Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
April 2018
The "Deaf President Now" Student Protest Made its Mark

Student protestors
As student protests today draw attention, we reflect on the "Deaf President Now" movement that took place thirty years ago. Students at Gallaudet University, a school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, demanded their school be run by someone from the deaf community. Their protest drew national attention and resulted in a new President at Gallaudet.

Follow this link to read a brief history of the movement that transformed a university and helped catalyze the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Stephen Hawkins Died, He Was Not "Freed"
illustration with a _No Enter_ symble
Stephen Hawkins, an outspoken disability rights advocate (when he wasn't busy solving the scientific mysteries of the universe), viewed his disability as a positive thing. In the days following his death last month, the media was full of "inspirational" soundbites about how he is now "freed" from his disability. An illustration circulated on social media of a man walking away from a wheelchair into the stars with captions inferring that Hawkins was "finally free from his wheelchair" drew particular backlash from the disability rights community.

Follow this link for an article about how the media covered Hawkins' death and the reaction from the disability community.
Living with OCD and Claiming Disability Identity
It has become common to flippantly declare "Oh, I'm so OCD" (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) to indicate that you are highly concerned about being organized or orderly. Most people who say this have no idea what OCD truly feels like. In this TED Talk, Samantha Pena descibes what it's really like to live with OCD and how she came to embrace it as a big part of who she is and how she identifies herself.

Lottery book cover
Join us for the next Lunchtime Book Club on Wednesday, May 2, in either our Kalamazoo or St. Joseph office. Everyone is welcome to attend and join in the discussion. We will provide a light lunch and discuss the book Lottery by Patricia Wood.

To RSVP and for more information about Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Book Club, visit the Book Club page of our website.

line of various animals
 Do's & Don'ts: Service Animals?
Attend this workshop to learn the difference between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.There is a lot of confusion about what qualifies as a Service Animal and how they differ from Emotional Support Animals. There are specific laws regarding what type of assistance animals are allowed in different places and whether an establishment can deny access to an assistance animal.

This workshop is being offered in both our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph office. Please RSVP for the date and location that works best for you. Visit our website for more details and to RSVP.
Rise Up! Disability Resistance, History & Pride

disability rights protest
Many of us in the disability community are unaware of the depth of our culture and history and feel shame and stigma instead of pride around our disability identities. Join us for discussion and activities that promote knowledge of disability history and support the journey to disability pride. Everyone is welcome!

We are offering this workshop at the John H. Dominguez Special Services Building in Lawrence on Tuesday, May 15. Follow this link for details about our Rise Up! Disability Resistance, History & Pride workshop and to register.

Make a Difference in Your Community

Hands raised
Are you ready to "be the change you want to see in the world" but are not sure where to start? Join us for a light lunch as we talk about finding ways to put our passion into action! We are offering this workshop in both Kalamazoo (May 16) and St.Joseph (May 22) 
Follow this link for details about our Make A Difference in Your Community workshop and RSVP for the location & date you'd like to attend.
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

You can help support the Disability Rights Movement in Southwest Michigan with a tax-deductible donation to Disability Network.
Visit our website to donate on-line.