By Madison Morse
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter
Imagine not being able to use your legs or living in a state of anxiety that could lead to a panic attack at any moment. These are just some of the struggles students are having to face every single day. However, Grand Ledge Public Schools is on a mission to help these students by offering personalized amenities to their school system. According to Hayes Middle School Principal Mike Johnson, Grand Ledge has and will continue to make any necessary building changes to provide to those who need physical assistance. “We have added hands-free doors, handicapped spaces and in the last few years it was realized that we needed to construct cut-outs to the ends of sidewalks so any student in a wheelchair would be able to access the sidewalks as well,” Johnson said.
By ELIZABETH FERGUSON
Capital News Service
LANSING — Workers with disabilities are often overlooked, even if they have the right skills for a job, state officials say. “There is tremendous talent out there in that segment of our community, and the opportunities to showcase that talent aren’t always there,” said Matt Wesaw, executive director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights. A new committee appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder is working to make sure state government is part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to identifying and working with disabled employees. In a report issued April 1, the State Equal Opportunity and Diversity Council found state government has no program for training state employees on the importance of including disabled people in the workplace. The council of six officials, from areas such as the office of the State Employer and the Department of Civil Rights, hopes to develop a program to educate state employees on misperceptions about disabled workers and how to remove barriers that keep disabled workers from using their talents, Wesaw said.
By NICK STANEK
Capital News Service
LANSING – Lawmakers are considering changing laws that refer to people with intellectual disabilities by removing terms that some find offensive. The step is part of a multi-bill package that has bipartisan support, Alan Bolter, the associate director for the Michigan Association of Community Mental Health Boards, said. Seven bills are in the Senate and eight are in the House. “This is a great step in the right direction to remove stigma individuals face on a daily basis,” Bolter said. “I think it raises awareness if it just give that person a moment of pause before they use the r-word.”
The r-word is “retardation.”
Similar legislation is being considered in other states as part of a national movement to fight discrimination against people with disabilities.
By Connor Muldowney
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer
EAST LANSING – Whenever she hears of a 5k race, University of Michigan Ann Arbor student Liz Adams feels the need to take part. “I really enjoy doing 5ks,” said Adams. “It’s a good way to get motivated to exercise and have attainable goals that you can meet at some point. Also, the fact that you pay really forces you to run them. I try to choose runs that have a charitable aspect to them just because it makes me feel like I’m involved.”
The Michigan State Tower Guard hosted its 12th annual Shamrock Run-Walk-Roll to benefit the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. Tower Guard is one of the oldest student organizations at MSU.