21 Day Disability Equity Challenge

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Disability Equity Logo

Join Us For The 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge!

We all know something about disability. Whether you are a person with a disability, know someone with a disability, or have simply seen people with disabilities, we probably all have an idea what we think it means to have a disability.

But let’s go deeper. During the month of August, United Ways across the state of Michigan are partnering with local Centers for Independent Living 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 perspectives about disability in our culture. Participants will receive one email each weekday beginning Aug. 1 that features videos, articles, podcasts, and discussion questions on topics including ableism, the history of the disability justice movement, intersectionality, language, accessibility, systemic inequalities for people with disabilities, allyship, and disability pride.

HOW IT WORKS

It’s completely free to participate, and we deliver everything you need right to your inbox:

  • Fill out the sign-up form from your local United Way

  • For 21 weekdays, you’ll receive a daily email

  • Start each day of the challenge by reading the introduction

  • Explore the topic in depth using the provided options

  • Capture your daily reflections and actions using our activity log (PDF | WORD)

  • Explore this work with friends, family, and colleagues by using our discussion guide

 

The challenge will launch in conjunction with the latest installment of the ALICE in Focus Research Series from the Michigan Association of United Ways (MAUW) and research partner United For ALICE. Releasing on Tuesday, July 26, the 32nd Anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this report will use data and analysis to spotlight the realities of people living with disabilities in Michigan.

The Disability Equity Challenge builds upon the 21-Day Race Equity Challenge developed by diversity experts Dr. Eddie Moore Jr., Debby Irving, and Dr. Marguerite Penick and adapted for the United Way network by United Way of Washtenaw County. Disability Network Southwest Michigan developed specific content for the 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge.


SELECT YOUR COUNTY FOR SIGN UP: 

Event Gatherings & Town Hall Information: 

ALL TOWNHALLS WILL BE HELD AT UNITED WAY OF THE LAKESHORE - 31 E Clay Ave, Muskegon MI, 49442

August 4 - 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM Hosted by The Arc

August 11 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Hosted by United Way

August 25 - 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Hosted by Disability Network of West MI

Be A Company Supporter Of The 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge! 

 

Challenge Corporate Supporters Image

The following companies have pledged to have their entire staff take the 21-Day Disability Equity Challenge!

Braeburn Wealth Management, CALL 211, Disability Network of West Michigan, Disability Network of Northern Michigan, i'Move, Pioneer Resources, Raymond James, The Arc Muskegon, United Way of the Lakeshore

Special Thanks To Our Agency Partners - Disability Network of West Michigan & Arc Muskegon! 

Click the tabs to learn more about each of these agencies for all of our participating counties in the West Michigan Region! 

Disability Network West Michigan Logo
Disability Network West Michigan Logo
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Disability Network West Michigan provides independent living resources for people with disabilities in Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Lake, and Mason Counties.

EVERYTHING WE DO AT DISABILITY NETWORK WEST MICHIGAN IS GEARED TOWARD HELPING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES LIVE INDEPENDENT LIVES AND BECOME THEIR OWN ADVOCATES. BUT THAT DOES NOT MEAN YOU CANNOT GET A LITTLE HELP FROM YOUR FRIENDS ALONG THE WAY.

Independent Living

Living with a disability does not mean you cannot live your life the way you want. We provide the following services to help people with disabilities live without restrictions:

– Independent Living Assessments
– Independent Living Mentoring
– Independent Living Skills Training

Accessibility

Do you know if your workplace is accessible? Do you need equipment to perform your job? We provide the following services so that those with disabilities can get the job done:

– Information about available adaptive Equipment and other      Resources
– Accessibility Consultations and Reviews

Employment

Finding a job is hard for anyone. For those with disabilities, there are even more obstacles. We work to eliminate workplace barriers and get our clients on the path to their dream job. Here are some of the services we provide for those seeking employment:

– Employment Preparation
– Job Seeking
– Digital Footprint Services
– Instruction and assistance with resume design
– Disability awareness training
– Mentoring
– Transportation Services (Newaygo & Oceana Counties)
– Travel Training
– Job follow-up
– Social Security Benefits Analysis

Arc Muskegon Logo
The Arc Muskegon Logo

The Arc is and always has been about people – people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, parents, friends, family and professionals.

The Arc Muskegon is an organization that was created 70 years ago with the very mission to dedicate ourselves to fostering inclusion in our community. Stated, “The mission of The Arc Muskegon is to provide advocacy, education and support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families and support their full inclusion, equality and participation in their community.”

 

The disabled population are frequently overlooked when discussions about the need for diversity, equity and inclusion are occurring. Yet, they remain a minority population who deserves consideration and a seat at the table. According to 2020 US Census Data, 14.4% of Muskegon County residents possess a disability, making this population the largest minority group in our County.

In fact, people with disabilities constitute the largest minority group in the United States consisting of a diverse group, crossing the lines of age, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation and socioeconomic status.

The Arc Muskegon is affiliated with the state and national network of Arc chapters. There are 780 local chapters, with 30 of them in the state of Michigan.

The Arc is a membership organization with a collective membership of 140,000 from across the country. The Arc is the largest grassroots organization advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The Arc Muskegon is a proud affiliated chapter of The Arc Michigan and The Arc of the United States.

