Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
February 2019
Lawmakers Call for the End to Sub-minimum Wage
woman working in sheltered workshop
A new bill called the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, or S. 260, recently introduced in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives would put an end to sub-minimum wage. The bill proposes that grants and technical assistance centers be made available to help businesses currently paying sub-minimum wage transition toward a business model employing people with disabilities in a competitive, integrated fashion. Follow this link to read more about proposed bill S. 260.
"Night to Shine" is Not So Shining
2 young adults dancing
Earlier this month the Tim Tebow Foundation organized its fifth annual "Night to Shine" where churches around the country host proms specifically for people with disabilities. While organizers are no doubt well-intentioned, disability rights advocates call out this "special" event as a clear example of segregation. Following last year's Night to Shine, the disability rights group Link20 published a statement saying, "We encourage you to create a night where teenagers are celebrated and loved regardless of their differences. An inclusive prom where teenagers with disabilities are dancing alongside those without disabilities is the kind of event that can change individual lives and make an impact on our society as a whole." Read more about their reaction here. 
Mental Health Training for Michigan Teachers
Michigan State Capitol
Michigan State Senator Sylvia Santana has introduced a bill that would direct the Departments of Education & Health and Human Services to provide a professional development course for teachers on "mental health first aid."  Santana said that because teachers are the first responders for students, they need a mechanism to help identify if there are any issues of mental health. Read more.

February: Intelligent Lives

From award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib comes the film Intelligent Lives, a catalyst to transform the label of "intellectual disability" from a life sentence of isolation into a life of possibility for the most systematically segregated people in America. Intelligent Lives stars three pioneering young American adults with intellectual disabilities who challenge perceptions of intelligence as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce..

This event will be held in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and St. Joseph. Follow this link for more information about our upcoming movie series including Intelligent Lives.   
March: Keep The Change

Keep the Change - movie jacket
Keep the Change is a romantic comedy that follows the budding relationship of two people with autism. Their relationship must weather her romantic past, his judgmental mother and their own preconceptions of what love is supposed to look like. Keep the Change casts actors with autism to play characters with autism, offering a refreshingly honest portrait of a community seldom depicted on the big screen.

This event will be held in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and St. Joseph. Follow this link for more information about our upcoming movie series including Keep the Change.   
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

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