YOU CAN HELP by sponsoring A RIDE

To get the items that they need most ,such as Rx, doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc.,

Make a financial donation ($25 - $250 Uber increments).

Donate to FWD and we can purchase the gift card, for you on your behalf.

Friends with Disabilities is excited to share a great video by A. Rashid Deme.

FwD has been featured in Second Wave Media.


FwD  is a  501 (c) 3 non-profit Community Benefit Organization, (CBO).


**Message from CEO**

Friends with Disabilities would like to thank our participants for showing strength in the uncertainties of the year 2020. Even though we were venerable to the COVID -19, you connected and communicated with us. It demanded our leadership to act and to do it quickly.

Friends with Disabilities is a part of the disability community and we are with you!

Friends with Disabilities received 168 calls last year regarding immediate needs, such as supplies to remain safe, transportation to pick up medicines, food, and someone to understand and to just talk. May June and July were remarkably busy for the organization. When you find a unique opportunity to make a real difference, you focus on it and constantly reassess results.

 We relied on the resources available in our area as well as using donated items and emergency needs funding.

Friends with Disabilities discovered during this pandemic, that we have unreported needs in services for people with disabilities, especially people of color who are disabled.

FWD unapologetically confirmed that more needs to be done for and by people with disabilities . This is not in isolated to Kalamazoo, but this is an issue in many places around the world.

We must listen to those who are disabled and have them be a part of  the decision-making bodies!

Remember the  only thing that is constant is change, so let us continue building connections! 

Sharmese Anderson, CEO

Paul Mayfield, Operations Director/ZOOMCAST

Highlights from 2020

FwD Podcasts began.
Two episodes are available.

FwD New Website was launched.

5/19 Meet & Greet via Zoom COVID-19 zoom resource Series

6/2 I asked the therapist with Dr. Bernice Patterson
6/9 adapting to the new normal
6/16 Community resource sharing
6/23 staying safe

7/28 how to register to vote and the 2020 census via zoom

8/25 Lakeview park included games and catered lunch

9/11 LIVE Entertainment w/ FwD featuring DJ short-e
and comedian, Don Mayfield
9/29 how to make healthy meals with pantry staples
partnered with community health, equity and inclusion department
at Bronson wellness Center

10/13 Bowling (15) attended
10/29 Galesburg- Ziplining, nature trail bonfire ( Cancellation) COVID 19

11/17 Board Of Directors Meeting appointed
new Vice President, Charmise Knox, and new secretary , Holly Dunigan

12/11 – Holiday Celebration ( ZOOM) (Edye Hyde Evans- Jazz Singer)
(23 attended)


To reach out to the community of individuals with disabilities in order to educate and promote inclusion.

``Inclusion Starts With You``


Individuals over the  age of 18 with a physical disability!

A disability is a natural part of the human condition, a state we can move in and out of as our life progresses. Disability is something people experience, not something they are. People experience disability on a continuum, from mild and temporary, to severe and lifelong.  Many people who experience disability might not consider themselves ‘disabled.’  For these reasons, we describe disability as a functional limitation, rather than a specific diagnosis. One in four Michigan residents has such limitations.  There is currently a disparity, or inequality, in health status between people who have disabilities, and people who don’t.

For example:

  • Nearly half of people with disabilities describe their health as fair or poor. Only 8% of people without disabilities describe their health this way.
  • People with disabilities acquire many chronic conditions (like diabetes, heart disease, and depression) at about three times the rate of people who do not have disabilities.
  • People with disabilities report significantly higher rates of obesity, smoking, and physical inactivity.

These disparities exist in part because there are barriers for people with disabilities in obtaining the information, activities and services that are necessary to achieve and maintain good health.

(Michigan Dept of Human Services (MDHS)- Strategic Plan2016-2018)

Resource Based:

FwD will provide a resource base that will create an atmosphere  where everyone will feel comfortable and cared for. The overall goal is to provide an opportunity for individuals with disabilities to live a gainful life while struggling through daily challenges.



  • CREATE an overall positive and exciting environment through activities and events.
  • LEARN more about disability issues.
  • TEACH the greater community proper etiquette when dealing with special populations.
  • BUILD connections and support systems that will foster life-long relationships.

Community Resources

1.  If you are in need of food and delivery please call: Loaves & Fishes
(269) 343-3663

2.  Kalamazoo Mental Health Assistance (medicaid and/or Medicare)
(269) 373-6000

3. (Now accepts EBT)
For Food pick-up & delivery  1-800-925-6278

ADA is the highlight for this month.

Highlight for the month of July - Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

What is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)?

In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) was signed into law and became effective on January 1, 2009. The ADAAA made a number of significant changes to the definition of “disability.” The changes in the definition of disability in the ADAAA apply to all titles of the ADA, including Title I (employment practices of private employers with 15 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor unions, agents of the employer and joint management labor committees); Title II (programs and activities of state and local government entities); and Title III (private entities that are considered places of public accommodation).😊

Title I (Employment)

Equal Employment Opportunity for Individuals with Disabilities

This title is designed to help people with disabilities access the same employment opportunities and benefits available to people without disabilities. Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.

Title II (State and Local Government)

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services

Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in all programs, activities, and services of public entities. It applies to all state and local governments, their departments and agencies, and any other instrumentalities or special purpose districts of state or local governments. It clarifies the requirements of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, for public transportation systems that receive federal financial assistance, and extends coverage to all public entities that provide public transportation, whether or not they receive federal financial assistance. It establishes detailed standards for the operation of public transit systems, including commuter and intercity rail (e.g., AMTRAK).

Title III (Public Accommodations)

Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability by Public Accommodations and in Commercial Facilities

This title prohibits private places of public accommodation from discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Examples of public accommodations include privately-owned, leased or operated facilities like hotels, restaurants, retail merchants, doctor’s offices, golf courses, private schools, day care centers, health clubs, sports stadiums, movie theaters, and so on.  This title sets the minimum standards for accessibility for alterations and new construction of facilities. It also requires public accommodations to remove barriers in existing buildings where it is easy to do so without much difficulty or expense.  This title directs businesses to make “reasonable modifications” to their usual ways of doing things when serving people with disabilities. It also requires that they take steps necessary to communicate effectively with customers with vision, hearing, and speech disabilities.  This title is regulated and enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice.

More information and events related to ADA Title III (Public Accommodations).

Title IV (Telecommunications)

This title requires telephone and Internet companies to provide a nationwide system of interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services that allows individuals with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate over the telephone. This title also requires closed captioning of federally funded public service announcements.  This title is regulated by the Federal Communication Commission.


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5047 West Main Street #110
Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009