JUNE 2020
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Through over 40 years of marriage, Karen and Steve had never been apart longer than a day.  In the spring of 2019, Steve fell seriously ill, an illness that left him unable to walk or care for himself. He was placed in a nursing facility in July. In order to move back to his own home, Steve needed a ramp and new flooring installed, as well as caregivers to help with daily tasks.

Shortly after the new year, Steve and Karen were contacted by Sarah, DNMM's Nursing Facility Transition program leader. The process of making accessibility improvements to Steve's home began and the ramp to his house was completed in mid-March. As it turned out, it was one day before the Shelter-In-Place order went into effect in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Due to those new conditions, additional construction ceased and caregivers were not available. The transition process was essentially at a standstill. Steve was still at the nursing home. But unlike earlier, due to COVID-19, Karen was not allowed to visit him.

"Not being able to see Steve was incredibly difficult," said Karen. "We've been married over 40 years and we'd never been apart like that. Ever."

Knowing that Steve and Karen desperately wanted to be re-united, Sarah continued to work with the nursing facility, caregivers, and construction companies to complete all needed repairs and upgrades and to put a plan in place for Steve's return. New flooring was installed and a hospital bed and a Hoyer lift system were delivered. Sarah also purchased groceries fitted to Steve's new dietary needs. And finally, with all upgrades completed, caregivers in place, and meals planned, Steve has been cleared to return to his home and to his beloved Karen.

new ramp outside steve_s home

"We both have waited for this day for so long," said Karen. "It almost doesn't seem real!"

"It'll be great to go home," said Steve. "I miss my wife terribly...and I'm looking forward to a home-cooked meal!"

Karen and Steve were re-united on May 27th and enjoyed the first of many tasty home-cooked meals together...again. 

If you are looking for transition assistance from a nursing facility back into the community, contact Sarah at DNMM today! 1-800-782-4160.

June is PTSD Awareness Month

Is It Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

When you have PTSD, it's hard to feel safe. The traumatic event - natural disaster, combat, sexual assault, accident - can take hold, and you find you can't stop thinking about it. Maybe you have nightmares and trouble sleeping. Maybe you feel on edge and unsettled or don't find pleasure in things you used to enjoy. Maybe you feel it's just easier to be alone. Feelings like these are common after going through a trauma. For most people, they pass in a few weeks or months, but for others they are long lasting.

PTSD symptoms fall into four categories: reliving or re-experiencing the event, avoiding things or places that remind you of the event, negative changes in beliefs and feelings, and hyperarousal or being on guard. For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, they need to have symptoms in all four categories.

PTSD symptoms can happen at any age, and they come and go. Only a mental health care provider can diagnose you with PTSD. And, knowing if you have PTSD is the first step to getting effective treatment. So, it is important to talk with a doctor if you think you have symptoms. There are effective treatments even if you have been living with symptoms for years.

Keep in mind that you're not alone . And, there are treatments that will help you feel better and take back control of your life. Be the advocate - take that first step for yourself.

You can click here to learn more about PTSD symptoms at the National Center for PTSD.

The PTSD Coach app and PTSD Coach Online can also help you learn about PTSD symptoms and practice skills to manage those symptoms. You can even track your PTSD symptoms in the app. The PTSD Treatment Decision Aid is another online tool that can help you decide which treatment is best for you. Other useful resources are the Understanding PTSD and PTSD Treatment booklet, and the National Center for PTSD's whiteboard videos.

As always, please know Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is here for you. Even if you just need someone to talk to, do not hesitate to give us a call. 1-800-782-4160.

what_s up in orange with gray arrow pointing up and wednesday in blue

We're Here For You! 
Due to the Shelter-In-Place order, DNMM will come to you during What's Up Wednesday! - a weekly discussion session over various topics.

This week's topic:
Cooking With Assistive Technology

Assistive technology comes in all shapes and sizes and makes many facets of everyday living accessible to people with disabilities. This includes items for the kitchen. We'll demonstrate several assistive tech items that are affordable and will help you create the meals you love in your own kitchen. Join us!
microwave cheddar mashed potatoes

Noon on Wednesday, June 3rd, live on Zoom! 
It's What's Up Wednesday!

