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July 2022

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Creating Accessible and

Inclusive Communities

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A day to celebrate the A D A July 27  auburn city park 4 to 7 pm
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 day to celebrate ADA.png

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan and Personal Assistance Options invite you to join them for community picnic celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

WHEN: Wednesday, July 27, from 4:00 - 7:00pm

WHERE: Auburn City Park, 435 S. Auburn Rd, Auburn


WHAT: Live Music, Food Trucks, Fun and Games, Kayaking, and Fishing. 

SPECIAL GUESTS: Lou E. Loon and Sammy Spirit!


We'll also have partner tables with organizations from throughout the area providing valuable resources and information.

As you walk around the park, you'll notice several informative displays detailing the history of the ADA and the effect its passage has had on our communities.

banner image of black wheelchair user at community picnic, the signing of the ADA in july 1990, and a young adult kayaking


three kids hugging and smiling

The first Disability Pride Day was held in Boston in 1990; and the first U.S. based Disability Pride parade was held in Chicago in 2004. Today, Disability Pride parades are held in a number of places nationwide and these events celebrate “disability culture” with the intention to positively influence the way people think about and/or define disability and to end the stigma of disability. Pride comes from celebrating our heritage, disability culture, the unique experiences that we have as people with disabilities and the contributions we offer society.

girl with down's syndrome smiling with paint on fingers

“There is a tremendous need to create a counter-culture that teaches new values and beliefs, and acknowledges the dignity and worth of all human beings. Disability pride is a direct response to this need.” – Sarah Triano, National Disabled Students Union.

Disability pride month is a way for people with disabilities to celebrate who they are, and for others to better understand how they can become better allies for the disabled community. The more this pride month is celebrated and made public the closer we come to a more inclusive world. Disability Pride, much like LGBTQ+ Pride, is all about celebrating and reclaiming visibility in public because people with disabilities have historically been pushed out of public spaces, and while they have some similarities the two do represent different communities.

Disability Pride continues to evolve, thanks to the hard work of disability activists who have fought for representation and equality. Whether you are familiar with the disability justice movement or are new to thinking about what it means, a great deal of work remains to ensure that the needs of the disability community are met.


There is a disability pride flag, it has a black background and diagonally across the flag are five zigzag lines colored blue, yellow, white, red, and green. The diagonal lines are to represent lightning bolts and each color represents something unique about the disability community.

  1. The Black Field: this field is to represent the disabled people who have lost their lives due to not only their illness, but also negligence, suicide, and eugenics.
  2. The Lightning Bolt: the shape of the lightning bolt represents the non-lateral lives that many disabled people live, often having to adapt themselves or their physical routes to get around an inaccessible society.
  3. The Colors: each color on this flag represents a different aspect of disability or impairment,
  • Blue: mental illness.
  • Yellow: cognitive and intellectual disabilities.
  • Green: sensory perception disabilities.
  • Red: physical disabilities.


There are countless ways to celebrate Disability Pride. We'd love for everyone to join us at our free community event in Auburn on Wednesday, July 27th as we celebrate the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you're looking for other ways to celebrate, consider reading this article by disability activist Daphne Frias. Daphne offers 11 interesting ways to learn about disabilities and to show disability pride.

Tik Tok Creators Show Disability Pride


tri kids try logo written in green red and yellow with drawing of running, swimming, and biking beneath

DNMM is continuing its partnership with Greater Midland Community Centers during their summer race series. Beginning in June, DNMM sponsored the Dow Run Walk and coming up on July 16, DNMM will be the transition area sponsor for the Tri-Kids-Try. The Tri-Kids-Try is youth triathlon for ages 6-15 featuring swimming, biking, and running.

dnmm employee sam pelong present child with medal at completion of dow run walk

“Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is proud to sponsor the Greater Midland race series,” said Kelly PeLong, Executive Director at DNMM. “Not only are the races examples of recreation that is accessible to everyone, they are opportunities to emphasize that people with disabilities are active participants in our communities. We so often hear that businesses, organizations, or community groups didn’t think to make something accessible because they don’t see people with disabilities showing up. By sponsoring AND showing up, we let our communities know we want to be included AND we want equal access. That’s fundamentally what Disability Network is all about: access and inclusion.”  

