Disability network mid-michigan orange and blue logo
Visit our Website


March 2023

clipart images of people with disabilities in celebration

Creating Accessible and

Inclusive Communities

Donate Now


Click here to view upcoming events.


Click here for a text-only

version of this newsletter.

cover of the 2022 dnmm annual report with the theme Moving Foward

Click Here To Read Our

2022 Annual Report

virtual peer group events
group of peers


Peer Group events are being held both

in-person and virtually. A complete list of all peer group events can be found at www.dnmm.org/virtualpeer.

Click here to view the peer group event calendar.



A community of over 230 supporters came out Saturday, February 11, for DNMM's seventh annual Feathers and Fedoras fundraiser. The event, hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton Riverfront in Bay City, included immersive roaring 20s art-deco décor, heavy hors d'oeuvres, casino games, auctions, giggle waters, and live music by Stone Street Revival. Also featured during the evening were a “Newsies” stand, a red-carpet experience, and 1920s era dance instruction by Dance By Angela.

Proceeds from the event benefited DNMM’s programs that support the independent living goals of people with disabilities throughout twelve counties in mid-Michigan.

people in roaring 20s attire on the dance floor

“Everyone in this room is making a critical difference in the lives of so many in our communities,” said DNMM Executive Director Kelly PeLong. “Their support directly influences our core services that provide peer support and mentoring, independent living skill building, community transitions, advocacy at the individual and systems level and information and referral services.”

Feathers and Fedoras is a celebration of community. Whether it is a young adult with disabilities gaining the skills and confidence needed for life after high school or someone with disabilities transitioning from a nursing home back to an independent living environment, they are able to fully access and participate in their community. As advocates for people with disabilities, it is DNMM’s vision to remove barriers to success for every individual, every organization, every commercial enterprise, and every community.

group of people wearing roaring 20s attire seated at table

“The success of Feathers and Fedoras is due to a community of dedicated and diverse individuals,” added PeLong. “From our corporate sponsors and supporters throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region, to our passionate volunteers, staff, and the consumers we serve, we are working together to create accessible and inclusive communities where all people can fully participate and belong.”

Feathers and Fedoras Highlights video


Dow Logo
access companies logo
Wildfire Credit Union logo
bhs insurance
servinski sod service logo
mccann properties logo
Michigan Sugar logo
Fabiano Brothers logo
united bay community credit union logo
midland daily news logo
great lakes loons logo
great hall banquet and convention center logo
david and patti kepler foundation
garber automotive group logo
saginaw spirit logo
three rivers corporation
gavin and associates logo
gambrell and associates
horizon bank logo
furlo auctioneers logo


"Advocate. Educate. Empower."

Video Link to Advocate. Educate. Empower video on dNMM services

Click here to view this and many more feature

videos at our YouTube page!


various fruits, vegetables and bread

What is the change?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government authorized extra food assistance dollars to be distributed to help address food insecurity. These extra benefits are ending in February due to recent federal legislation.

What does this mean?

Your total food assistance benefits will be less than you have been receiving. The extra federally approved dollars will no longer be included in your benefits.

When will the change take place?

February is the last month you will receive the extra COVID-19 benefits. Beginning in March, you will receive your regular benefit amount.

Where can I find my regular benefit amount?

You can find your regular benefit amount by logging into your MIBridges account or the ebtEDGE portal. The grantee on a FAP case can also call 1-844-464-3447 and follow the prompts to obtain the current month’s benefit information.

What can I do to prepare for this change?

  1. Make sure to check your regular benefit amount so you can plan for this change.
  2. If you need additional resources, we urge you to seek out:
  • Call 2-1-1 to learn about community resources.
  • Community partners.
  • Double Up Food Bucks.
  • Food banks.
  • WIC (Women, Infants & Children Program).
  • Free and reduced-price school meals.

Click Here For A Page of Frequently Asked Questions


March is Women's History Month. Throughout history, women's contributions and accomplishments have been generally overlooked. This is even more so for women with disabilities, whose stories and achievements seem to be often left out of women's history. These women have achieved great things, from activism, politics to even becoming war heroes. This article, originally published at www.europeana.eu, highlights four women whose accomplishments intersect in several ways, proving that no one fits in a single box.

barbara jordan wearing white waving hand and smiling

Barbara Jordan was a lawyer, educator, politician, and Civil Rights leader. She was born February 21, 1936 in Houston, Texas, and she became the first Black American elected to the Texas Senate in 1966, and the first Black woman from the South elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1972.

