State Bar of Michigan
Volume 2, Issue 3, July 2006

Committee on Justice Initiatives and Equal Access Initiative Disabilities Project

Disabilities Project Newsletter

Connecting to Community Resources
by Calvin A. Luker, RespectABILITY Law Center

I have found in my travels through Michigan courts that court employees—from judges on down—often are expected to have all the answers to everyone’s questions about anything and everything. Actually, it is not surprising at all that court staff receive so many questions about so many issues. After all, courts have become community information points where people expect things to be fixed. They expect to find answers. Unfortunately, answers are not always that easy to come by, and I cannot offer a ready resource that answers every question.

I can help, however, when the question or issue raised involves people with disabilities. I compiled the attached “quick hit help list” to give court employees and others immediate referral sources for those citizens who come to them with questions that might be related to mental or physical disabilities—their own or those of a family member or friend. The list is intended to be used standing alone or as a computer resource with links to governmental or organizational Internet resources.

I concentrated on disability organizations that have chapters or offices throughout the state. I included organizations that concentrate on children and older individuals. I also included state offices that have special expertise with particular disabilities. The list includes Internet links to Michigan Community Mental Health entities, Michigan ARC affiliates, local and regional Area Agencies on Aging, and federally authorized veterans' organizations providing help to Michigan veterans.

When I put this list together, I discovered some nifty things for myself. For example, the allows you to locate disability agencies or resources searching by disability, service area, name, map, or geographic area. It is not a complete resource, but it is a good start. I learned, too, that one can connect with people who use TTY or TDY telephones simply by calling the Michigan Relay Center at 711. (Try it. It works.) I also discovered that the 24 entities I list here appear on about 90 percent of the Internet “links” lists I reviewed while compiling this list. So connecting people to the resources, information, or services they need is not necessarily as burdensome as one might think, at least when making that initial connection.

Please take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the list and keep it handy. It might just give you the resource you need to point a well-meaning citizen in the right direction, without having to make a court case about it. I wish you success and appreciate all you do to serve the people of Michigan.

A Quick Hit Help List

Alzheimer’s Association—The Greater Michigan Chapter
20300 Civic Center, Ste 100
Southfield, MI 48076
(800) 272-3900
(248) 351-0280
(248) 351-0417 Fax

Education, training, and support for adults who have Alzheimer’s disease and their families and friends.

Regional Chapter Locator

The ARC Michigan
D1325 South Washington Ave.
Lansing, MI 48910-1652
(800) 292-7851
(517) 487-5426
(517) 487-0303 Fax

Services and resources for children and adults who have developmental disabilities and their families, friends, and supporters.

Local ARC Chapter Locator

Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan
6105 West St. Joseph, Ste 204
Lansing, MI 48917
(800) 803-7174
(517) 886-1029
(517) 886-1305 Fax

Provide resource and referral support to Michigan citizens age 60 and over on Medicaid and Medicare, home- and community-based services, meals-on-wheels, advocacy, etc.

Area Chapter Locator

Association for Children’s Mental Health
100 W. Washtenaw St., Ste 4
Lansing, MI 48933-2129
(888) ACMH-KID (226-4543)
(517) 372-4016
(517) 372-4032 Fax

Provide advocacy and information and resources to families of children with emotional and behavioral challenges throughout the state.

Autism Society of Michigan
6035 Executive Dr. Ste 109
Lansing, MI 48911
(800) 223-6722
(517) 882-2800
(517) 882-2816 Fax

Education, training, and support for persons with autism and their families.

Citizens for Better Care
4750 Woodward Ave., Ste 410
Detroit, MI 48201
(800) 833-9548
(313) 832-6387
(313) 832-7407 Fax

Advocacy services for residents of Michigan’s nursing homes, homes for the aging, adult foster care homes, and assisted living programs.

Early On Michigan

Use this website to locate your geographic area’s Early On coordinator to access evaluation and educational services when there is a concern for a child’s development.

Easter Seals—Michigan
1105 N. Telegraph Rd.
Waterford, MI  48328
( 800) 75-SEALS(7-3257)
(248) 451-2900
(248) 338-0095 Fax

Provides a wide range of services across the disability spectrum. Services include mental health, developmental disability, and children’s health. Easter Seals also provides jail diversion and post-adjudication services.

