January 2013


A Publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan

Changing Lives. Changing Communities.

 Disability Language & Etiquette

Lunch and Learn 

 Lunch Discussion

Have you ever wondered . . .

  • What words am I supposed to use, or avoid, when talking about disability?
  • How do I assist someone with a disability without offending that person?
  • What do I SAY or DO when I meet some with a disability or find out someone has one? 

Bring your lunch and let's talk about it!

We request that attendees do not wear perfume or scented products.  Thank you!
Berrien County
February 13, 2013 12:00 - 1:00 pm
Bridgman Library Community Room
4460 Lake Street, Bridgman, MI 49106  
Contact Joanne at (269) 982-7761 or johnsonj@dnswm.org
for more information or to RSVP.
This Lunch and Learn is co-sponsored by the Bridgman
Visually Impaired Persons (VIP) Group. 


Kalamazoo County

March 6, 2013 ■ 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Disability Network Southwest Michigan

517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo MI 49001

Contact Michele at (269) 345-1516 or mcgowenm@dnswm.org

 for more information or to RSVP. 


 Please let us know if you need an accommodation to participate.


 four photos of people with a variety of disabilities 


Question Mark

Are you interested in these Lunch and Learn discussions but can't come to Bridgman or Kalamazoo?  We can come to you!  We are happy to speak to groups anywhere in our eight-county service area. 


For Berrien and Cass Counties, call Joanne at (269) 982-7761.  For all    other counties in Southwest Michigan call Michele at (269) 345-1516.

Winter Emergency Preparedness 


Emergency Preparedness is like a New Year's resolution: You start off with great intentions, but then . . . it's so easy to put off getting prepared until tomorrow or next week because there's no emergency right now, is there?


An "emergency" sounds like such a big event that a lot of people are not sure that they can be prepared for one. But the truth is a few simple items can be really useful for many "little" emergencies, like the power going out for a day or two, being snowed in, or having a personal assistant or support person call in sick.


What you might need:


 Some food that won't go bad and doesn't need to be cooked, like granola bars or canned meals, and a few bottles of water. Make sure you have a can opener that you can use without electricity.


 Batteries, flashlights, and first aid supplies (Band-Aids, anti-bacterial ointment, extra medicine).Emergency Kit


 Warm blankets and clothing in an easy-to-get-to place.


 Extra toiletries, toilet paper, and hygiene items that you can use outside of the shower, like facial cleansing cloths.  Travel size items can be great if the water goes out or is limited!


 Up-to-date contact information for people or services you may need to reach in an emergency.


If you'd like more tips on Emergency Preparedness or you'd like to work with one of us to make an emergency plan, please call us at 269-345-1516. 

Join us this April for Front of the Class:

A Movie & Discussion


Our Movie & Discussion series is intended to spark discussion about what it means to be a person with a disability in our culture today and what all of us can do to ensure everyone gets a chance to live up to their full potential.


This 98-minute Hallmark film is based on the true story of Brad Cohen, a man with Tourette's Syndrome, and his journey to becoming an elementary school teacher.

This movie will make you laugh, make you mad, and maybe even make you question what you think about disability. This event is free.Front of the Class


Berrien County:

April 5, 2013   12:00 noon - 2:00 pm

St. Joseph Public Library Auditorium 

500 Market Street

St. Joseph, MI 49085

Contact Joanne at (269) 982-7761 with RSVPs and accommodation requests.


Kalamazoo County:

April 18, 2013   1:30 - 3:30 pm

Disability Network Southwest Michigan

517 E. Crosstown Parkway

Kalamazoo MI 49001

This movie & discussion is sponsored by the Brain Injury Survivors Group.

Contact Michele at (269) 345-1516 with RSVPs and accommodation requests.


We request that attendees do not wear perfume or scented products. Thank you!  

Self Determination Workshop in Van Buren County


April 10, 2013 at the Lawrence Conference Center


SupportWhat does it mean to live a self-determined life? Self-determination is about   having real choices about where you live, what kind of work you do, and who you spend your time with. Do you need support in your journey to taking control of your life? Interested in learning more about self determination? You are invited to learn about the pride and power that come from living a self determined life!


The Regional Inclusive Community Coalitions of Berrien, Kalamazoo & Van Buren Counties are sponsoring this event.


Contact Michele at mcgowenm@dnswm.org or (269) 345-1516 to find out more.



Shoveling snow may not be the most enjoyable thing to do, but snow and ice covered sidewalks can stop people from getting to the grocery store, the doctor, or even just being able to go to the mailbox. Even a small amount of snow or ice can render the wheels of someone's wheelchair useless, or make it impossible for someone with low vision to tell the sidewalk from the street, and an icy sidewalk can create a bone-breaking hazard.


 Wheelchair User on Snowy Sidewalk

Clearing snow may be required by your local laws. Thank the people and businesses that shovel their sidewalks, and remind those that haven't shoveled yet just how important it is.   Thank you!

CardsDon't miss your chance to register for the 107.7 WRKR Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament benefiting Disability Network!  Deadline to register is Friday February 1, 2013.  Contact Kristen at (269) 345-1516 x 119 for details.


Are you a veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran who served during wartime? Do you require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing, cooking, leaving home, etc.?


To qualify for the Aid and Attendance (A&A) Pension your doctor needs to establish that you require daily assistance by others to dress, undress, bath, cook, eat, take prosthetics on/off, leave your home, etc. You do NOT have to require help with all of these activities; there simply needs to be adequate medical evidence that you cannot "function completely on your own".


Eligibility must be proven by filing the proper Veterans Application for Pension or Compensation - Form 21-526 - Veteran or Form 21-534 Surviving Spouse. This application will require a copy of DD-214 or separation papers, medical evaluation from a physician, current medical limitations, net income, and out-of-pocket Medical Expenses.


We'd Love to Have You as a Member!


When you join Disability Network, you become part of a national and local movement to end disability discrimination and to create inclusive communities.

 Member Water Bottle

Membership includes:


Subscription to our newsletters, The LINK and The Donor Connection, plus our members-only publication Disability Digest


A member gift like the reusable water bottle featured in this article


A vote during the annual election and at special meetings of the membership


Discounted Annual Meeting event tickets


Exciting volunteer opportunities


And much, much more!


Memberships are $15 for an individual, $25 for a household and $40 for an organization or business. You may also ask to have your membership fee waived. Join us today!


Contact Kristen at (269) 345 1516 or pottsk@dnswm.org for details.


BARRY Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Kalamazoo ST. JOSEPH VAN BUREN



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