Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
June 2020
_Black Lives Matter_ with pride fist
Black Lives Matter  
As an advocacy organization invested in social justice work, Disability Network Southwest Michigan believes that no one is free until everyone is free. The principal that people deserve the opportunity to thrive in their community with full access, equity and inclusion is at the core of our work. We stand in solidarity with our Black community as we watch our country grieve over the recent murder of George Floyd and so many others.
Mental health resources for black people

illustration_ black woman laying in grass
Zahara Barnes has spent years trying to process the violence and racism that are part and parcel of living as a Black person in this country. Now she's faced with doing it during a pandemic that is impacting black communities the most.

Although mental health resources for Black people are not where they should be, she has slowly seen the collection of mental health resources for Black people start to grow.

People with disabilities want access to protests

protest lead by people in wheelchairs holding signs _Black Lives Matter_
People with disabilities feel every bit as passionate about protesting as everyone else does, in some cases, more so. But often protest organizers have not considered the accessibility of their events.

In Milwaukee, a group of organizers with disabilities held a protest against police violence that was designed to accommodate people with disabilities -- the route was flat, rest stops  offered medics, water, ear plugs and other supplies, and American Sign Language interpreters assisted throughout.

Read more about the event in this article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Higher COVID deaths among people with
intellectual disabilities

EMT suiting up to  ineract with COVID patients

According to this NPR story, data collected in New York and Pennsylvania reveal that people with intellectual disabilities and autism who contract COVID-19 both contract the virus and die from it at higher rates than the rest of the population. An expert who has been studying it said there are two main reasons for this: people with developmental disabilities are more likely to have a pre-existing health condition which adds to their risk, and they are more likely to live in a setting with roommates and staff, such as a group home environment where two, four, or even 10 or more people live together.
Being Heumann

Judy Heumann, one of the most influential disability rights activists in U.S. history has written a book that recounts her lifelong battle to achieve respect, acceptance, and inclusion in society. The book, Being Heumann: An Unrepenant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist is a story of fighting to belong in a world that wasn't built for all of us and of one woman's activism-from the streets of Brooklyn and San Francisco to inside the halls of Washington.

Book Discussion Event

Disability Network Southwest Michigan is partnering with Kalamazoo Public Library to co-host an online book discussion group of the book Being Heumann.

Join us online for a lively discussion of this important story.
Tuesday, July 30, 2020
5:30 - 7:00 PM

The book is available from all major distributors and KPL will have a supply for lending. Follow this link for more details and to register for the book discussion event.
Community Education Online - computer screeen with logo
Community Education Online  
Following is a listing of our Community Education online events remaining in June.  Click on the event titles to visit our web site to learn more about each one. You can also find a full list on our home page.    
ADA Anniversary Events in July! 
Watch for details coming soon of our July Community Education events celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act!  
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.