Elder Law of Michigan, Inc.
3815 West St. Joseph, Ste C200
Lansing, MI 48917
(800) 347-5297
(517) 485-9164
(517) 372-0792 Fax

Operates the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors. Also provides technical assistance, legal information, and lawyer referral services to senior citizens.

Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan
20300 Civic Center Dr. Ste 250
Southfield, MI 48076-4154
(800) 377-6226
(248) 351-7979
(248) 351-2101 Fax

Provides training and awareness services to people with epilepsy and those who work with them.

Michigan Association for Children with Emotional Disorders
30233 Southfield Rd, Ste 219
Southfield, MI 48076-0000
(248) 433-2200
(248) 433-2299 Fax

Information and support services for children with emotional disorders and their families.

Michigan Association for Deaf, Hearing and Speech Services
2929 Covington Ct., Ste 200
Lansing, MI 48912-4939
(800) YOUR-EAR (968-7327)
(517) 487-0066
(517) 487-2586 Fax

Statewide collaborative agency providing resources and advocacy services to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Michigan Department of Community Health
Community Mental Health Access List

Use this Internet resource to locate your geographic area’s primary community mental health provider of services to people who have mental illness or developmental disabilities.

Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs
3423 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 335-6523
(517) 241-0674 Fax

State department taking responsibility for connecting Michigan veterans and their families to veterans' assistance funds and resources.

Michigan Disability Resource Directory

Search this Michigan Internet directory by disability, type of service, agency name, or geographic area. An excellent but too well-hidden resource.

Michigan Division on Deafness
(800) SAY-ABLE (729-2253)

(517) 334-7363

State agency assisting with services and accessibility issues.

Michigan Interpreter Directory

This 37-page Internet resource, prepared by the State of Michigan Commission on Disability Concerns Division on Deaf and Hard of Hearing, contains lists of sign language interpreters broken down by geographic region. The Directory also contains references to federal and Michigan laws, certification information, the Interpreters' Code of Ethics, suggested interpreter guidelines, and interpreter referral agencies.

Michigan Interpreter Directory

Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, Michigan Long-Term Care Ombudsman
PO Box 30676
Lansing, MI 48909-8176
(866) 485-9393
(517) 335-1560
(517) 373-4092 Fax

The focal point of the Michigan aging network providing leadership, innovation, advocacy, and supportive services on behalf of Michigan's older adults and caregivers.

Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc.
4095 Legacy Parkway, Ste 500
Lansing, MI 48911-4263
(800) 288-5923
(517) 487-1755
(517) 487-0827 Fax

Provides representation, information, and referral services to people with disabilities as Michigan’s federally mandated protection and advocacy system. Service information areas include institutional abuse and neglect, access to community services, housing, education, self-determination, and guardianship/conservatorship. Has an attorney on staff.

Michigan Relay Center

This telephone service permits people using ordinary phones to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing people who use TTY, TDY, or other electronic devices to communicate over telephone lines. To access the Michigan Relay Center, dial 711. The Relay Center operator will explain the system and complete the call from that point on.

Michigan Statewide Independent Living Council
417 N. Seymour, Ste 10
Lansing, MI 48933
(800) 808-7452
(517) 371-4875 (Fax)

Provides advocacy, resource, educational, and organizational services to people with disabilities.

Michigan Works! Association

This Internet website connects to Michigan’s primary job-finder service. While it is not disability-specific, it is a valuable source to consult for persons whose situation might be improved by finding employment.

NAMI Michigan
National Alliance for the Mentally Ill
921 N. Washington
Lansing, MI 48906
(800) 331-4264
(517) 485-4049
(517) 485-2333

Provides support, information, and education to families affected by mental illness.

National Federation of the Blind of Michigan
1212 N. Foster
Lansing, MI 48912
(517) 485-0326
(517) 485-4645 Fax

Provides information and referral help to blind individuals and their families and supporters.

United Cerebral Palsy of Michigan, Inc.
3401 E. Saginaw, Ste 216
Lansing, MI 48912
(800) 828-2714
(517) 203-1200
(517) 203-1203 Fax

Provides information and referral services to Michigan residents who have cerebral palsy and to their families and supporters.

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