Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
May 2017
Public Forum:
Michigan's Common Disability Agenda

Join us at Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Kalamazoo Office on May 24, 2017 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM for one in a series of public forums being held throughout Michigan to gather input on the topic of disability in Michigan. Your input is being sought to help identify priorities for Michigan's future, make recommendations for policy change or new programs and supports and to share what's important to you.

Follow this link for more information or to register for this event:
Michigan's Common Disability Agenda
Sweet Access-Appeal          
Enjoy this highly entertaining video about why captions on videos are important. So many good reasons, not to mention it's just the right thing to do!

You'll be "Happy" you did! Feel free to clap along!
Take Action!    
Capitol Building
The efforts to roll back the rights of people with disabilities through ADA Notification bills like H.R. 620 are gaining momentum in Congress. Tell your Representatives to OPPOSE H.R. 620 and any other bill that would weaken the ADA, thereby weakening the protections for people with disabilities all over the country. Follow this link to learn about this threat to the ADA. 
Simulations do More Harm Than Good

people walking with blindfolds
Many well-intended organizations have hosted disability simulations meant to give a non-disabled person the experience of being disabled. Recent studies show that disability simulations often result in feelings of fear, apprehension and pity toward those with disabilities and end up doing more harm than good. Mimicking the effects of a disability for only a few minutes fails to account for the diverse coping mechanisms and innovative techniques persons with disabilities develop in long-term situations. Read more about a recent study of disability simulations
Lunchtime Book Club

Everything_ Everything book jacket
Everyone is welcome to join in the discussion! The Lunchtime Book Club will meet on Wednesday, June 7, in both our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices. For more information about Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Book Club, visit the Book Club page of our website.

At the June Lunchtime Book Club meeting we will enjoy a light lunch and discuss the book Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller! Soon to be a major motion picture starring Amandla Stenberg and Nick Robinson!
The world outside the home of 18-year-old Madeline Whittier is filled with threats. She has SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency), causing her to be isolated in her house. Madeline is a princess trapped in a castle - except her castle is a spotless, decontaminated house in Los Angeles with white walls, where she lives with her mother. But then one day a new neighbor moves in. He catches Madeline looking -- he stares at her and she stares back. Madeline realizes quickly that she is going to fall in love with him and it's almost certainly going to be a disaster.

This book is available in alternative format.
Learn, Know, Act
Advocacy Workshop Series

Our Advocacy & Community Education department is presenting a workshop series over the next several months focused on advocacy and disability rights. The series will be held at the Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek. The first workshop in the series is "Movie & Discussion: Who Cares About Kelsey?" being held on Monday, June 12. Follow this link to learn more about all the events in the Learn, Know, Act Workshop Series.   
ADA Celebration on July 21

Mark your calendars and join us for a celebration of the twenty-seventh anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Friday, July 21,
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. We are hosting a community-wide event at our Kalamazoo office including a free lunch, awards, and speakers. We invite all community members and organizations to join us! 
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.