Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
December 2017
Take Action on Proposed Tax Bill
capital building
A new national Tax Bill is getting close to becoming law. The Senate and the House have each passed their own versions of a new tax bill and now they will work to reconcile the differences between the two and settle on one that will be voted on very soon. It is appears likely that the final version of the bill will put programs for people with disabilities in jeopardy. Follow this link to a message from the National Council on Independent Living to learn more about the process and how you can take action! 
The Danger of Being Labeled "High Functioning"
illustration of man on couch
In the realm of mental health, the label and perception of "high functioning" produces both privilege and neglect. This article talks about how those who are "well behaved" are treated with more dignity, but also are taken less seriously with regard to treatment. Click here to read the article Why I'm Done Being a Good Mentally Ill Person.  
Segregation Exists for Blind Students
Blind students face a dilemma when it comes to school -- either go to public school to take advantage of more rigorous courses, but be forced to confront a lack of accommodations, or go to a school for the blind where academic opportunities are more limited. In this Rooted in Rights video, Courtney Cole calls out the inequality that blind students face. 
Be The Change You Want To See          
Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez
Sarah Selvaggi Hernandez, who is an  autistic woman and mother of three, became impassioned to create change last January during a contentious National campaign while also witnessing blatant acts of racism and discrimination from the chairman of her local Board of Education. Hernandez decided to take action and help make the changes she wanted to see in her community. Click here to read her story, First Openly Autistic Woman Elected to Public Office.
Public Transportation Effects the Entire Community
Staff and volunteers in our St. Joseph office participated in this video about the need for integrated public transportation and how transportation effects peoples' ability to engage with every part of a community. This video talks specifically about Berrien County, but the points they make are universal to all communities. 
Rise Up! Disability Resistance, History & Pride

disability rights protestors
Join us for a free lunch with discussion and activities that promote knowledge of disability history and support the journey to disability pride. This event will take place in both Kalamazoo & St. Joseph -- please RSVP for the date and location that works best for you.
  • In St. Joseph: Monday January 22
  • In Kalamazoo: Tuesday January 23
Visit our website for more information and to RSVP for the Rise Up! workshop.
The Ballad of Blind Tom

Join us for the next Lunchtime Book Club on Wednesday, February 7, 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 The Ballad of Blind Tom by Deirdre O'Connell.

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