If prompted, enter this ID and password: 
Meeting ID: 922 3598 2272
Password: 007488

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

Are you feeling isolated? Do you love to read? Join us each Wednesday evening, from 5:30 - 6:30pm for  "Off The Shelf" -  a virtual book club showcasing books about or by people with disabilities. "Off The Shelf" will utilize Zoom Video Conferencing so you can discuss the book from the comfort and safety of your own home. 

book cover in red of the curious incident of the dog in the night time a novel by mark haddon
Our book selection for June is: "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. A murder-mystery told through the lens of a young boy with autism. We'll be reading 50 pages per week and the discussing them the following Wednesday. We hope you'll join us for "Off The Shelf!"

Click the video link below to listen to the book online.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon Audiobook
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Let's Go To The Movies! Each Monday throughout the summer, DNMM will be hosting viewing sessions of films showcasing people with disabilities. 

Movies we will be showing this summer include:"Brain on Fire," "The Fundamentals of Caring," "Roll With Me," and more. We'll also be screening episodes of the TV shows "Atypical" and "Asperger's Are Us."

Click here to watch with us! https://zoom.us/j/96992688773 

There are also follow-up discussion sessions each Thursday afternoon at 4:00pm.  Even if you can't watch with us on Monday, you can watch the film on your own time and then share your thoughts with us on Thursday! Click here to join the discussion meeting.

June is Pride Month

man standing infront of gay pride flag
June 1st marked the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month - typically a time of merriment, with rainbows and glitter galore, and reflection.  But the  coronavirus pandemic  has led to change in plans for this year's Pride celebrations given the  inability and reticence to travel  and restrictions around gathering in large groups, key components in honoring the occasion.

None of this, however, means Pride is truly "canceled," whether you're LGBTQ yourself or an ally. Celebrations are alive and well - they will just happen virtually, and where possible, in small and distanced groups. Pride also comes as many around the country are  protesting the  death of George Floyd, police and systemic racism: further opportunity to remember Pride's roots of protesting inequalities.

Attend a virtual Pride Celebration 
Millions flocked to New York last year for  World Pride and the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, but given both  international travel restrictions  and  domestic 
quarantine  requirements , that type of coordination never stood a chance this year.

Organizations are opting for virtual events or campaigns this year instead: The Trevor Project, for example, launched a  #PrideEverywhere campaign, encouraging people to add a #PrideEverywhere filter to photos and share them on social media with stories of what Pride looks like in their world.  NYC Pride is partnering with GLAAD to host a virtual drag festival June 19-21 featuring more than 100 performers.

Educate yourself on the history of Pride
Transgender activist  Marsha P. Johnson may have thrown the first brick at Stonewall (at least, that's the consensus of most of the community; Johnson said she didn't get to the bar until the rioting had started already). Activists rioted after a police raid at the bar; New York had refused to give licenses to bars that served gay people. Police entered Stonewall with a warrant and arrested 13 people. If it weren't for black transgender women and others protesting outside Stonewall, we wouldn't have the parades we look forward to every year.

"We were at a point where particularly the story of Stonewall was very whitewashed for so long, and now we're going back and people are deliberately reviewing the stories of people like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera," Peppermint, a black transgender drag queen, told USA TODAY last year ahead of the 50th anniversary of the uprising.

dnmm logo in rainbow colors for pride month

Virtual Peer Groups

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the Governor's "Stay Home" order, our Peer Groups will not be meeting in-person until such time as we can safely do so. We are reaching out to each member of the peer group via virtual platforms like Skype and Zoom. We are also planning virtual peer group meetings in addition to our already existing virtual groups.  For more information, or if you just need someone to contact you, please email LaraBeth Sullivan.

clipart image of two people one in red shaking hands with another in a computer screen
"O.C.T - Our Chat Time"
Tuesdays  -  11:30am

Join us for a friendly chat about whatever topics you want. A chance to get together - virtually - and hang out for a while!

close up of scrambled eggs in a mug
Thursdays  -  2:00pm

Everything from virtual tours of museums, theme parks to cooking demonstrations. From arts/crafts to live music. Maybe even some magic from time to time. Peers pick the activity each week. Join us!

Fridays -  1:00pm

movie theater with back to the future showing
Pop some popcorn and join your peers for an afternoon at the movies!  Classic 80s comedies, recent Pixar classics, always something fun! (We'll be watching over "Zoom" so be sure you've installed Zoom on your computer or tablet!  Links to the movies will be placed on our Facebook Page and on our website Friday mornings.  

