Disability Digest 
The monthly DISABILITY RIGHTS e-publication
Disability Network Southwest Michigan
September 2018
[audio description version ] This advocate is FIGHTING to make the world more accessible

Breaking Down Barriers
Ace Ratcliff is a disability justice advocate who's working to make our inaccessible world a more hospitable place for people with disabilities. In this video she talks about tackling the barriers she faces as a wheelchair user and a person with hearing loss. 
Parents Get Trained in Fighting for Their Kids' Rights
hands criss-crossing with the word _Policy_
Partners in Policymaking is a program that teaches parents of children with developmental disabilities how to fight for their child in school and with healthcare providers. It also trains people on how to read a state budget, talk to state lawmakers, and testify before a school board or city council. Currently, the program operates in 29 states and has graduated more than 27,000 parents since it started in 1987.  Follow this link to the article Teaching Parents of Kids with Disabilities to Fight Back
Disability Advocacy - Getting Started
Disability Advocacy 101
In this video, Cherri King talks about getting involved as an advocate for disability rights. It's important to network and get to know your community, King says it can be helpful to find a mentor as you get started. King urges people to be proactive and join committees or boards that are setting policy in your community and help them incorporate the voice of the disability community.  
Upcoming Events:
Ableism 101
In its simplest form, ableism is the belief system that tells us it is better to be non-disabled than it is to be disabled. Join us for Ableism 101 as we discuss and dismantle harmful cultural ideas around disability.

This workshop is being offered in our Kalamazoo and St. Joseph offices, please be sure to RSVP for the session you plan to attend.
  • Kalamazoo: Wednesday, September 19, 1:30-4 PM
  • St. Joseph: Wednesday, September 26, 1:30-4 PM
Disability & Employment:
How, When & Why to Talk About It
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and we are celebrating by offering this Disability & Employment workshop in each of the 8 counties we  represent. At this workshop you will learn the only reason you have to tell an employer about your disability or medical condition, the best way to ask for an accommodation at work, and your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. We will also discuss employment resources that can help you.

Choose the date and location that works for you and be sure to RSVP.
  • Kalamazoo: Tuesday, October 2, 3-4:30 PM
  • Dowagiac: Wednesday, October 3, 3-4:30 PM
  • Hastings: Tuesday, October 9, 3-4:30 PM
  • Paw Paw: Wednesday, October 10, 3-4:30 PM
  • Three Rivers: Tuesday, October 16, 3-4:30 PM
  • St. Joseph: Wednesday, October 17, 3-4:30 PM
  • Coldwater: Tuesday, October 23, 3-4:30 PM
  • Battle Creek: Wednesday, October 24, 3-4:30 PM
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.