February, 2021
Share the Love: Looking Ahead at February
a heartbeat monitor line is shown with a heart in the middle of the line.
This February, disAbility Connections is all about love. Giving appreciation to the people, activities, things, pets, community, and so much more that we love and help to enhance our lives. We are also going to be celebrating Black History Month, using our social media accounts to share images and stories of those that made a difference and sharing some that experienced disability. If you aren't following us yet on social media, now is as good a time as any!
Volunteer Appreciation
By: Brian Elliott
an older man with glasses and wearing  a red and white striped shirt  smiles as he sits in a chair petting a black dog sitting beside him.
     Part of Sharing the Love theme with the month of February is acknowledging and thanking those that have taken their time and energy and volunteered with us at disAbility Connections (dC). John Conley is one of those volunteers and the other day I had the pleasure of talking with him and hearing his voice (It's nice to hear a voice you haven't heard in a while, reach out and call a friend!) along with how he has been doing since COVID hit and about his time volunteering with dC.

         Following retirement he realized as many other retirees find, he had some time and he wanted to give back. So he began volunteering at the hospital and through that, he found to really like giving back to the community. John also enjoyed going to Jackson Crossing and taking walks with fellow community members. During one of his walks at Jackson Crossing, he mentioned that he was looking for other places to volunteer. Unbeknown to him, Jerry Jenkins (a board member at dC) heard the comment and suggested he check out disAbility Connections as a potential fit. It’s now 10 years later that he has been a dedicated volunteer with dC, coming in 1-2 days (pre-COVID) a week assisting at the front desk and wherever else he can help. 

         When I asked why he felt the urge to begin volunteering, he referred back to something that his father had mentioned and demonstrated “You have to give back before you take.” Aside from referring back to what had stuck with him from his father, he mentioned that he has really enjoyed the environment and the people he has been able to know over the years working for dC and helping the people coming through the doors for assistance. Some of his greatest pleasure has been taking people back into the Loan Closet room of durable medical equipment and helping people get what they will need to make their life easier and safer at home. Even mentioning how once people are back there, he can point other equipment that may be helpful but the person hadn’t thought of yet. They may have come in looking for a walker, but he can also point out the helpful options such as a shower bench or a commode. “It’s heartwarming to help people in need.”

          COVID has taken away his ability to volunteer which is unfortunate not only for him but selfishly for us as well as we don’t get to see and talk with him on a weekly basis anymore. There is a benefactor in this scenario though. Nina, his rescue dog has been able to relish in some extra lavish attention and time spent with him. As any pet lover will attest, seeing their faces and eyes light up when you enter the room or looking back at you with unconditional love is a feeling that warms the heart and soul. 

         John, on behalf of dC, THANK YOU for your extended support and service. We truly appreciate all that you have done with us. Without you (and all the others) that have given us your precious time and energy over the years, we wouldn’t be the organization we are today. Now give Nina an extra treat, ear scratches, and some belly rubs from the staff at dC. We look forward to seeing you back at the office once we can all be together again.
Recognition Days in February

Feb 1 - In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln signs the papers for what later becomes the 13th Amendment to the constitution with the outlawing of slavery.

Feb 2 - Groundhog Day - Will Punxsutawney Phil see his shadow or not?!

Feb 4 - World Cancer day - Give awareness to those that are battling, survivors, or working against cancer.

Feb 4 - Time to talk day - Break the silence and stigma around mental health.

Feb 7 - Send a card to a friend day- Reach out and send a card to someone letting them know you are thinking about them.

Feb 8 - International Epilepsy Day - Did you know that Harriet Tubman developed epilepsy following a skull fracture from a slave owner for standing up for another person? She later went on to help free more than 300 slaves via the underground railroad.

Feb 9 - National Pizza Day - What's your favorite toppings and does pineapple go on pizza?

Feb 14 - Valentine's day &International book giving day- Share a favorite book with someone you care about.

Feb 17 - Random Acts of Kindness day - Do something nice, may just make that person's day.

Feb 20 - Love your pet day - Share pictures on social media with your loved pet(s).

Feb 28 - Rare Disease Day - Help us raise awareness around rare diseases.
disAbility Connections Continues to Serve
We continue our passion and love for our communities through our CORE services to the Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale County communities. Virtually we maintain providing Independent Living, Employment Navigator, and Advocacy. Information and Referral are still operating taking calls and providing resources for those that reach out via the phone or Facebook. Nursing Facility Transitions continue to occur as well, helping people to leave facilities and return to their own housing. We look forward to the days of having all these services in person once the information and data indicate it is safe. Until then, we plan to continue doing as much as we can to support people with disabilities to be as independent as possible and encourage people to reach out if there may be some way we can provide you with assistance or support.

Loan Closet and Fix-dis
Durable medical equipment images of a wheelchair,  shower chair, crutches, and toilet seat risers.
disAbility Connections plans to continue operating the Loan Closet each Tuesday as long as it remains safe to do so. We continue to take precautions with COVID out of concern for the people we serve and our employees that make these services possible. Please call ahead (517)782-6054 and check with our Facebook and website for potential changes in operational days.

Fix-dis is set to resume its once-weekly Wednesday services on February 10th for anyone that has durable medical equipment they would like fixed. The equipment must be dropped off the Tuesday before so we can sterilize it before being worked on. Similar to the Loan Closet, Fix-dis will only be operating while it is safe to do so, please call ahead to check availability.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to do the most we can in a safe manner for the people we serve and working for disAbility Connections.
Job Opening - Full-time Accounting and Administrative Support Assistant
General Summary: The Accounting and Administrative Support Assistant is responsible for accounts receivable data entry along with other banking and financial tasks. Making quality assurance survey calls and or contact with customers; maintaining survey information then compiling information and preparing reports. Providing administrative assistance to the Executive Director.
Latest Community COVID Information
Our COVID-19 Update page connects you to Jackson, Lenawee, and Hillsdale County COVID statistics and COVID vaccine information along with links to state resources as well.

Access For All
Don't forget to check out our free Access For All app and website as more people begin getting vaccinated and venturing out again and stores provide services. Access For All is available for free download on Android and iPhone.

Access For All provides information about parking, entrance, seating, and restroom accessibility features at area businesses and parks allowing you to "Know Before You Go".

To have a business evaluated and potentially included in Access For All, contact review@disabilityconnect.org