Mike Zelley's Retirement:
Flint, Mich., After 26 years of founding and leading The Disability Network (TDN), Mike Zelley is retiring as President to focus on national disability issues and spend more time with his family. The TDN Board voted 16 year TDN veteran, Luke Zelley, as the new President.
Advocacy - Mike Zelley advocated for disability rights at the local, state and national level, collaborating with many business leaders, community leaders and legislators. Zelley hosted President Clinton's visit to The Disability Network, where the President announced Zelley as Chair of his National Task Force on Technology and Disability (NTFTD). The Task Force was supported by The Mott Foundation and over half of the NTFTD's 40 national policy recommendations were implemented.
“We are truly grateful for Mike's years of leadership and dedication to The Network and disability rights. Mike made a difference in disability policy that improved the lives of thousands of people with disabilities in our communities, state and nation.” said Bruce Chargo, Chairman of TDN’s Board of Directors.
Civil Rights - With Senate confirmation, Zelley was appointed by Governor Granholm and reappointed by Governor Snyder to the Michigan Civil Rights Commission (MCRC), where he was elected Chair. Mike served the MCRC for 8 years and was a lead commissioner for case review and recommendations on rulings to the Commission and Michigan Courts. He testified on civil rights for citizens with disabilities to the Michigan Senate and House.
Employment - Zelley provided direct testimony to the US Congress in DC, leading to the removal of employment barriers for people with disabilities in federal law. As Chair of the statewide MIJOB Coalition, Zelley championed implementation of Michigan's Freedom to Work Act. He also initiated Governor Snyder's three Business Summits on Disability Employment, attended by 600 company executives, who then hired over 5,000 people with disabilities. To improve employment for all Michigan citizens, Mike served as President of Michigan Works for 8 years.
Zelley guided TDN to serve hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities over the past 26 years and served on several local, state and national boards and commissions, including his current role on the MTA board of directors.
As a parting invitation, Mike Zelley encourages the community & friends to attend the TDN/GHS ADA Celebration on Friday, July 21st, 11am to 2pm at Flint Powers Catholic High School.
Provide opportunities to talk with others who have similar experiences and disabilities.
Provide information on any subject related to living independently with all disabilities. Refer individuals to other agencies in our community to assist in gaining independence.
Assist with innovative approaches to performing basic tasks that lead to independence, such as budgeting, futures planning, resume writing, application assistance and employment readiness.
Individual and systems advocacy to promote positive change for and with individuals. Work with individuals on self-advocacy assertiveness to promote personal empowerment. Systems advocacy activities in partnership with individuals and community members to affect attitudinal and environmental change. ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) information and education.