Newsletter | December 2023

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Peer Group Events

Peer groups provide an organized environment for people to encourage, advocate and educate one another. Peer Group events are being held both in-person and virtually.

Peer Group Calendar

From the Beginning

The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) on 3 December was proclaimed in 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly resolution 47/3. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. 

IDPWD is for everyone: people, organizations, agencies, schools – all of whom have a vital role to play in identifying and addressing discrimination, marginalization, exclusion and inaccessibility that many people living with disabilities face. International Day of People with Disabilities is one day on the calendar, but it symbolizes the actions we should take every day, in order to create diverse and inclusive communities.

What is IDPWD for?

  • Celebration – to recognize and value the diversity of our community, and to cherish the role we all play, regardless of our abilities.
  • Learning – to understand and learn from the experiences of people living with a disability.
  • Optimism – to look towards the future and a world where a person is not defined by their disabilities but by their abilities.
  • Action – where all people not only show their support for IDPWD but take on a commitment to create a world characterized by equal human rights.

Disability Network Mid-Michigan invites you to join in celebrating IDPWD on December 3rd, and works every day to create accessible and inclusive communities.

Planning for an Emergency 

Are you prepared to handle an emergency situation? Do you have a plan?

Disability Network Mid-Michigan is excited to once again offer MY3P (My Personal Protection Plan) - an emergency preparedness series that will help you Make a Plan, Build a Kit, and Be Informed.

Session dates and topics are: 

January 8 from 4-6pm | Part One

Creating My Action Plans and Support Network

January 15 from 4-6pm | Part Two

Creating My Go Kit and Evacuation Plan and Assistive Technology For Your Go Kit

January 22 from 4-6pm | Part Three

Advanced Care Directives and Personal Safety

All sessions are FREE and will be conducted virtually on Zoom. Participants will be given flash drives with all the essential resources to customize their plan. Class size is limited so register now!

Register Now

Seasonal Affective Disorder Month 

December is Seasonal Affective Disorder Awareness Month. SAD is more than just the winter blues - it's a very real type of depression that's most commonly associated with the fall and winter months. 

Sometimes, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behavior when the seasons change, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Talk to a health care provider about the potential benefits and risks of different treatment options and which treatment is best for you. Watch the above video to learn more about SAD and what you can do about it.

Holiday Mental Health

December brings with it thoughts of gift-giving and holiday cheer, but for many people, the holiday season can actually be the most difficult time of the year. In 2014, NAMI found that 64% of people with mental illness say the holidays make their conditions worse. A 2021 survey showed that 3 in 5 Americans feel their mental health is negatively impacted by the holidays. 

If you find yourself feeling anxious about the holidays, you are certainly not alone. Here are a few steps you can take to prioritize your mental health during this hectic season:

  1. Accept Your Feelings – The holidays can bring up a range of emotions for people. Try your best to acknowledge and accept your emotions rather than place judgment on them. Give yourself compassion and allow yourself to sit with whatever you’re feeling.
  2. Maintain Healthy Habits – For many people, the holidays lead to a massive disruption in their day-to-day routine. But maintaining healthy habits like going to therapy, getting enough sleep and exercising are critical to keeping your mental health on track.
  3. Set Boundaries – People like to be generous during the holidays, but that generosity doesn’t have to come at the expense of having healthy boundaries. It’s OK to say no. It’s also OK to limit the time you spend with family that you may have a complicated dynamic with.
  4. Make Time To Connect – Connection and meaning are critical to our mental health. Make time for your important relationships and connect with yourself through self-care. You can even connect with loved ones who are no longer with you through a family tradition or a personal remembrance ritual. 

If you are looking for a way to connect, check out our Peer Group Events

Celebrating Sensory-Friendly Options in the Community

Disability Network Mid-Michigan would like to thank Midland Center for the Arts for offering sensory-friendly options. They are featuring a "relaxed performance" of Holiday Pops on December 9th, with lower light and sound levels, special effects removed, and doors that remain open.

Also new this year was a sensory-friendly area along the Santa Parade route in Midland, where the band stopped playing, and lights and music were stopped to make it possible for people with sensory disabilities to enjoy the parade. The sensory block of Ashman Street between Pine and Gove Streets was chosen because, by next year's parade, it will have a universally-accessible Change Places restroom.

It is important to remove barriers and encourage access and inclusion so that everyone in our community can realize their potential and enjoy what life has to offer – regardless of ability.

Inclusive Holiday Planning

Nearly every family includes people with some kind of disability, and almost everyone has at least one friend, neighbor, or co-worker with a disability – this could range from a mobility impairment, vision or hearing loss, or a cognitive disability. This means that planning to make your holiday events accessible and welcoming for people with disabilities is important.

Many people who may not identify as having a disability experience significant chronic pain or illness – which can affect how long they can tolerate events comfortably, and whether they feel safe being with others. And holidays can be especially difficult for people with mental illness, especially when they are related to family trauma.

Article: 3 ways to make your holidays more disability-friendly

Office Closure for the Holidays

The office will be closed for the holidays on the following days:

Monday, 12/25/23


Tuesday, 12/26/23


Friday, 12/29/23


Monday, 1/1/24

If you or someone you know needs assistance,

please call us at 989-835-4041 or email us.

Disability Network Mid-Michigan is a Toys For Tots Drop-Off Location!

Disability Network Mid-Michigan will be a drop-off location for Toys For Tots donations again this year. Spread some holiday joy to the children in our community and help fill the Toys For Tots box with new, unwrapped toys. The collection goes through December 7th in the lobby at 1705 S. Saginaw Road in Midland.

If you would like to request a toy this year, simply visit Toys For Tots and enter your state and county.

Do you need food?

Find Resources Near You

Statement of Inclusion

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

Accessibility Statement

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 that 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 with us.

Contact Us

Disability Network Mid-Michigan

989-835-4041 |

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