During her time in the Texas Legislature, she sponsored or co-sponsored more than 70 bills, mostly in support of underprivileged and minoritized communities.

She is described by the U.S National Archives as the first LGBTQ+ woman in congress. Though she never spoke out about her sexuality in her lifetime, her life companion, Nancy Earl was not kept a secret either. In 1973 Barbara began to suffer from multiple sclerosis and Nancy became her main caregiver. After her death in 1996, she became the first Black American to be buried in the Texas State Cemetery.

young indian woman wearing british military uniform

Noor Inayat Khan was a British resistance agent in France who served as a Special Operations Executive in World War Two. She was born January 1, 1914 to Inayat Khan, an Indian Muslim professor of musicology, and Pirani Ameena Begum (born Ora Ray Baker), an American poet.

In 1940 Noor joined the Women’s Auxiliary Airforce, and was assigned to be trained as a wireless operator. She was the first woman sent for specialized training in occupied territory when she was deployed as a spy to France.

Her fingers were permanently swollen due to a circulation disorder in which the small blood vessels are inflamed, called chilblains. Due to this she had a distinctive style of tapping out Morse Code.

She was captured towards the end of the war, and attempted to escape twice. After her escape attempts she was transferred to the Dachau concentration camp, where she was executed. After her death she was awarded the George Cross, the highest civilian decoration in the UK and the French Croix de Guerre with a silver star.

female using wheelchair in britain in early 20th century

Rosa May Billinghurst was a British suffragette and women's rights activist born May 31, 1875.

Her mother’s family manufactured piano’s and her father was a banker. She survived polio as a child and was left unable to walk. She wore leg irons and either used crutches or a tricycle to move around. In 1907 she became a member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) and two years later founded its Greenwich branch.

She attended the ‘Black Friday’ demonstrations and was arrested after the police capsized her from her tricycle. She was once left on a side street by the police after they let the air out of her tires and stole the valves. Despite the brutality she faced by the police and her arrests, she kept taking part in demonstrations where she would place her crutches on both sides of her tricycle and charge on.

black woman smiling drinking coffee

Jazzie Collins was a Black American trans woman activist and community organizer for transgender rights, disability rights and economic equality in San Francisco.

She was born September 24, 1958 in Memphis and moved to San Francisco in 1988. In San Francisco she campaigned on behalf of minoritized communities and was one of the original members of Queers for Economic Equality Now (QUEEN). She organized a number of protests as well as the city’s annual Trans March and was also Vice Chair of both the LGBT Ageing Policy and LGBT Senior Disabled Housing Task Forces.

Jazzie was community manager for an organization dedicated to defending the rights of seniors and disabled people called Senior and Disability Action. She was also open about being HIV positive and two years after her death in 2013, the first homeless shelter in the United States for the adult LGBTQ+ community was opened in her honor and called Jazzie's Place.


older man wearing maroon coat and white shirt

Steven wanted to continue living on his own, but he wasn’t sure it was possible anymore. He found himself in nursing home after nursing home, from Allen Park to Bay City. “Until I met Alisha from Disability Network,” said Steven, “I didn’t think I’d ever move out.”

Alisha met with Steven in October and started working with him and his daughter on finding affordable and accessible housing closer to his daughter in Evart. They completed an application for the Evart Housing Commission, submitted it and waited for his approval. During that time Alisha was able to help Steven get a cell phone and to get needed documentation for the housing commission. Steven was approved for an apartment in mid-December. Alisha worked with Steven to secure furniture and to purchase groceries. He moved in his new home on December 20.

“Having Dad in his own place is the best Christmas present,” said Steven’s daughter. “You can always tell whether or not someone actually cares,” said Steven. “Alisha truly does. She cares about people and I can't thank her enough!"


Working American's making $64,000 or less are leaving money on the table every year during tax season. Many are unaware that they qualify for free tax preparation through United Way's MyFreeTaxes program.

"Only four in ten surveyed were aware of the Child Tax Credit (CTC)," shared a United Way official. "Fewer than six in ten know about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and nearly 20% were not aware of any tax credits."

MyFreeTaxes is a free, safe, and easy way for anyone earning $64,000 or less to file their state and federal taxes.

