Disability Digest
The monthly Disability Rights e-publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan.
March 2021
Advocacy Drives Detroit's Vaccine Rollout for People with Disabilities
Due to a successful advocacy campaign from a local disability rights organization, the City of Detroit moved people with disabilities up on their Covid-19 vaccine rollout long before the rest of the state or the country. The push to prioritize people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Detroit came from advocates who flooded the mayor’s office with letters and blitzed local media to call attention to the extra challenges people with disabilities face as they try to avoid infection or get treated for Covid-19. Dessa Cosma, a former board member of Disability Network Southwest Michigan, is the executive director of Detroit Disability Power which led the advocacy campaign.

Illustration of people lined up to get vaccine
Personality Tests in Hiring Practices Discriminate Against People with Disabilities
For many employers, personality tests utilizing artificial intelligence have become standard practice to screen job applicants. These tools may be useful in making the hiring process more efficient for the employer, but they also run the risk of screening out people with disabilities for attributes that have nothing to do with how they would perform their jobs. Disability rights advocates warn that businesses should expect to be challenged in court as these practices are in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

standardized test sheet & pencil
When Does Covid-19 Become a Disability
People who survive Covid-19 but have symptoms that are sometimes debilitating many months later are being referred to as "long-haulers." As scientists work on how to help these people, disability advocates are busy trying to figure out whether long-haulers will qualify for disability benefits. Disability advocates and lawmakers are calling on the Social Security Administration to study the issue, update their policies and offer guidance for applicants.

woman seated wearing face mask
Disability is Part of Who We Are - Not Inspiring and Not Shameful - Just a Fact
In this article, disability rights advocates use President Biden's stutter as an example of how people use a disability as either a point of shame to be mocked or as an inspirational challenge to be overcome. Neither narrative is appropriate. Aimee Sterk’s son, Theo, has a stutter and she wants to make sure he knows that’s okay – it is just part of who he is.
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo Office
517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 345-1516

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2900 Lakeview Avenue, St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 985-0111

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