The Importance of the 2020 Census and Persons with Disabilities

Don’t let your fear of the form or limited access stop your voice from being heard

Disability Network of West Michigan has taken measures to make sure persons with a disability have the opportunity to receive support and assistance to fill out their 2020 Census.

  • Go to www.disabilitynetworkwm.org  – Videos and Resources available
  • Call 231.722.0088 – we are ready to help you
  • Like us on Facebook – we will be posting information
  • Census2020.gov – Where you can preview the questions on the census

Videos are available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).


The video link above will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present a quick overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions.


Este video en español presenta el Censo del 2020, le ofrece una rápida descripción general del cuestionario por internet y le ayuda a responder las preguntas.


This ASL video with English voice-over and captions will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present a quick overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions.

Start the 2020 Census Questionnaire now!


What is the Census?

The census is a count of every person living in the United States and its five U.S. territories. You will answer a questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is, living with you on April 1, 2020.

Who is Required to Respond?

Everyone living in the United States and its five territories is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census. Census forms are filled out by household. Everyone living at the address matters and everyone needs to be counted, including children.

Why is the Census Important to the Disability Community?

People with disabilities make up 22% of the U.S. population. It is important for every person to be counted to make sure real-life necessities are distributed properly. These necessities include program funding for services such as:

·       Head Start programs and grants that support teachers and special education

·       Grants for buses, subways, and other public transit systems

·       Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

·       Medicaid

·       Programs to support rural areas, to prevent child abuse, and to provide housing assistance for older adults

An accurate census count is essential in ensuring people with disabilities who need these necessary supports and services participate in the census.

What Questions will the Census ask?

Items like name, gender, age, birthday, race, ethnicity, relationship to head-of-household, owner or renter, and phone number are asked on the Census.

What Questions will NOT be asked on the Census?

During the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask you for:

  • Your Social Security number.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.
  • Your bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Additionally, there is no citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.

The video link below will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present a quick overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions. We have available in English, Spanish and American Sign Language (ASL).


Este video en español presenta el Censo del 2020, le ofrece una rápida descripción general del cuestionario por internet y le ayuda a responder las preguntas.


This ASL video with English voice-over and captions will introduce you to the 2020 Census, present a quick overview of the online questionnaire, and help you answer the questions.


Start the 2020 Census Questionnaire now!



Muskegon County

Muskegon Senior Millage Transportation Voucher Program

WHAT IS THE SENIOR MILLAGE TRANSPORTATION VOUCHER PROGRAM? Disability Network West Michigan’s Senior Millage Transportation Voucher Program is a mileage reimbursement program funded through the Muskegon County Senior Millage. The Program reimburses drivers at $0.50 per mile to transport seniors with disabilities. Riders are strongly encouraged to locate their own drivers, but volunteer drivers may be available to assist those who cannot find a driver. Riders are provided vouchers that must be submitted to Disability Network West Michigan, who then issues a reimbursement check to the driver. If you are a person aged 60 or older with a disability and would benefit from increased access to community resources, healthcare appointments, recreation and leisure or other identified needs, please consider applying for our program.

WHO’S ELIGIBLE AS AN APPROVED RIDER? The rider must: • Be a person aged 60 or over with a disability. • Reside in Muskegon County. • Identify a licensed, insured driver. • Have barriers to community integration due to a lack of reliable transportation.

SIGN ME UP! If you or someone you know would benefit from the Senior Millage Transportation Voucher Program, please contact Disability Network West Michigan at 231-332-4033 or 231-722-0088 for more information, or click below for the rider and/or driver applications.

Senior Millage Transportation Voucher Program Rider Application

Senior Millage Transportation Voucher Program Driver Application

Muskegon Area Transit (MATS)
For Route information and GoBus Para-transit Information call – 231-724-6420

Your MATS Discount-Fare Card will expire on December 31, 2017.
To access MATS reduced fares after January 1, 2018, eligible disabled and Medicare Card customers must apply for, and be approved for, a new MATS reduced-fare card. Seniors are also encouraged to apply, but may instead continue to show a photo ID as proof of age.
Applications for a new MATS reduced-fare card are available now from any MATS office, or at the link button, below.
Please act now to continue receiving reduced fares, if eligible.
For assistance with applying call MATS at 231-724-6420. Our staff can also assist in the application process.