Services: 

  • Representative Payee
  • Advocacy & Self-Advocacy
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • Information + Referral
  • Legacy Planning
  • Independent Facilitation
  • Education and Awareness
  • Membership Services
Disability Advocates Logo for Kent County
Disability Advocates Logo for Kent County

 

 

Who are we?

The first part of our mission is “to work alongside persons with disabilities as they seek to lead self-directed lives.” We accomplish this through the provision of an array of services throughout Kent, Mecosta, Ionia, Montcalm, and Osceola counties to individuals with physical, cognitive, mental, and sensory disabilities and their families.

Disability Advocates is unique in that we are who we serve–75% of our board and 56% of our staff are people living with disabilities. This perspective provides us with tremendous knowledge and experience to support our constituents.

The second part of Disability Advocates’ mission is “to advocate for accessible and welcoming communities” which is rooted in a federal and state mandate to work on public policy change. We do this by engaging persons with disabilities and partners to create positive change through advocacy and education at the local, state, and federal levels. We strive to eliminate systemic barriers and enhance programs so that people with disabilities can live the self-directed life they choose. Our community benefits by becoming more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for all. We have become recognized locally and across the state, specifically for our transit advocacy, education, technical assistance on accessibility, and Universal Design through our Absolutely Accessible Kent program. Evidence of this includes invitations to be part of state-level coalitions and local planning efforts, along with many requests for our staff and volunteers to be part of committees and workgroups that address mobility, transit, and accessibility.

Programs: 

Disability Advocates of Kent County was founded in 1981 by persons with disabilities who sought to help themselves and others with disabilities gain control over their own lives.

 

  • Veteran Support - Disability Advocates of Kent County supports Veterans with disabilities by providing independent living resources and guidance and work-related training experiences.
  • Disability Education Programs - Become as informed as possible by signing up in one of our many disability educations programs and learn how you can better serve your community
  • Occupational Therapy Independent Living - We assist consumers with home modifications, equipment, resources, and funding options so they continue living independently in their own homes.
  • Accessibility Reviews - We provide assessments, give insight, and make recommendations to organizations interested in creating an accessible environment for all.
  • Family Support - A program that guides families with adults with disabilities to the many supports available through healthcare and educational resources.
  • Youth Transition Services - Disability Advocates work with tools to ensure a successful transition into adulthood and independence. (Serving students ages 14-26)
  • Benefits Planning - Disability Advocates has Certified Benefits Practitioners who can answer questions and help you plan for the future.
  • Nursing Facility Transitions - A program that assists people with disabilities and older adults residing in a nursing facility that have a desire to live independently.
  • Employment Navigation - Interactive programs to help learn, practice, and discuss independent living skills in a safe and comfortable environment.
Disability Network Lakeshore
Disability Network Lakeshore Logo

We are access and ability. We are concerned community members. We are the healthy kind of enablers. We are a group dedicated to rethinking disability, challenging the paradigms, doing things with and not for people, raising awareness, and making accommodations. We are a center for independent living.

Many of the difficulties people with disabilities face are a result of attitudes and environments rather than the disability. Disabilities positively affect and enhance the diversity of our community. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and belong to our community.

Our mission is to connect people with disabilities to resources and opportunities while building communities where everyone can participate, contribute, and belong.

Our dream is to create engaged citizens and livable communities. To that end, our staff works to provide information, referrals, and support to people with a wide variety of disabilities.

Programs: 

  • Advocacy
    • Assistance Animals
    • Informational Referral
  • Peer Support
    • Emergency Readiness
    • Social Security Disability
    • Social Participation 
    • Veterans
  • Skills Development
    • Employment
  • Transition 
    • Nursing Home Transition
    • Youth Services 
Arc of Ottawa County Logo
Arc of Ottawa County Logo

The mission of The Arc Advocacy & Resource Center of Ottawa County is to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are valued in order that they and their families participate fully in and contribute to their community.

The Arc provides information on disability related issues and community resources. We also lend an understanding and listening ear to parents who are overwhelmed with the demands of caring for a loved one with a disability at any age.

This chapter was established in 1968 by parents who were seeking services for their children with developmental disabilities. At that time there was no guaranteed education for children with special needs. The families who were founding members of The Arc were instrumental in creating Ottawa Area Center.  

Programs Include: 

  • Family Support
  • People 1st 
  • Supported Parenting
  • Special Education Advocacy
  • Information & Referral (I+R)
  • Alternatives to Guardianship
The Arc Allegan County
The Arc Allegan County Logo

The Arc of Allegan County advocates for the rights and full participation of all children and adults with intellectual and other related developmental disabilities.

OUR MISSION is "to advocate for persons with developmental disabilities so they may live, learn, work, and play with dignity, respect, and meaningful involvement in their communities."

We strive to improve systems of supports and services; connect families; inspire our community and influence public policy. We are a non-profit, charitable organization funded in part by the Allegan County United Way, and through the kindness of our most generous individual donors.

The Arc of Allegan County works through education, research, and advocacy to improve the quality of life for children and adults with cognitive, intellectual, and developmental disabilities in every community; and, works to prevent both the causes and effects of intellectual and other related developmental disabilities. All of our services are free.

We proudly serve individuals and families throughout Allegan County as a local affiliated chapter of The Arc Michigan and The Arc of the United States.