Systems Advocacy 

disAbility Connections staff, board members and volunteers are involved in advocacy at local, state and federal levels to address barriers, provide input on necessary changes and to help collect information on needs in our community.  Following are our current areas of focus.

Federal

The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017 (H.R. 620) introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) would seriously weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act. It would make it easier for businesses to continue to ignore the ADA.

We believe that it is important for Congress to hear the voices of many who oppose this legislation. It is imperative that your Representative be told to oppose H.R. 620 ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. Click here to contact your lawmakers!


State 

LANSING, Mich. — A bill introduced by Sen. Vincent Gregory (D–Lathrup Village), that would provide an income tax credit to taxpayers who purchase a qualified residence or retrofit their home to improve accessibility for persons with disabilities, today passed the Michigan Senate, 33-3.

    Under Senate Bill 184, for a homeowner to earn the tax credit, the purchased residence or planned renovations must meet accessibility and visitability standards, and be certified by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

“Improving physical access in our homes helps to eliminate barriers and provides greater opportunities — especially with regards to employment and social freedoms,” Sen. Gregory said. “The architectural features of a home influence the quality of life and independence of not only the resident, but also others who may have physical limitations to their everyday lives.”

    The credit can be claimed for either four percent of the total purchase price of a qualified principal residence, or up to 50 percent of the cost to retrofit an existing residence. The amount of the credit would be capped at $5,000.

Sen. Gregory worked closely with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and other organizations to develop legislative solutions that would improve the daily lives of individuals and their families living with physical limitations, but was quick to point out that accessibility credits benefit everyone.

    “My hope is that this bill will alleviate some financial burdens and help older adults and disabled individuals stay in the comfort of their own homes, and communities, for as long as they are safely able to do so,” Sen. Gregory said.


Local 

disAbility Connections staff are currently focusing on the following areas:

Transportation-

     JTA Advisory Council - Parrish Stahl, disAbility Connections staff, is a member of the JATA Advisory Council the l Transit Advisory Council (LTAC).  If you have questions or concerns you would like brought forward you can contact him at 517-998-3089 or email at parrish@disabilityconnect.org  .

     JATA Board Member -  Jim Cyphers, disAbility Connections staff, is a Board Member of Jackson Area Transit Authority.  He may be reached at 517-998-3083 or email jim@disabilityconnect.org  .  We also work with Key Opportunities in Hillsdale County and Lenawee Transportation regarding concerns in those counties.

     Walkable Communities Task Force - Attended by Parrish Stahl, disAbility Connections staff. This group is concerned with all people being able to move around the city with ease using public transportation, bikes, wheelchairs, and mobility devices;  also focuses on sidewalks with ADA accessible curb ramps and cutaways, proper signage, bicycle lanes as well as trails, walkways and other methods of connecting people throughout the city.

Housing-

     City of Jackson Human Relations Commission-  Parrish Stahl, disAbility Connections staff, is a member of this City Commission representing people with disabilities and their concerns.

     Continua of Care - Finding safe, accessible and affordable housing is a challenge to locate in all our communities.  disAbility Connections staff are members of the Continua of Care for Homelessness in Jackson (Parrish Stahl and Lesia Pikaart), Hillsdale (Carmon Yeloushan) and Lenawee (Brian Elliott) to provide input on housing needs of people with disabilities in our communities.  These groups work to gather information on community needs, develop local plans and apply for funds to address local needs through HUD, MSHDA and other funding streams.


disAbility Connections, Inc.      409 Linden Ave.  Jackson, MI   49203      Phone:  (517) 782-6054      Fax:  (517)  782-3118

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