Video about United Way's Tax Help Services

Tax refunds help working Americans pay for everyday needs like food, housing and utilities along with providing a way to save for the future.


United Way also funds a tax assistance program at the Midland Community Center. They partner with AARP volunteers who provide on-site tax preparation for moderate- to low-income seniors and low-income individuals.


Services will be offered in 2023 on Thursdays and Fridays from February 2 through April 14. Free tax preparation is provided in the Barstow Shipps Wing of the Midland Community Center from 8:30 am to 4 pm by appointment only. Starting January 9, 2023 qualified people can begin calling the Community Center at 832-7937, then press 6 or email taxhelp@greatermidland.org for their tax client appointment. Please leave a message speaking slowly with your full name and phone number; someone will call you back with available dates and times. There will NOT be walk-ins for the 2023 tax year. 

Click Here For More Information About Midland's Program.


United Way of Saginaw County is once again offering free tax preparation services to individuals and families through its IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Saginaw County residents can visit a VITA site to have their taxes prepared for free. Sites include Frankenmuth Credit Union (544 N. Main St., Frankenmuth) and at United Way's office (100 S. Jefferson Ave, Saginaw). The United Way of Saginaw County wants all individuals and families to move towards long term financial stability and independence. 

VITA allows Saginaw County residents to process their returns efficiently and accurately at no cost to the taxpayer. Appointments are required. Call 2-1-1- to schedule. The United Way tax program is completely free of charge and returns will be e-filed with the IRS to provide a prompt refund without any fees.


Tax preparation assistance is offered through MidMichigan Community Action Agency in Clare and Gladwin Counties. Please call the office nearest you to schedule an appointment: Farwell: 989-386-3805 or Gladwin: 989-426-2801Click here to view MMCAA Tax Assistance website.


The United Way of Bay County Tax Assistance and Filing for Low-Income Individuals, Families, Senior-Citizens, and Persons with Disabilities through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.  The program runs through April 15th. Call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment.


As we attend community events, people often approach our staff and ask how they can help. The best way to help is be an advocate. Talk to your friends and family about person-first language. Talk with government officials about ways to make our communities accessible. Talk with employers about hiring people with disabilities and the values of an inclusive workforce.

But you can also help DNMM directly and there are a number of ways to do so. You can always donate money directly by visiting our website or you can text "dnmm" to 56651. But did you know you can support Disability Network while shopping for groceries or goods?



This program makes it easy to support DNMM based on the shopping you do every day. Once you link your Kroger Card to our organization, all you have to do is shop at Kroger and swipe your Shopper’s Card and a portion of your purchase at the checkout counter will be donated to DNMM - at no additional cost to you!

Here’s how it works:

1. Create a digital account at Kroger.com

A digital account is needed to participate in Kroger Community Rewards. If you already have a digital account, simply link your Shopper’s Card to your account so that all transactions apply toward the organization you choose.

2. Link your Card to Disability Network of Mid-Michigan.

Selecting the organization that you wish to support is as simple as updating the Kroger Community Rewards selection on your digital account.

1. Sign in to your digital account.

2. Enter "Disability Network of Mid-Michigan or our NPO number - PR812

3. Click “Save”.


Inclusion is a universal human right for all people, regardless of race, age, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation, or any other discernible quality. To be inclusive is to promote a sense of belonging, respect, and value for who you are as a person. It is about equal access and opportunities for everyone. Inclusion is an integral part of our Independent Living philosophy and of our agency's vision of accessible and inclusive communities.

DNMM offices have been, and continue to be, places of solace, understanding, and information for all. We are committed to promoting and protecting diversity and inclusion, within our offices, among our community partners, and throughout the 15 Centers for Independent Living in Michigan.

people of various ethnicities and abilities


DNMM advocates for the removal of barriers to independence and full inclusion of people with disabilities throughout the Mid-Michigan area. DNMM pledges to ensure accessibility. Each year, DNMM conducts a review of its own architectural, environmental, attitudinal, employment, communication, transportation, and other barriers that may exist which prohibit full access to our services.

If you have any issues of concern regarding the accessibility of DNMM services and facilities, we encourage you to share that information.

Please click here to contact us.

Disability symbols for blind, deaf, cognitive, and physical disabilities
map of michigan with service area counties selected: alcona, arenac, bay, clare, gladwin, gratiot, iosco, isabella, midland, ogemaw, roscommon, and saginaw


989-835-4041 | dnmm.org

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram