Disability Digest
The monthly Disability Rights e-publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan.
October 2020
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM. The purpose of NDEAM is to raise awareness and educate people about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Workplaces welcoming the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, is a critical part of building an inclusive community and strong economy.

This year marks not only the 30th anniversary of the ADA, but also the 75th observance of NDEAM. Both milestones are being commemorated with a range of events and activities centered on the theme “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”
collection of photos of people with disabilities working
In celebration of NDEAM, we are hosting two showings of the documentary "Bottom Dollars." This film exposes the exploitation of people with disabilities through personal stories and expert interviews. It also presents clear employment alternatives with competitive wages and community inclusion.

Follow this link for details and to register for the web-movie and discussion of Bottom Dollars.
Hiring people with disabilities
is NOT charity!
Sub-minimum wage for people with disabilities dates back to a time when people with disabilities were completely segregated -- in school, work, and in the general society. But that didn't stop employers from exploiting people with disabilities for cheap labor, and, unfortunately, that still happens.

Particularly in the age of COVID-19, the workplace is more flexible than employers thought possible. It’s time to apply the same innovations to employees with disabilities.

Follow this link to read more about why and how we can stop the practice of sub-minimum wage.
circle of workers in reflective vests joining hands in unity.
Just when we thought the Jerry Lewis
MDA Telethon was gone for good . . .
For nearly 50 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) held a Labor Day Telethon hosted by Jerry Lewis. Disability Rights advocates protested the telethon for its extreme abelist practices and rejoiced when, in 2014, it aired for the last time. Today, advocates are appalled to learn that Kevin Hart is reviving the telethon and holding it later this month.

In this article, Alex Dacy (aka: Wheelchair Rapunzel), who was one of the children used to elicit donations years ago, says, "I was paraded to events like a show pony so that donors would see my cute little disabled eyes & wheelchair and be compelled to donate."
Jerry Lewis hosting MDA Telethon with large red "no enter" symbol
VOTE on or before November 3
There’s a lot of chatter in the news about the upcoming election on November 3rd and it’s not all about the candidates. There are conflicting reports and opinions about absentee voting, people’s registration status, and the safety of voting during a pandemic.

If you have questions about how to vote this year, visit the Vote 2020 page of our website for links and our contact information.
"Vote" button
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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

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.
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