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#Awareness Blog

Welcome to our blog entitled #Awareness.  This is a space that will delve into disabilities.   Good, bad, or neutral the information should help provide an “Awareness”.  Hopes being that through the information we have provided, you gain a greater Awareness what is happening to people with disabilities.  

  • 26 Jan 2022 2:18 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Frank and Shirley Dick Family YMCA in Adrian

              Staying active has physical, emotional, and mental benefits for  all people and for those with disabilities those benefits are amplified/more important.  However, if adaptions are needed in order to be active it canFigure 1: Zero step entry to YMCA indoor pool. be a little more difficult to accomplish and get those benefits.  The Frank and Shirley Dick Family YMCA near Adrian, MI that opened in October, 2020 put some thought into accessibility.

     The facility includes an accessible 4’ deep pool featuring a zero step entry and an operable lift in the 4’ section, steam room, 2 basketball court gymnasium, group fitness room, child care, locker rooms, and exercise equipment. The men’s, women’s, and family locker rooms are accessible and include an accessible shower and accessible toilet.  The overall layout of this YMCA that is accessible, open, and well lit. There are 5-6 accessible parking spaces near the entrance in a circle drive atop a slight hill.  All other parking spaces are down the small hill and a short walk to the    front doors where there is an automatic opener button for the far right door.    Each component of this YMCA can be used by people with varying disabilities. 

    The Freemotion exercise machines are accessible on various levels.  They feature cable/pulley systems which allow for wider access and use.  A couple provide space where wheelchairs can be used and machines are spaced well.  For those with weakened grips, bringing wraps for your hands and the handles may be beneficial.  If needed, a person with a disability is able to bring in an assistant free of charge.  That person is there to assist with chair positioning, transfers, or setting up equipment.  The assistant cannot use their access as a pass to freely use the YMCA.

    1 of 2 wheelchair accessible Dual Cable exercise machines. The side arms are fully adjustable to fit various positional needs.

    We encourage community members of all abilities to take advantage of resources like The Frank and Shirley Dick Family YMCA.  Please take proper safety precautions and speak with your medical advisor on what is best for you before starting an exercise program.   We are looking forward to seeing what 2022 will provide for each of you, and hope you are able to find enjoyment in some form of activity to improve your overall health in this new-year!


     exercise bike  accessible pool lift seatexercise bike with seat turnedaccessible roll in showermachines built to be accessible for exercise equipment

     Exercise stations with their cable & pulley systems. Each component of this YMCA can be used by people with varying disabilities.

  • 21 Jan 2022 3:02 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Ed Roberts Day – Jan 23rdBlack and white photo of Ed Roberts with his breathing tube bit between his teeth

    • Known and widely recognized as being the father of the Independent Living and Disability Rights Movement.
    • Contracted polio at age 14 and became paralyzed from the neck down
    • Became the first student with severe physical disabilities to be admitted into the University of California, Berkeley
    • Forced to live in hospital wing as a student at UC Berkeley because they didn’t have housing to accommodate for his power chair & Iron Lung.
    • Led student advocacy group of students with disabilities, which became known as “rolling quads”.
    Ø Here he founded the First disability-led student organization in the United States.
    Ø They provided disability services, such as transportation, personal aides, wheelchair repair, and advocated for greater physical access to their campus, including taking sledgehammers to curbs in order to create curb cuts. 
    • After college, he co-founded the Center for Independent Living, a non-profit advocacy group run by people with disabilities for people with disabilities.
    Ø It started with a staff of just two people. “We know that even the most severely disabled folks can live in the community, and it’s up to us – those of us who are lucky enough to be out and who feel the power of the process. Because every time we reach out to help someone else we empower them for ourselves,” he said. (https://www.accessliving.org/newsroom/blog/ed-roberts-a-pioneer-for-equality/)
    Ø Passed away March 14th, 1995.
    Ø His power chair has been on display at the Smithsonian asEd Roberts in his power whelchair and a woman standing beside him part of the collection of the National Museum of American History.
    More information and videos on this pivotal icon of the Independent Living 
  • 27 Aug 2021 2:38 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

              Just before the Emergency Preparedness Month of September, powerful storms in mid-August wreaked havoc and knocked out power for people all over Michigan.  Those without generators for backup power were left with no working lights, no running water, no AC, no Internet or TV, and we continually flipped light switches as we entered rooms only to remember that there wasn’t any power.  Planning is the key to making emergencies and power outages more manageable.  That’s what Emergency Preparedness Month is all about.

