Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
August 2019
Mass Shootings Not Caused by Mental Illness  
photo of memorial at shooting site
In an effort to explain horrific acts, lawmakers and other public figures are quick to point the finger at "mental illness," after every mass shooting, but the medical profession is increasingly frustrated by framing it that way. A recent statement from the American Psychological Association said that routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing. "It's really just scapegoating people with mental health issues," said Dr. Seth Trueger, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at Northwestern University.  
Follow this link to read more about the erroneous connection of mass shootings and mental illness.
Creating Safe Space for Black Men to
Talk About Mental Illness  
man lying on his back looking up at sky
In this article, Adam Alexander contends that mental health in the black community can easily go unchecked -- even more so for black men. Alexander says the fear and anxiety that comes from violence against black men is a heavy burden to carry and contributes significantly to overall mental health stress.
Changing Cultural Understanding of
Who Can Be a Musician    
Gaelynn with video icon 
Gaelynn Lea is transforming cultural understanding of who can be a musician. Gaelynn has a congenital disability called osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as "brittle bone disease," and is a violinist known for her haunting original songs and innovative interpretations of traditional folk music. As she has become a person in the public eye, she has also developed a role as an advocate for disability rights.  
Follow this link to a video interview with Gaelynn.

Do's & Don'ts: Assistance Animals
a collection of various 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.
Join us at the end of August in either our Kalamazoo or St. Joseph office to learn more! Follow this link for details.  

Ableism workshop series  

dictionary display of the word _ableism_
In its simplest form, ableism is the belief system that tells us it is better to be non-disabled than it is to be disabled. Ableism also examines disability discrimination on a systemic level by looking at the ways our society designs physically and socially segregated systems.

We are expanding on our Ableism 101 workshop and offering Ableism 102 as a more in-depth study of ableism. If you have not yet attended Ableism 101, that will be offered prior to our Ableism 102 workshop. Both workshops are being offered throughout our region in September. These workshops are free and open to the public.

Follow this link for all the details about our upcoming Ableism 101 & 102 workshops including a link to registration.
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.