Blog/News/Videos

Blog/News/Videos

TELL YOUR STORY!

HCBS Advocacy Coalition

What is Important to YOU about Community Living?

TELL YOUR STORY!

The federal government issued the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Settings Rule called the HCBS Advocacy Coalition.Settings Rule in 2014 to ensure that all people receiving Medicaid-funded HCBS have full access to the benefits of community living.  Over the last three years, our coalition has worked collaboratively with federal agencies, states, and disability and aging stakeholders to ensure that implementation of the Rule fulfills its intent to ensure opportunities for community integration for all people receiving Medicaid-funded HCBS services.  Throughout this process, the HCBS Advocacy coalition has offered resources and feedback to ensure the Rule is implemented with integrity and that HCBS services are strengthened and promote a meaningful life integrated in the community.

WHAT THEY DO: As they meet with newly appointed high-level officials in the Trump Administration that are charged with implementing the HCBS Settings Rule,  they continue to offer the expertise of the coalition. In order to strengthen their message, they need one key thing for these meetings – YOUR STORIES!

WHAT THEY NEED: They need to share REAL stories, YOUR stories. Tell them about how you — as a person who receives HCBS services, a family member, friend or provider — have seen an improved quality of life, more independence, and more opportunities because of Medicaid-funded HCBS services.  Tell them about your life in the community and about what participating in your community means to you. They particularly encourage stories from people who have transitioned to the community from an institution and from people with significant support needs.

HOW THEY WILL USE YOUR STORIES: They will use these stories to advocate for the strong implementation of the HCBS Settings Rule in your state, to protect the funding of HCBS services, and to make sure that people in leadership positions the federal government know how important and successful HCBS services are as they make policy decisions about community programs.

HOW TO WEIGH IN: Please send your story (500 words or less) and a photo (optional) to hcbsadvocacy@gmail.com Tell them what state you live in, whether you/your family member/friend/client receive HCBS for aging or disability services, what types of services you receive (help with work, getting dressed, shopping, etc.), how it has improved your/their quality of life, and anything else you want to share about the value of home and community-based services.

For more information about the HCBS Advocacy Coalition and the HCBS settings rule, visit www.hcbsadvocacy.org.

THANK YOU! YOUR VOICE IS SO IMPORTANT AND WE WILL RAISE IT!

2017 DisCOVER! Youth Transition Conference in Newaygo County

WOW…What a day! Disability Network West Michigan in partnership with Michigan Rehabilitation Services had its very first, successful DisCOVER YOUTH TRANSITION CONFERENCE at the Newaygo County Education Service Center. There were over 60 students from Newaygo, Fremont, White Cloud and Hesperia in attendence.

Our thanks to all involved including Juan Herrera, owner of Sweet Tire; Ben Post, MRS Youth Counselor; Andrea Scheidel, Secondary Special Education Supervisor & Transition Coordinator, NCRESA; Amanda Van Tubergen, Employment Navigation Guide DNWM; and our wonderful youth panelists Jordan, Brandon and Ann. Thank you also to our Youth Transition Team, Danielle Bennett, Ja-Relle Thomas, Leslie Green and Nate Tabler for helping make this all possible.

  

Final Summer Transitioning Youth Camp (STYC) Comes to an Amazing End in Newaygo County!

WHAT AMAZING COMMUNTIY SUPPORT!
Wow! The final Summer Transitioning Youth Camp (STYC) in the Fremont area of Newaygo County came to an end last week with resounding success thanks to the youth who participated, their counselors and the community who supported them in attaining more knowledge and skills through work-based experiences. Again, we can not thank everyone enough for their support, generosity and kindness! A special shout-out to Danielle Bennett our Youth Transition Specialist and Benjamin Post, Youth Counselor with MRS for making the inaugral STYC camp in Fremont such a hit!

We would like to acknowledge once again those who made such a significant contribution and making it possible to complete objectives and goals our youths set for themselves!
McDonald’s– For allowing us to crowd their picnic tables and consistently fill our water bottles and empty our bladders…again!
Tractor Supply Co.. – Volunteering their business for our youth to explore and develop work-based learning opportunities
Tamarac, The Center for Health and Well-Being – Providing information on Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Physical Fitness.
ChoiceOne Bank – Budgeting and money management
Michigan Secretary of State’s Office – The processes and establishing state ID’s (they were also open for questioning and provided drivers training manuals to our youth)
Fremont Public Library – For providing their conference room, Community Room and private interviewing rooms for mock interviewing.
Alpha Family Center of Newaygo – DISC personality testing/ healthy relationships
Bill’s Shop N Save – Providing space and water for car wash
Sweet Tire – Promoting car wash to customers and continued support
Empowerment Network & FCS Nest Resale – Thrift shop fashion search for interview clothes
Elsie’s Ice Cream Station – Last day fun and games and of course Ice Cream!
Michigan Rehabilitation Counseling and Education Association – Self-directed career assessments and results.
NC RESA Advanced and Accelerated Services – For graciously completing mock interviews and videotaping for review and discussion.