              Here in Michigan, the most common natural disasters include floods, severe storms (rain and snow), wildfires, power outages, and tornadoes.  Make a plan for the household of personal responsibilities and a location to safely meet depending on the circumstance(s).  If a tornado is coming, establish which room you are going to for safety or in case of a fire, where the household will meet outside. 

              Equally important is to make a kit/bag of supplies that can be tucked away but easy to get in the time of need.  The kit should include some basics that will be handy no matter the situation. Those basics are items without expirations like cash (credit card machines will not work), radios, and a written list of contacts and current medications.  Store shelf stable items such as distilled water, batteries, flashlight(s), non-perishable foods and a manual can opener, first-aid kit, and even a whistle to notify people are a good way to start. Also consider other unique needs you may have such as pets, baby food, etc. 

              To make emergency planning easier, use a system like www.do1thing.com to break the preparations into categories and by the month.  Instead of seeing a long list, you know that “x” month is time to focus on water and getting/having a 3 day supply of water per person, next month you focus on getting a 3 day supply of food per person, and the month after that you identify the best storm shelter in your home and practice getting there. 

              For people with disabilities, emergencies and power outages raise other concerns such as:

    • ·        How to charge a power mobility device or ventilator
    • ·        Alternative exits to using an elevator or a lift if they lose power
    • ·        How to keep insulin/medications viable and accessible
    • ·        The easiest exit to use in various emergency cases
    • ·        Hauling a kit with physical limitations

              These are major health and safety risks for people that rely on those machines for daily life.   

              There are many scenarios we don’t think about normally that become essential during unexpected circumstances.  Take the opportunity of Emergency Preparedness Month to become more aware. 

    People living in Jackson, Hillsdale, and Lenawee Counties can give key data to their county to keep on file in case of an emergency. People provide as much helpful info as they want.  Examples would be if someone is deaf, blind, uses a wheelchair, where bedrooms are located, information on pets or service animals, or any severe allergies, etc.  

    Alerts are sent to a smartphone during any nearby dangers such as severe weather or a missing person.

    Jackson County use this link

    Lenawee County use this link

    Hillsdale County use this link

    For even more information about emergency preparedness and ready kits go to https://www.ready.gov/  


  • 29 Jul 2021 12:48 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Written by: Holly Peterson

    Let's start with babies... you may have concerns with your infant or toddler's development, you can't quite pinpoint what it is, but you are just concerned. You have talked to your doctor and they told you to wait a little while "because all children develop a little differently at their own rate". This isn't yet settling to you because this is YOUR child and you want them to excel! It's a pretty easy answer~ all you have to do is contact Early On by calling 1-800-327-5966. They can talk to you about your concerns and offer free evaluations.

      Now, let's say your child is in elementary school and you have concerns about his/her ability to keep up with other students. Maybe your child has Cerebral Palsy, ADD or ADHD and focus is a big concern in their learning. There is a way to ask for help and to have assistance in a "formal plan" for their education..... This could happen with an IEP (Individual Education Plan) or a 504 Plan. First, an evaluation must be requested. In order to learn about his process ~ you can call us at disAbility Connections or contact Michigan Alliance for Families ~ michiganallianceforfamilies.org They have a most wonderful website full of information AND there is also a local parent mentor who can help you. I can't recommend this resource enough!

      Next, let's assume your child has a 504 Plan or an IEP providing the extra needed services already. Be sure that you understand how to make the most of that plan to best fit your child! We as parents need to educate ourselves so that we can best advocate for our child! We need to know how those supports will look as we transition from one classroom to several. Some special education settings and some inclusion classroom settings. Be sure you have a clear understanding of the "diploma" track or "certificate of completion" track. Some students qualify for services to the age of 26 in Michigan while others do not. Be sure you know the options.

      Graduation...this can be a scary process! This is something that you need to plan for far before 12th grade! Students with an IEP or 504 Plan may qualify for other community resources. They could come through providers like disAbility Connections, Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Kit Young's ~ Young Adult Program Lifeways, or others. I am sorry to tell you that if you don't know about them ...you may not be told about them! Let me repeat... EDUCATE yourself!

