Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
February 2018
H.R. 620 Seen As a Major Setback for Disability Rights

capitol buildng icon
Disability rights advocates are outraged that bill H.R. 620, titled "The ADA Education and Reform Act," passed in the House of Representatives last Thursday. The bill is described by many as a giant step backward for people with disabilities by removing the power and enforcement of the American's with Disabilities Act. The bill is now expected to move on to the Senate for consideration. You can follow this link to learn more about HR 620 and view the voting record of each Congressman for this bill. We encourage you to hold your Representative accountable for his or her vote.
Gun Violence & Mental Health: Misconceptions vs. Fact
3 gun shots in glass
We ran a similar article in November following the shooting in Las Vegas. Now in the wake of the Florida school shooting we are, unfortunately, again raising the point that it is incorrect and damaging to equate mass shootings with mental illness. A report from the American Psychiatric Association states that no reliable research has suggested that a majority of mass shooting perpetrators are primarily influenced by serious mental illness. Their research concludes by proposing that instead of the focus on mental illness, increased attention should be paid to sociocultural factors associated with mass shootings. Click here to read the full report titled Mass Shootings and Mental Illness.
The President's Budget Contains Deep Cuts
To Disability Services
stacks of proposed budget document
President Donald Trump released his budget proposal last week which contains modifications to Medicaid and Social Security along with cuts to federal spending on programs that benefit people with disabilities. According to an article published by Disability Scoop, the proposed budget contains cuts to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preventions' Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, reductions in housing assistance, removal of spending on Special Olympics and slashing funds for state councils on developmental disabilities. Follow this link to read the full article
The Intersectionality of Being a Black Woman with a Disability
Chrystal Emery
In this article, Chrystal Emery, an accomplished film maker and writer, says that as a person of color with a disability when she enters a room in her wheelchair she never knows what people see first: her disability, her blackness or her gender. But she says it's rare that they see beyond the "-ism vortex" and first recognize her talents. Follow this link to read the Time magazine article titled I Am a Black Woman With a Disability. Hear Me Roar

Join us for lunch and a movie at one of our upcoming Lunch & Learn events in either Kalamazoo or St. Joseph -- please RSVP for the date and location that works best for you. Visit our website for more details  and to RSVP.

Monica & David  Monica & David explores the marriage of two adults with Down syndrome and the family who strives to support their needs. Monica and David are in love and want what other adults have-an independent life. While Monica and David are capable beyond expectations, their parents, aware of mainstream rejection of adults with intellectual disabilities, have trouble letting go.
  • In Kalamazoo: Wednesday, February 21
  • In St. Joseph: Tuesday, February 27
Who Cares About Kelsey? 
Who Cares About Kelsey? documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed - while improving the overall school culture and climate.
  • In Kalamazoo: Wednesday, March 21
  • In St. Joseph: Tuesday, March 27
Dina, who is autistic, is getting married in a few weeks and there's still so much to do. Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She's overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life for herself that she believes she deserves. (Note: This is a real-life documentary with mature content/topics).
  • In Kalamazoo: Wednesday, April 18
  • In St. Joseph: Tuesday, April 24

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.
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.