Disability Digest
The monthly Disability Rights e-publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan.
November 2020
People with disabilities continue to face challenges at the polls.
In this article, local disability rights activist, Nicki Hurley, shares her experience and frustration as a person with a disability in voting this year. "It is a disgrace that so many people whose voices matter cannot share in determining our future. I urge every single official in Michigan to make real the promise of voting for all—regardless of disability," said Hurley.

What was your experience voting?

Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered created a survey to learn more about the voting experiences of people with disabilities in 2020 and improve advocacy around accessible voting. If you are a person with a disability, follow this link to participate in their survey.
illustration of person climbing ladder to voting booth
Use of force is the wrong response to mental health.
The recent killing of Walter Wallace Jr., a 27-year-old man with a mental health disability, in Philadelphia is now part of a long list of cases of police violence against people with disabilities in the United States.

Approximately one-third to half of all people involved in use-of-force incidents by police have a disability, including mental health disabilities, according to a study sited in this article.
person kneeling at a vigil site with sign that says "Black Lives Matter"
Biden's Disability Plan could close the equal-pay loophole.
President Elect Joe Biden’s Disability Plan includes a promise to work with Congress to pass the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act to provide grants for which states can apply to help employers phase out the sub-minimum wage and integrate workers with disabilities into their community over a period of six years.

Follow this link to read more about the Plan's impact on sub-minimum wages.
protestor holding a sign that reads, "They won't pay minimum wage"
A win for people with disabilities in Michigan
Michiganders with disabilities recently achieved a major victory in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. A group of individuals with developmental disabilities and the Washtenaw Association for Community Advocacy challenged changes to the Medicaid budgeting process which hindered Plaintiffs’ ability to hire and retain workers equipped to provide them with the necessary treatment and services, placing them at risk of having to be institutionalized.

In addition to reversing the district court’s dismissal and allowing the case to proceed, the Sixth Circuit ruling extended an important legal precedent under the ADA and the Olmstead Act. Follow this link for the statement made by the National Center for Law & Economic Justice.
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Disability Network Southwest Michigan
Kalamazoo Office
517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI 49001
(269) 345-1516

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

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