LIFE (Learning Independence From Experience)

Group Shopping TripApproximately 1000 students in over 41 schools across our region partake in LIFE (Learning Independence From Experience), Community LIFE, Beyond Barriers, and School Transition Services.

The programs are provided through a partnership between Traverse Bay Intermediate School District, Wexford-Missaukee Intermediate School District, Crawford Oscoda Ogemaw Roscommon Intermediate School District, Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District, Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Education Service District, Michigan Rehabilitation Services and Disability Network.

Youth learn how to self-advocate, use their strengths, interests, and abilities to find a successful career path, employment skills, conflict resolution, stress management, as well as budgeting and banking.

Juniors and Seniors involved in the class connect with their local banks to open a checking account, balance their checkbook and use their ATM/debit card.  In addition to monthly lessons, participants are invited to attend Student Transition Conferences to learn about self-advocacy and job skills.

Interested in learning more about LIFE? Contact Kristen Conrad at (231) 922-0903 ext. 323 or


Climbing a Pole

A LIFE student courageously climbs to the top of the platform preparing to jump off and safely land on the ground among their peers.

Lake AnnLIFE students learn team building and confidence skills at Lake Ann Camp.


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Disability can occur at any age and at any moment—in fact, 80% of us will have a disability at some point in our lifetime. Your support will help us to continue promoting personal empowerment and positive social change for individuals with disabilities. For every dollar invested in Disability Network, $13 is returned to our region. Our programs boost the economy, create a more inclusive community, and offer tax savings for Michigan residents. 

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About Us

Most people equate disability with limitations. It’s our job to change the perceptions and realities that prevent people with disabilities from sharing in the community. We provide training, mentoring and referrals to help people with disabilities and their families live productive lives. We also work on a larger scale, helping governments and businesses make changes that benefit everyone in the community.

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Disability Network Northern Michigan

415 E. Eighth St.
Traverse City, MI   49686

Phone: (231) 922-0903
Fax: (231) 922-2597

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 Jennifer Hutchinson at