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THE DISABILITY NETWORK
Net News - April 2015
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|Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the A D A
Twenty-five years ago, through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), our nation committed itself to eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities. The Disability Network is proud to be working towards a future in which all the doors are open to equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, integration and economic self-sufficiency for persons with disabilities.
Join Us Locally As We Celebrate
Genesee Health System and The Disability Network are teaming up to bring you the best celebration ever. The event will be held Friday, July 24th, on the grounds of Powers Catholic High School. Besides Food~Fun~Games~Music, we will have vendors, accessible bicycles, advocacy opportunities, and lots of information on the ADA. Look for more information soon but save the date now! If you are interested in helping sponsor this event, call TDN at 810-742-1800 for a full sponsorship menu.
Disability advocates from across the state are also planning a statewide celebration on the Michigan Capitol Lawn in Lansing on Thursday, September 17th, from 11:00 to 2:00. More information will be available soon at: dnmichigan.org
|Net News Information
NET NEWS is published quarterly by:
The Disability Network, a Center for Independent Living supporting people with any type of disability in Genesee County
NET NEWS is designed to inform people with disabilities and other interested parties, of disability related issues and other matters relevant to the disability community.
We welcome your comments and suggestions.
THE DISABILITY NETWORK
3600 S. Dort Hwy. Ste 54
Flint, Michigan 48507
(810) 742-1800 voice
(810) 742-7647 TTY
(810) 742-2400 fax
|The Independent Living Guide
The Disability Network is participating in a statewide Center for Independent Living (CIL) program—The Independent Living Guide.
Any person with a disability who desires to attain selfsufficiency may participate. We will work with individuals to access local resources, connect to services and overcome barriers. With a person centered approach, TDN staff will assist to develop a plan that works for you.
Call TDN at 810-742-1800. Let us be your “Guide”.
|MOVIES at The Disability Network
Please join us for a free movie and all-you-can-eat popcorn.
Thursday, April 16th
Thursday, May 14th
Thursday, June 18th
Movie titles have not been determined. Call us with suggestions.
|Dates of Interest
Board of Directors meeting - Wednesday, May 20
ADA Celebration - Friday, July 24
Computer Classes (call 742-1800 for starting dates)
|Nursing Facility Transition Program
Roger wanted to be pictured by the American flag because he says it represents the freedom that has returned to him in his personal life.
Roger had a stroke in 2012 and was placed in a nursing facility for rehab. At that time, he was assigned a court appointed guardian. Roger was referred to The Disability Network for the Nursing Facility Transition Program in 2013. The guardian was insisting that he stay at the facility for his own “safety”.
In December of 2014 he was finally allowed to transition back to the community into his own place. “I love my new home, out of the nursing home - yes!”
Then on March 10, 2015, Roger had his day in court, going before Judge Barkey to have the guardianship terminated. He was successful! He says, “I won. I’m a free man. I’m a free man.”
|Proposal 1—May 5, 2015 Better Connections, Better Future!
What is Proposal 1?
Proposal 1 on the statewide ballot on May 5 not only fixes our roads, but includes enough new revenue to guarantee that public transportation agencies are adequately funded now and in the future. This will allow transit agencies to provide newer, safer, and more buses that can go to more destinations with greater frequency. Transit agencies will be able to look at expanding hours of operation and restoring service that has been cut in recent years.
What if Proposal 1 doesn’t pass?
Passage of Proposal 1 fixes roads and benefits transit, but if it doesn’t pass, none of this can happen. Transit agencies will be forced to continue making cuts in service. Some systems might even be forced to consider ceasing operations. There is no back-up plan to Proposal 1. It took legislators and the Governor 18 years to put this proposal together for voters to consider. It could be just as long before a new plan can be prepared. Time that our roads and transit systems don’t have.
Why not just do more with the money already available, instead of raising the sales tax?
It is a 1 penny increase in the state sales tax from 6 cents to 7 cents – but there is also an elimination of the current 19 cent/gallon gasoline tax. And the lowest income earners, who can least afford the penny sales tax increase, also get a higher income tax credit under this plan. MDOT has already cut significantly over the past decade and begun using better construction techniques to make roads last longer. The fact is that maintaining roads and transit, just like owning private cars and keeping them well maintained, is expensive. We simply don’t have enough money in the entire state budget—if it all went to roads and transit—to keep our system up to good standards.
Is some transportation funding currently used for other non-transportation purposes?
Yes, but under this plan that practice ends. Every transportation dollar will go to transportation. But only if Proposal 1 passes.
You Decide! Vote May 5th
|Low-interest Loans Available
Seniors and people with disabilities (or their family members) can use the Michigan Assistive Technology Loan Fund to buy assistive technology devices and related services, including modification of vehicles and homes.
If you would like to apply for a loan to purchase any item or piece of equipment that will help you improve your independence and overall quality of life, The Disability Network is your local organization for Loan Fund information. Contact Carrie at The Disability Network at (810) 742-1800.
|Tutoring in Reading, Writing, and Math
The Disability Network is partnering with the Flint and Genesee Literacy Network and the Genesee County Literacy Coalition (GCLC) to provide Adult Literacy assistance at our Community Technology Center for individuals 18 years and over.
Whether you want to read for fun, or if you are pursuing your GED, The Disability Network would like to invite you to stop in and visit. Tutors have been trained through the GCLC and we look forward to helping you with your learning goals.