PLEASE NOTE: If any of the listed eligibility criteria on page 3 is met you DO NOT need to complete page 4. Also, You must provide a passport-style photo with this application. The photo should be recent (taken in the past six months) and approximately 2” tall and 2” wide, clearly depicting your face and shoulders.

Please click on the link below to complete the application.

MATS Reduced Fare Program Application 2018

Newaygo County

Disability Network West Michigan New Freedom Transportation Voucher Program

  • Must have a disability as recognized by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act)
  • Newaygo County residents only
  • Applications are available upon request
  • The Voucher Program is a mileage reimbursement program that pays $.50 per mile driven
  • Miles are approved on an individual basis

Purposes for use:

  • Transitioning students from school to work
  • Employed or self-employed individuals with disabilities
  • Recreation, Habilitation and Rehabilitation
  • Persons with disabilities seeking employment or attending training
  • Transportation to medical or other appointments

Contact: Disability Network West Michigan (231) 538-0740

Additional Newaygo County Transportation

DHHS Medical Transportation

For medical use ONLY

  • Persons must have exhausted all other methods of finding transportation
  • Must have an open Medicaid case with DHHS
  • Persons serviced through an HMO need to call their HMO for medical appointments and DHHS for dental or mental health appointments
  • HMOs require 7 days advanced notice
  • DHS requires a minimum of 3 working days notice
  • Regular ongoing appointments (more than once a month) require a doctor’s confirmation of need. Your DHHS caseworker can send you the form for your doctor to complete

Contact: Dawn Locke (231) 689-5545

Love INC Auto Repair Program

  • Based on income & household expenses
  • Must complete intake interview
  • Must provide at least two repair estimates
  • Must be a Newaygo County resident or live within Newaygo County School District for a minimum of 60 days
  • Applicants are approved on an individual basis

Contact: Love, Inc (231) 652-4099

Newaygo County Commission on Aging

Healthcare Transportation Program

  • Seniors over 60
  • Medical use only
  • Seniors that are Medicaid eligible are referred to Medical Transportation program at DHHS

Senior Transit Bus

  • Priority to seniors and persons with disabilities (if seats are available others are welcome)
  • A minimum of 5 riders are required to complete a route
  • Transportation provided only to community closest to rider’s residence
  • There is no fee for this service, but there is a suggested donation. Service will not be denied due to inability to make a donation

Contact: Joseph Fox (231) 689-2100 or 1-800-689-2100

Pilots for Christ

Flight Transportation

  • For patients requiring medical treatment or needing to return home
  • Travel provided via volunteer or commercial aircraft
  • Must sign liability waiver
  • All trips are free of charge

Ground Transportation

  • Limited travel provided to those in treatment or needing assistance to Gerber Memorial or Spectrum Hospitals
  • Request should be made by hospital or other reputable agency

Contact: Tim Layne (616) 636-5523 or www.pilotsforchristmi.com

*Please call agencies to verify eligibility as requirements change often*


Affordable, accessible, housing for all is one of Disability Network West Michigan’s goals.

When people cannot find a place to live, their other major goals related to employment and independent living cannot be achieved. While it is difficult for a person with a disability living on Supplementary Security Income to find safe, accessible housing, we work with the individual and other agencies to find that housing.

Click HERE to download the 2018 Muskegon Housing List

Click HERE to download the 2018 Newaygo Housing List

Click here to check out a program available through Disability Advocates of Kent County and the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition. It will let you enter a zipcode and search available housing without having to make a lot of phone calls!

Click here  for a Fully Accessible Guide to Home Loans for People with Disabilities



The AT Xchange is designed to facilitate transactions between residents of Michigan exchanging, donating, or selling used assistive technology (AT).  Click HERE for more information.


Senior Resources Medical Loan Closet offers a variety of items for use by older adults in our 3-county area of Muskegon, Oceana and Ottawa counties. Most items are donated, and we cannot guarantee availability of any item. Click HERE to find out is and is not accepted by the Loan Closet.

For more information, contact Jim Peterman at 231-733-3570, or email him at jpeterman@seniorresourceswmi.org.


Click HERE for information on support organizations in the counties we serve and surrounding areas.