      College, trade programs, and even volunteering can be your next level getting you closer to employment. Maybe college isn't for you, but getting work experience through employment or volunteering will be your "education". Showing employers that you are reliable, willing to learn, and work to your abilities is what will get you closer to paid employment in the end.

      Transition to "adulthood" is huge for both students and parents! I can NOT stress enough that you can contact me or other individuals in the know! Jackson County ISD contracts with me to work with families on these issues including guardianship, community resources, SSI, trusts, CHORE services, food benefits, respite, social programs, and job coaching to name a few. Typically I will meet with a family a few times to go over all that is available that fits the student, adult, and their needs. I can help direct and get you enrolled with LIFEWAYS, DHHS, SSI, and more. We will also talk about the future, what plans are for housing, living supports, finances, and more. As a parent of an adult child with special needs, I understand these programs and services first hand.

    There are additional programs through disAbility Connections that work with local students to build on work and self-help skills.


  • 26 Jul 2021 1:53 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    The Dahlem Center Provides Nature for All

    By: Brian Elliott

              Looking for a way to connect with nature and take a break from theA sign outside of the main office shows the route of the nature for all trail and provides a legend of the trail route and sites along the way hustle of daily life?  The Dahlem Center just outside of Jackson at 7117 South Jackson Road, is an incredible natural environment of nearly 300 acres. The Dahlem Center provides educational classes, summer camps, and a little something for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy.  Dahlem showcases 5 miles of natural hiking trails and a 2 people, 1 in a power wheelchair and the other in a manual wheelchair go down the crushed limestone accessible trail through the woods that line each side of the trail.nearly ½ mile accessible “Nature for All Trail” made of crushed limestone.  The Nature for All Trail takes people on a loop from the main entrance out through the woods and back to the main office building.  The trails are free to use and are open dawn to dusk year-round (including holidays). 

              My favorite part, aside from having an accessible trail, is the newest additions to the “Nature for All Trail” installed at the beginning of 2021.  New stations (developed in collaboration with Henry Ford Allegiance Health) posted along the trail (as shown in the photo below) demonstrate how to do some simple stretches or movements such as yoga poses, jumping jacks, plus arm/leg stretches.  Performing the exercises are a calming experience as you take in the natural sights and yoga station sign along the nature for all trail provides three yoga poses and instructions for doing the movement.sounds.  No longer do you hear the daily bustle of traffic and machinery.  Your eyes aren’t focused on a phone, television, or computer screen in front of you.  Instead, your senses can take in the rustling of leaves in all colors and sizes, and wildlife like birds and the scrunching of a squirrel as it scampers from one tree to another.  It is you and nature.  Simply, back to the basics. 

              Four spinning infographics are also posted along the accessiblealong the trail is posted 4 infographics on a post that people can spin and get information on trees and wildlife trail.  The infographics provide images and descriptions of what you can see as you look around the trail as you go.  The whole of nature is beautiful, and now you know what you are looking at.

              Next time you think you can use a break and unplug, check out the Dahlem Center.  A great place to connect with nature and see all of its stages from bloom to hibernation and everything in between. #Awareness

  • 23 Jun 2021 3:37 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Think First – Feet First

    Beware of diving into shallow or unknown waters

    By: Brian Elliott

              Diving is the fourth leading cause of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) among males and the fifth leading cause among females according to the Shepherd Center (a not-for-profit hospital based in Atlanta, Georgia).  I can still remember that Friday back in 2005 fairly well.  I got off of work and met up with some friends at a nearby lake to hang out.  A couple of hours later I was on a life-flight to Toledo after I dove off the pontoon boat.  In the following weeks, months, and years I have had to learn how to live as a person with a complete spinal cord injury

             According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an estimated 11,000 spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year800 of those spinal cord cases per year are caused by diving, with 90% resulting in paralysis (American Academy of Neurology).  One simple tip for staying safe and avoiding joining me in the SCI Diving Club:

    •  Feet first – ANYTIME you are entering a body of water for the first time.  This allows you to know what is under the water surface such as how deep it is and if there is something such as a log or sandbar that was not visible from above.  One exception is the deep end of a pool that is clearly visible to the bottom, labeled for diving and filled with water to the proper amount.

