October 2013


A Publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan

Changing Lives. Changing Communities.

Join us for a free Disability & Employment Month workshop:


Interviewing for a Job When You Have
a Disability or Medical Condition
How, When & Why to Talk About It

woman thinking 

 What do I have to tell an employer about my medical condition or disability?


Should I tell them about my medical condition during the interview or can I wait until after I'm hired?


What if I need to do my job differently than co-workers?  Can they fire me because of my disability?  What are my rights?


Topics for discussion:

 Learn the only reason you have to tell an employer about your disability or medical condition.

 Find out the best way to ask for an accommodation at work.

 Learn your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

 Learn about disability and employment resources that can help you.


Kalamazoo County


Date:        Tuesday, October 8, 2013                                    

Time:        2:00 pm - 3:30 pm 


Location:  Disability Network Southwest Michigan

                  517 E. Crosstown Parkway

                  Kalamazoo, MI  49001


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


Berrien County


Date:        Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Time:        2:00 pm - 3:30 pm


Location:  Disability Network Southwest Michigan

                  2900 Lakeview Avenue

                  St. Joseph, MI  49085


RSVP to Joanne at (269) 982-7761 or johnsonj@dnswm.org.



Please do not wear perfume, cologne or other scented products to this event. 




Disability Network Southwest Michigan is

hosting workshops with Michigan Family Voices 



Barry County:   How to Better Understand Your Medicaid, Mental Health and Educational Rights 


October 14, 2013         9:00 am - 3:00 pm         Cost $10

This training is for anyone who wants a better understanding of rights, responsibilities and the complaint processes for

  • Community/Hospital Mental Health
  • Medicaid Services and
  • Special Education Services

Basic information will be provided on the purpose of each system, who is eligible, how to  gain access, and what to expect in the process.


A limited number of scholarships are available.





Barry County:  Transition Planning for Young Adults with Disabilities: Employment, Community Living, Housing and Social Security


 October 22, 2013        9:00 am - 3:00 pm           Cost $10


Representatives from state and local organizations will share information with families, service coordinators, case managers and others who work with young adults. Tools from the "Helping Young Adults with Disabilities Reach Their Hopes and Dreams" toolkit will be shared.


A limited number of scholarships are available. 



Barry County:  SSI and other Social Security Disability Benefits 


October 22, 2013           9:00 am - 3:00 pm        Cost:  FREE


 This workshop will show you how programs like a Plan for Achieving Self Support (PASS) and others can help you reach your personal dreams and goals.  Karen Larsen is the trainer for this workshop.  She worked for the Social Security Administration for 27 years beginning as a claims specialist and holding progressively responsible positions in management.



 Kalamazoo County:

 Essential Communication Skills for IEP Team Meetings 


October 30, 2013         9:00 am - 3:00 pm            Cost $10

This workshop will help you identify what makes a quality IEP and help you better partner as a team -always keeping in mind the best interest of the student.  The focus is on moving from filling out a form to a student-centered process.  This workshop includes discussion, activities and an opportunity to practice good communication skills.

A limited number of scholarships are available. 



Barry County:  Discipline for Students with IEPs


November 20, 2013  9:00 am - 3:00 pm  Cost $10


This workshop addresses factors influencing discipling students with IEPs, including disparities based on race or ethnicity.  Learn about the legal requirments and alternatives to suspension and expulsion.


A limited number of scholarships are available.

Additional details about all of these workshops are available
on our website www.dnswm.org under Upcoming Events


SCECH and SW continuing education credits are available for an additional $15


Contact Michigan Family Voices at (800) 292-7851 x472 or info@michiganfamilyvoices.org for scholarship information. 


  CJ Jones to Perform in Kalamazoo


CJ Jones is an international Deaf entertainer who has been delighting audiences young and old with his unique style of visual imagery and storytelling for over 25 years.
Friday, November 15, 2013
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Texas Township Campus
Dale B. Lake Auditorium
Voice Interpreted
$15 at the door (if available)
$12 before November 11th
$5 for children under 12CJ Jones
$10 for deaf/HOH, students and senior citizens over 65
Tickets available through the KVCC Bookstore www.bookstore.kvcc.edu

Become a Member Today


Membership at Disability Network Southwest  Michigan has many benefits - and now there is one more: 
We are starting a members-only book club! 
Books chosen will be available in accessible formats.
 Woman reading a book
Contact Kristen at (269) 345-1516 or pottsk@dnswm.org for membership information.
Getting Prepared in Case
of an Emergency


Disability Network Southwest Michigan received a grant from ADA Michigan to create a website to help people with disabilities get ready for natural disasters and other emergency situations.

 Emergency Kit

What are your plans if the power goes out in the winter?


What should you take with you if you are told to leave your home

because of a flood?


This website will have information available in different ways to help you get answers to those questions, including:

  • Picture based checklists
  • Captioned videos
  • Audio files
  • Standard text

To learn more, visit www.dnswm.org and click on the "Emergency Preparedness" button on the left menu.

Annual Meeting:   

Access for Everyone


Date:   Monday October 28, 2013


Time:   4:30 pm - 6:30 pm; 5:30 program


Location:  Holiday Inn West - Kalamazoo

                 2747 South 11th Street

                 Kalamazoo, MI  49009


Hors d'oeuvres provided; cash bar


Cost:  $10 Members/$15 non-Members


Contact Kristen for more information

(269) 345-1516 x 119 or  pottsk@dnswm.org.

 Learn About How the Affordable Care Act

will Affect You


The Brain Injury Association of Michigan and Michigan Consumers for Healthcare are hosting forums around Michigan to help people with disabilities, their families, and service providers understand the changes that are coming with the Affordable Care Act.


Topics for discussion:

Michigan Brain Injury Association Logo How the healthcare reform will be implemented

 How to navigate the new health insurance marketplace

 The implications of Medicaid expansion

 Implications for those managing a pre-existing disability


Speaker:  Brett Williams, Michigan Consumers for Healthcare


Thursday, October 10, 2013

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Michigan Consumers for Healthcare Logo

Disability Network Southwest Michigan

517 E. Crosstown Parkway

Kalamazoo, MI  49001


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

St. Joseph/Maud Preston Palenske Public Library

500 Market Street

St. Joseph, MI


Contact Diane Dugan at (810) 229-5880 or ddugan@biami.org for more information.

Do you have a disability related question? 
We can help you find the answer.

 Sharon DeHaan

Our staff are the disability experts in Southwest Michigan.  


Whether you want to know about your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), where to find disability related resources in your community, or how to find a talking alarm clock, we are here to help. 


We are open Monday through Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm.


Call (269) 985-0111 in Berrien and Cass Counties


Call (269) 345-1516 in Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren Counties


You can also find us online at www.dnswm.org.



BARRY Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Kalamazoo ST. JOSEPH VAN BUREN



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