On Tuesday August 1, our amazing team gathered at Goodrich Park in Whitehall for team building and strategic thinking as we build energy for our new fiscal year and celebrate the successes of the previous. We have lots of work ahead of us in our vision of ensuring accessibility will be an accepted civil right and every new day presents an opportunity. On this particular sunny day by White Lake, we were able to reflect on our efforts and share in some great skill building activities and teamwork. – Diane Fleser, Executive Director

 

Summer Transitioning Youth Camp (STYC) Muskegon

DNWM just finished the 1st session of STYC here in Muskegon. We would like to thank the following people, community partners and Muskegon businesses for supporting our local disabled youth to become more skilled and knowledgeable to lead successful, independent lives!

Community Speakers we would like to thank:
•Corey Davis – Muskegon Area Transit System
•Naomi Hyso – MSU Extension
•Karen Gordon and Melanie Wolters – West Michigan Works in Muskegon County
•Margaret Gulinska – L3 Technologies
•Kim Lilly – Disability Network West Michigan
•Scott Hemmelsbach – City of Muskegon Fire Department
•Tom Korabik – North Muskegon Police Department
•Will Wilson – Disability Network West Michigan

We would also like to thank the following people and and community partners our campers visited for their support:
•Tracy Knight and Olivet Evangelical Free Church
•Stacie Peterson and Dave Eder from HealthWest
United Way of the Lakeshore
Muskegon Farmers Market
Subway Downtown Muskegon
USS LST 393 Veterans Museum
Angels’ Orthodox Community Garden
Top Shelf Downtown
Hackley and Hume Historic Site
Carmen’s Cafe
USS Silversides Submarine Museum
Social Security Building
•Family and Supports of all camp participants
•Everyone at DNWM who helped at some point with camp!

Campers in front of Social Security Office

Campers in front of Michigan Works!

Campers in front of the Muskegon Farmers Market

Campers in front of Muskegon City Hall

Campers at Angel Gardens

Campers gardening

Campers Gardening

Campers Gardening

Camper cooking food from Farmers Market

Nate and camper cooking food from Farmers Market

Camp Newaygo Accessibility Review

Recently, Disability Network West Michigan Newaygo County staff completed an accessibility review at Camp Newaygo. They toured the camp, including the new Craft Shop & the zip line. Unfortunately, It was raining w/thunder & lightening so the zip line was not available for staff to try, and some areas are still “under construction” and will be evaluated at a later date.

Beginning loft of zip line (not accessible)

End of Zip line showing distance between lofts.

Ramp to new Craft Shop.

Accessible bathroom in new craft shop.

Signage for Dark Room

Dark room for developing film

New driveway to craft shop (Wheelchair accessible) in progress.

New driveway to craft shop (in progress, accessible)

Current drive to new Craft Shop. (Steep grade, not wheelchair accessible)

Pottery Wheels (pottery porch & Gretchen’s Deck outside.

First Summer Transition Youth Camp in Newaygo County a huge success!

Our first Summer Transition Youth Camp was a success thanks in huge part to the many Newaygo County/Fremont community partners who were so generous and gracious to our youth in transition. We would like to thank the following:

McDonald’s– For allowing us to crowd their picnic tables and consistently fill our water bottles and empty our bladders!
Tractor Supply Co.. – Volunteering for work-based learning
Tamarac, The Center for Health and Well-Being – Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Physical Fitness
Choice One Bank – Budgeting and money management
Michigan Secretary of State’s Office – The processes and establishing state ID’s (they were also open for questioning and provided drivers training manuals)
Fremont Public Library – Conference Room, Community Room and private interviewing rooms
Alpha Family Center of Newaygo – DISC personality testing/ healthy relationships
Bill’s Shop N Save – Space and water for car wash
Sweet Tire– Promoting car wash to customers
Empowerment Network & FCS Nest Resale – Thrift shop fashion search for interview clothes
Elsie’s Ice Cream Station – Last day fun and games and of course Ice Cream!
Michigan Rehabilitation Service – Self-directed career assessments and results.
Newaygo County Resa– For graciously completing mock interviews and videotaping for review and discussion

We can’t thank you all enough for supporting your county’s Youth!

Disability Network West Michigan’s Newaygo County Resource Fair

Thank you to all who participated, presented and volunteered at Disability Network West Michigan’s Newaygo County Resource Fair to make it so successful!

 

“Building Communities that “WORK” so that people with disabilities can lead full and exciting lives!”

The CIL Director’s met in Lansing on June 15 and June 16 to discuss items pertinent to the current landscape of our CIL’s and communities.  Areas of both strength and weaknesses were discussed in regards to collaborating as a Network and ideas were shared on how to achieve goals more effectively. 

One of the most impactful things discussed as a group was around defining Independent Living and talking strategically about weaving IL in our own communities.  The discussion lead to a more effective question around “why?” This offered deeper discussion and resulted in the following impact statement for our Network: 

“Building Communities that “WORK” so that people with disabilities can lead full and exciting lives!”

 

Summer Transitioning Youth Camp (STYC) Newaygo County

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Pic: Group of 7 campers and staff

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Pic: Camper moving pallet of lawn care products

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Pic: Three campers stocking products

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Pic: Two female campers emptying bag into trash container.

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Pic: Male camper pulling pallet of products.

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Pic: Female camper mopping floor.

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Pic: Female camper sweeping floor

Our first STYC camp in Newaygo County has started this week in Newaygo and it looks like everyone is learning independent living skills while have a great time! Our summer program is to offer youth an opportunity to develop their goals and plans for what will come after they complete their secondary education.  Our thanks to the Newaygo Tractor Supply Co. for their partnership! Tractor Supply Co.