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February 2023

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Creating Accessible and

Inclusive Communities

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version of this newsletter.

cover of the 2022 dnmm annual report with the theme Moving Foward

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2022 Annual Report

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.*



female direct care worker and an elderly woman using a wheelchair

To help improve working conditions for direct care workers (DCWs), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has partnered with Public Sector Consultants (PSC; a well-respected research and policy consultant group) to determine what DCWs need, how DCWs are affected by workforce shortages, and ways to fix these challenges. This effort is aimed at the development of a comprehensive approach to addressing the longer term solutions to the DCW shortage. As part of that initiative, PSC is seeking the views of Michigan’s DCW workforce.

PSC is hosting 90-minute small group discussions on Zoom where you can share your ideas and experiences. If you want to participate, please fill out this questionnaire (https://tinyurl.com/2023workforcesurvey) to help us plan the most effective discussion. The questionnaire may take around five minutes to finish.

If you qualify to participate, you will receive an email with the Zoom call details and information about financial incentive ($50 gift card) to participate. 


various fruits, vegetables and bread

What is the change?

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government authorized extra food assistance dollars to be distributed to help address food insecurity. These extra benefits are ending in February due to recent federal legislation.

What does this mean?

Your total food assistance benefits will be less than you have been receiving. The extra federally approved dollars will no longer be included in your benefits.

When will the change take place?

February is the last month you will receive the extra COVID-19 benefits. Beginning in March, you will receive your regular benefit amount.

Where can I find my regular benefit amount?

You can find your regular benefit amount by logging into your MIBridges account or the ebtEDGE portal. The grantee on a FAP case can also call 1-844-464-3447 and follow the prompts to obtain the current month’s benefit information.

What can I do to prepare for this change?

  1. Make sure to check your regular benefit amount so you can plan for this change.
  2. If you need additional resources, we urge you to seek out:
  • Call 2-1-1 to learn about community resources.
  • Community partners.
  • Double Up Food Bucks.
  • Food banks.
  • WIC (Women, Infants & Children Program).
  • Free and reduced-price school meals.

Click Here For A Page of Frequently Asked Questions


As we celebrate Black History Month, which takes place every February, Disability Network of Mid-Michigan recognizes the contributions made and the important presence of African Americans in the United States. It is important to note this includes more than 5.5 million African Americans living with a disability.

Some celebrities and business leaders are using their voice to share their stories, educating people about both visible and nonvisible disabilities. They are defying the statistics and have remained highly successful with their disabilities. These role models make a big difference in setting high expectations for youth with disabilities.

People with disabilities of all backgrounds can be amongst the highest achievers on earth. Harriet Tubman had Epilepsy, actress Halle Berry lives with diabetes, business leader and Shark Tank superstar Daymond John is dyslexic and Stevie Wonder is blind. Poet laureate Amanda Gorman, who had a speech impediment, shared her genius both at the 2021 inauguration and at the Super Bowl. Each of them is a positive role model for success.

The individuals mentioned above are especially important to acknowledge during Black History Month. However, their work should be valued and appreciated year-round. Respectability.org, has compiled profiles of over twenty African Americans with disabilities. Please click here to read the profiles.

8 black americans with disabilities including muhammad ali, simone biles, terene chambers, and andrea delzellhalle berry, maya angelou, lois curtis, la'rina carolina,

Moving the nation to become more equitable for underrepresented communities and dismantling systems that create marginalization requires a transformation in culture, practice and the economy. It requires the courage and commitment of every American, the adoption of policies to end disparities, as well as a culture that embraces diverse stories that reflect the full the African American experience and the intersectionality of the disability community.

Please click here to read this full article from Respectability.org.


Video about living with low vision


Working American's making $64,000 or less are leaving money on the table every year during tax season. Many are unaware that they qualify for free tax preparation through United Way's MyFreeTaxes program.

"Only four in ten surveyed were aware of the Child Tax Credit (CTC)," shared a United Way official. "Fewer than six in ten know about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and nearly 20% were not aware of any tax credits."

MyFreeTaxes is a free, safe, and easy way for anyone earning $64,000 or less to file their state and federal taxes.

Video about United Way's Tax Help Services

Tax refunds help working Americans pay for everyday needs like food, housing and utilities along with providing a way to save for the future.


United Way also funds a tax assistance program at the Midland Community Center. They partner with AARP volunteers who provide on-site tax preparation for moderate- to low-income seniors and low-income individuals.


Services will be offered in 2023 on Thursdays and Fridays from February 2 through April 14. Free tax preparation is provided in the Barstow Shipps Wing of the Midland Community Center from 8:30 am to 4 pm by appointment only. Starting January 9, 2023 qualified people can begin calling the Community Center at 832-7937, then press 6 or email taxhelp@greatermidland.org for their tax client appointment. Please leave a message speaking slowly with your full name and phone number; someone will call you back with available dates and times. There will NOT be walk-ins for the 2023 tax year. 

Click Here For More Information About Midland's Program.


United Way of Saginaw County is once again offering free tax preparation services to individuals and families through its IRS-certified Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Saginaw County residents can visit a VITA site to have their taxes prepared for free. Sites include Frankenmuth Credit Union (544 N. Main St., Frankenmuth) and at United Way's office (100 S. Jefferson Ave, Saginaw). The United Way of Saginaw County wants all individuals and families to move towards long term financial stability and independence. 

VITA allows Saginaw County residents to process their returns efficiently and accurately at no cost to the taxpayer. Appointments are required. Call 2-1-1- to schedule. The United Way tax program is completely free of charge and returns will be e-filed with the IRS to provide a prompt refund without any fees.


Tax preparation assistance is offered through MidMichigan Community Action Agency in Clare and Gladwin Counties. Please call the office nearest you to schedule an appointment: Farwell: 989-386-3805 or Gladwin: 989-426-2801Click here to view MMCAA Tax Assistance website.


The United Way of Bay County Tax Assistance and Filing for Low-Income Individuals, Families, Senior-Citizens, and Persons with Disabilities through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.  The program runs through April 15th. Call 2-1-1 to schedule an appointment.


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”.


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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