Newsletter | March 2024

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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

Furthering the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

March is Women's History Month, a time to honor the accomplishments made by women and highlight the obstacles they overcame to attain equality. It’s also a time to recognize the intersectionality of women who have disabilities. Throughout the fight for disability rights, women with disabilities have made major contributions to society. These women have been instrumental in furthering the rights of persons with disabilities and fostering greater diversity, equity, and inclusion in society.

Judy Gentile was paralyzed after contracting polio as a child. She was the first known wheelchair user at Michigan State University in 1965, choosing Fine Arts as a major because her first choice, Journalism, was housed in an inaccessible building. Gentile fought for accessibility for all students with disabilities by creating a student organization, protesting barriers that limited their choice of classes and precluded full participation in university opportunities. She founded the MSU Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities in 1971. As the first Director of the Office of Programs for Handicapper Students at MSU (1972-1993), Gentile led the unit to become a model of excellence in academic and student services.

Johnnie Lacy was a Black activist whose work was critical to the independent living movement. While attending nursing school, Lacy contracted polio and became paralyzed. She later applied to San Francisco State University but was blocked from the program because of her disability. Lacy advocated for her rights and was eventually admitted but wasn’t allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony because of her disability, which fueled her desire to become a disability advocate. In 1981, Lacy helped found the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California — one of the first organizations in the country to empower people with disabilities to lead independent lives. She later served as director of the Community Resources for Independent Living, which connects individuals with disabilities to community resources like transportation, housing assistance, and advocacy services. Lacy’s outspoken advocacy efforts helped pave the way for the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

Alice Wong is a Chinese American activist for people with disabilities, writer, and consultant who has spinal muscular atrophy. Growing up, Wong (who uses a power wheelchair and BiPap machine) felt like she stuck out and wrestled with the desire to blend in. That all changed when she began studying disability history in college and decided to pursue a career in disability advocacy. In 2013, Wong was appointed to the National Council on Disability by Barack Obama, where she advised the President and Congress on policies and programs that impact people with disabilities. Wong is best known for founding the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture. She’s also an independent research consultant for Netflix, Twitter, and other disability rights organizations.

Free Tax Filing Resources 

File your taxes for FREE using United Way’s secure platform, MyFree Taxes. This easy-to-use system gives you two options – file by yourself or with assistance.

  • Mobile optimized for computer, tablet or smartphone
  • Most filers complete their taxes in less than an hour
  • Completely free for federal and state returns
  • File on your own or with assistance
  • Powered by United Way and TaxSlayer

File Using MyFreeTaxes

AARP Tax-Aide

The Midland branch of the AARP Tax-Aide program is a volunteer-run organization that assists low to moderate-income seniors over the age of 50, and low-income families. The annual program features IRS-certified tax aide volunteers and offers individual tax appointments available from February 1st through April 11th.

Appointments are available at the following locations: 

Midland Community Center

2205 Jefferson Avenue, Midland

Tuesdays and Thursdays

(989) 832-7937, ext 6

Coleman Library

111 First Street, Coleman


(989) 465-6398

Shepherd Community Library

257 Wright Avenue, Shepherd


(989) 772-0748

Isabella Commission on Aging

2200 S Lincoln Road, Mt. Pleasant

Wednesdays and Thursdays

(989) 772-0748

Robert Parks Library

6010 N Skeel Avenue, Oscoda

Wednesdays and Thursdays

(989) 278-8739

East Tawas City Hall

760 Newman Street, East Tawas


(989) 218-9186

Hale MI AARP Site

310 N Washington Street, Hale


(989) 257-2460

Each return gets reviewed by a senior Tax Aide member, and it will be electronically filed the same day. Appointments typically take an hour or an hour and a half. You may be required to pick up an intake form to fill out prior to your appointment – call the locations listed above for more details.

Nursing Facility Transition - Lisa's Story

Lisa, a 64-year-old Saginaw woman, is waiting for her cousin to pop over for a visit. Her dog barks loudly, startled by some racket outside of the window. It seems like such a simple and ordinary afternoon, yet it's one that she does not take for granted.  


Like many of us as we age, Lisa began to notice some health changes. She was having a harder time getting around but kept on working. With a stubborn wound on her leg, routine health checks were important. On a doctor’s visit in October, her physician insisted that she go to the emergency room. Lisa went begrudgingly. It's a good thing her doctor was so persuasive because her condition was far worse than she realized. She ended up in the hospital with several infections, one of which was life-threatening, others would leave her health compromised. Her body was shutting down. “I’m just that bull-headed. I didn’t realize that I was that sick.” 


Fortunately, the infections subsided; but now the healing had to begin. Lisa was not sure what she was going to do. Her home was not accessible, and she didn't have the support at home that she needed, as her husband had passed away three years prior. Lisa got connected to Disability Network Mid-Michigan through a social worker at the hospital.  


