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Disability Digest

The monthly member-only newsletter of
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
  March 2016
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Speak Up:
Basic Skills of Self Advocacy

Join us for this FUN and FREE workshop
for people with disabilities to learn about self-advocacy. Through interactive activities you will learn:
  • What advocacy is
  • What your rights are and the laws that protect your rights
  • How to make an action plan for advocacy
  • Disability history and the fight for disability rights
This workshop is being offered at both our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices. Choose the date and location that works best for you and RSVP to let us know you're coming.

St. Joseph: Tuesday, April 12, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
2900 Lakeview Avenue, St Joseph, MI
RSVP to Joanne at  johnsonj@dnswm.org or (269) 982-7761

Kalamazoo: Friday, April 15, 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI
RSVP to Miranda at grunwellm@dnswm.org or (269) 345-1516 x120

  Download the event flyer for more details.

Inspiration Porn in High Schools

illustration of a couple dancing
With prom-season upon us, the blog post Inspiration Porn: High School Gestures at Disability Thinking discusses some of the ways inspiration porn is often practiced at high schools. As with most inspiration porn, it's well-intentioned but makes stigmatizing assumptions that people with disabilities are unable to live rewarding lives or have satisfying social lives without "help" from others. Then the media picks it up and reinforces those assumptions, and in the end it's really all about making the "helpers" feel good about themselves.

Read the article at Disability Thinking.
Family, Disability and Preparing for College   
In the following video, Harriet McBryde Johnson talks about her family dynamics and her experience of navigating a pathway to college as a person with disability. This video is part of the "It's Our Story" project; a YouTube testimony series presented in first-hand reflecting the diversity and dynamics of people with disabilities.

The Fight is Tiring

tired mom holding baby
In the blog post by Ginger Stickney titled As a Mother of  Children With Disabilities I'm Tired and Here's Why she explains that it is not being the mother of children with disabilities that makes her tired, it's constantly having to fight for their rights.

Stickney would like the world to understand two words: Ableism and Body Terrorism. She says if more people really understood these words they might want to fight too, and the more who begin to fight, the less we all have to and then the world starts to shift.

Read the article at Disability Thinking.
Book cover_ Out of My Mind
Book Club

Wednesday, June 1,
12:00 noon - 1:30 p.m. (lunch provided)

Held at BOTH our Kalamazoo and St.Joseph Offices.

RSVP to Dale (269) 345-1516 x123

Out of My Mind
(By: Sharon M. Draper)

Melody is not like most people. She  cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her  integrated classroom-the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally
challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she's determined to let everyone know it . . . somehow.

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


Claiming Crip is a blog site by Karin Hitselberger who firmly believes in disability rights and that disability is not simply something that needs to be cured, but rather a valid life experience.
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