Disability Network of Mid-Michigan logo
Promoting and Encouraging Independence for All People with Disabilities   
top1705 South Saginaw Road 
Midland, MI 48640
(989) 835-4041  (800) 782-4160
December 2012 Newsletter   

paloozaPiano Palooza VII is February 2, 2013!


Piano Palooza logo with multiple pictures of attendees surrounding the logo.


The Seventh Annual Piano Palooza is Saturday, February 2nd, 2013.  It will take place from 6-10pm at the Midland Country Club.


Tickets are on sale now! Contact Matthew Ivan at 989-835-4041 to reserve your spot! Seating is limited...Call today!  You can also click here to donate and/or purchase tickets online. 


Join us for an evening of dining, dancing, and dueling pianos! It's one of the great fundraisers of the year!

Corporate and Individual Sponsorships are available. If you would like to sponsor, contact Matthew Ivan.


atloanfundAT Loan Fund Secures Needed Home Repairs for Midland Resident 


For Darby, a 64-year old woman on disability, some of life's daily tasks had been growing increasingly difficult. Her shower, for instance, had a two-foot high rim and she found herself no longer able to comfortably and safely step over that clearance.


To make matters worse, this same shower was also in dire need of repair. Mold and wood rot had severely damaged the shower area to the point where its use was no longer safe.  Darby needed a new shower, but living on a fixed-income made paying for such repairs a daunting task.


Darby and her daughter, Tracy, called several agencies looking for help, to no avail.  


"We just couldn't believe no one could help, until we were referred to Disability Network," said Tracy.


MI Assistive Technology Loan Fund brochure. Low Interest loans for people with disabilities and seniors to buy assistive equipment and devices. Pictures includes the MI ATLF logo and two pictures of children with disabilities. Northern Michigan's 2-1-1 system referred Darby to Disability Network.  Andrea Sneller, an Information and Referral Specialist took Darby's case and immediately recommended she apply to the Assistive Technology (AT) Loan Fund.


"The AT Loan Fund provides low-interest loans up to 30,000 for a wide-range of assistive technology devices and/or products for people with disabilities," said Andrea.  "For Darby, the assistive technology meant a low-entry, accessible shower."  


Working with Andrea, Darby was able to secure repair estimates, apply for the AT Loan, and receive approval within two weeks.  The actual repairs were completed within a day.


Newly installed accessible shower. "We're just so glad this service is out there for people," Darby said of the AT Loan Fund. "It's much better for me now and I couldn't be more thankful for how quickly Disability Network and the Loan Fund were able to help me."


"I'm happy my mom is safe," said Tracy. "But I'm kinda jealous too, because it's a really nice shower!"  


For more information on the Michigan AT Loan fund and how it can help you with home and auto modifications or other types of assistive technology, contact Disability Network today! 


truckTruck Conversion Brings Greater Independence for Michigan Outdoorsman with a Disability  


Roy Mussatti at scenic overlook in Michigan's UP Roy Mussatti of Wakefield, like so many Michiganders, is an avid outdoorsman. Roy enjoys hunting large and small game, fishing, and numerous other outdoors activities. Nine years ago, Roy was injured while freestyle snowmobiling  in Houghton. Roy has quadriplegia resulting from a broken C-6 vertebrae.   

Before the accident, Roy worked at Wayne Nasi Construction as supervisor and as a mechanic.  After the accident, Roy worked with Michigan Rehabilitation Services and went back to school. He graduated in 2009, adding a degree in computer-aided design to his associate degree in automotive technology. He now works at Precision Tool and Mold in Ironwood as a designer.   


Having obtained a new degree and started a new career, Roy was looking to re-discover his passion for the outdoors.  Roy used to own a mini-van for transportation to and from school, but this mini-van could not haul the vehicles Roy used for off-road and recreational activities.


Chevy Silverado with wheelchair accessible conversion towing trailers. It was then he found Mobility SVM in Indiana. Mobility SVM was able to custom fit Roy with a wheel-chair accessible Chevy Silverado. He's now able to haul his ORVs and he can get back into the woods to hunt. He participates in (and often wins) off-road and tuff-truck races, mud bogs, and as such, Roy travels quite a bit now with his new truck.

"I feel so free," said Roy. "I pull my trailers myself, I travel. I had dreams of driving a truck and now, I am. I'm hunting, I'm kayaking, I'm fishing and I'm racing."


In short, Roy's doing the things he used to do. His new accessible truck has given him the gift we all deserve; the independence to do the things we love to do.

 Chevy Silverado pickup truck with wheelchair accessible conversion

summitGovernor Snyder Hosts Disability Summit        


Governor Rick Snyder at the 2012 Disability Summit in Lansing With support from the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, Governor Rick Snyder hosted the first Business-to-Business Disability Summit in Lansing on November 13th. Around 100 employers gathered to learn about the value of employing people with disabilities. The Disability Network (Flint) President & CEO and Chair of the Civil Rights Commission, Mike Zelley, was instrumental in putting this event together.   


The guest presenter was Randy Lewis, Vice President of Walgreens, who shared his personal journey and described how Walgreens reached their goal of employing over 1000 people with disabilities.  To view a presentation from Mr. Lewis, click the link below.   


