October 2014


A Publication of Disability Network Southwest Michigan

Changing Lives. Changing Communities.

Reporting Wages When You  

Receive SSI Just Got High-Tech  


You Might Qualify to Report your Earnings with a Smartphone App photo of a finger touching screen of a smart phone


The SSI Mobile Wage Reporting application allows reporting of the total gross monthly wages for the prior month using a mobile device. Wage reporters can download and install the free application on an Apple or Android mobile device.


Who can use this option? Only individuals receiving SSI meeting specific criteria can use this option.   Please contact your local Social Security office to see which wage reporting option is best for you.


SSI Wage Reporting reminders by text or email

Did you know you can sign up online to receive a monthly e-mail or text message SSI Wage Reporting Reminder from the Social Security Administration? Never forget to report earnings again!


Visit  www.socialsecurity.gov/ssiwagereporting to learn more.




Did Your Income Change When Minimum Wage Increased

 in September?  Are you unsure how this will affect you?


dollar bill Minimum wage in Michigan has increased from $ 7.40 an hour to $ 8.15 an hour. If you work and receive SSDI or SSI benefits and are not sure how the increase in your paycheck will impact your benefits, our Social Security Work Incentives Benefits Counselors can help answer your questions. Call us at (269) 345-1516.



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


woman holding chin in a thinking pose 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?


►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. 

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

Learn about disability and employment resources that can help you.


Date:  Tuesday, October 14, 2014  

Time:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Workshop Locations:

     Berrien County Location                  Calhoun County Location

     Disability Network Southwest MI        Financial Opportunity Center Office 

     2900 Lakeview Avenue                       15 Capital Avenue 

     St. Joseph, MI  49085                          Battle Creek, MI  49017 


    RSVP to Joanne (269) 982-7761        RSVP to Miranda (269) 345-1516 x120

    johnsonj@dnswm.org                          grunwellm@dnswm.org  



Let us know if you need an accommodation to participate.  For accessibility, please do not wear perfume, cologne or other scented products to these events.  Thank you. 

Assistive Technology:  Narrowing the Gap  

 Flyer for Closing The Gap 

This workshop is an introduction to do-it-yourself assistive devices and iPad apps for individuals with disabilities and will feature Dr. Therese Willkomm, who is know nationally and internationally as "The MacGyver" of assistive technology.


Date:  Monday, October 20, 2014
  8:30 am - 4:00 pm
Cost:  $35
Location: WMU Fetzer Center
note:  Fetzer Center now has a fully accessible bathroom.

Lunch is provided.

Register online at http://bit.ly/1pEFWkk or contact Jill at jillian.fraze@wmich.edu or (269) 387-7175 for more information.

Along with our partners at the Center for Disability Services at Western Michigan University, Michigan Disability Rights Coalition, Kalamazoo Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, the WMU Department of Occupational Therapy and Kalamazoo RESA, Disability Network Southwest Michigan is proud to be a co-sponsor of this event.

Domestic Violence & Disabilities   YWCA Kalamazoo logo says eliminating racism empowering women YWCA Kalamazoo


Disability Network Southwest Michigan has partnered with the YWCA of Kalamazoo to offer two workshops during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This workshop is for women with disabilities so they can learn about services that are available to them if they are experiencing domestic violence.
  • Tuesday, October 21, 2014
  • 11:00 am - 12:30 pm
  • Disability Network Southwest Michigan, 517 E. Crosstown Parkway, Kalamazoo, MI  49001
  • RSVP to Leatrice at fullertonl@dnswm.org or (269) 345-1516 x118


Domestic Violence & Disabilities:  Service Providers  

This workshop will provide information to service providers on the dynamics of domestic violence as well as the prevalence of domestic violence amongst those in the disability community.  This training will give service providers tools to use in screening for domestic violence when a disability is present.

  • Wednesday, October 22, 2014
  • 9:00 am - 11:00 am
  • YWCA of Kalamazoo, 353 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo, MI  49007
  • RSVP to Cheree at cthomas@ywcakalamazoo.org or (269) 385-2869.


