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


Pic: Group of 7 campers and staff


Pic: Camper moving pallet of lawn care products


Pic: Three campers stocking products


Pic: Two female campers emptying bag into trash container.


Pic: Male camper pulling pallet of products.


Pic: Female camper mopping floor.


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.

Save Our Health Care: Call Your Senator Today!

June 20, 2017

It’s National Call-In Day to Save Our Health Care: Call Your Senator Today!

Today is a national call-in day to save our health care as we know it.  Call your Senator today!

  1. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224‐3121.   If you can’t get through when you call, please keep trying. The switchboard is going to be extremely busy!
  2. Follow the prompts. Press “1” to indicate you want to speak with your Senator, then say your state and press “1”to indicate that the state is correct. Finally, press “1” to connect to your first Senator’s office.
  3. A staff person or machine will answer the phone. You can leave the message below.  Try to personalize the message if possible.  Hello, my name is (name).  I am a constituent of Senator (name) from (hometown).  I am calling to urge Senator NAME to vote against the American Health Care Act.  The bill would result in devasting cuts to Medicaid.  Medicaid is the only way most people can pay for long-term care, but these cuts would mean those in need of services and supports wouldn’t get them.  Please tell Senator NAME to say “NO” to Medicaid cuts and caps and protect the care of all those needing long-term care in NAME OF YOUR STATE and the country.
  4. Repeat to call your second Senator and leave the same message.


Your advocacy matters!

DNWM STEP-IN Volunteer Luncheon

DNWM 2017 STEP-IN Volunteer Luncheon at The Coffee Factory. Congratulation to Phillip Winston for recieving the 2016/2017 Stephan A. Silky Volunteer of the Year Award!


Muskegon Area Transit System Fare Proposal


Mats Fare Policy Proposal May 2017

A public hearing will be held to gain input on these proposals at the Muskegon County Hall of Justice, 990 Terrace Street, Fourth Floor Board Chambers, on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at 3:30 pm. Please arrive early as all persons entering the Hall of Justice must pass security screening.