              Put in simple terms, learn what you are getting into before potentially making a fatal or tragic error.  I personally guarantee that a leg injury of some sort will be less costly (physically and financially) than any SCI.  Diving accidents can also happen when diving into oncoming waves, as is commonly done by people in the oceans.  Although, this can also happen to people that do the same thing in Michigan's Great Lakes or when waves throw people around under the water as seen in the photos at the bottom of the page.

              The unfortunate truth is that diving accidents are the most avoidable of the SCI.  People are going to lakes, rivers, pools, and more to keep cool as the weather heats up.  While these are great ways to relax and recreate, please do so responsibly!  Michigan provides some great water opportunities and we want you to enjoy yourself.  The best way to stay safe and avoid joining the SCI Diving Club is to remember and share “Think First-Feet First”.

    Read a first-hand experience with a diving SCI

    2 SCI mechanisms of injury are shown with color illustrations. on the left is a woman under water beneath a wave. her head and right arm are on the ground, her right arm is extended behind her back. her legs and other arm are above her and the wate is forcing them in the opposite direction, creating a rotational injury of the spinal cord. a red circle highlights a spot on her lower back and an inside look shows this movement caused fractured vertebrae along with twisted spinal cord. The image on the right is a man that has hit the ground with chin, bu his legs are still up in the air and are out of the shallow water. A red circle highlights the back of neck as it is hyperextended back toward the shoulders resulting in a ruptured ligament and spinal cord.2 mechanisms of injury are shown in color illustrations. on the left a woman has dove into shallow water and hit the top of her head on the bottom. and her legs are straight above and still out of the shallow water. there is a red circle highlighting the back of her neck as a vertical compression. the impact shows a compression fracture and compressed spinal cord injury. The image on the right is a man tat is under water below a wave that has forced him into a forward somersault. his head is on the ground but his body is above him and rolling over. a red circle highlights the back of his neck and hyperflexion. His head and chin are being forced to his chest resulting in a compressed fracture and compressed spinal cord with stretched ligament

  • 21 Jun 2021 12:22 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    In emergency situations, time and information are extremely valuable.  Jackson, Hillsdale, and Lenawee Counties all have options that allow people to provide important emergency information to keep on file with emergency services. The nice part about this service is that you can provide as little or as much information as you feel comfortable.  You can provide details about your disability that they may need to know upon arrival for an emergency.  Such as, if you are deaf or blind, a wheelchair user, where your room is located, information on pets that may need to be rescued or relocated, or if you just want them to be aware that you have specific allergies, etc. This information can save valuable time during an emergency that responders can use before making contact, helping interactions with them to be smoother and more successful.

    These services are confidential, safe, secure, and your information is only available to emergency responders when you call for help.  None of your personal information is shared with any other organizations or agencies.

    Jackson dispatch uses an internal online fillable form for information you would like emergency responders to know.  You can submit the form online or print the form and mail, hand deliver, or email it to the dispatch office. Jackson dispatch also offer a service called Code Red that allows you to register to be alerted by email or smart phone when there is an emergency in our area such as Tornado, missing person, etc.

    You can find online information for the Jackson dispatch form here:  https://www.mijackson.org/FormCenter/Sheriff-50/Emergency-Response-Information-for-Indiv-92

    Hillsdale and Lenawee Counties each offer Smart 911.  Smart 911 is an online form that provides information you would like emergency responders to know about you.  With this service you can also request RAVE which notifies about emergencies in those counties.

    To find information on Hillsdale Smart 911: https://www.co.hillsdale.mi.us/index.php/tm-law-enforcement/tsm-crt-911/sm-911-rave

    To find information on Lenawee Smart 911:  https://www.lenaweealerts.com/

    If you would like further information on this service or assistance registering, a disAbility Connections staff would be happy to help.  Give us a call at 517-782-6054.

  • 15 Apr 2021 9:33 AM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Parkinson’s Awareness

    By: Brian Elliott

    April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

              Approximately 60,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD) each year and it is estimated that in 2020 nearly one million people in the U.S. are living with PD.  What is Parkinson’s disease?  Parkinson's disease involves a decline in the function of the nervous system.  Commonly found in aging adults, PD gradually impacts the control a person has over their physical movements and emotional responses.  PD affects dopamine-producing neurons in the brain which send and receive signals from the body to the brain.  This helps to explain why a person with PD may display delayed or uncontrolled reactions physically and/or emotionally.  People are still able to go on living fulfilling lives as PD is not a terminal disease.  Unfortunately, there is currently no single test or scan to provide a Parkinson diagnosis, it takes a series of factors for a doctor to consider. 

