Disability Network Southwest Michigan quarterly newsletter
July 2018
Join Us in Celebration of the 28th Anniversary of the ADA!

people at tables under a tent
Disability Network Southwest Michigan will host a community-wide celebration of the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Please join us on Friday, July 27 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's Keynote speaker is Tamara Jorkasky from the State of Michigan Department of Natural Resources who will be presenting on the topic of Universal Design.

Follow this link for more details of our ADA Anniversary Celebration and join us!
RAMP-A-THON Kicks Off in July  

Disability Network's annual Ramp-a-Thon kicks off at the ADA celebration on July 27. 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.
Please consider a donation to Ramp-a-Thon between now and August 31. You can make a donation at our ADA celebration on July 27, donate online or drop a check in the mail to: Ramp-a-Thon / Disability Network, 517 E. Crosstown Parkway Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Charting the Course: Meet Joyce
_Charting the Course_ _ woman in wheelchair on ramp

Joyce is 80 years old and lives alone. Her right leg was amputated above the knee and she was feeling trapped in her home because it was very difficult getting in and out without assistance. Disability Network Southwest Michigan collaborated with Senior Services of Southwest Michigan to raise the funds and the volunteer crew to build a ramp on Joyce's home.

Joyce is very grateful to now be able to leave her home, access Metro Connect van service and move around her community independently. It is also a relief to Joyce to know that in the case of an emergency, she will not be trapped in her house.

Our Ramp-Up program is one way Disability Network helps prepare people with disabilities for their path forward. At Disability Network Southwest Michigan, we are helping people with disabilities chart their course to increased independence in a more inclusive community. We cannot do this important work without your support. To learn more about our programs and services, visit our website or find us on Facebook.
Board Member name tag
Seeking Board Members
Are you looking for a way to become more connected to Disability Network? Do you want to have an active role in the future of Disability Network? If so, we are looking for YOU! We are now accepting applications for members of the board of directors and committees of the board. Please contact Kristen Potts at pottsk@dnswm.org or 269-345-1516, ext.119 for more information.
Say Yes to Seniors in Kalamazoo County 
_Say yes to Seniors_

Disability Network Southwest Michigan is proud to be a partner of the Say Yes to Seniors campaign--the Senior Millage Planning Committee in Kalamazoo County. Kalamazoo is one of only ten counties in the state of Michigan that does not have a senior millage.

The proposed millage would be used to support in-home and community services for seniors. This encompasses basic needs, such as home safety and repair, including ramps, home delivered meals, and in-home care services. Successful passage of this millage would make a significant difference in keeping seniors safe and living independently in their own homes.

Follow this link to read more about the Say Yes to Seniors millage campaign in Kalamazoo County. If you live in Kalamazoo County, mark your calendar and be sure to get out and vote on August 7 to support independent living and the needs of seniors in our community!
The Fault in our Stars _ book case

Join us at either our Kalamazoo or St. Joseph office on Wednesday, August 1, 12:00-2:30 p.m. to discuss the book and watch the movie The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.

Visit our website for more details about our Lunchtime Book Club.
fist _Disability Pride_
Disability Pride Workshops   

Society sends messages to people with disabilities that disability is "bad" -- something we should fix, change or hide.
We don't agree!

At our Disability Pride workshops we will explore and celebrate our disabilities as an important part of who we are. These free workshops are for people with disabilities and presented by people with disabilities.

Join Us for Pride Events throughout the Region.
  • St Joseph on August 10
  • Kalamazoo on August 24
  • Battle Creek on September 21
Visit our website for more details about our Disability Pride Workshops.

These workshops are being presented by Disability Network Southwest Michigan and Michigan Disability Rights Coalition.
Ableism 101:
Everything you know about disability is (probably) wrong!

In it's simplest form, ableism is the belief system that tells us it is better to be non-disabled than it is to be disabled. Ableism also examines disability discrimination on a systemic level by looking at the ways our society designs physically and socially segregated systems.

Join us as we discuss and dismantle harmful cultural ideas around disability.
At this workshop you will have the opportunity to:
  • Explore how the language we use around disability is a key component to supporting equality or perpetuating stigma
  • Identify and challenge your own unconscious bias around disability
  • Learn how to support the disability rights and disability justice community in Southwest Michigan
We are offering this workshop in both our Kalamazoo ( September 19) and St. Joseph ( September 28) offices. Visit our website for more details about the Ableism 101 workshops.

Meet the Newest Members of our Team
Laurie_ Max_ and Pam
Pictured from left to right:

Laurie Grimm is our Ramp-Up Coordinator. Laurie will be working out of our Kalamazoo office and serving all 8 counties in our region.

Max Hornick is our Travel Trainer & Transit Outreach Specialist in Kalamazoo County.

Pam Burpee is our Advocacy Coordinator. Pam will be working out of our Kalamazoo office and serving all 8 counties in our region.
About Disability Network Southwest Michigan
Disability Network Southwest Michigan serves 8 counties in Southwest Michigan: Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, Van Buren

Office Locations:
Kalamazoo: 517 E. Crosstown Pkwy., Kalamazoo, MI  49001, phone: (269) 345-1516
St. Joseph: 2900 Lakeview Avenue., St. Joseph, MI 49085, phone: (269) 985-0111

For the accessibility and well-being of our employees and visitors, Disability Network Southwest Michigan is a fragrance-free office. Please do not wear perfume, cologne or other scented products when visiting.

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.

Our Publications:
The LINK is our quarterly newsletter, available in printed format or emailed in electronic format.
Disability Digest is a monthly e-newsletter focused on Disability Rights issues and upcoming Disability Network happenings. Available in electronic format only.

You can sign up online for our publications at www.dnswm.org, or contact Dale at
abbottd@dnswm.org or (269) 345-1516 x123.Current and past issues of our publications are available on our website at www.dnswm.org.

This newsletter is available in alternative format upon request.

Support Our Work:
You can help support the work we do with a tax-deductible donation to Disability Network. Visit our website to donate online or call Kristen at (269) 345-1516 x119.