It's Census Time! Be Counted 2020! 

Every ten years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to count the number of people living in the United States. Starting in March, census invitations were mailed to households, and now, more than ever before, the Census Bureau is encouraging people to fill out the census electronically (i.e. online). You can also call the Census Bureau directly to file at 1-844-330-2020. 

CALL DNMM TODAY!  1-800-782-4160

everyone counts census day april 1_ 2020 shows clip art people with arms raised in all colors of the rainbow

The census count has consequences we will live with for the next decade, if not longer. This makes the stakes even higher.
Michigan stands to lose millions of dollars in federal support for programs that use census data. These include Medicaid, nutrition assistance, highway construction and planning, Title I and Special Education Grants, Foster Care and Child Care Grants, K-12 education, Section 8 Vouchers, and Head Start/Early Start - for which Michigan received more than $14 billion in 2015.

The Census Bureau has identified people with disabilities as a hard-to-count population, which means they are at a greater risk of being under-counted in the census. The reasons for this include accessibility challenges and wider systemic inequalities. People with disabilities are also over-represented among other groups that are considered hard-to-count, such as people of color, people with low incomes, and people experiencing homelessness.

Census 2020 Video Ad: Michigan (Confidentiality)
Census 2020 Video Ad: Michigan (Confidentiality)


The Census Bureau's online response option represents both an opportunity and challenge to the disability community. For many, the option will be more convenient than responding by mail. This is, in part, due to the greater availability and increased effectiveness of screen readers, electronic magnifiers, and other assistive technology tools. However, a significant digital divide exists between people with and without disabilities: people with disabilities are about 20 percentage points less likely to own a computer, tablet, or smartphone or subscribe to home broadband. Without reliable internet access, people with disabilities may encounter difficulties completing the online form.


We want to make sure Michigan gets as accurate a count of its residents as possible. You can help by sharing this article with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers. Click on the images below to download some helpful questions and answers about the census.


This is indeed a time of uncertainty. Many of our consumers are feeling a sense of isolation, many are confused, and many are rightfully scared. We are working to reach out to our consumers through virtual programs like Skye and Zoom. 

And while our offices might be closed, we want you to know, Disability Network is here for you.  Our staff is working diligently to contact each and every one of our consumers. We are planning "virtual activities" for our peer groups, consumers, and their families.  Our staff are available via email or on the phone to answer questions, to provide information, or just to lend a listening ear to anyone who might need it.

How Can We Help?   -  CALL TODAY  -  1-800-782-4160

Our Information and Referral program is your first point of contact for all your disability-related questions or concerns. 

  1. Disability Rights & Resources - Know your rights, the law, find support groups, access community resources, and learn facts about disabilities.
  2. Basic Needs - Our I&R specialists will help you access community resources for anything from utility shut off notices, food pantries, or resources for housing assistance.
  3. SSI/SSDI - Anyone needing to apply for these programs can contact us for help with applications. No matter if you are just starting the process or are seeking assistance on the best direction on filing an appeal, we will work with you along the way.
  4. Medicare/Medicaid - A certified MMAP (Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program) counselor is located at DNMM to help with any Medicare Part D, low income subsidy or Medicaid needs.
  5. DHHS Applications - Home help services, food stamps, cash assistance, and more. We will help you determine what you want to apply for and offer assistance in applying if you need it.
  6. Housing - Whether you're looking for housing or looking for help staying in your housing, we can help with resources for affordable and accessible housing, ramps, housing vouchers and payment assistance.
  7. Peer Support and Mentoring - Sometimes someone with a disability wants to talk to someone else with a disability about obstacles in their life or in their community. We have a network of individuals dedicated to helping people overcome barriers. We also offer peer groups that meet monthly for a variety of activities in Bay, Midland and Saginaw Counties. During this "Stay Home" period, the peer groups will be meeting "virtually."
  8. Assistive Technology - We can help you find the assistive technology you need and the resources to pay for the AT. We also have several low tech AT items and offer AT Demos on an individual basis to help you decide what you may need before buying an item for your home.
Please note, due to regulations in place during the COVID-19 outbreak, some of these services may be limited in scope and/or availability. We will do our best to address any needs or concerns we can. We appreciate your patience during this time.

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 | 989-835-4041 | Email Us | dnmm.org