videos in American Sign Language (ASL) on Fair Housing and Fair Lending Issues.

In 2014, DIG started a monthly newsletter.

In 2015, DIG began working at the Intersection of Disability and Abuse through a grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. The name of the project is The Miami Inclusion Alliance, and the goal of the project is to create systemic change within Miami-Dade County that will result in exceptional services for domestic violence and sexual assault for victims/survivors who are persons with disabilities.

In 2018, DIG started the Supper Social Club to connect people in the disability community. This project grew to include groups for individuals with disabilities and separate groups for parents of individuals with disabilities.

In 2018, DIG began working with Catalyst Miami as a partner in the Enable Project. This project trains nonprofits about the inclusion of people with disabilities in their organizations and movements.

In 2018, DIG was a founding member of Access the Vote Florida (ATVFL). Access the Vote Florida (ATVFL) is state coalition working with the national REV UP! Campaign, coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). REV UP stands for “Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!”

In 2019, Our Animal Partner Project worked with agencies both local and statewide to reduce trauma, build resilience and provide normalcy for abused children who are removed from their homes and placed in foster care, child victims of abuse and children in the delinquency systems by creating a facility dog pilot project for community agencies.

From 2014 – 2022, DIG worked with Matthew W. Dietz and Stephanie Langer to create a litigation department that holistically addressed disability discrimination.