Community Connections | Summer eNewsletter

Director’s Corner

With summer booming, there are plenty of opportunities for people with disabilities to get out and enjoy our wonderful environment in northern Michigan. If you want to explore northeastern lower Michigan, Ocquenoc Falls, near Rogers City, is the perfect place to get to a waterfall and have a picnic. Or head out to the Alpena Bi-path, a lengthy accessible pedestrian path that travels though the city, runs along a river, travels to a wildlife sanctuary and goes to an island park. Wow!

Summer is also a good time to check out the stars. In northwest lower Michigan you can enjoy Michigan’s Dark Sky Park while camping at the nearby accessible campground at Wilderness State Park or enjoy many of the accessible beaches at Petoskey State Park, Elk Rapids, Suttons Bay, Frankfort and Traverse City. For the visually impaired, visit the Grass River Natural Area Boardwalk Rope Trail that takes you through cedar wetlands and to calm bubbling streams. If you like to fish there are several accessible spots for fishing at Lake Charlevoix in Boyne City, Cedar Lake at the DeYoung Natural Area and a personal favorite fishing hole (Shh, don’t tell anyone), the Timbers Recreation Area Fern Lake fishing pier. I cannot speak to all the wonderful opportunities that exist here in northern lower Michigan in this small article, from miles of accessible trails and kayak launches to the awesome Track Chair Program at the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

We hope that this summer you will take time to explore Michigan’s accessible north. If you come to northern lower Michigan and want to know what to do outdoors, give us a call. We will see you out there!
Jim Moore
Executive Director

Together We Give

Together We Give is a fundraising campaign that runs from May 1, through July 31, 2021, that empowers you to raise awareness.  By becoming a supporter, together we can change attitudes and perceptions about disability and maintain our digital strengths so everyone can connect and participate. Join us and be part of something bigger!

Get Involved!
Support Us

We are the first stop for people with disabilities. Disability Network supports a community of people and their families by connecting people with opportunities and resources. Your support helps our efforts to build inclusive communities that change peoples lives and opens doors to the wider community. 


Please consider fundraising on our behalf on your social media channels or send personal email messages to those within your circle of influence.

Social Media

Help us raise awareness by sharing our Together We Give Facebook Event on your personal Facebook page. Stay connected on all the exciting happenings at Disability Network by liking and following our Facebook page. 

Ways to Keep Us Rolling

Mail your donation to 415 East Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686.

Make your donation online at

Arrange monthly payments from your bank.

Spirit Club Fitness for All

Come Zoom with us online on Fridays at 11:00 am or Wednesdays at 3:00 pm. Are you looking for an opportunity to move your body? Have you lost access to exercise programs and gyms due to COVID-19, or are you just looking for a fun group of people to find the motivation?
This free program will provide you with experienced, certified instructors guiding you through exercise moves that are accessible and challenging for all. Moves will be adapted for those who want to stay in a chair as well as those who are looking for more intensity. Please complete the online registration form and someone will reach out to you with further Spirit Club details!

Peer Support

Building Relationships

Peer support is one of the core services at Disability Network. Who better knows the issues that individuals face than another person with a disability. Peer mentors provide role modeling and share experiences, feelings and awareness of disability issues. We strive to support engagement and relationship building by connecting people. We welcome you to virtually join us for peer support and connection online at

LIFE Program Spotlight

by Transition Specialist Katy Fisher
Each spring we provide our Learning Independence From Experience 102 students the opportunity to put to use the independent living skills taught throughout the program.
Some of those skills include budgeting, financial needs vs. wants and comparison shopping. Students are given a budget and are able to shop a local store for the items they determine as their individual needs (toiletries, clothing, groceries).
This year we were able to adapt the shopping trip to online shopping due to COVID-19 while also teaching students another way to purchase items within their own community. “Students always look forward to the shopping trip and say it makes learning the skill more real,” said one of the classroom teachers. We were glad to be able to continue offering this learning experience despite the challenges everyone has faced over the year.

Reuben’s Story

Advocate Reuben Miller has challenged and brought about disability culture change in Grand Traverse County for decades.
Miller continues to be a champion for Disability Network’s Peer Advocacy Group where he works to open the community’s eyes to accessibility barriers for people with disabilities. “There is life after a disability. People need to understand that I am not bound to a wheelchair. A wheelchair does not reflect who I am or how I live my life.” Read Reuben’s story online at

Online Events

Accessible Gaming Social Groups
Trivia Extravaganza
Women’s Group
Men’s Group
Peer Advocacy Group
Quarantine Cooking
Spirit Club

Together We Give Thanks

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to promoting personal empowerment and positive social change for persons with disabilities. We simply could not do this without you!