Community Connections | Winter eNewsletter

Together We Give

Disability Network is putting our own spin on Giving Tuesday this holiday season with Together We Give. Together We Give is a fundraising campaign that runs from November 1st through December 31st, 2020, that empowers you to raise awareness! Together we can change attitudes and perceptions about disability and transform the disability culture in our communities. Join us and be part of something bigger.

Three Ways YOU Can Get Involved
Support Us

We have set a $10,000 Together We Give fundraising goal. Together, giving is the way we build inclusive and welcoming communities. Join us as we come together to impact change, reduce structural and societal barriers, while we work to make our communities welcoming for people of all abilities.


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 Facebook Together We Give Event on your personal 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.
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! 

Director’s Corner

Stay connected. Those words mean so much more now that cold weather has moved us indoors and the pandemic has made it more challenging to connect with others. Disability Network wants everyone to know that we are just a phone call or email away to connect with us. We also have opportunities to connect with others, whether it is with our Quarantine Cooking sessions, the Accessible Gaming Group, the Women’s Group, the Men’s Group or the Advocacy Group there are plenty of opportunities to share with others and have fun. If you are not a joiner, please connect with us anyway. Winter also is a good time to think about any needs we have should we have an emergency like an extended power outage. Our staff is available and can help you think through all the things that are helpful to have on hand should there be an emergency.

We would also like to hear from any person with a disability who is challenged to access food, personal protection or personal hygiene items or having the technology you need to stay connected to family, friends and healthcare. Give us call or send us an email, we would like to see if we can help.

Our Together We Give campaign helps fund programs that values building communities where everyone can participate and belong. Please consider making a donation at
Have a safe, happy and healthy holiday!
Jim Moore
Executive Director

Staying Safe Online

As we venture into an increasingly virtual winter season, understanding how to protect yourself online and on social media platforms is critical. We invite you to join Michigan State Trooper Corey Hebner as he shares skills and strategies for avoiding cybercrimes and shares true stories of how dangerous the internet can be.  To register, complete the online form at

Program Spotlight | Employment Services

Ticket to Work by John Burtrum

The Ticket to Work program is a Social Security Administration (SSA) program that can help those receiving SSA benefits (SSDI and SSI) achieve gainful employment. For some, this can be a complicated and challenging process. SSA recognizes these challenges and offers employment support services to individuals who have the goal of achieving financial self-sufficiency through the Ticket to Work program. Disability Network of Northern Michigan is a member of the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) and can offer full employment network services under the Ticket to Work program.

Benefits of using Ticket to Work:

  • Assistance from an Employment Specialist to obtain and/or keep employment. It ensures continued employment support after you are employed, even beyond Vocational Rehabilitation services.
  • Reduce your dependence on SSDI or SSI payments.
  • Exempt from Continuing Disability Review by SSA, as long as you are making progress towards self- sufficiency.
  • Receive services such as career counseling, job search, long term employment support, benefits counseling, social security work incentive advisement and financial services/resources.

Our ADEN Ticket to Work Specialist, John Burtrum, can assist you regarding employment, benefits and assigning your Ticket to Work with Disability Network. If you are receiving SSI or SSDI benefits, are between the ages of 18-64 and employed or looking for employment, Ticket to Work can assist you with many work incentives and guidance on navigating back to the workplace to achieve financial independence. Assigning your Ticket is voluntary and there is no fee. This process and services can be completed virtually if necessary.

Connect with John to discuss how you can achieve financial self-sufficiency through the Ticket to Work program at 231 922 0903 ext. 327 or via email at

Youth Benefits Planning by Sherrie Goff-Hoogerhyde

Youth, parents and guardians can benefit from having accurate information about the changes to benefits as youth transition to adult life. This can vary from the youth being unsure of what type of job they would like to pursue, questions about health insurance, or understanding other options.

Our Youth Benefits Planners can help.

  • Provide options and details of work incentives or savings plans that can specifically provide benefit to youth.
  • Ensure the youth is receiving the applicable work incentives and inform individuals on the impact of work and benefits.
  • Counsel youths and parents about the benefits of work and the added benefits of taking advantage of work incentives.
  • Provide financial tools to assist the youth and family as the youth begins to work and earn.
  • Assist with developing good money habits immediately upon the beginning of a new work effort.
  • Source | Youth Focused Benefits Planning | Cornell University

Connect with Sherrie to discuss benefits planning for youth at 231 922 0903 ext. 316 or via email at

Peer Support

Samir’s Story

Samir is kind of like a local rock star. He is often seen zipping around town in his motorized scooter. During the state-mandated quarantine, Samir has found it difficult to stay put. “Some days I just put on my mask and go.”  He doesn’t like sitting in front of a computer, so the folks at Disability Network often check in on him by phone. He appreciates the calls he gets from his Disability Network family. 

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

Online Events

Accessible Gaming Social Groups
Women’s Group
Men’s Group
Peer Advocacy Group
Parent Network
Story Tellers Group
Quarrantine Cooking

What is the ADA?

The Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990. The ADA is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The purpose of the law is to make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else.

Peer Advocacy

Peer support and advocacy are two of Disability Network’s core services. We are helping people with disabilities live fully engaged and self-directed lives every day. According to Disability Network’s Peer Advocacy Group Facilitator Demarie Jones, “While the ADA addresses many barriers for people with disabilities, there is still a lot of work to be done to build inclusive and accessible communities. Access is as individual as the person needing it.”

Peer Advocacy eNewsletter

Become a part of the nationwide ADA celebration by reading stories shared from those we serve in our Peer Advocacy eNewsletter at We warmly welcome you to share your story that celebrates and advocates for the ADA!

We Care About You Let’s Connect

Disability Network supports a community of people with disabilities and their families. We have the tools to support you during this challenging time.
Please visit for up-to-date information on our community’s response to COVID-19 and our weekly virtual online events.



Disability Network Northern Michigan

415 East Eighth Street
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 922-0903

Accessibility Statement

Disability Network Northern Michigan is committed to making its website accessible to the widest possible audience. This website has been developed to comply under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, which was enacted to eliminate barriers to information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities and to encourage the development of new technologies to help achieve these goals. This law requires that all individuals with disabilities have access to information and data comparable to that which is available to individuals without disabilities. is regularly monitored to ensure that it meets the requirements of Section 508, along with the best practices outlined by the W3C’s (World Wide Web Consortium’s) Web Accessibility Initiative, specifically WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level A Compliance. We are diligently working to reach and maintain a higher standard of accessibility, which is Level AA Compliance of W3C’s WCAG standards. Because technology changes rapidly, this is an ongoing process.

If you experience any accessibility issues in relation to this website, please contact us. Let us know which page or item you need help with and we will provide a solution that works for you within a reasonable period of time. Questions, comments or complaints about the accessibility of our website, videos or documents can be sent to