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.