Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
March 2018
H.R. 620 Update
capitol buildng icon
Last month Disability Network Southwest Michigan, along with many disability rights advocates across the nation, were actively engaged in rallying support to defeat the proposed bill H.R. 620 (The ADA Education and Reform Act) which was being voted on in the House of Representatives. Although we were very disappointed that the House passed H.R. 620, we are pleased to report that thus far the Senate has taken no action to propose their own version of the bill or to adopt the House version. This lack of action may be a good sign that the Senate has no interest in pursuing the bill. In talking with other disability rights organizations, speculation suggests that unlike the House, the Senate has members that were in office at the time the ADA was originally passed and they may not be eager to undue the progress that was made at that time.

We will continue to watch for action on this bill and keep you updated on any new developments.

Raising Kids with Disabilities -
The Same Rules Apply!
In this short video, Kristina Kuzmic, the "Truth Bomb Mom," interviews Zach Anner, an actor and comedian with cerebral palsy, to get his view on raising a child with a disability. He says his mom did a great job and that, basically, all the same rules apply! 
"Inclusion Riders" Have Hollywood Buzzing!
Frances McDormand
Recently at the Academy Awards, Frances McDormand threw out a concept in her acceptance speech that has the film industry buzzing: inclusion riders!
An inclusion rider is a clause in an actor's contract that requires the film maker to hire cast and crew that reflect the demographics of the world we live in. This would currently require that a cast be 50% women, 40% people of color, 5% L.G.B.T.Q., and 20% disabled. Let's hear it for inclusion riders! Follow this link to read more about inclusion riders and how they would impact the films we see.
Uber Not Offering Adequate Accessibility

hand holding cell phone with Uber app
When requesting an Uber ride, various options are available, including "WAV" for "wheelchair accessible vehicle." However, a recently filed class-action lawsuit claims that Uber does not offer an acceptable number of accessible vehicles in most areas and is therefore discriminating against people with disabilities. The lawsuit is not requesting monetary damages; it is seeking mandated change in policy and practice. It should be noted that similar problems exist with Uber competitor, Lyft, but the law suit is starting with Uber because it is bigger. Follow this link to read more about the accessible lawsuit against Uber

line of various animals
 Do's & Don'ts: Service Animals?
Attend this workshop to learn the difference between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals.There is a lot of confusion about what qualifies as a Service Animal and how they differ from Emotional Support Animals. There are specific laws regarding what type of assistance animals are allowed in different places and whether an establishment can deny access to an assistance animal.

This workshop is being offered in both our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph office. Please RSVP for the date and location that works best for you. Visit our website for more details and to RSVP.
  • In Kalamazoo: Friday, April 27
  • In St. Joseph: Monday, April 30

Our Lunch & Learn movie series continues . . . join us for lunch and a movie at one of our upcoming Lunch & Learn events in either Kalamazoo or St. Joseph -- please RSVP for the date and location that works best for you. Visit our website for more details  and to RSVP.

Who Cares About Kelsey? 
Who Cares About Kelsey? documents the lives of students with emotional/behavioral challenges and shows innovative educational approaches that help these students to succeed - while improving the overall school culture and climate.
  • In Kalamazoo: Wednesday, March 21
  • In St. Joseph: Tuesday, March 27
Dina, who is autistic, is getting married in a few weeks and there's still so much to do. Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She's overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life for herself that she believes she deserves. (Note: This is a real-life documentary with mature content/topics).
  • In Kalamazoo: Wednesday, April 18
  • In St. Joseph: Tuesday, April 24

Lottery book cover
Join us for the next Lunchtime Book Club on Wednesday, May 2, in either our Kalamazoo or St. Joseph office. Everyone is welcome to attend and join in the discussion. We will provide a light lunch and discuss the book Lottery by Patricia Wood.

To RSVP and for more information about Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Book Club, visit the Book Club page of our website.
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.