The final race of the summer series is the Loons Pennant Race which takes place on Friday, August 26th at Dow Diamond.

Please click here for more information on Tri Kids Try and other Greater Midland races.

word cloud featuring different aspects of cultures and people


As part of our on-going Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion efforts, DNMM has been drafting an internal newsletter focused on cultures. Topics range from spotlights on cultural traditions to highlighting contributions to American culture by underrepresented minorities. 

We've decided to offer our subscribers the opportunity to read our "Access Culture" newsletter in the hope it will spark conversations and encourage deeper understanding of the peoples and cultures of the world. 

The most recent issue centered on "Juneteenth: A New Perspective." Having just celebrated Independence Day, it seems altogether fitting and proper to consider the meaning on independence and how the experience of independence may differ greatly among societal groups and personal backgrounds.


As we discuss complicated topics like intersectionality, it also seems fitting and proper to consider Juneteenth from the perspective of slaves with disabilities, if such a perspective has survived over time. 

In his essay, "The Continuation of Slavery: The Experience of Disabled Slaves During Emancipation," Dr. Jim Downs examines this perspective in detail. He remarks:


"the story of emancipation has often been told in terms of how freed slaves strove toward ideas of free labor, and how their labor exemplified their independence and political will. Yet, when raising the question of what was the experience of disabled slaves during the Civil War and Reconstruction—a population of people that could not work independently because of their physical condition—a different narrative about emancipation emerges. In this version, labor was not the battle ground where one proved his independence, but rather the shackle that prohibited disabled slaves from escaping the plantations of the South."

Click Here To Continue Reading "Access Culture"


mother and daughter going over emergency plan

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

After the devastating floods in May of 2020, many Michigan residents faced the difficult challenge of trying to put the pieces of their lives back together. Many found themselves in the position of not having a plan for dealing with such an emergency. 

DNMM 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.

August session dates and topics are:

  • Part One - August 4 - 1:00-3:00pm
  • Creating My Action Plans and Support Network
  • Part Two - August 10 1:00-3:00pm
  • Creating My Go Kit and Evacuation Plan
  • AND "Assistive Technology For Your Go Kit
  • Part Three - August 18 1:00-3:00pm
  • Advanced Care Directives
  • Personal Safety

All sessions are FREE of charge 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.

Click Here to Register
my 3 p  personal protection plan logo with green checkmark


picture of a Sensory Kit Tote Bag available at Dow Diamond

Disability Network Mid-Michigan is proud to once again be the official sponsor of Accessible Services at Dow Diamond. We applaud the Loons organization and the facility staff for working to make Dow Diamond an accessible place where everyone can Dive In! 



proud sponsor of accessible services at dow diamond show two people watching baseball one is a wheelchair user


case worker talking to couple about low income subsidy

Do you need extra help paying for your Medicare Part D prescription plan?


Call us to see if you are eligible for the Low Income Subsidy for Medicare Prescription Drug coverage. We can help you with screening questions and do the application over the phone in as little as 15 minutes!

older black man using wheelchair looking concerned

Do you need help paying your Medicare premiums? Call us today to see if you qualify for the Medicare Savings Program. Our certified MMAP Specialists can assist you with checking your eligibility and doing the application over the phone.

blue marker writing the word prevention

Did you know there are many preventative health and screening services included with your Medicare coverage?


Some of the things you may be eligible for include:


  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer

Testing and services:

  • Nutrition Therapy
  • Glaucoma
  • Mammograms
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling

These are just some of the many services you could access. Call today for more information and a full list of preventative health benefits!





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 | www.dnmm.org

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