Like everything else in 2020 our staff holiday get-together was done remotely, but we made the best of it! We dressed in festive outfits, did holiday trivia, and tried our best at some sing along to classic holiday hits. Did you know that Jingle Bells was actually written for Thanksgiving??

We even had a special appearance from a reindeer reserve while he rested up in case he gets the call to the big show.
screencapture of a zoom meeting with 12 people dressed in festive holiday outfits
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, and it has been no different for disAbility Connections. Our deepest hope is that you and your families are well during this challenging time and that we can all move forward with hope and community in the coming New Year. Despite the challenges of this year, disAbility Connections has much to be thankful for as we have been able to weather the storm with our staff, health, and facilities intact and have been able to advance our mission of people with disabilities being able to live more independent, productive, and fully inclusive lives in our community. It has all been possible due to our excellent board members, dedicated and focused staff, volunteers, and YOU, our generous supporters.

We are continuing to provide our unique services including those covered through local donor support: medical equipment loan closet and repair, residential ramps, and respite.  

We were able to safely build 5 ramps this year which led to individuals being able to get out of their home safely and more independently and their supports feeling more confident in getting them in and out of the home. This despite building material costs rising and COVID-19 lurking. Any dollars you can spare will help ensure another successful ramp season when March 2021 arrives. 

We served several families with respite this year despite the program ending in May and a shortage of caregivers. We are currently in the process of restarting the program with new criteria and partner. Your support will be critical to providing rest and assistance to people caring for loved ones with disabilities.

Our Loan Closet helped over 743 people with the durable medical equipment they need for short or long term use, especially those items not covered by insurance. Fix-dis continues to offer people the ability to have equipment repaired when it’s no longer covered under warranty.

In these strange times, you can help by setting up monthly, quarterly, or yearly contributions. This will be greatly appreciated and ensure disAbility Connections is in a position to continue these programs and respond to any unexpected situations as they arise. Click on the DONATE button below and the process is quick and easy.

We wish you, your families, and friends a joyous Christmas and Holiday Season, and thank you for your support!

Jon Hart
Executive Director
hazardous road sign red out line with yellow interior and a car inside
Winter = Winter Roads. Are You Ready?
We may not be careful or ready when the 4 letter S--- word slips, S-N-O-W, but it will undoubtedly happen. Have you checked on your emergency road kit to see if you are ready in case something unfortunate happens while out on the winter roads? Do you have it in an easy to reach location? If you answered that it is in your trunk, is that really the best place? What if you get rear-ended because the car behind you couldn’t stop and now cannot open the trunk? Would you be able to access the trunk from inside the car as many of the newer cars provide? What supplies do you have now? What do you need? It is better to check now and be ready, rather than wishing for it later.
         Start with the basic essentials for changing a tire. Know where to find your tire jack, spare tire (check the air pressure because a flat spare won't help much), and wrench? Have a blanket, extra gloves, hand warmers, and a hat in case you get stuck? Speaking of getting stuck, here are a few items that’ll help be unstuck:
  • Bag of NON-clumping kitty litter or sand – for traction
  • Collapsible snow shovel – for digging
  • Flashlight – It gets dark early!
A few other things that are helpful would be having a membership with AAA for roadside assistance or using a vehicle system like GM's OnStar or Ford's SYNC. Not only do they connect you with emergency services, but they can also help identify your location. Cell phones are great, but not when you forget it, the battery dies, or it gets thrown out of arm's reach during an accident.
Stay Safe with 3 Winter Rescue Essentials
a collapsible shovel is shown at full length and also broken down for easier storage
Collapsible shovels like this will be extremely helpful in case you get stuck and their compact size allows for easier vehicle storage.
a large yellow bag of non clumping  kitty litter
Non clumping Kitty litter provides that extra traction to make getting unstuck easier.
a set of thick black wool socks gloves hat and a fleece blanket are shown
Stashing an extra blanket, hat, gloves, and even thick socks to wear will help to keep those extremities warm.
cartoon image of a guy with glasses in a red and white striped shirt and hat blue pants and using a cane to walk
Where Are All the People with Disabilities?
By: Brian Elliott

Not seeing/placing people with disabilities in all types of media continues to portray that we are unwelcome from social lives, activities, and businesses while supporting the impression that those with disabilities are unusual. We know for a fact that is not true. Statistically speaking, according to the Center for Disease Control, 25.6% of adults in the U.S. has some form of a disability while in Michigan the rate increases to 28.2%. Using these facts, disabilities are all around us. This brings about the question… Where are all these people with disabilities? As someone that uses a wheelchair, when I go out I don’t see many other people with visual disabilities and rarely encounter another wheelchair user in the general public. Think back to the last time you saw a person with a disability in a show, movie, or even an advertisement. Was it easy? What was the context used? The lack of representation in the media of people with disabilities of all types is both a missed opportunity and a representation of our society in general.... read more on the blog