Disability network mid-michigan orange and blue logo
Visit our Website


August 2022

clipart images of people with disabilities in celebration

Creating Accessible and

Inclusive Communities

Donate Now


Click here to view upcoming events.


Click here for a text-only

version of this newsletter.

instagram logo

Follow DNMM on Instagram! 

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.


wheelchair user and other people travel along accessible path at park

Hosts Disability Network of Mid-Michigan and Personal Assistance Options welcomed a crowd of over 500 people at a community event celebrating the 32nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


The event was held July 27th at Auburn City Park and featured live music provided by the Stone Street Revival, a food truck and popcorn, and giant lawn games. Ike’s Mobile Kayaks provided free kayaking on the pond and attendees could fish from an accessible dock. Over twenty vendors had information tables detailing resources available in the region.

big crowd at ada community event

“Collaboration is one of my favorite words in the business world. When done effectively, it can bring many benefits to organizations that seek to succeed in an evolving environment,” said Kathy Allen, PAO Executive Director. “It was an honor and one of my favorite community collaborations to partner along side with Disability Network of Mid-Michigan, to celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The spirit of the ADA means that everyone has the ability to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. That sense of inclusiveness was felt throughout the entire event.”


In addition to the picnic atmosphere of the event, information about the ADA – including quotes from various disability advocates – was placed throughout the park. A large timeline showing the history of the disability rights movement leading up to the passage of the ADA in 1990 adorned a banner at the event entrance. Display banners and signs were spread throughout the grounds offering perspectives on what life was like before the ADA for people with disabilities and how things have changed over the last three decades.

event attendee wearing orange shirt that says access inclusion community

“The ADA guaranteed access to transportation, communications technology, employment, government buildings, and public spaces for people with disabilities,” said Kelly PeLong, DNMM Executive Director. “It was sweeping civil rights legislation - the first of its kind in the world - that sought to make our communities accessible and inclusive to all. At DNMM, we are committed to advancing that vision and to promoting independence for all people with disabilities.”


21 day disability equity challenge

United Ways throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region are partnering with Disability Network of Mid-Michigan to present the 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge. This statewide effort to explore disability from a position of equity and pride is designed to raise awareness, increase understanding and shift perspective about disability in our culture.

“Action begins with awareness and understanding,” shared Beth Sorenson Prince, Director of Advocacy at United Way of Midland County. “We are inviting our community to join us in this challenge to learn, understand and take action in helping raise awareness. We ask that participants fully engage in this challenge, adding to the conversation around creating a safe and equitable community for our neighbors with disabilities.”

The challenge starts August 1 and runs through August 26, with a virtual summit to be held on August 30. This challenge is open to the community and United Way encourages everyone to consider participating.

How the Challenge Works

  • Each weekday from August 1– August 26 participants will receive an email with links to recommended articles, videos, podcasts and more
  • Each email includes a thought-provoking question as a journal prompt – participants are encouraged to write down their thoughts, feelings, questions, etc. to use as discussion topics during the virtual summit on August 30
  • Daily Topics will include: ableism, the history of the disability justice movement, intersectionality, language, accessibility, systemic inequalities for people with disabilities, ally-ship and disability pride

black man and asian woman seated and talking

“Change and impact start at an individual level,” shared Holly Miller, President and CEO of United Way of Midland County. “By broadening the conversation and increasing awareness of the importance of disability equity, we can better understand the experiences of people with disabilities. Learning and understanding will help us work alongside and take action to improve our workplaces, communities and the lives of our neighbors.”

The challenge is fully virtual and is 100% free. United Way shared that the experience will deepen understanding, suggest ways to take action, and help launch what they hope will be a lifelong commitment to improving equity and inclusion in our community.

“Disability Network of Mid-Michigan is proud and honored to serve as a resource to the Great Lakes Bay Region,” shared Kelly PeLong, Executive Director at Disability Network of Mid-Michigan. “We are thrilled to be offering the Disability Equity Challenge, furthering our commitment to creating accessible and inclusive communities.”

Click Here To Take Part In The Challenge
logo united way of isabella and gratiot counties
United Way of Midland County logo
United Way of Saginaw County logo


loons pennant race 2022 logo

DNMM is continuing its partnership with Greater Midland Community Centers during their summer race series. In June, DNMM sponsored the Dow Run Walk. In July, DNMM was the transition area sponsor for the Tri-Kids-Try youth triathlon. On August 26, DNMM will sponsor the Loons Pennant Race - a unique race that combines a run/walk with an evening of Loons baseball.

“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.”  

Please click here for more information on the 2022 Loons Pennant Race.


graphic of female doctor with red cross logo

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is asking for input on its efforts to create a better public health care program. As part of an initiative called MIHealthyLife, MDHHS is looking for ideas about how to create a more equitable, coordinated, and person-centered system of care, dedicated to ensuring Michiganders a healthier future.

Medicaid is a health care program that provides a wide range of health care services to adults and children. Most people with Medicaid join a Medicaid health plan. For example, people enrolled in Healthy Michigan Plan and MIChild are enrolled in Medicaid health plans.

MDHHS is looking for ideas to make the health care programs better. MDHHS hopes to receive input from people enrolled in Medicaid and their families, advocacy groups, community-based organizations, health care and other providers, health systems, health plans and other interested parties.

If you wish to fill out the survey, please do so before August 26th.

Click Here To Share Your Opinion!


large crowd gathered outside new office space in bay city

In order to better serve the needs of mid-Michigan area residents, DNMM has recently opened offices in Alma, Bay City, Gladwin, and Saginaw.

“We are excited and eager for this new opportunity to serve our communities, said DNMM Executive Director Kelly PeLong. "The pandemic has demonstrated that the need for services is greater than ever as people with disabilities face isolation in addition to challenges finding employment and accessible, affordable housing, and accessing transportation, education, and community resources."

“As we seek to address these needs, we have increased staff in several key program areas and we have expanded our outreach efforts to more isolated communities. Opening office spaces in these cities affords us the opportunity to meet, locally and in-person, with individuals and families from Bay, Gladwin, Gratiot, and Saginaw counties, as well as the surrounding area.

The new offices are located at:

BAY - 266 Uptown, Bay City 48708

GLADWIN - 490 Industrial Dr., Gladwin 48624

GRATIOT - 525 N. State St., Suite 219, Alma 48801

SAGINAW - 1605 Concentric Blvd., Suite 1, Saginaw 48604

Please call 989-835-4041 for office hours or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to meeting you!


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 | dnmm.org

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram