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Disability Digest

The monthly member-only newsletter of
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
  April 2016
Disability Pride Workshop

Fist with text _Disability Pride_
Join us to celebrate disability! Find out what PRIDE could mean for you.
This free workshop is being offered in our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices. Pick the location and time that works best for you. Lunch will be provided, please RSVP.

St. Joseph:
Thursday, May 19, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

RSVP to Joanne  (269) 982-7761

Wednesday, May 25, 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

RSVP to Miranda  (269) 345-1516 x120

Click here for more information.
Advocating at a Public Hearing

On Tuesday, April 5, 2016 the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council invited the public to give input on the topic of sub-minimum wages being paid to people with disabilities. Two of our staff members traveled to Lansing to provide public input on behalf of Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Follow the link below to read about their experience advocating for disability rights .

2 women givng public comment
"It was a good day, and I am so glad I got to make my voice heard with fellow activists and advocates. Because of our voices, there will be an even bigger voice for fighting for people with disabilities to be paid at least minimum wage like everyone else."  -- Joanne Johnson

Click here to read the story
Commit to Inclusion    
This video of people talking about what inclusion means to them speaks directly to our vision statement here at Disability Network Southwest Michigan: Our vision is a community that values disability as human diversity, free of attitudinal barriers, where all people benefit with full access and inclusion.

Fashion Model turns the spotlight on
importance of learning ASL.

Nyle DiMarco
Nyle DiMarco, fashion model and current contestant on " Dancing With the Stars," is a strong advocate for ensuring all Deaf children have access to learning sign language. He is using his current fame to shine a spotlight on this topic. In the Washington Post article linked below, DiMarco says, "There are so many Deaf kids out there being deprived of their own language -- ASL."

DiMarco recently established the Nyle DiMarco Foundation with the main objective of improving access to sign language education for deaf children.

Click to read the Washington Post article
The Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing issued a formal response to DiMarco disputing the value of sign language in favor of "listening and spoken language." This has stirred some controversy among the deaf community with several organizations and professionals challenging AG Bell's position, noting false claims and lack of sited research.
Book cover_ Out of My Mind
Book Club

Wednesday, June 1,
12:00 noon - 1:30 p.m. (lunch provided)

Held at BOTH our Kalamazoo and St.Joseph Offices.

RSVP to Dale (269) 345-1516 x123

Out of My Mind
(By: Sharon M. Draper)

Melody is not like most people. She  cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her  integrated classroom-the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally
challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it . . . somehow.

For more information about Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Book Club, visit the Book Club page of our website.


Copower.org is the website for Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. MDRC is a disability justice movement working to transform communities.
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo Office
St. Joseph Office
517 E. Crosstown Parkway
2900 Lakeview Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 345-1516
(269) 985-0111