Business & Disability: Walgreens - Randy Lewis on integration of people with disabilities
Business & Disability: Walgreens -
Randy Lewis on integration of people with disabilities


musiciansYoung Musicians with Disabilities Can Win $2,500 & a Performance in Washington, DC!


Boy with autism playing piano VSA Arts, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts, is looking for applications for the 2013 VSA Arts International Young Soloists Award. Young musicians with disabilities can win $2,500 and a performance in Washington, DC!


The competition is open to any musician with a disability age 14 to 25. All musical genres qualify - rap, classical, country, you name it! Ensembles and bands may also compete, as long as at least one member has a disability.


Boy who uses a wheelchair playing the violin The deadline for applications is January 15, 2013, and the application fee is $10. Soloists will need to submit a one-page personal narrative, recordings of three musical selections, and a completed online application form.  


Read the complete rules and apply online at http://artsapp.com/iys/ 


For questions or more information, or to request application documents in an alternate format, contact VSA Arts at (202) 416-8898 (voice) or  click here to email: [email protected].


Good luck! 

mentorMentor Training  


 Are you or do you know someone who is living successfully through life's experiences, such as:

  • Be a Mentor logoDisability
  • Veteran
  • Elder
  • Trauma
  • Transition to Independent Living


If you or someone you know would be good at:

  • Listening
  • Sharing Experiences and Knowledge
  • Embracing Diversity
  • Encouraging Others
  • Being a Friend

Be a Mentor! Join us for all new information and training!


WHEN:  (Training is a three-day session) 

Thursday, January 31st

Friday, February 1st

Thursday, February 7th

9:00am - 3:30pm (Lunch is provided). 



DNMM Main Office 

1705 S. Saginaw Rd. 

Midland, MI  48640 


Call to reserve your seat today!  1-800-782-4160!


benefitsPaper Federal Benefit Checks to Stop in 2013


Go Direct logo By March 1, 2013, all federal benefit payments will be electronic only. If you receive Social Security, SSI, Veterans, or other federal government benefits by check in the mail, you will have the option of having the money deposited directly in your savings or checking account, or onto a Direct Express debit Mastercard.


Direct Express MasterCard debit card If you would like the debit card, do nothing. After March 1, you will automatically receive your payments on the card.  


If you prefer direct deposit, sign up at your local bank or credit union, or by calling (800) 333-1795. You can also sign up online at https://www.godirect.gov/gpw/index.gd.


To learn more about this change in your benefits, visit http://www.godirect.org.



connectionDisability.gov Launches "What's Your Connection?" Initiative

There are nearly 57 million individuals with disabilities in the United States, and they are all connected to the people around them in some way. They are sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, parents and grandparents, coworkers, neighbors and friends.  

What's Your Connection?
What's Your Connection? emphasizes the connections among all people and reinforces the idea that people with disabilities are not separate, but an integral part of American society.


People nationwide are being asked to share how having a disability or knowing someone with one has touched their lives by submitting a photograph (in JPG format) with a 250-word maximum caption to [email protected], or uploading a captioned, one-minute YouTube video that answers the question, "What's Your Connection?" 


The initiative will run for nine months, from October 30, 2012 to July 31, 2013.   






World Without Walls    "W3"    


W3 logo - Earth as wrecking ball breaking down walls Be part of a growing movement. Join our virtual peer group!

Through the use of teleconferencing and Skype, walls no longer stand in the way of communication!  Our group discussions will be on a variety of topics like music, vacations, trivia and more!

You can experience this group in the comfort of your own home!  Join today!

 Upcoming meetings & topics:
December 6 - Healthcare Forum
December 13 - Chippewa Nature Center
December 20 - Holiday memories and traditions!

All meetings are 3:00 - 4:00pm.

To sign up or to receive information on how to participate, call 1-800-782-4160 or email [email protected].


Happy Holidays

Email DNMM:

[email protected] 

Board of Directors
 Jerry Pritchett

 Teresa Oliver 
 Vice President

 Harry Leaver

 Bill Bateman

 Members at Large:
 Tim Troy 
 June Price  
 Peter Jensen            
 Frank Champagne
 Greg Purtell 


 Executive Director: 

 David Emmel 

Visit our





Connect with us!


Like us on Facebook  View our videos on YouTube  View our profile on LinkedIn 

"There are very few people, even with the most severe disabilities, who cannot take control of their own lives. And there is no life without taking risks."

-Ed Roberts
Founder of the Independent Living Movement


Disability Network of
 Mid-Michigan celebrates 22 years of promoting  & encouraging independence.


Events Calendar 

December 6th

Toys For Tots Benefit Concert

7:00 - 9:00pm

State Theatre

913 Washington

Bay City


Free admission with toy donation


December 8th

"Jean Sings With Your Kids"


1:00 - 2:00pm

Creative 360

1517 Bayliss St.



December 20th

"Ask the Lawyer"

5:00 - 6:30pm 

Free Legal Advice


Strosacker Building



February 2nd 

Piano Palooza 7



Midland Country Club



Matthew Ivan  




 DNMM Office Will Be Closed:

December 24th

December 25th

December 31st

January 1st 


Cover of core services brochure.
Piano Palooza 7 is February 2, 2013!