MARCH 2021
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On Saturday, February 13, a virtual community of supporters logged on for our fifth annual Feathers and Fedoras fundraiser. The event, hosted virtually due to COVID-19 concerns, by honorary chairs Shauna and Paul Barbeau, featured a 45-minute presentation on DNMM services, a virtual live and silent auction, and a virtual casino.

Feathers and Fedoras 2021
Feathers and Fedoras 2021

Proceeds from the event benefited DNMM programs that assist young people with disabilities in building the necessary skills to live independently, individuals in rural areas in gaining access to disability resources, and people living in nursing homes in gaining knowledge and support to move back to their communities.

four women in roaring 20s attire with wine glasses
"COVID has demonstrated, perhaps now more than ever, the crucial need to support the independent living programs and core services we have built together over the past 30 years," said DNMM Executive Director Kelly PeLong. "People living in nursing homes have been subject to higher risks of contracting COVID, often without means or options to transition into community-based living arrangements. People with disabilities have not been able to gather with their peers or their peer mentors to enjoy Michigan's outdoors or to attend community events. Participants in our summer STAGES skill-building programs have not been able to tour local businesses or to gather together for confidence building exercises. And the need for access to information and community services has never been greater."

"The success of Feathers and Fedoras is due to a community of dedicated and diverse individuals," added PeLong. "From our corporate sponsors and champions throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, to our passionate board, staff, and volunteers, we are working together to create accessible and inclusive communities where all people can fully participate and belong."

This year's event was even more successful due to a generous grant from the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Memorial Foundation. They provided a match of all donations up to $50,000. 

And Thank You To Our Sponsors:

screen shot of all sponsors including Dow_ Dupont_ Garber_ Michigan Sugar_ Warner Norcross and Judd_ Bierlein Companies_ First State Bank_ Gavin and Associates_ Gambrell and Associates_ Servinski Sod Service_ Blasy Electric_ Midland Daily News_ Yeo and Yeo accountants_ Great Lakes Bay Construction_ Spence Brothers_ QRP_ Image Works_ and Isabella Bank

A Timeline of Women's Disability Activism

Since March is Women's History Month, we felt it fitting to highlight women and their contributions to the disability rights movement. In 2017, Whitney Lew James of Texas Christian University compiled a timeline showcasing major women disability rights activists in the United States. Beginning with Elizabeth Packard's campaign for asylum inmate rights in 1869 and concluding with the Women's Disability March in 2017, this timeline focuses on activism by women with disabilities for women with disabilities.

From Ms. James' introduction:  

Physical, intellectual, and emotional difference is a fact of life. Whether the product of genetics, as with muscular dystrophy or down syndrome; illnesses, like multiple sclerosis or polio; life experience, such as injury or abuse; or simply the process of aging, every person will or has encountered disability. For this reason, disability scholars often argue that we are all temporarily able-bodied (TABs) and that the disabled community is the largest and most diverse minority in the world. In many ways, the experience of disability is something that unites us. However, due to cultural fear and misunderstanding, disability has historically been used to divide, discriminate, and oppress.

screen shot of women_s disability activism timeline

The history of disability activism is the topic of this timeline and project; in particular, I look at women's disability activists because women with disabilities are double subjugated due to their gender and ability making their lived experiences and their advocacy work more difficult to trace. Rejecting the notions that disabled individuals are less than, in need of cures and savior, and victims that should be pitied, the Women's Disability Activism timeline focuses on women with disabilities engaging in self- and communal-activism. While there is a complicated history of the non-disabled advocating on behalf of or with disabled communities, since the Independent Living Movement of the 1970s, disability activism has been driven by disabled activists. 

The Women's Disability Activism timeline seeks to expand our knowledge of women's disability activism by looking at key figures, their arguments for disability and women's rights, and the connections among activists. 


