Each year at DNL, we help over 1,500 people with disabilities.
We serve people with any kind of disability, including some that may be “invisible,” such as learning disorders. Instead of focusing solely on the disability, we address the needs of the whole person so they can achieve a more balanced life.
We also operate on a larger scale by helping governments, businesses, and other organizations make positive changes to improve the lives of everyone in the community. DNL is part of the broader state and national networks dedicated to serving people with disabilities. We operate under five umbrellas:
- Information and Referral: As a network, we have connections with other agencies, government programs, non-profits, and businesses, which collectively have access to a vast array of resources and services. Feel free to contact us with questions.
- Transition: We help people with disabilities transition in and out of schools, the workforce, and nursing homes.
- Peer Support: You are not alone. There are a number of people in the West Michigan lakeshore area with disabilities. We help connect people with disabilities for social support to join them in their journeys together.
- Advocacy: Disability Network Lakeshore believes people with disabilities are most independent when they learn to speak on their own behalf. DNL offers education and coaching that helps individuals effectively communicate their specific needs and interests. On a systems level, DNL seeks to learn from other service providers. We strive to understand their processes and constraints and then work to build collaborative relationships that recognize the diversity of disability.
- Skills Development: We want to empower people with disabilities. Having access to training programs, we can help teach you basic and advanced skills for living independently.
Who We Are
We are access and ability. We are concerned community members. We are the healthy kind of enablers. We are a group dedicated to rethinking disability, challenging the paradigms, doing things with and not for people, raising awareness, and making accommodations. We are a center for independent living.
Executive Director: Amanda Rhines
Operations Director: Rick Diamond
Community Development Director : Stacey Trowbridge
Finance Director: Rob Dale
Independent Living: Christine Wistrom
Benefits Counselor/Options Support: John Koon
Information & Referral/Independent Living Specialist: Josh Keur
Community Education Specialist: Holly Harvey
Office Manager: Karon Beukema
Youth Transition Lead: Kristin Myers
Options Counselor/Benefits Support: Ronda Wenger, MSW/LBSW
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Terry DeYoung, President
Chris Klein, Vice-President
Michele Chaney, Treasurer
Barry Lambers, Secretary
Amber Marcy, Member
Marge Bakker, Member
Megan Rietman, Member
Ryan Shine, Member
Ben Conner, Member
Carrie Dattels, Member
Many of the difficulties people with disabilities face are a result of attitudes and environments rather than the disability. Disabilities positively affect and enhance the diversity of our community. Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in, contribute to, and belong to our community.
Our mission is to connect people with disabilities to resources and opportunities while building communities where everyone can participate, contribute, and belong.
Our dream is to create engaged citizens and livable communities. To that end, our staff works to provide information, referrals, and support to people with a wide variety of disabilities.