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November 2021

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Promoting and Encouraging Independence for All People with Disabilities

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version of this newsletter.

kelly pelong wheelchair user in office with floral gift for bosses day
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.


older Caucasian woman smiling sitting at restaurant booth

Kathy has lived in Saginaw County for many years working with DNMM Supports Coordination for much of that time. Kathy enjoys shopping at the local stores favoring thrift shops. She loves eating at local restaurants where she enjoys soup and a grilled cheese sandwich. She'll be the first to tell you, indulging in a piece of pie is her favorite delight.  

brian showing off his new entertainment center

Brian works diligently with his community living staff to learn how to use his DVD player so that he is able to watch his favorite movies. Brian loves to take these opportunities to learn something new and be able to know that he can operate items on his own which helps to make him more independent.  


Care Can't Wait

For many people with disabilities, having access to home and community-based services is an essential part of maintaining one's independence. Unfortunately, systemic funding inadequacies have resulted in both a lack of available services and a severely depleted workforce of direct-care service providers.

disability advocates in front of US Capitol at night with sign saying care can't wait

In order to address this need, in his $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" budget plan, President Biden included a proposal for $150 billion in funding for home- and community-based services for Medicaid-eligible people. If passed, this would be the largest-ever investment in home-and community-based services (HCBS), and the most substantial investment in affordable health care since the passage of the Affordable Care Act. Recently, the President announced Congressional leaders had reached an agreement on the proposal.

This news represents a significant milestone in the decades-long fight by disability rights activists to ensure any aging or person with a disability person who needs support in their activities of daily living can do so from the comfort of their own homes, and with the integrated support of their communities. 

Senator Bob Casey addressing advocates in front of the US Capitol bulding

The announcement came a few days after several disability advocacy organizations held a 24-hour vigil in front of the US Capitol. Over the 24-hour period, hundreds of letters were read aloud; letters from individuals using community-based services and letters from direct-care workers. The vigil culminated in over 10,000 letters being delivered to Senator Bob Casey who voiced his support during closing remarks.

"This $150 billion investment in home- and community-based services will be an unprecedented investment that will improve the lives of people with disabilities, our families, and direct support workers. If passed, this negotiated package is a critical down payment towards fully realizing the rights conferred to people with disabilities by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 1999 Olmstead Decision. We are excited about the potential for significant progress in a decades-long fight by people with disabilities for the right to live our lives and receive services in our own homes and communities,” said Maria Town, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. 

While we celebrate this important step, we certainly acknowledge there is work yet to be done. We encourage our readers to contact their representatives in Congress. Add your story to the over 10,000 that have already been shared.

Click Here To Contact Congress!


The first American Indian Day was celebrated in May 1916 in New York. The event culminated an effort by Red Fox James, a member of the Blackfeet Nation who rode across the nation on horseback seeking approval from 24 state governments to have a day to honor American Indians.

image with blue orange and yellow diamond patterns for native american heritage month

In 1990, more than seven decades later, then-President George H.W. Bush signed a joint congressional resolution designating the month of November “National American Indian Heritage Month.” Similar proclamations have been issued every year since 1994 to recognize what is now called “American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.” 

American history, culture, arts, sport, clothing, design, and geography is replete with influences from the over 540 tribal nations of Native Americans. Much of that influence is so ingrained the everyday of today that many might not actually recognize it when they see it.

The video below presents six short personal stories about Native American culture. From cuisine to code talkers, from art to eagle feathers, this reel celebrates Native American history and culture on Turtle Island, now widely known as the United States.

video presenting 6 stories about native american culture

We encourage our readers to share these and the countless other stories about Native American influences with their families and friends. Just as it is and always has been with any marginalized group, (i.e. people with disabilities), the telling of their stories leads to greater understanding, and ultimately to acceptance and inclusion.

Click Here To Read More!


Put On Your Purple!

purple ribbon over dark wood board for Alzheimer's Awareness

President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month in 1983. Alzheimer's Disease is the most common form of dementia, affecting nearly 5.4 million Americans.

While the entire month is dedicated to raising awareness about the disease, it also focuses on increasing support for caregivers and sharing available resources. Caregivers provide 24-hour care in most circumstances. As the disease progresses, the stress becomes overwhelming. Often, they receive respite from visitors but many become isolated as time passes. A broad spectrum of resources from support groups to memory care and educational tools provides caregivers assistance.

Continuing research requires support and early screening programs. As we increase our knowledge of the disease and improve treatments, early intervention will improve outcomes.

You can click here to read about the many ways you can join us in getting involved this month to help raise awareness for Alzheimer's disease. 

From advocating, to donating, and to posting articles on social media, we encourage you to help us honor the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer's, through advocacy for a cure, awareness, and education.


Help Make The Season Bright

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is happy to announce our Midland office is an official drop-off location for the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program.

From now until December 17th, you can stop by our office at 1705 S. Saginaw Road in Midland to donate a new, unwrapped toy. You can help bring the joy of the holiday season to a family in need!

The mission of the Toys For Tots program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted.

We fully support the US Marine Corps Reserve's goal of delivering, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens.

Since 1947, Toys For Tots has distributed more than 548 million toys to over 251 million children!

DNMM office hours are Monday - Thursday from 8:00am to 4:30pm and on Fridays from 8:00am to 3:00pm. We are closed on Saturday & Sunday. For more information, please call 989-835-4041.

toys for tots donation site

Photo Contest Winners Announced!

collage of four pictures of people with disabilities and recreation

For the past several months, DNMM has been asking people with disabilities, their families, and supporters in the community to send in photos showcasing everyday life. From spending time with family and friends, to taking vacations, and from celebrating holidays to just a typical everyday moment.

Click Here To See The Winning Entries!


As the leaves steadily fall and the air once again bites with that familiar chill, some folks long for the dog days of summer while others rejoice because hockey season has returned! And after a year-long absence during COVID, the return of our beloved Saginaw Spirit has never been more welcome. 


DNMM is proud to be a small part of that return as a sponsor of accessible seating at the Dow Event Center. We look forward to working with the center and the Saginaw Spirit toward making hockey games and other events fully accessible. Come on out and enjoy a game with us! Catch the Spirit!

Banner above access ramp
long banner promoting independence and inclusion
Click Here For A Game Schedule


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. We 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!




save the date for feathers and fedoras February 12, 2022 at the horizons conference center in Saginaw


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


800-782-4160 | www.dnmm.org

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