Disability Digest
The monthly Disability Rights e-publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan.
February 2021
Where is Disability in the Vaccine Priority?
The Center for Disease Control's (CDC) non-binding recommendation for the distribution of the COVID vaccine is to offer it to "disabled and chronically ill people aged 16 - 64 years with underlying medical conditions which increase the risk of serious, life-threatening complications from COVID-19," however many states are forgoing that recommendation.

In a recent op-ed in the New York Times, Rabbi Ellion Kukla said "the vaccine rollout is following the usual path of ableism, ageism, and racism that have been feeding the ocean of death in this country all along." Follow this link to read the full article: Where's the Vaccine for Ableism.
people with disabilities in the shadows while able-bodied people are getting vaccination in spotlight
Disability Network/Michigan Calls For Governor Whitmer to Prioritize Disability in Michigan Vaccine Rollout.
Disability Network/Michigan along with each individual center for independent living in Michigan, wrote to Governor Whitmer on behalf of the 1.9 million Michigan residents with disabilities requesting a review of the State's current policies for the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. Follow this link to read the letter.
Disability Network/Michigan logo
Celebrating Black History Month in the Disability Rights Community
February is Black History Month. Follow this link to a list of Black disability rights advocates and attorneys celebrated by National Disability Rights Network. Click on each name to read their profile.
Black History Month
"Framing Britney Spears" Misses the Point
There's renewed sensation around Britney Spears' conservatorship following the recent release of the documentary "Framing Britney Spears." What's interesting about the "framing" of this story, is that no where do they mention disability. In fact, they solely refer to conservatorships as being primarily used for the elderly.

This article "Framing Britney Spears" Doesn't Bring Up Disability and That's a Problem states that because disability narratives do not include beautiful and highly successful people, the public cannot accept that someone like Britney Spears could be a person with a disability. Disability is not normalized, so it’s hard to see someone so idolized as being a member of a marginalized group.
Britney Spears
Nike Won't Say the Word "Disability"
Nike recently introduced their Go FlyEase sport shoe -- a new "hands free" shoe that has gotten a lot of attention. Many in the disability community were very pleased to see the promotion of this new product that seemed to be targeted for them . . . and maybe it is . . . but why won't they say that?

This Slate article, Why Won't Nike Use the Word "Disabled" to Promote it's Go FlyEase Shoe, calls them out by saying that "framing accessibility as an edgy marketing slogan without centering disabled people is problematic." The article describes a four-step process from disability design to a harmful cover-up.
Nike Go FlyEase shoe
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo Office
517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 345-1516

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2900 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 985-0111

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