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Gov. Rick Snyder: State government must lead by example in efforts to hire people with disabilities

Executive directive calls for new policies, training across agencies, departments

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan must lead by example and provide a welcoming environment for people with disabilities, encouraging them to work in state government in a competitive, integrated setting, Gov. Rick Snyder said. 

Snyder on Monday issued an executive directive requiring the government adopt a variety of policies and procedures eliminating hurdles faced by people with disabilities as they seek a career in public service.

Snyder also called for increased training for all state employees to raise awareness of disability etiquette and best practices, ensuring every employee is treated with dignity and respect at all times.

“My administration is committed to eliminating barriers for those with disabilities who wish to enter the workforce,” Snyder said. “People with disabilities have much to offer our great state and should be provided the same opportunities for employment as everyone else. I expect all state departments and agencies to show leadership and work together to ensure that the disability employment program is successful.”

Snyder in February 2013 established the bipartisan Mental Health and Wellness Commission, which has spent the past year working to identify gaps in our current mental health system and provide recommendations to address those gaps.

 With Lt. Gov. Brian Calley serving as the chair, the commission is working to set in place recommendations including the need to focus on employment options for those with disabilities.

The commission urges a statewide employment policy be created to honor the choices and goals of people with disabilities, recommends that the state government be a leader in adopting such employment practices.

“The commission’s work has already led to important changes with the goal of helping more people live out self-determined, independent lives” Calley said. “We must continue to improve and our state government will lead by example. I appreciate the partnership of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and others and I look forward to working with all of our state agencies and departments to further these efforts.”

In coordination with the Civil Rights Department, the Civil Rights Commission, the Civil Service Commission, and the State Equal Opportunity and Diversity Council, Snyder directed a series of directives spanning state agencies and departments including: 

  • Working with the Civil Service Commission and executive branch departments and agencies to provide clear objectives and opportunities for people with disabilities who seek a position in state government in an integrated setting.
  • Reviewing current training programs for all state employees to ensure they cover disability etiquette and best practice. All state employees should be trained by July 1, 2016. 
  • Recommending to the Executive Office and all state departments and agencies a goal of hiring self-identified people disabilities within state government. The ultimate goal is to increase the overall integrated employment of those with disabilities while maintaining the confidentiality of the employees’ personal information.
  • Working with the government and private sector to learn about best practices related to hiring people with disabilities.
  • Working with the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget to plan for all state documents, websites, and other printed materials to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act and Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.

The State Equal Opportunity and Diversity Council acts in an advisory capacity to the governor, the Civil Rights Commission and the Civil Service Commission on equal employment opportunity matters.

Matt Wesaw, director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, said, Snyder’s directive fits with the department’s mission of promoting fairness and opportunities for all people.

“If we, as leaders in Michigan, expect to have credibility when we promote diversity, it is vital that we practice what we preach,” Wesaw said.

“That means the state’s hiring practices must be open to all people, including those with disabilities. State services – including online resources and mobile apps – must be usable by everyone.  And state employees must be culturally competent and sufficiently trained to serve all of our customers with dignity and respect.”

Each state department and agency ADA coordinator and human resources director will be responsible for overseeing a strategy to attract, engage, and advance people with disabilities. The departments and agencies also provide an annual report to the director of their respective department/agency and the director of the MDCR that addressing progress, gaps, and next steps of the employment program.

The report shall include the number of current self-identified individuals working within their respective department and measures to increase this number on an annual basis. The report shall be submitted at the end of each fiscal year and published on the pertinent department’s website. 



September Business Meeting Minutes

The draft meeting minutes from the September SILC Council meeting are now available.

Draft meeting Minutes (September 2014 - Business Meeting) 

Southeast Michigan Residents Urged to Apply for Federal Disaster Assistance

 WARREN, Mich. – Residents of Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties who suffered damages to their dwellings in the Aug. 11-13 storms and flooding are encouraged to register for federal disaster assistance.

