Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
January 2019
Text Reads: "Disability is Strength. Our number one issue is still old attitudes toward us and those old attitudes see us as helpless and unable and disability can make you very strong and very able." --Ed Roberts

January 23 is Ed Roberts Day!
Roberts is often referred to as "the father of the Independent Living Movement" because of his persistent and successful advocacy work for disability rights beginning in the 1960s. Advocacy continues to be the cornerstone of the Independent Living Movement. CILs throughout the country have adopted the phrase, "Nothing about us, without us," which reflects the deeply held principle that people with disabilities should be included in, and central to, discussions and policy making pertaining to disability.

Follow this link to read more about Ed Roberts and the Advocacy Teams at Disability Network Southwest Michigan.
Shot & Forgotten: America's Hidden Toll of Gun Violence
man in a wheelchair
According to this article, more than 116,000 people are shot in the United States every year. Initial hospital costs are just the tip of the iceberg for survivors of gun violence who often sustain lifelong disabilities. Survivors are left to navigate a confusing web of local, state, and federal assistance programs, many of which have heavy backlogs and in some cases award as little as $1,500 to victims whose injuries require expensive lifelong care. Follow this link to read the Article Shot & Forgotten: America's hidden toll of gun violence.  
Is the ADA Still Effective?
woman in motorized chair encouters flooded curbcut 
Click photo to link to video
In this video, Liz Plank challenges the effectiveness of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as she discusses the topic of access to public spaces with a variety of people. In the first portion of the video, Liz talks with Emily Ladau about her personal experiences of encountering inaccessible spaces and what actions can be taken. In the second portion, Liz interviews actress/comedian and disability rights activist, Maysoon Zayid and Victor Calise from the Office of People with Disabilities in New York City.  
A European Autism Research Program
is Compared to Eugenics  
repeated image of a woman_s profile
The European Union, along with several pharmaceutical companies, have received funding for a specific study of neurodevelopmental conditions. The research program has been heavily criticized by many of those in the autistic community who describe the program as not only offensive but potentially serving as an argument to stop autistic people being born altogether. Follow this link to read the article Why A European Autism Research Program Has Sparked Fears Of Eugenics .
The Rise & Triumph of the
Disability Rights Movement

text graphic_ Defiant Lives
Disability Network Southwest Michigan is excited to rollout an all new Disability Rights workshop featuring the new documentary film Defiant Lives. Defiant Lives is a triumphant film full of extraordinary characters who put their lives on the line to create a better and very different world where everyone, regardless of impairment, is valued and can participate.

The workshop will be presented in  Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, and St. Joseph. Follow this link for more information about The Rise & Triumph of the Disability Rights Movement.  
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.   
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.