July 2015


A Publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan

Changing Lives. Changing Communities.

You're invited to our

Join us for this community-wide celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act on Friday, July 24th. The festivities will be held at Disability Network Southwest Michigan's Kalamazoo Office, located at 517 E. Crosstown Parkway, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Grab your friends, family, or coworkers and join us for lunch and to celebrate this important date in history. The program includes lunch, a keynote address from Sharon Ellis (State ADA Compliance Director) and award presentations.

We will be running continuous accessible shuttle service from 10:45 a.m. to
1:15 p.m. between the event and these designated parking locations:
  • Senior Services of Southwest Michigan - 918 Jasper Street
  • Kik Pool - Upjohn Park
  • Skateboard park - off Walter Street
  • Kalamazoo Farmers Market - corner of  Lake & Walter Streets

For more information about this event, visit our website (www.dnswm.org) or contact Kristen Potts at pottsk@dnswm.org or (269) 345-1516 x119.  

July 24 - collage of photos of event

 This event is funded in part by the ADA Michigan, an affiliate of the Great Lakes ADA Center, through grant H133A110029 from the National Institute on Disability Rehabilitation and Research (NIDRR).


Grow Your Business:  
The buying power of seniors & people with disabilities
DATE: Thursday, August 6, 2015   TIME: 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.  
LOCATION: Radisson Plaza Hotel | 100 West Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI 

Susan Berry of Disabilities Smart Solutions will be presenting on the economic advantages of businesses and communities being fully accessible. Join us to learn where customer service, accessibility and economic development intersect.

For more information or to register for this event, please visit our website ( www.dnswm.org).

Statewide ADA Celebration 
DATE: Thursday, September 17, 2015   
TIME: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. 
LOCATION: Lawn of the State Capitol | Lansing, MI  

Join the network of Centers for Independent Living and other disability-related agencies throughout Michigan for a day of food, fun, entertainment and celebration. For more information about this event, visit Disability Network Michigan ( www.dnmichigan.org
Have you seen our new website? Check it out: www.dnswm.org

Disability Visibility Project  

As their tag-line reads, the Disability Visibility Project is "recording disability history, one story at a time." In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the ADA, the project started in July of 2014 and will run through the end of this year. Through a partnership with StoryCorps they are recording a diverse collection of stories of people with disabilities.
The Disability Visibility Project uses the StoryCorps studios in San Francisco, Chicago, and Atlanta as well as a mobile touring unit. People can record their stories in person or by using an app which is available to download on their website. As a component of StoryCorps, at the end of each recording session, the participants receive a copy of their interview and, with their permission, a copy is archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  

The Disability Visibility Project has a website (www.disabilityvisibilityproject.com) where transcripts of interviews conducted by Alice Wong, Project Coordinator, are posted in the project's blog along with other disability related topics.

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY: Health-Monitoring Apps

"There's an app for that!"  An "app" is a self-contained computer program or "application" usually downloaded to a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. There's an app for just about anything you can think of-some are entertaining, some educational, and some are very helpful.  

hand holding smart phone with health monitoring app There is quite a selection of health-monitoring apps available for a wide variety of needs. There are apps to track blood glucose levels, heart rate, blood pressure, nutritional intake levels, activity, and much more! Having a monitoring program at your fingertips can be very helpful-no need to drag out equipment or worry about whether you need to bring it along "just in case."

Not all apps are created equal. Compare features when considering which app to get, as there is a wide variety of features and functions that may or may not be included. Some are in-the-moment to let you know what's happening right now, others store the data that's collected and can track changes over time, and some can even send information directly to your doctor's office.  
Assistive Technology Funding assistance is available
Some apps are free, and others have a price tag. The Assistive Technology Loan Fund (ATLF) is available to help people pay for tools for independence such as health monitoring apps or the equipment to run them on. The ATLF is a low interest loan available to people with disabilities and their family members to help purchase items like wheelchair-accessible vehicles, hearing aids, mobility devices, communication devices, or adapted recreation equipment. The ATLF can also pay for home modifications, including ramps, to make your home more accessible. Call us at (269) 345-1516 for more information.

Be Prepared . . . Just in Case 

Recently several communities in and around Southwest Michigan experienced a tornado warning. Luckily, no serious damage was reported, but it's always a good policy to be prepared for anything. Having a basic "emergency kit" set up and ready to go can help alleviate the panic of having to figure out what to grab in a hurry. Below are some recommendations for what to include in an emergency kit. Most of these items can be gathered and stored in a tote or other container so they are ready to go when you need them.


emergency button Recommended Supplies to Include in a
Basic Emergency Kit: 

  • Water: one gallon per person per day    
  • Non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered radio & extra batteries   
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit    Multi-purpose pocket tool
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items   
  • Important documents
  • Medications: seven-day supply

You can find more information about how to be prepared for emergencies in the Resources area of our website (www.dnswm.org).

SAVE THE DATE: Monday, September 21 at 6:30 p.m. 

CPAN logo  

Auto No-Fault Town Hall Meeting  

Sponsored by Representative Jon Hoadley
Disability Network - Kalamazoo Office | 517 E. Crosstown Parkway 
For more information call Karen Halsted at (269) 345-1516 x115

Disability Network Day at the Growlers!
 Growlers logo

Have fun at a Growlers baseball game and support Disability Network at the same time! Buy tickets from us for the Growlers' July 16th home game in Kalamazoo and $5 from each ticket goes to Disability Network!

To purchase tickets, contact Kristen at (269) 345-1516 x119
(email: pottsk@dnswm.org).


BARRY Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Kalamazoo ST. JOSEPH VAN BUREN


Disability Network Southwest Michigan Office Information

Berrien County Location
2900 Lakeview Avenue
St. Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 985-0111
Kalamazoo County Location
517 E. Crosstown Parkway
Kalamazoo, MI  49001
(269) 345-1516



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