 Insurance may cover some of the damage, but people may be missing out on additional assistance if they haven’t registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Until a resident registers for assistance, FEMA has no way of knowing who suffered damages or what people need to help in their recovery. Keep in mind: 

·         Calling your insurance agent does not register you with FEMA.

·         Contacting county or municipal agencies does not register you with FEMA.

·         Receiving assistance from volunteer agencies does not register you with FEMA.

 The only way to determine eligibility for federal disaster assistance is to register with FEMA by phone or online, or by visiting a local Recovery Support Site to work with FEMA’s disaster survivor assistance teams. These teams do not make decisions on applications.

 Register at www.disasterassistance.gov or via Web-enabled phone at m.fema.gov. Applicants may also call 1-800-621-FEMA (3362). TTY users may call 1-800-462-7585. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. EDT seven days a week until further notice.

 For updates on locations, times and days where FEMA teams will be available to provide 

in-person support to southeast Michigan residents, visit FEMA’s disaster-specific Web page atwww.fema.gov/disaster/4195 and follow FEMA on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion5. As of Oct. 3, FEMA teams will be at the following locations:

 Macomb County:

 Dodge Park Recreation Center

40620 Utica Road

Sterling Heights, MI 48313

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 6-11


Fitzgerald Recreation Center

4355 E. 9 Mile Road

Warren, MI 48091

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 6-10


Owen Jax Recreation Center

8207 E. 9 Mile Road

Warren, MI 48089

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 6-8


Warren Fire Station

23293 Schoenherr Road

Warren, MI 48089

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6-9


Warren First United Methodist Church

5005 Chicago Road

Warren, MI 48092

9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; through Oct. 16


Oakland County:

City of Oak Park

14000 Oak Park Blvd.

Oak Park, MI 48237

8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6-7


Hazel Park Community Center

620 W. Woodward Heights

Hazel Park, MI 48030

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 4-7


Royal Oaks Senior Center

3500 Marais Ave.

Royal Oak, MI 48073

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4, 6-7; noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 5


Royal Oaks Community Center

1545 E. Lincoln Ave.

Royal Oak, MI 48067

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4; noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 5


Wayne County:


Allen Park Community Center

15800 White St.

Allen Park, MI 48101

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4 6-7


Detroit Rescue Mission/Devos Community Center

13130 Woodward Ave.

Highland Park, MI 48203

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 4-7


Frederick Douglass Academy

2001 W. Warren Ave.

Detroit, MI 48202

9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6-10


Martin Luther King High School

3200 E. Lafayette St.

Detroit, MI 48207

9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 6-10


Before applicants call, go online or visit a Recovery Support Site, they should gather the following information to speed up the registration process:


  • Social Security number
  • Telephone number where they can be reached
  • Address of the damaged property
  • Current mailing address
  • Brief description of disaster-related damages and losses
  • Insurance information
  • Direct deposit information to help speed delivery of funds if approved


Assistance available through FEMA's Individuals and Households Program can include:


  • Temporary Housing – rental payments up to 18 months for temporary housing for those whose homes are uninhabitable;
  • Repair - grants to repair damage from the disaster that is not covered by insurance. The goal is to make the damaged home safe, sanitary and habitable; and
  • Other Needs Assistance (ONA) - grants for necessary and serious needs caused by the disaster. This can include personal property, transportation, vehicle repair or replacement, moving and storage, and other expenses that FEMA approves.


The application deadline is Nov. 24, 2014.


FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. Follow FEMA online at twitter.com/femaregion5www.facebook.com/fema, andwww.youtube.com/fema.  Also, follow Administrator Craig Fugate's activities at twitter.com/craigatfema. The social media links provided are for reference only. FEMA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies or application.


Sept 12th SILC Council Business Meeting Transcript

SILC Council Business Meeting Transcript (Draft)


Community Statewide Needs Assessment (CSNA) Report Released

On Friday, May 23 the final version of the Community Statewide Needs Assessment was released by Project Excellence at Michigan State University.

A copy of the report can be downloaded at the following link:  Michigan Statewide Needs Assessment (2014) PDF Format