March - April 2019
Chair Maintenance and Rider Safety
a black wheelchair with blue leg rests sits still on a rug over tile floor
Congratulations you made it through another Michigan Winter. Spring officially began this year on March 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm Eastern Time according to AccuWeather.  What are you going to do with this new found freedom of the outdoors after months inside? Being shut up inside can be emotionally and physically draining for some. Spring is a great time to simply recharge our human batteries while we freshen up the physical world around us.  One of the things about leading a more independent life is that people with disabilities take on new responsibilities as we exercise our independence.  For those of us with mobility issues and devices we rely on for moving about, this is an opportune time to do a little home mobility device cleaning and inspection.

If you use a mobility device to get around, give that a good looking over. These devices have much in common with bicycle maintenance. No need initially for special mechanical skills. Rust, dirt, grime, pet hair, salt and moisture are the enemy. A good cleaning is a great place to start and will help you spot any parts that are worn, broken, or loose. Generally, pay attention to what you’re cleaning and what it is made of, such as plastic, metal, aluminum, rubber, or fabric and use appropriate products. Lastly, wearing bright colors and adding some reflective tape to the front and back of the device will be helpful. Never assume people see you. In most cases you are less than 4 ft.tall.
Jeannie D. Inman Scholarship Recipient Ila Hendershot
young college girl holds her scholarship in honor of Jeannie Inman.  Jeannie's elderly parents are at her sides
On Friday, March 22nd dis Ability Connections was proud to announce and present the Jeannie D. Inman Memorial Scholarship to Ila Hendershot. Ila is currently a student at Jackson College and also a volunteer inside the office at dis Ability Connections. Ila has shown the grit and determination exemplified by Jeannie herself, and we certainly enjoy having her around. Ila plans to put the scholarship to use at nearby Jackson College with an initial focus towards Pre-Law.  

Jeannie Inman was an integral piece in establishing the first Center for Independent Living in Jackson. Jeannie passed away in 2002. Her parents are still here and were genuinely proud to personally attend and award Ila the scholarship while they carry along the legacy of their daughter. We all wish Ila the best in all her ventures going forward and very proud to name her the 2019 recipient of the Jeannie D. Inman Scholarship.  
Keeping Your Money with MiABLE
Man in a suit and tie stands in front of a screen that says MI Able.
Scott de Varona, MiABLE Program Director, stands in front of a group on March 20th inside the Hillsdale ISD building as he delivers a presentation about the value and usefulness of people with disabilities having a MiABLE savings account. People with disabilities that receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) must always keep in mind their assets and its limitation. Basically, if you have a disability and collect SSI your savings can never exceed $2,000. Yet, expenses for equipment, medical costs, or services can be costly and difficult to afford when you only have up to $2,000 in your banking. Keeping in mind the other bills that occur like rent, utilities, food, and phone all coming from that same possible $2,000. It is understandably frustrating, irritating, and even mind boggling the constraints Social Security imposes on people that are doing the best with what they have and know.

However, a MiABLE savings account could be part of a solution. A person with a MiABLE savings account can have considerably more money stashed away for when those disability related expenses arise. " A MiABLE savings account offers the flexibility to pay for a wide variety of “qualified disability expenses.” Plus, expenses are not limited to items that are “medically necessary.”" Without penalty, a person can use the funds in their MiABLE account to pay for those qualifying purchases. Meanwhile, the person can continue a personal bank account and follow the $2,000 limit knowing they now have a little more financial stability. The fear of having money to pay for costly needs, losing benefits for non-compliance, or crossing some other unknown financial boundary can be lightened if you use a MiABLE account for extra savings. As with anything related to your income and benefits, consult with an adviser about what is in your best interest.

To learn more about this great program for people with disabilities or check on eligibility please check into their website or speak to a rep and call (844)656-7225.
Airline Incident Reports for Mobility Devices
The above image is the first release of information of the long over due record of airlines and their newly required monthly report of incidents with mobility devices. Following a long stall by the airlines dating back into the Presidency of Barrack Obama, in October of 2018 President Trump signed this amendment into the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. Just in time for Spring Break and flying away to a warm destination the information is finally published. Heard the horror stories of traveling as a person with disabilities and mobility device destruction? While this is just the first report, each monthly report will help shape the more reliable airlines and those that can improve their handling of passenger mobility devices. Prior to your next flight you can check on the monthly reports, the information can be found at this website WWW.TRANSPORTATION.GOV
data of damage reports for airlines and the mobility devices they have transported
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