Disability Network Southwest Michigan logo
Disability Digest

The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
June 2016
Join Us for Annual ADA Celebration

text graphic_Access for All _ ADA26
Disability Network Southwest Michigan will host a community-wide celebration of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), now in its 26th year. Please join us on July 22 at our Kalamazoo office  from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a free barbecue lunch, presentations and awards ceremony.

For more information, visit the ADA Celebration event page of our website.
"Me Before You" Cashes in on Ableism

In this video a man with a spinal cord injury has a conversation with himself about the inaccuracies and inappropriateness of the recently released film "Me Before You." The film is packed with disability stereotypes and pathetic assumptions people make about people with disabilities.

(Warning: this video contains harsh language). 
The disability community has been protesting the movie with picket lines, editorials, on-line blogs and a strong presence on social media. Hollywood has applied the theme of "better off dead" to the disabled community time after time, as this video points out, they would never portray other minority groups in such a light, so why do they feel justified in applying such indignity to people with disabilities?

The disability community is calling for a boycott of this movie and encouraging people to sign a petition, such as this one at Citizen GO, demanding a formal apology from Warner Brothers, the producers of this film.  
Inequality Shouldn't Be One of the Barriers

The Open Society Foundations focuses on laws and policies within marginalized communities and work to support those communities. They take a universal approach to make our world just for all.
Helen Keller Day: June 27

Helen Keller
Helen Keller (June 27, 1880 - June 1, 1968) is most known through the dramatic depictions of the play and film The Miracle Worker, which tell the story of Anne Sullivan teaching Keller to break through the barriers of her disabilities. While that is a true story, it is only the beginning of Keller's education. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree and had access to the extensive political library of Annie Sullivan's socialist spouse, John Macy. Keller joined the American Socialist Party and campaigned for its candidates and was an outspoken activist for many civil rights causes, including the newly formed NAACP, labor rights, disability rights and the suffrage movement.

You can learn more about Helen Keller's life as an activist in this article: Helen Keller: Socialist, anti-racist, disability rights activist .

Icy Sparks book cover
Book Club

The Disability Network Lunchtime Book Club meets quarterly in both our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices.

Wednesday, September 7 is our next Book Club meeting when we will be discussing Icy Sparks by Gwyn Hyman Rubio. Icy Sparks is the sad, funny and transcendent tale of a young girl with Tourette's Syndrome growing up in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky during the 1950's.

For more information about Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Book Club, visit the Book Club page of our website.

NotDeadYet.org is a national, grassroots disability rights group that opposes legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia as deadly forms of discrimination.
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