A publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan 
January 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.  
Home Fires are Highest in Winter Months!

firemen at house fire Home fires occur more during winter months than any other time of the year; be prepared with a properly functioning smoke detector. It's a good idea to have an emergency plan ready in case you need to quickly and unexpectedly evacuate your home. For people with disabilities, there may be additional considerations. [Continue Reading]
Red Cross - Safety Inspections
The Red Cross will come to your home AT NO COST TO YOU to perform a fire safety inspection and install free smoke detectors. You can schedule a free installation on the American Red Cross website or call your local Red Cross in your area::
  • Kalamazoo: (269) 353-6180
  • Battle Creek: (269) 962-7528
  • St. Joseph:  (269) 556-9619
Helping People Connect to Services

two women looking at brochure Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Information & Referral department serves as a central clearing house for people with disabilities who need information on disability issues or assistance in getting connected to services in their community.
Information _ Referral 5_893 Disability Network Southwest Michigan
is the first stop for people with disabilities in Southwest Michigan. In Fiscal Year 2015-16, we served 5,893 people through our Information & Referral department.
Meet Gretchen
Gretchen is a 60 year old woman who has difficulty hearing and speaking due to a stroke; she connected with Disability Network's Information & Referral department when her health care coverage lapsed. With the help of Disability Network, Gretchen was approved for the benefits she needed to remain independent in the community. [Read Gretchen's Story]
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.
Disability Resistance, History & Pride
people with disabilities protesting Many of us in the disability community are unaware of the depth of our culture and history and feel shame and stigma instead of pride around our disability identities. Family, friends and human service professionals also have a lack of knowledge of disability history and struggle to find ways to support our journey to disability pride. Let's change that!

Join Us on January 23 for a free lunch with discussion and activities that promote knowledge of disability history and support the journey to disability pride. Follow this link for workshop details and to RSVP.
Ed Roberts Day January 23 _We are no longer asking for charity. We are demanding our rights__
Volunteer of the Year: Kevin Klute
Kevin Klute Congratulations to Kevin Klute, our 2016 volunteer of the year! Kevin has demonstrated outstanding leadership and never-ending problem solving as a volunteer for Disability Network Southwest Michigan. Kevin is the Vice Chairperson on our Board of Directors, serves on numerous committees, and often participates in disability panel discussions. Thank you Kevin for your many hours of dedication to Disability Network!
Lunchtime Book Club
Wednesday, March 1, 12:00 noon - 1:30 p.m.
book cover_ Trigger
by Susan Vaught
Jersey Hatch can't remember why he tried to kill himself. Coming out of rehab for the first time in a year, Jersey must piece his life back together, step by painful step-from relearning to tie his own shoelaces, to graduating high school, to repairing old friendships. With a fresh, compelling, and unique literary voice, Susan Vaught thrusts readers directly into the bitterly funny head of Jersey Hatch. An eye-opening story that expertly navigates the triumph of family, the depths of despair, and the humor of the most mundane details of life.

The Lunchtime Book Club meets in both the Kalamazoo & St. Joseph offices. For more information or to RSVP visit the Book Club page of our website.