Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council Storytellers for Change

The Michigan Storytellers for Change logo. The project title with a green silhouette of the State of Michigan.

Profiles in Inclusion

A screen capture from the video of Angel Irvin. She is an African American woman with short hair wearing a button-up shirt with a collar.

Inclusive Sports

Angel Irvin discusses employment at Walmart, but mostly her passion for triathlons, 5ks and other endurance sports and the Adaptive Sports Club at MSU. A really good support system is the key to inclusion, but transportation short-fallings undermine Angel’s ability to work for Walmart as she and her employer would both like. “Having that freedom to go when you want to go is one of the biggest barriers to inclusion.” (East Lancing, Michigan, 1 November 2021)

A screen capture from the video of Tonneio Graves. He is an African American man with short hair and a slightly longer beard.

Homelessness and Transportation

Tonnieo Graves tells his personal story of homelessness and discusses the difficulty of transportation for people with disabilities. (Saginaw, Michigan, 29 October 2021)

A screen capture of Ronald McGough from the interview.

Physical Barriers Exclude People with Disabilities from Their Communities

Ronald McGough discusses the way that physical barriers to access for people with disabilities excludes people from being a part of their community and the importance of the State of Michigan making sure all locations are accessible.

Portrait of Jake Schaafsma. He has chipmunk cheeks and a light brown beard. He is looking slightly upward and to the right.

Confronting Low Expectations, Stigma and Internalized Ableism

Jake Schaafsma confronts low expectations, stigma and internalized ableism. He contrast that with a discussion of how to be matter-of-fact about disabilities and interact with people with disabilities in ways that treat them with dignity.

A screenshot of Dominick Harper during the interview. A low angle on a young black man with a goatee and rectangular glasses. He is wearing a black sweatshirt.

Dominick Harper on Making Music and the Shortage of Accessible Housing

“The one thing to get people with disabilities into the community is first building up the confidence they have choices about their life.” Dominick Harper talks about making music, working with DisArt and his struggles with finding adequate accessible housing. Check out Dominick’s music at his SoundCloud.

A screen shot from a video of Sharon Hall. She is an older African-American woman. She has glasses and large eyes and is looking slightly up as she thinks about what she is going to say.

Sharon Hall: “We need everybody at the table.”

Sharon Hall of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a Certified Peer Support Specialist and a member of a number of advisory boards, including for the Community Mental Health Consumer Board and the Development Disability Council. Her man focus is advocating for people with developmental disabilities, mental illness and who are homeless. She discusses invisible disabilities, how underresourced the Community Mental Health system is and her vision of the broadest possible version of inclusion. “We need everybody at the table.”

A screen capture of Ryan Klotz during the interview. He has short dusty hair, glasses and and a big grin. He is sitting in his wheelchair at his keyboard. A bookshelf, kitchen passthrough and dinning table are behind him.

Ryan Klotz’s Internship with the City Government Building and Water Departments

A discussion with Ryan Klotz about his job as a file clerk intern in the Building and Water Departments at the City of Westland, Michigan. He discusses the importance of inclusion in workplaces, the determination and adaptability of people with disabilities, and the positive affect of the presence in the workplace of people with disabilities, both for themselves and their coworkers.

About Michigan Storytellers for Change

A detail from the Michigan Storytellers for Change brochure.

Michigan Storytellers for Change Brochure

Learn more about the Michigan Storytellers for Change project, its mission, methods and what you can do to participate by checking out our brochure here.

Tell Us Your Story

Do you know a Michigan disability story that needs to be told? Let us know at MIStorytellers4Change@tash.org, or by submitting it using the form below:

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself, how you are included in your community and on what issues you advocate.

For news and updates, follow Michigan Storytellers for Change on social media.

Michigan Storytellers for Change is a project of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council and TASH.