A publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan 
July 2017  
The LINK disability network logo  

Disability Network
Southwest Michigan
Office Locations: 
517 E. Crosstown Pkwy
Kalamazoo, MI  49001
(269) 345-1516

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

Toll Free:
 (877) 674-5209 
Serving 8 counties in
Southwest Michigan:
Mission Statement 
We educate and connect people with disabilities to resources while advocating social change. 
Vision Statement 
Our vision is a community that values disability as human diversity, free of attitudinal barriers, where all people benefit with full access and inclusion. 
Disability Network
The LINK is our quarterly newsletter with information about Disability Network events and programing, as well as general information and updates about disability issues. 
Disability Digest is a monthly e-newsletter focused on Disability Rights issues and upcoming Disability Network happenings.
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This newsletter is available in alternative format upon request.  
Join Us for a Celebration of the 27th Anniversary of the ADA Access for All _ ADA 27

Disability Network Southwest Michigan will host a community-wide celebration of the 27th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Please join us on Friday, July 21 at our Kalamazoo office (517 E. Crosstown Parkway) from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a free lunch, presentations and awards ceremony. This year we are pleased to welcome RoAnne Chaney, Executive Director of Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, as our keynote speaker. [Continue Reading]
kicks off at our ADA Celebration!

Ramp-a-thon Disability Network's annual Ramp-a-Thon kicks off at the ADA Celebration on July 21. Ramp-a-Thon raises money to construct or purchase ramps for people with mobility disabilities across our service area. A ramp makes it possible to do something as basic as getting to the mailbox, as important as getting to doctor appointments, and as critical as being able to get out of their home in the event of an  emergency. Ramps allow everyone equal opportunity to be a vibrant part of their community. [Continue Reading]

woman on ramp with mobility device
Meet Patricia . . .
Patricia has a mobility disability; she can walk very little and
usually uses a power chair when she is in the community. Patricia's house has four steps at the entrance which doesn't seem like a lot, but if you can't navigate stairs, four steps presents a significant barrier. Patricia often needed to be carried out of her home, and the lack of access created a significant safety hazard in the event of an emergency.

Disability Network coordinated volunteers from Harbor Habitat for Humanity and funding used from our Ramp Up program and St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Foundation to build a ramp for Patricia so she can now independently come and go and feel safe in her home.
When we invest in disability, the entire community benefits. Join Disability Network Southwest Michigan in creating a diverse and inclusive community by investing in people with disabilities. We cannot do this important work without your support.
Summer & Fall Lineup of Events at
Disability Network
Join us on Thursday, July 13, 12:00-2:00 p.m. at our St. Joseph office for lunch and a movie. We'll be watching The Music Within, the true story of Richard Pimentel who played a pivotal role in creating the Americans with Disabilities Act.
RSVP: email Terezie or call (269) 982-7761 
[Event Details]

Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter
Join us at either our Kalamazoo or St. Joseph offices on Wednesday, August 23, 12:00-1:30 p.m. to discuss this book about Rosemary Kennedy. The book is available in alternative format. A light lunch is provided, please be sure to RSVP.
[Event Details]

SPEAK UP! Basic Skills of Self Advocacy Workshop
Using interactive and fun activities, this workshop is designed to introduce the skills of self advocacy to people with disabilities. This workshop is being offered at our St. Joseph office on Wednesday, September 20, 1:00-3:00 p.m.
RSVP: email Terezie or call (269) 982-7761
[Event Details]
Event Learn, Know, Act
Disability Advocacy Series

This workshop series is being offered in Battle Creek and invites you to challenge your assumptions and grow your advocacy skills! Join us for the entire series or pick and
choose the workshop(s) you like best. Topics include:
  • Movie: The Great Fight for Disability Rights
  • Speak Up! Skills of Self Advocacy Workshop
  • Making a Difference in Your Community Workshop
  • Disability Disclosure at Work Workshop
This advocacy series is made possible in part by a grant from the Battle Creek Community Foundation.
[ Event Details]
Advocacy Academy
Provides Valuable Experience for Youth
group of youth on state house lawn This summer marks the sixth year Disability Network has offered Advocacy Academy-an eight-week paid internship program for young adults that features experiential advocacy training. Each year, six young adults with disabilities are selected through an interview process to participate in Advocacy Academy. [Continue Reading]
STAR Award Goes To Patti Townsend,
Disability Network Volunteer
Patti with STAR award  
Volunteers from the Kalamazoo area were honored for their
contributions at the annual STAR Awards (Sharing Time And
Resources) celebration. Disability Network Southwest Michigan was very proud to nominate Patti Townsend who won this year's STAR Award in the category of Adult Volunteer of the Year. [Continue Reading]
Meet our newest staff
Stacy _ Jackie _ Terezie _ Kathy
Please help us welcome the staff members we have added to the Disability Network Southwest Michigan team in the past year:
  • Stacy Klein is a Nursing Facility Transition Outreach Coordinator in Barry, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties.
  • Jackie Wellington is a Travel Trainer in Kalamazoo County.
  • Terezie Harazinova is a Community Educator & Systems Advocate in ourBerrien/Cass office.
  • Kathy Flores is a Nursing Facility Transition Outreach Specialist in Berrien, Cass & Van Buren counties.