Please let us know if you need an  accommodation to participate.  For the accessibility of everyone, please do not wear perfume, cologne or other scented products to these workshops.  Thank you. 

Workshop:  Public Transit in Benton Harbor  


Find out how public transportation decisions happen and how YOU can get involved to make it better. TCATA Bus photo

Date:  Friday, October 24, 2014
Time:  1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Location:  Michigan WORKS!, 499 Main Street, Benton Harbor, MI


Plan to attend this workshop to learn about:
  • The current services Twin Cities Dial-a-Ride offers and how you can use them.
  • Who to call if you have a problem with Dial-a-Ride.
  • Who makes the decisions about bus service in Benton Harbor.
  • How you can best advocate for better service.

Questions or need accommodations? Call Joanne at (269) 982-7761.

Need a ride to the workshop?  Call Deb at (269) 925-1137 x1519. 


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


This workshop is a partnership between Disability Network Southwest Michigan, Twin Cities Dial-A-Ride, the Benton Harbor Housing Commission and the Southwest Michigan Planning Commission


This workshop is for families whose child has a developmental disability as well as service providers working with students and their families. This workshop covers guardianship from a historical perspective, strangers as guardians, and what alternatives to guardianship are available.

Date:        Wednesday, November 19, 2014 
Time:        5:30 pm - 8:30 pm 
Location:  The ARC/Community Advocates
                 3901 Emerald Drive, Kalamazoo, MI  49001
Presenter:  Dohn Hoyle, Executive Director of ARC Michigan

Register online at www.michiganallianceforfamilies.org/rsvp or with
Kanika Littleton at (269) 364-6317 or by email at kanika@michiganallianceforfamilies.org.


How to Better Understand your  

Medicaid and Mental Health Rights 


photo of the flyer for this workshop This workshop is for anyone who wants a better understanding of rights, responsibilities and complaint processes under Community Mental Health services and Medicaid services.


Basic information will be provided on the purpose of each system.  Resource information for groups available to assist in navigating systems will be shared. 


Date:  Friday, November 21, 2014
Time:  9:30 am - 1:30 pm
Location:  Van Buren ISD Community Transition Center, 811 Hazen Street, Paw Paw, MI  49079

SCECH and Social Work CEs will be available for attending this training at a cost of $15.


To RSVP go to www.surveymonkey.com/s/DG5BXSX. For more information call  

(800) 292-7851 x472 or email info@michiganfamilyvoices.org.   


Disability Network Southwest Michigan is partnering with Michigan Family Voices, the Van Buren ISD, and the VBISD Parent Advisory Committee for this event. 

1st Annual Ramp-A-Thon Raises Funds to  

Increase Access and Independence 


As we celebrated Access for Everyone on the 24th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 25th, we were excited to kick-off the first annual Ramp-A-Thon, a fundraising campaign to support Disability Network's Ramp Up program.  metal ramp on trailer


The Ramp Up program is intended to ensure access for everyone and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities through an increase in independence by constructing ramps on the homes of people with disabilities who are facing an accessibility barrier. 


threee people on wooden ramp that is nearly complete  

A goal of $10,000 was announced at the ADA Celebration, and so far supporters have contributed $8,819.00 toward the construction of ramps in Southwest Michigan!   


Contributors include Disability Network Heritage Guild members, AMRamp, Allied Mechanical, Inc., First United Methodist Church - Kalamazoo and private donors.  Thank You! 


If you would like to help us reach our $10,000 goal, go to www.dnswm.org and click on the Donate button or mail a check or money order to 517 E. Crosstown Parkway Kalamazoo, MI  49001.  Be sure to let us know that you would like the donation earmarked for Ramp Up!


BARRY Berrien Branch Calhoun Cass Kalamazoo ST. JOSEPH VAN BUREN


Disability Network Southwest Michigan Office Information


Berrien County Location                Kalamazoo County Location

2900 Lakeview Avenue                      517 E. Crosstown Parkway

St. Joseph, MI  49085                         Kalamazoo, MI  49001

(269) 985-0111                                   (269) 345-1516




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