Become a Tutor
If you are 18 years or older and are interested in becoming a tutor, free training is available. Please call our Community Education Coordinator, Adrienne. The next GCLC tutor training is planned for June.
Donations of Reading Materials
If you have gently used books or magazines that need a new home, our Learning Corner is taking donations.
Computer classes will be starting again in April. Participants will be learning basic computer skills for daily use and GED preparation. We’ve updated to Microsoft Office 2013 and have Windows 8.1 machines available for use in class and in our Community Technology Center.
Call to enroll for the next session. Seats are limited.
|Governor Rick Snyder
In January, Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive order working to support Michigan residents who are homeless or facing mental health issues.
“It’s important to provide all Michiganders with the support they need to improve their quality of life,” Snyder said. “This executive order helps ensure that advancing mental health and wellness and ending homelessness remain priorities moving forward.”
Executive Order 2015-2 creates the Michigan Interagency Council on Homelessness. The council, which was a recommendation of the Mental Health and Wellness Commission, will update a 10-year plan to end homelessness and monitor and participate in its implementation. According to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, more than 86,000 people are homeless and thousands of those individuals have a mental illness, developmental disability or substance use disorder.
The council will include representatives from the Michigan departments of Military and Veterans Affairs, Community Health, Corrections, Education, Human Services, Natural Resources, Technology, Management and Budget and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The council will also include a representative from the courts and four members of the public.
The full text of the executive order is available at www.michigan.gov/snyder
|My Social Security
The Disability Network and Social Security Administration have come together to provide a safe place for you to access your benefits information. Our computer lab is the first in Flint to have quick access to Social Security through SSA Express.
Come on in and we’ll help you set up your Social Security account. With your account, you’ll be able to access your Social Security Statement, check your earnings, and get your benefit estimates. If you are receiving benefits now, you can also:
Get your benefit verification letter
Change your address
Start or change your direct deposit
There is no waiting at The Disability Network, versus waiting for your number to be called at the Social Security Office. Stop in today!
|Nursing Facility Transition Program
People moving back into the community need gently used furniture and cookware. Please help these wonderful people with a new start!
|Small Changes, Big Differences
The Disability Network has a contract through Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) to offer individuals a chance to try out daily living aids. This program is a part of Michigan’s Assistive Technology Program (MATP) – funded by the State of Michigan. Individuals can meet with Carrie at The Disability Network, a certified Assistive Technology Professional, to discuss barriers they are having and then try items that may help overcome those barriers.
EarlieB did just that – meeting with Carrie to see what Small Changes could make a Big Difference in his life. EarlieB, who wears hearing aids, had no consistent way of waking each morning. When asked how he managed to get up for an 8:00 am meeting, he said that he just went to bed earlier. When he met with Carrie to look at the daily living aids, she showed him two different vibrating alarm clocks. A vibration pad that is attached to the alarm clock can be placed under the sheet or pillow and when the alarm goes off, the vibration will occur, waking the user. Having a vibrating alarm clock will allow EarlieB the independence of waking on-time for daily living activities.
Do you have a daily living barrier? Would you like to see some low-cost items that can make your daily tasks easier? Make an appointment with Carrie by calling 810-742-1800 ext. 317.
|Kroger Community Rewards
Giving More Back to the Community!
Kroger is committed to helping communities grow and prosper. Year after year, local schools, churches and other nonprofit organizations earn millions of dollars through Kroger Community Rewards®. Now you can choose THE DISABILITY NETWORK to receive funds every time you shop at Kroger.
Register your Kroger Plus card at KrogerCommunityRewards.com and choose The Disability Network, Flint.
Kroger Community Rewards® makes fund-raising easy...all you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Plus Card!
|MI Hidden Talent Tour
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley and Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein announced a partnership to highlight the opportunities for hiring Michiganders with disabilities across the state. The MI Hidden Talent tour aims to showcase the skills of Michiganders with disabilities that are often overlooked. The effort will encourage businesses to develop disability hiring policies while connecting businesses with resources to fulfill workforce needs.
“Hiring Michiganders with disabilities would change the dynamic for many companies across our state,” Calley said. “There are more than 500,000 working-age adults whose talent could move a company to the next level – but they need to be given a chance first. We are working to implement more inclusive employment policies at the state level and are ready to encourage businesses statewide to do the same with this tour. The time is long overdue to celebrate different abilities in the workplace.”
At each stop, Calley and Bernstein will highlight a local business, setting an example for others in hiring as well as local partners available to help other businesses follow suit.
“Employers that hire disabled people are ultimately rewarded with team members who bring passion, energy, and loyalty to the workplace. Disabled employees rally their fellow workers and serve as a unified force who can teach the values of resiliency, compassion, and understanding,” said Justice Richard Bernstein. “People with disabilities are hardworking, energetic, and engaged people who will be loyal to their employer.”
|Federal Communications Commission
The federal agency tasked with regulating telephones, television and other communications technology is looking for advice on how to better serve people with disabilities. The Federal Communications Commission is convening a disability advisory committee for the first time.
The 40-member panel, which held its first meeting in March, will advise and provide recommendations to regulators on topics ranging from the accessibility of 911 services to closed captioning and telecommunications relay services.
Members include executives from major players like Yahoo, Verizon, AT&T and Comcast in addition to advocates from disability organizations, consumers and government officials.
“This new committee will provide sorely needed expertise and recommendations from consumer and industry stakeholders on communications and video programming issues,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. “We look forward to using this expertise to improve our ability to meet the needs of consumers with disabilities.”
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