    Common Symptoms

              Symptoms of PD slowly develop over time and can vary from one person to another.  Parkinson.org lists these common symptoms as three strong indicators that can help with a diagnosis. 

    • ·        Slowness of movements in automatic tasks like blinking or swinging arms while walking and initiating movement to rise from a chair,
    • ·        Rigidity of the body beyond normal stiffness associated with arthritis or old age, and tremors while at rest and commonly occurring in the hand, lower lip, jaw, or leg.is the involuntary tremors while at rest, especially within the hands. 
    • ·        Cognitive impairments are more common, and show through signs of cognitive impairment, depression, sleep behavior disorders, boredom or being indifferent
    That last category, cognitive impairments, are possibly more impactful on people.   They impact a person’s personality and mindset.  Sometimes the biggest factor involved is a sense of self-esteem or ego.  Like developing other disabilities, the personal struggle to recognize and accept the new body we are in and its physical/emotional changes is a monster of a hurdle in itself.   Accepting on a personal basis that we can no longer do all the things like before is extremely difficult for some people as it is a recognition we aren’t able to be totally independent.  An important step with successfully treating symptoms of PD is to work with a doctor and follow recommended therapies and medications.

    Parkinson’s Support Group

                In recognition of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, I recently spoke with a long-time employee and recent retiree from disAbility Connections, Carole Briggs BSN, RN. Carole has a wealth of knowledge and experience with Parkinson’s disease (PD), gathered from her career as a nurse working in elder care facilities. Her husband was diagnosed with PD in 1993, and she has led the Jackson Parkinson’s Support Group for the past 20+ years. 

              Following her husband’s diagnosis, they helped start the Jackson Parkinson’s Support Group. Providing educational speakers and offering a social opportunity to be around others in similar situations living with PD. At these monthly meetings - currently not being held as a COVID precaution - they have programming that includes speakers from various medical fields, legal experts, holiday pot luck and auction to raise funds for the Parkinson’s Foundation, and two times a year have sessions that were designed for the Parkinson persons and caregiver(s) to meet separately. These two meetings being especially important, providing temporary relief and a break from each other while allowing an extra opportunity to communicate between those in similar situations. As Carole told me, "there is more to a PERSON as a whole than simply another person with a shared characteristic of being a caregiver or having PD and these meetings are a chance to share resources, have fun, and socialize”.      

              These meetings are a chance to share resources and one of the resources commonly used is respite service.  Respite services provide a break of a few hours for the caregiver.  This link provides information to learn more about our respite program offered to families in Jackson County.

    Get Connected

              As a parting comment for anyone that is newly diagnosed and their families; Carole says “Get connected with Michigan’s Parkinson’s Foundation www.parkinsonsmi.org (248) 433-1011, for all of their beneficial resources and get connected with a support group in your area. They are all over the state. The lessons learned at a support group, being among others in similar situations, will be beyond helpful”.

    For a local Jackson Parkinson Support Group, contact Carole Briggs at 517-783-6527. In-person meetings are expected to start up again soon.

  • 05 Feb 2021 3:21 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

         Part of Sharing the Love theme with the month of February is acknowledging andAn elderly man with glasses sits on a wooden chair in a red and white striped shirt and jeans smiles and leans over to pet a black dog sitting beside him thanking those that have taken their time and energy and volunteered with us at disAbility Connections (dC). John Conley is one of those volunteers and the other day I had the pleasure of talking with him and hearing his voice (It's nice to hear a voice you haven't heard in a while, reach out and call a friend!) along with how he has been doing since COVID hit and about his time volunteering with dC.

             Following retirement he realized as many other retirees find, he had some time and he wanted to give back. So he began volunteering at the hospital and through that, he found to really like giving back to the community. John also enjoyed going to Jackson Crossing and taking walks with fellow community members. During one of his walks at Jackson Crossing, he mentioned that he was looking for other places to volunteer. Unbeknown to him, Jerry Jenkins (a board member at dC) heard the comment and suggested he check out disAbility Connections as a potential fit. It’s now 10 years later that he has been a dedicated volunteer with dC, coming in 1-2 days (pre-COVID) a week assisting at the front desk and wherever else he can help. 

