Wake up and smell the flowers
or go out and plant them anyway! The past weeks and the weeks to come are a testament of how truly resilient communities can be when we are tested. Especially when you involve people with disabilities. As a whole, those of us with disabilities and those around people with disabilities, are used to thinking outside the box and developing a new "normal". Hang in there and stay safe. There may be a few hiccups along the way, but we will prevail together.
A Few Words From Our New Director


I am proud to have been a member of the dis Ability Connections (dC) staff for the last six and a half years. During that time I have had the opportunity to work with great staff and community partners and engage in teaching and learning from students, first as the Youth Program Manager and then the Youth Services Director. I have learned a lot about the resilience and abilities of people in our community as well as the challenges and needs of this same community. I have had the opportunity to work in a setting that considers the skills and abilities of all people and has offered me the opportunity to grow as a person and a professional. 

Now I have a greater opportunity to give back to the staff, consumers, and community of dis Ability Connections as the new Executive Director. Under our former Executive Director Lesia Pikaart, dis Ability Connections made great strides in the community to ensure the greater inclusion of persons with disabilities. From parking, education, health care to schooling, the influence of dC and its supporters has been impactful. dis Ability Connections will continue to strive to include even more people in society through systems change and advocacy, educational inclusion, accessibility, peer programming, and representation in the community. Through the combined focused efforts of the staff, managers, Lesia, and our boards, dis Ability Connections is in a good position to continue and grow this important work. 

I am also extremely pleased to welcome our new Deputy Director Travis Barnett, who comes to us from the Council for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect. The experience Travis brings will serve to assist and bolster dis Ability Connections work in the community. He will be a valuable asset in our future work together.

Together, we look forward to continuing to break down barriers and welcome more people to the table of inclusion.

Jon Hart
Executive Director, dis Ability Connections
light blue background with white writing.  The writing says. stay home. stay safe. save lives.  the o in home is shaped like a house with a silhouette of Michigan inside
We are still hard at work (from home) and will continue to do so until approximately May 18th. We are following guidance from Health officials and want to ensure we take proper precautions for both our staff and consumers. Please continue to check our website and Facebook for any further updates. However, we are still doing our best to continue as many services as we can via phone or internet based technology. Our staff are reaching out touching base to see if there are any needs we can assist with during these circumstances.

We also want to be a useful website of resources for you featuring local and state updates. We have created a database with just updates and links to hopefully helpful information with recent state updates, local modified services or closures, transportation, potential assistance for households, food (grocery stores with altered hrs or services and food pantry information), precautions to stay safe, and even some things to do while you and the family are staying in. A personal favorite of mine has been checking in on some of the Zoo-cams. Polar bears are always entertaining as they are still having a good time splashing around!

Join us with the #MIMaskChallenge. Get your mask on, take a selfie, and tag us on social media. #disabilityconnections
Don't forget! Complete your Census if you haven't already. April 1st was National Census Day. Use that date and the people in the household to answer the survey questions. We have reminders for you out in the community too. We have placed yard signs and also passed out re-usable tote bags. Lets work together and keep reminding others to fill out their survey. As a community we have a response rate about 60% , and this is about 10% less than we had for the 2010 Census. Critical funding is directly linked to our count, please respond.
a woman with short dark hair and glasses wearing a blue hoodie smiles as she takes a selfie.  over her shoulder is the census yard sign in front of a brick wall
a man standing wearing a ski cap and black jacket holds up in front of his chest a purple reusable tote bag.  the bag shows a white outline of upper and lower michigan and beside it in white writing says Census 2020 Everyone counts. Everyone wins.