Advocacy

Disability Network Michigan (DNM) represents Michigan’s 15 Centers for Independent Living (CILs).  DNM is a unified voice for advocacy, resources, and expertise; it is your first step in learning more about what independent living is and how people with disabilities can achieve their goal to be their own decision makers.

The capitol of the state of Michigan.
Five people in front of building, two of whom are wheelchair users and one person with a visual impairment.
DNM is a collective group of professionals who, either by personal experience or a desire to improve their communities, work to empower people with disabilities.

Connecting Communities

On behalf of its members, DNM focuses on connecting individuals, businesses, governments with tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.

Our Impact

What Is Community Living?

People with disabilities and older adults have the same opportunities as everyone else to:

Why Community Living?

How Do Independent Living Programs Help?

Media

For media and any media-related information, please contact Teri Langley, our Director of Community Relations.

Governor Whitmer invites students to design State of the State address program cover

Later this month, I will deliver my sixth State of the State address to lay out our plans to make Michigan the best place to live, work, and raise a family by focusing on lowering costs, strengthening our education system and infrastructure, building on Michigan’s strong economic progress, and so much more. These plans represent the future and will move Michigan forward.

To make this event the best it can possibly be, I need you – young, creative Michiganders – to come up with a design for the program cover on the theme “A Classic Michigan Story.”

Students are welcome to use crayon, marker, paint or any other material. To submit your design, please visit michigan.gov/artcontest and follow the instructions on the webpage. Submissions will be accepted exclusively through the online system and must be received no later than 11:59PM on Sunday, January 14.

What makes our state strong are the people that live here, and I am delighted to share a student’s artwork on the 2024 State of the State program that highlights what they see as Michigan’s strengths. I look forward to reviewing your submissions for the State of the State Art Contest. Learn more HERE

Disability Network/Michigan is excited to help spread the word about the Delta Dental Foundation's upcoming photo shoots in Marquette, Michigan and Detroit, Michigan for people with disabilities as a part of their partnership with Positive Exposure. Through art the Delta Dental Foundation is advocating for access to dental care for those with disabilities.

Disability Network/Michigan is excited to help spread the word about the Delta Dental Foundation‘s upcoming photo shoots in Marquette, Michigan and Detroit, Michigan for people with disabilities as a part of their partnership with Positive Exposure. Through art the Delta Dental Foundation is advocating for access to dental care for those with disabilities.

For 25 years, Positive Exposure, a nonprofit which promotes a more inclusive world through award-winning photography, has collaborated globally to promote a more equitable and compassionate world where individuals and communities at risk of stigma and exclusion are understood, embraced and celebrated. (Watch a video of Delta Dental Foundation’s last photo shoot and see our photo exhibition.)

Now, you can be part of this amazing project! Positive Exposure is coming to Detroit, Michigan, on October 22nd, and Marquette, Michigan on November 5th! Learn more HERE

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Disability Network/Michigan is pleased to learn of the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the retroactivity applied to insurance reimbursements as a result of changes in the state’s No-Fault auto insurance system.

Lansing — The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Monday that a key provision of the 2019 law reforming Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system does not apply to the 17,000 to 18,000 individuals injured prior to the law’s passage — a decision that strikes at, but doesn’t completely eliminate, a key cost-saving component in the legislation. View the full article here

The Governor Issues a Proclamation -- July 26 -- The Day to Honor the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

WHEREAS, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, 1990, to ensure the civil rights of people with disabilities; and,
WHEREAS, the ADA established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for eliminating discrimination against individuals with disabilities and expanding opportunities by reducing barriers, changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in professional and community life; and,
WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, about 27 percent of people in Michigan have disabilities; these rates increase with age, with 41 percent of Michigan adults who are 75 years or older having a disability of some kind; and, view the full proclamation here.

State of Michigan approves update to parking signs for people with disabilities

LANSING—Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law House Bills 4075 and 4076, sponsored by State Rep. Beau LaFave. The new laws update signs used to designate parking spaces for people with disabilities. Specifically, Public Acts 182 and 183 of 2022 will establish a design that better represents those who use wheelchairs or need mobility assistance, as well as remove the word “handicapped” from the sign.

Disability Network/Michigan (DN/M), an organization whose members advocate for independent living for people with disabilities, has worked for several years to address the current design, adopted in 1969. View the full press release here.

Attorney General’s opinion emphasizes importance of accessibility of public meetings for all citizens

On February 4, 2022, Michigan Attorney General Nessel issued an opinion that ensures access to meetings should continue for all Michigan residents.

Disability Network/Michigan believes that participation in our government is a fundamental key to democracy. “All citizens should have access to their government and the Attorney General’s opinion highlights that,” said Lori A. Hill-Sanders, President of Disability Network/Michigan Board of Directors. Disability Network/Michigan is committed to eliminating barriers at the local, state, and national levels for all citizens. Continuing these accessible and inclusive practices ensures that every voice is heard; this is true inclusion.

Follow this link to read Attorney General Nessel’s press release.

LANSING—The disability community is one of the largest marginalized groups in Michigan with 18% of residents living with a disability. People with disabilities have been navigating physical, programmatic, and attitudinal barriers in society for decades.  Too often, barriers in the physical and programmatic environment make it difficult for people with disabilities to access facilities and services and create segregated communities and feelings of isolation.

The COVID-19 pandemic created physical and programmatic barriers for everyone – not just those with disabilities.  As a result, we were all forced to redefine how work got done, whether it was in our schools, offices or government.  As the pandemic highlighted the need for safety for everyone, technology played an integral role in balancing that need with the importance of accessibility. Today, Attorney General Nessel issued an opinion that ensures access to meetings should continue for all Michigan residents.

“Participation in our government is a fundamental key to democracy.  All citizens should have access to their government and today’s Attorney General opinion highlights that,” said Lori A. Hill-Sanders, President of Disability Network/Michigan Board of Directors and Executive Director of Disability Network Wayne County Detroit.

“Disability Network/Michigan is committed to eliminating barriers at the local, state, and national levels for all citizens,” said Hill-Sanders. “Continuing these accessible and inclusive practices ensures that every voice is heard; this is true inclusion.”

The Disability Network/Michigan represents the collective voice of Michigan’s 15 Centers for Independent Living (CILs). Its focus is on leadership development, relationship building, effective communication and mobilizing around issues that will have the greatest impact on delivering high-quality independent living services to people with disabilities.

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Michigan’s Go Logo Resource

Visit the Michigan Go Logo website for more information and updates.