             When I asked why he felt the urge to begin volunteering, he referred back to something that his father had mentioned and demonstrated “You have to give back before you take.” Aside from referring back to what had stuck with him from his father, he mentioned that he has really enjoyed the environment and the people he has been able to know over the years working for dC and helping the people coming through the doors for assistance. Some of his greatest pleasure has been taking people back into the Loan Closet room of durable medical equipment and helping people get what they will need to make their life easier and safer at home. Even mentioning how once people are back there, he can point other equipment that may be helpful but the person hadn’t thought of yet. They may have come in looking for a walker, but he can also point out the helpful options such as a shower bench or a commode. “It’s heartwarming to help people in need.”

              COVID has taken away his ability to volunteer which is unfortunate not only for him but selfishly for us as well as we don’t get to see and talk with him on a weekly basis anymore. There is a benefactor in this scenario though. Nina, his rescue dog has been able to relish in some extra lavish attention and time spent with him. As any pet lover will attest, seeing their faces and eyes light up when you enter the room or looking back at you with unconditional love is a feeling that warms the heart and soul. 

             John, on behalf of dC, THANK YOU for your extended support and service. We truly appreciate all that you have done with us. Without you (and all the others) that have given us your precious time and energy over the years, we wouldn’t be the organization we are today. Now give Nina an extra treat, ear scratches, and some belly rubs from the staff at dC. We look forward to seeing you back at the office once we can all be together again.

  • 15 Dec 2020 1:46 PM | Brian Elliott (Administrator)

    Where Are All the People with Disabilities?

    By: Brian Elliott

    Not seeing/placing people with disabilities in all types of media continuescartoon image of a guy with glasses, in a red and white striped shirt and hat, blue pants and using a cane to walk to portray that we are unwelcome from social lives, activities, and businesses while supporting the impression that those with disabilities are unusual.  We know for a fact that is not true.  Statistically speaking, according to the Center for Disease Control, 25.6% of adults in the U.S. has some form of a disability while in Michigan the rate increases to 28.2%.  Using these facts, disabilities are all around us.  This brings about the question…  Where are all these people with disabilities?  As someone that uses a wheelchair, when I go out I don’t see many other people with visual disabilities and rarely encounter another wheelchair user in the general public.  Think back to the last time you saw a person with a disability in a show, movie, or even an advertisement.  Was it easy?  What was the context used?  The lack of representation in the media of people with disabilities of all types is both a missed opportunity and a representation of our society in general.

              Why do we generally stare at people?  It’s human nature.  Curiosity.  It is not something we have experienced or see very often, so we are curious.  I can admit I’m just as curious as the next cat.  Regardless, what if we had amputees, oxygen and ventilator users, people with depression, autism, Down syndrome, sign language, cerebral palsy, white canes, dwarfism, slurred speech, and so many other forms of disabilities with people of all ages portrayed across all media to increase their exposure as examples?  Through the increased media exposure it would start to break down the barriers and stigmas that shroud people with disabilities.  Some companies such as BBC Studios, have implemented an inclusive rider to incorporate such changes. Through increased media exposure normalizing people with disabilities being active community members, the urge to stare would be less and less as we grow more accustomed to seeing ALL people as viable participants.

              These simple steps towards greater inclusion will be beneficial on all fronts.  People with disabilities can recognize that we are not alone, instead we are welcomed and deserve to enjoy all the services and comforts as everyone else.  Businesses would have the chance to welcome a whole portion of the population that was feeling segregated and opening the door for more cross-cultural interactions and conversations to take place between community members.   Also, these inclusive measures increase potential for employment opportunities among people with disabilities.  You’ll be amazed at what people with disabilities bring to the table when they are asked and when their spot has been modified to allow their full participation. 

              As we venture into 2021, let’s make a collective effort to include more people with different abilities and backgrounds.  Actions and speaking out shouldn’t necessarily always have to come from the person with a disability either.  You can attend public meetings for city council, planning commissions, school boards, and while in businesses ask how they intend to include people with disabilities and if they were sought out for input on how decisions and policies will impact their lives.  There is a wealth of information, life experiences, personalities, and capital around us that our communities will benefit from tapping. 

    For some examples, these four holiday movies are inclusive of people with disabilities on screen.

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