March Special Events:
Wednesday, March 24th - 12-1pm 
"Prepare to Advocate" 
Prepare for Legislative Day, meeting with legislators

Wed March 17th and 31st -  12-1pm 
"Healthy Communication"! 
Learn together to communicate over email, text and in person in a better way. Share your experiences with everyone.

peer st patricks day dance march 17

March 17th - 7:00 - 8:30pm
It's a virtual St. Patty's Day dance...sign up today!
Come out and get your groove on!  Meet up with friends virtually for some dancing and socializing!  Maybe even meet some new friends!

clip art virtual peer group just dance

Mondays - 11:00am

virtual peer group tuesday hangout

Tuesdays - 11:30am

virtual peer group amazing women

Tuesdays - 3:00pm

bingo card

Wednesdays - 3:00pm

friday matinee movie theater image for virtual peer group

Matinees - Monday & Friday
1:00 - 3:00pm
March selections include: Flora and UlyssesThe Seeker: The Dark is Rising, A Dog's Way Home, and Hop. Mondays will be devoted to series that the peers select.
virtual peer thursday shows a tour of a museum

Thursdays - 2:00pm
March Activities include: Making "Green Food" for St. Pat's Day, A Virtual Tour - "Zoo Day," A Special Bingo day, and Easter Egg Dyeing. 


elderly person resting head on hand looking out window with concern

Do you know someone with a disability who lost a job due to COVID-19 closures and is struggling to make ends meet?

Is someone with a disability feeling isolated due to a lack of access 
to technology and/or the internet?

Is someone with a disability experiencing poor health due to lack of food or access to telehealth visits?


Is someone at risk of going to a nursing facility or is someone currently in a nursing facility needing assistance to go back home?


Does someone with a disability need safe, accessible, and affordable transportation to a COVID-19 testing or vaccination site?

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan has received funding to assist individuals with disabilities facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funding is designed to assist with life-sustaining, emergency relief in the form of food and utility assistance, assistive technology to prevent social isolation, or help with rent payments.

For more information, contact our Information and Referral Department.  1-800-782-4160.

Funding is limited and requests are considered on case-by-case basis.

abilities virtual experience best way to boost independence without leaving the house
The ABILITIES VIRTUAL Experience is scheduled for March 26 and 27. Registration is FREE so sign up today to learn about innovative products and services and to attend virtual workshops and adaptive activities.

If you joined last time, you'll love this...legendary emcee Paul Amadeus Lane will be your host again! And we have a stellar new product section to help you find the tech or services to meet your needs.
Did we mention the new one-on-one video chat capability? Yep, that too! It's all online so click below and be there for all the fun. Don't forget to tell your friends!


IRS form 1040
Greater Midland Community Centers, in partnership with AARP, is offering the Tax Assistance Program for 2021.  Even though it will look a little different this year, this is a important opportunity for those that qualify and need tax assistance.

The program is primarily for seniors (age 55 and over) with low to moderate income and those with disabilities. 

Services will be offered on Thursdays and Fridays through April 9th. Free tax preparation is provided in the Barstow Shipps Wing of the Midland Community Center from 8:00 am to 4pm. Qualified people can begin calling the Community Center at 832-7937, then press 6 or email [email protected] for their initial tax client appointment. Tax preparation will be virtual and social distancing will be enforced.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is offered at the following locations:

Frankenmuth Credit Union, 544 N. Main St., Frankenmuth. Call 211 for dates and times.

United Way of Saginaw County, 100 S. Jefferson Ave., Saginaw. Call direct to schedule appointment (989-326-5290). 


The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program is a FREE income tax return assistance program available to those in the ALICE population or below, senior citizens, disabled individuals or retired veterans. The program has been provided by United Way of Bay County for over 12 years and has proven to bring money back to the residents of Bay County through millions of dollars in tax credits and refunds. For information, please call 989.893.7508.

Living in a Long-Term Care Facility During COVID

It's been almost one year since nursing homes shut their doors on March 13, 2020. DNMM joins the National Consumer Voice For Long-Term Care in marking the one-year anniversary by remembering residents whose lives have been lost, and participating in an advocacy campaign to open nursing home doors.

Voices from the Inside: What It's Like to Live in a Long-Term Care Facility During COVID-19 Pandemic
Voices from the Inside: What It's Like to Live in a Long-Term Care Facility During COVID-19 Pandemic

A Virtual Rally to Lift the Lockdown
Friday, March 12, 2021 at 12:00pm 

Join Consumer Voice for a rally commemorating the one-year anniversary of the nursing home visitation ban. The rally will honor those we've lost and provide an opportunity to hear directly from residents and family members about their experiences during the lockdown. It will include a call to action - mobilizing family members, residents of long-term care, and advocates to ask their state and federal policymakers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to safely "open nursing home doors." 


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 | 800-782-4160 | Email Us |