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Category Archives: Advocacy
Summer of 2018 kicked off with a Career Exploration Camp. This Summer Transition Youth Camp (STYC) is designed to be the participant’s first real introduction to potential employment opportunities. The camp is intended to offer behind the scene information and first-hand communications from current employees and/or business owners on how to obtain employment; this includes daily tasks, education and any previous experience needed.
The goal is to explore first job options and …help decipher the “dream job” verses the realistic job. In addition, the participants received health and wellness coaching from professionals in the field and hands-on volunteer time.
In helping this all come together and promoting community inclusion, Disability Network West Michigan would like to thank the following contributors:
Fremont Public Library for use of space,
Admiral Gas Station in Fremont, Michigan for their on the spot willingness to participate,
Pizza Hut for taking the time to answer questions,
Walmart Fremont – W 48th St and the individuals who researched answers they did not have,
A very special thank you to the following:
Tamarac, The Center for Health and Well-Being for planning three incredible sessions along with the working professionals for taking time from their schedules to accommodate our group.
Dr. Russell at Fremont Animal Hospital for a full tour and Q&A forum,
Andy at The Original Print Shop for the detailed explanation, tour and the new appreciation for things, we many times, take for granted.
Congratulations to Family Video in Fremont, Michigan for providing the very first volunteer/work experience for these youth!
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 Transitio…n 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.
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
•USS Silversides Submarine Museum
•Social Security Building
•Family and Supports of all camp participants
•Everyone at DNWM who helped at some point with camp!
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.
“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!”
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.
Check out the personal impact our Summer Transitioning Youth Camp had for a young gentleman that participated this summer!
Disability Network West Michigan is offering Disability Inclusion and Awareness Training.
The one-hour presentation is designed for businesses, nonprofits, churches, service organizations and other groups who interact with and want to learn about people with disabilities. Each session, which is led by the Muskegon-based nonprofit that provides independent living resources for people with disabilities, is designed to correct misconceptions about people with disabilities and facilitate smoother and more comfortable interactions.
“As our population ages and needs to work longer, chances are you are going to work with someone who has a disability – if you don’t already,” said Lisa Sullivan, an information and referral specialist who leads the training sessions for Disability Network West Michigan. “People with disabilities are often treated as ‘other’ by society, who often characterize us by focusing on the disability, not the person.
“Yet people with disabilities are just people with their own unique set of challenges. We take a ‘people first’ approach with our training, which is designed to break down the barriers of thinking in terms of ‘us and them.’ Our goal is to educate so that everyone can be more comfortable when working with, providing service to or interacting with people with disabilities.”
Nationally, the U.S. Census estimates that nearly 20 percent of Americans – or 57 million adults and 5.2 million children – have some type of disability. In Muskegon, approximately 17.2 percent of the population has a disability of some type.
Topics covered by the training include:
- Brief overview of the history and scope of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- Basic definition of disability as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission
- Discussion of common stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding people with disabilities, including true stories from the presenter’s experiences
- Overview of best practices for interacting with people of varying abilities
- Question-and-answer period
“Some disabilities are hidden, such as a heart condition or asthma, while others are more visible,” Sullivan said. “Not all disabilities are obvious – but all people with a disability want to be respected and treated as people first. We are not inspirations. We are also not from another species.
“At the heart of our training is a simple yet powerful message: Treat someone with a disability the same way you treat everyone else. Those who attend should leave with greater understanding about disabilities – and less fear about dealing with a colleague, customer or friend who has a disability.”
Based in Muskegon, Disability Network West Michigan provides independent living resources for people with disabilities in Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Lake and Mason counties. Along with other members of the statewide Centers for Independent Living network, Disability Network West Michigan offers its training sessions for a modest fee throughout the region.
About Disability Network West Michigan:
Disability Network West Michigan provides independent living resources for people with disabilities in Muskegon, Oceana, Newaygo, Lake and Mason counties. The mission of the nonprofit organization, which is part of the statewide network of Centers for Independent Living, is to empower, educate, advocate, and provide resources for those with disabilities as well as promoting accessible communities.
For more information, call our office at 231-722-0088
Love in the Name of Christ’s Project Ramp ministry has been building handicap ramps for nearly 20 years, providing freedom for our Muskegon County neighbors in need. Imagine yourself wheelchair-bound, stranded indoors and unable to get out to the doctor. Or out into your backyard. Or back inside on a cold winter’s day.
Or worse yet, have a way out if there was a fire.
Neighbors in need call their office regularly to apply for ramps from all over the county. A typical ramp takes 6 – 8 weeks from the time we get the phone call, until the ramp construction begins. Donations help to speed up the process, by enabling Love INC to build our inventory of metal ramp parts or to purchase the wooden materials needed to construct the ramp. Once the application is received, funding is in place, and paperwork is complete, our group of volunteers step up and in just 2 days…
The Project Ramp ministry would not be possible without the gifts and talents of volunteers from area churches, civic organizations, and businesses. This is a powerful way to show Christ’s love to those who could not get a ramp any other way. This is a powerful way to feel Christ’s love by helping your neighbors in need.
Their goal is $10,000 for this quarter, which will build approximately 6 ramps. Send your donation with RAMP IT UP for Love! in the memo. You can also go to the GoFundMe campaign link ator visit Love INC of Muskegon on Facebook for an easy link. Download the GoFundMe mobile app and share it with your friends!
RAMP IT UP For Love!
|For more information about Project Ramp, call Tammy at 231.773.3448 ext 231.|