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feathers and fedoras 2021 a virtual gala saturday february 13th six to eight p m

shauna and paul barbeau wearing roaring 20s attire
Our annual fundraiser has gone virtual. We've tried to recreate as many aspects of the Feathers and Fedoras experience you've come to love over the past five years. We hope you'll join our honorary chairs, Shauna and Paul Barbeau for a fun evening benefiting DNMM's independent living programs for people with disabilities.

Click on an image below to register!

man holding cell phone with virtual auction showing
group of people in roaring 20s attire at a dinner table
In-Home Roaring 20s
Dining Experiences
casino dice and chips flying over a craps table
Casino space is limited, please register by February 6

Thanks to a generous grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, all donations will be matched up to $50,000!

dow diamond logo
dupont logo in red text


headshot of lois curtis smiling
People with disabilities can thank Lois Curtis for paving the way for them to live in the community while receiving the services they need.

In what many called "the most important decision for people with disabilities in history," the Olmstead Decision justified the right for people with disabilities to live independently, but would take four years to come in effect including being heard in the Supreme Court.

At the center of the 1999 lawsuit that cited a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 were Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, two women with mental and intellectual disabilities. They were held in Georgia Regional Hospital for years after their treatment team determined they were able to live in the community because the state did not want to give them the funds they needed to live independently.

While she was growing up, Curtis was diagnosed with intellectual and mental disabilities. As a result, she would get into trouble constantly - at home and at school. The police were called several times and they would take her to jail or to a mental hospital.

However, at 11-years-old she was sent to live at Georgia Regional Hospital, a mental institution for people with disabilities. She would remain there until she was 29 years old.
lois curtis presenting president barak obama a painting
Curtis presenting one of her paintings to President Obama.
It would not be until May 11, 1995 that Curtis' situation began to change when Sue Jamieson, an Atlanta-based legal aid attorney took Curtis' case challenging Tommy Olmstead, the commissioner of the Georgia Department of Human Resources, whose decision kept Curtis in the hospital. Wilson was added later as a plaintiff in the case.
A decision would be reached more than two years later in May 1997 when Judge Marvin Shoob said that the Georgia Department of Human Resources and Regional Hospital failed to place Curtis and Wilson in adequate housing.

Because of Shoob's ruling, the Department of Human Resources and Regional Hospital appealed on December 14, 1998, and one year later on June 22, 1999, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg decided it was unconstitutional for Curtis and Wilson to be forced to stay in the mental institution when they could live in the community.

Justice Bader-Ginsburg created three important requirements for that ruling. A person with a disability can live in the community when:
  • treatment officials deem it appropriate for the patient to live in the community,
  • the person doesn't object to living in the community, and
  • when there is a reasonable accommodation to live with other people who have mental disabilities.
In writing the opinion of the Court, Justice Bader-Ginsburg opined: "Institutional placement of persons who can handle and benefit from community settings perpetuate unwarranted assumptions that persons so isolated are incapable or unworthy of participating in community life." 

We concur. And we feel bringing attention to this case is altogether fitting during this time as we celebrate Black History Month and as we honor the life of the late Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg. 

Off The Shelf A Virtual Book Club in blue letters above a shelf full of books

DNMM has launched a virtual book club open to everyone. We'll be focusing on books dealing with issues of diversity - from stories about people with disabilities to books pertaining to social justice. Our hope is to offer a wide range of life perspectives and experiences.

book cover image of insignificant events in the life of a cactus_ by dusti bowling
Our next book is Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again.

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It's hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven's about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.

The next meetings of "Off The Shelf" are Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:00pm (Book Introduction) and Wednesday, February 17th (Discussion up to Chapter 17). 

Copies of the book can be found on Amazon for around $7, Kindle for $5 and it is available on Audible and on Thriftbooks. 

The club is open to the public, so feel free to invite your friends and family to join.  For now, the conversations take place on Zoom. Click here to contact Matthew Ivan if you are interested in joining.

Click here to join the book club's Facebook page. 


Our Friends at the Michigan State University Extension have offered our staff, consumers, and supporters an exciting opportunity. Starting February 18th, we'll join in an online Tai Chi class Thursdays at 11:30 a.m.

