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January 2023

clipart images of people with disabilities in celebration

Creating Accessible and

Inclusive Communities

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Click here to view upcoming events.


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version of this newsletter.

feathers and fedoras click here for information
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.



man at table in roaring 20s attire

The party of the year is back! Feathers and Fedoras is a Roaring Twenties gala evening of dining, dancing, casino-gaming, and live and silent auctions.

Break out your black silk fedora or your best flapper dress and get ready to Foxtrot the night away!

Find Lady Luck at the casino tables, dance to the rhythm of Stone Street Revival, bid on exciting auction items, enjoy delicious food, and hit the speakeasy for champagne and gigglewaters!

people standing around a Craps table

Saturday, February 11, 2023

DoubleTree Hotel - Bay City

5:30 - 10:00pm

Tickets are just $50 per person.  All patrons receive one drink ticket for beer or wine. Heavy hors d'oeuvres stations are also featured throughout the venue.

Click Here To Purchase Tickets!

If your business would like to sponsor the event or if you need additional information, please contact Matthew Ivan at 989-430-6105.

Click Here To View a Sponsorship Menu
You're Invited to Feathers and Fedoras!

*Casino tables are for entertainment purposes only and are free and open to the public. No prizes, cash or otherwise, awarded based upon play.*


photo of kelly pelong woman wearing orange shirt

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan's Executive Director, Kelly PeLong, was recently nominated by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to the statewide Barrier Free Design Board.

The Barrier Free Design Board has the responsibility to receive, review, and process requests for exceptions to the barrier free design specifications, and requires appropriate equivalent alternatives when exceptions are granted. The Board receives, processes, and makes recommendations for barrier free design rules.

Kelly joins representatives from our sister Centers For Independent Living Paul C. Ecklund from Disability Network Southwest Michigan and Jamie Glenn of the Superior Alliance for Independent Living. These three passionate advocates for accessibility and inclusion will be strong voices on the board.


consumer advisory meetings in midland saginaw and online. midland is january 30th, from 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Eagle Ridge Church of God. A virtual meeting is February 1st, from 5:30 - 7:00 live on Zoom. A saginaw meeting is February 2nd from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at Resurrection Lutheran Church
two women at a consumer advisory dinner

We want to hear from you!

Join us in Saginaw, Midland, or online for our annual Consumer Advisory Meetings.

During the first half hour there will be time for dinner and gathering. Following a short welcome and introduction, there will be a round table discussion where all attendees will be encouraged to share their thoughts and ideas about what is working in the community and what improvements could be made to make things more accessible and inclusive.


Please click the button below to register.

We look forward to seeing you!

Click Here To Register


CARF Accredited

From January 18-20, a survey team from CARF International will be visiting the offices of Disability Network of Mid-Michigan. We invited the surveyors to evaluate how well we meet international standards for quality. The survey will tell us what we are doing well and areas we might improve. As a result of this survey, DNMM may earn or continue to be an accredited rehabilitation facility.

As part of the survey, the surveyors will interview people who receive services, their families, our staff, and others. Some questions the survey team ask participants include:

  • Does DNMM provide a clean and safe setting?
  • Do you receive the services you need and want?
  • Are you treated with respect?
  • Do you take part in planning your services?
  • Are you told what you need to know about your services?
  • Are your questions answered in a way you understand?
  • Do you know where to go with questions or concerns?

If you would like to talk with one of the survey team members please contact someone at DNMM (989-835-4041). You can also contact CARF directly at:

Internet: www.carf.org/contact-us

Email: feedback@carf.org

Phone: 866-510-2273


glaucoma awareness month ribbon in blue and soft yellow

More than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.

Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms and once vision is lost, it’s permanent. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is more prevalent. Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.

Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.


Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization. In the most common form, there are virtually no symptoms. Vision loss begins with peripheral or side vision, so if you have glaucoma, you may not notice anything until significant vision is lost.

The best way to protect your sight from glaucoma is to get a comprehensive eye examination. Then, if you have glaucoma, treatment can begin immediately.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness among African-Americans. And among Hispanics in older age groups, the risk of glaucoma is nearly as high as that for African-Americans. Also, siblings of persons diagnosed with glaucoma have a significantly increased risk of having glaucoma.


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”.

Shop at Amazon Smile. You Shop. Amazon gives.


AmazonSmile is a simple way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. AmazonSmile is available at smile.amazon.com on your web browser and can be activated in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS and Android phones.

All you have to do is logon to smile.amazon.com and then search for "Disability Network of Mid-Michigan" as the charity you want to support.

When you shop, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added benefit that AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Disability Network of Mid-Michigan.


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

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