Lisa reflected, “I can’t say enough about Disability Network Mid-Michigan. I didn’t know that you guys did this kind of stuff for people. Life had changed pretty considerably for me. And then, not to know, you know, coming home, how you’re going to be supported. It’s been amazing. It’s been an amazing journey.” 


Occupational and Physical therapists assisted with the assessment of Lisa’s home. A ramp was needed for home access, wider doorways throughout her home to accommodate a rolling walker, a walk-in shower, and even a lift chair. “Shannon was on top of everything! She pushed me to get what I needed. It was just like a whirlwind for me, and I couldn’t believe how sweet and kind everyone was. Always calling me, checking on it, asking ‘how are things going’?”  


Now, her house is accessible, and she can move throughout, where she could not before. She continued working with OT and PT to regain her strength and went back to work in mid-December. “I’m not ready to just give it up and retire; I’m going to work as long as I can.” One final note from Lisa as she snuggles in with her 2 cats, “I’m very, very blessed.” 


Disability Network Mid-Michigan’s Community Transition Services provides individuals an opportunity to choose community-based living as a viable alternative to nursing facility residency. The program is open to anyone who receives Medicaid. If you know someone interested in living more independently, please contact us today. 

MS Awareness

Nationally and globally, there is growing awareness about multiple sclerosis, people living with the disease, and the MS movement. Together, we are empowering people affected by MS to live their best lives. There is always more that can be done to spread the word, to share knowledge about research and progress in treatments, and to support those affected by MS.

March is Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month, dedicated to spreading awareness about the auto-immune disease. MS is a condition that affects the central nervous system of an individual throughout the course of their life. Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month was created to educate and spread awareness about the realities of living with multiple sclerosis, and to inform the general public on how to assist people who have been diagnosed.


Join An Event

  • Take part in Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week by joining one of the many events held during the week


  • Volunteering your time and skills is another way to observe Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week. Be an advocate for change and join the M.S. movement!

Make Donations

  • Donate to support further research on multiple sclerosis and care services. Even the smallest donation will go a long way.

Visit to learn more.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

Each individual, regardless of their abilities, has the right to be respected, embraced, and provided with opportunities to thrive. Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month serves as a profound reminder of these principles, emphasizing the value, rights, and aspirations of those with developmental disabilities.

What is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month is a month-long observance that brings attention to the varied and unique experiences of individuals with developmental disabilities. It’s a time to celebrate their achievements, advocate for their rights, and promote understanding and inclusivity within society.

When is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month?

The entire month of March is dedicated to Developmental Disabilities Awareness. During this period, various events, programs, and advocacy campaigns take place across the country, uniting communities in the spirit of inclusion and acceptance.

How to Get Involved

Contact us to learn how to engage in this awareness month and make a difference with the following actions:

  • Contact us to learn how to engage in this awareness month and make a difference with the following actions:
  • Participate in Local Events: Join workshops, seminars, or inclusive activities in your community celebrating the month.
  • Educate & Advocate: Share informative resources, stories, and statistics about developmental disabilities on social platforms.
  • Support Organizations: Contribute to, or volunteer with, organizations dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.
  • Promote Inclusivity: Encourage schools, workplaces, and community centers to adopt inclusive practices and programs.
  • Listen & Learn: Engage with individuals with developmental disabilities, listening to their experiences and perspectives, and learning from them.

Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month

During the month of March, individuals living with cerebral palsy, as well as family members and activists, come together to advocate for the cerebral palsy community.

Cerebral palsy is a permanent disability that impacts a person’s mobility and muscle strength. Unfortunately, some cases of cerebral palsy are caused by preventable birth injuries that stem from medical negligence before, during, or after delivery.

Over 1 million people in the U.S. are living with cerebral palsy, and approximately 10,000 babies are diagnosed every year.

The goal of National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month is to push for positive change in education programs, the health care system, and the job market to provide more opportunities to those living with this disability. As National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month grows, more people are coming forward to share their stories. 

There are many different ways you can spread cerebral palsy awareness. One of the most popular ways to show your support for National Cerebral Palsy Month is to wear the color green. Here are some other things you can do to show your support for the cerebral palsy community this month:

  • Advocate for more research funding by writing letters to government officials using the GoGreen4CP template
  • Donate to organizations such as Disability Network Mid-Michigan to support the community (link to
  • Encourage people to learn more about cerebral palsy on National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day on March 25
  • Help advocate for more accessibility accommodations in public spaces so people with cerebral palsy have more freedom
  • Share photos and stories about cerebral palsy online using the hashtag #GoGreen4CP
Find CP Resources or Join a Support Group

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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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