The Tai Chi classes will be taught online via Zoom. Tai Chi is an art embracing the mind, body and spirit. Originating in ancient China, tai chi is one of the most effective exercises for health of mind and body. Although an art with great depth of knowledge and skill, it can be easy to learn and soon delivers its health benefits. For many, it continues as a lifetime journey. Tai Chi:
  • Increases strength
  • Increases balance and posture
  • Prevents falls
  • Improves mind, body, and spirit
  • Reduces stress and increases relaxation
Modifications will be provided for those who want to attend seated or standing.  This program is targeted to help older adults and older adults with disabilities at risk for fall stay active. Classes will be held on Thursdays starting on February 18 and running until June 17. 

If you are new to Zoom video conferencing, please contact Anita Carter ([email protected]) prior to class day and she can help you set up and become familiar with the Zoom platform. 


peer group valentines dance february 18 clip art image of people in tuxes and gowns
It's a virtual dance party...sign up today!
Come out and get your groove on!  Meet up with friends virtually for some dancing and socializing!  Maybe even meet some new friends!
Click here to register!

virtual peer group just dance show cartoon of three people dancing
Mondays - 11:00am

virtual peer tuesdays social lunch show people on zoom call
Tuesdays - 11:30am

virtual peer group amazing women show silhouettes of women holding hands
Tuesdays - 3:00pm

virtual peer group bingo card board
Wednesdays - 3:00pm

friday matinee movie theater image for virtual peer group
Matinees - Monday & Friday
1:00 - 3:00pm
February selections include:
Playing With Fire, The Princess Bride, Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone, and Tom & Jerry. Mondays will be devoted to series that the peers select.
virtual peer thursday shows a tour of a museum
Thursdays - 2:00pm
February Activities include:
Virtual Tour - Detroit Experience, Virtual Scavenger Hunt, and a Candy-making demonstration


two african american women one a direct care worker
Disability Network of Mid-Michigan recognizes the important role quality caregivers play in our communities. We support elevating this essential workforce and have been engaged in advocacy to improve wages, training, and respect for direct care workers for years. 

Throughout Michigan-in private homes, nursing homes, and a variety of residential care settings-older adults and people with disabilities rely on more than 120,000 direct care workers to meet their daily needs and participate in their communities. Further, when properly trained, supported, and integrated into care teams, direct care workers can promote better care for consumers and prevent costly outcomes. Unfortunately, despite their enormous value, direct care workers struggle with low compensation, insufficient training, and limited career paths, which drive many workers out of this sector. The COVID-19 crisis has amplified these challenges, leaving many workers without safe, high-quality jobs-and
consumers without the care they deserve.

Now is the time to transform Michigan's direct care workforce. We invite you to click here if you are interested in joining the coalition.


Do you need extra help paying for your Medicare Part D prescription plan?

Call our MMAP-certified Medicare Specialist to see if you are eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. We can help with screening questions and do the application over the phone in as little as 15 minutes!

Medicare Low-Income Subsidy Webinar
Medicare Low-Income Subsidy Webinar

Call one of our MMAP certified Medicare specialists to ask about the Medicare Savings Program. We can help you with screening questions and do the application over the phone in as little as 15 minutes! 

Medicare Savings Program Webinar
Medicare Savings Program Webinar



At Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, inclusion is a universal human right for all people, regardless of race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other discernible quality. To be inclusive is to promote a sense of belonging, respect, and value for who you are as a person. It is about equal access and opportunities for everyone. Inclusion is an integral part of our Independent Living philosophy and of our agency's vision of "Accessible and Inclusive communities that provide opportunities for individual choice."

In the twelve counties we serve in Mid-Michigan, Disability Network offices have been, and continue to be, places of solace, understanding, and information for all.  We are committed to promoting and protecting diversity and inclusion, within our offices, among our community partners, and throughout the 15 Centers for Independent Living in Michigan.

Pride. Access. Inclusion on rainbow flag with disability logo

DNMM advocates for the removal of barriers to independence and full inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Mid-Michigan area. DNMM pledges to ensure accessibility. Each year, DNMM conducts a review of its own architectural, environmental, attitudinal, employment, communication, transportation, and other barriers that may exist which prohibit full access to our services.  
If you have any issues of concern regarding the accessibility of DNMM services and facilities, we encourage you to share that information with us.  
Please send your concerns or suggestions to:
        Executive Director
        Disability Network of Mid-Michigan
        1705 S. Saginaw Road
        Midland, MI 48640

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan | 800-782-4160 | Email Us | dnmm.org