Centers for Independent Living (CIL) Directories

If you are a person with a disability, family member, support person, business or organization and need assistance or information about disability in your local community please visit our Member Directory to find the CIL nearest you.

If you are looking outside Michigan, follow this link for a US CIL Directory.

Title VI Policy

Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin in programs and activities receiving Federal financial assistance.

Specifically, Title VI provides that “no person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” (42 U.S.C. Section 2000d). Disability Connection/West Michigan is committed to ensuring that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of its transit services on the basis of color, or national origin, as protected by Title VI in Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Circular 4702.1.A. If you feel you are being denied participation in or being denied benefits of the transit services provided by Disability Network West Michigan, or otherwise being discriminated against because of your race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability, you may contact our office at:

Will Wilson
Title VI Coordinator Disability Network West Michigan
27 East Clay Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49442

Senators and Representatives

Senator Debbie Stabenow
West Michigan Office
3280 E. Beltline Court NE Suite 400
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: (616) 975-0052
Email: http://www.stabenow.senate.gov/?p=contact
Website: http://www.stabenow.senate.gov/
Agency assistance: https://www.stabenow.senate.gov/services/agency-assistance

Senator Gary Peters
West Michigan Office
Gerald R. Ford Federal Building
110 Michigan Street NW Suite 720
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: (616) 233-9150
Email: https://www.peters.senate.gov/contact/email-gary
Website: http://www.peters.senate.gov/
Agency Assistance: https://www.peters.senate.gov/services/help-with-a-federal-agency

Congressman Bill Huizenga – District 2

Grand Haven Office
1 South Harbor Ave. Suite 6B
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: (616) 414-5516
Fax: (616) 570-0934
Email: https://www.peters.senate.gov/contact/email-gary
Website: http://huizenga.house.gov/
Agency Assistance: http://huizenga.house.gov/constituentservices/casework/default.aspx

State Senator Goeff Hansen – 34th State Senate District
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: (517) 373-1635
Toll Free: (866) 305-2134
Fax: (517) 373-330
Email: SenGHansen@senate.michigan.gov
Website: http://www.senatorgoeffhansen.com/
Upcoming office hours: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Senator-Goeff-Hansen/53765636784 events

State Senator Darwin Booher – District 35 Senate District
Serving Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Wexford counties

Office Address:
201 Townsend Street
Suite #3200
Lansing, MI 48933
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone: (517) 373-1725
Fax: (517) 373-0741
Email: SenDBooher@senate.michigan.gov

Website: http://www.senatordarwinbooher.com

Representative Holly Hughes – District 91
N-1195 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373-3436
Toll Free: 877-633-0331
Email: HollyHughes@house.mi.gov
Website: http://www.rephollyhoughes.com

Representative Scott Van Singel – Lake, Newaygo, Oceana – District 100
S-1289 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-373-7317
Toll free: 877-999-0995
Email: scottvansingel@house.mi.gov
Website: http://www.repvansingel.com

Representative Curt VanderWall, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason – District 101
S-1385 House Office Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-373-0825
Toll Free: (855) 347-8101
Email: curtvanderwall@house.mi.gov
Website: www.repvanderwall.com

Representative Michele Hoitenga – Mecosta, Osceola, Wexford – District 102
S-1386 Anderson Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 373-1747
Email: michelehoitenga@house.mi.gov
Website: http://www.rephoitenga.com

Representative Terry Sabo – Muskegon – District 92

Office Address
N-1196 House Office Building

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514

Phone: (517) 373-2646

Toll-Free: (877) 411-3684

Email: TerrySabo@house.mi.gov

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Representatives

Dwana Thompson Affirmative Action Director – ADA
City of Muskegon
933 Terrace Street
Muskegon, MI 49440
Phone: (231) 724-6703
Fax: (231) 722-1214
Website: http://www.muskegon-mi.gov/departments/affirmative-action

Great Lakes – ADA
1640 W Roosevelt Rd
Chicago, IL 60608
Phone: (800) 949-4232
Website: http://www.adagreatlakes.org
Office hours: Mon. – Fri. 8am-5pm

Sharon Ellis – ADA Compliance Director
Capital Tower Building
110 W. Michigan Ave., Suite 800
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-241-6300
Fax: 517-335-3882
TTY: 517-335-3881
Website: http://www.michigan.gov/mdcr