Michigan Disability Rights Coalition
MDRC cultivates disability pride and strengthens the disability movement by recognizing disability as a natural and beautiful part of human diversity while collaborating to dismantle all forms of oppression.
MDRC envisions a world where people with disabilities:
- Live full lives within the community with equal rights, equity and opportunities.
- Are valued as essential and vital members of the community.
- Can be their full selves, in all their identities, in all aspects of their lives
- Have space for self-discovery, to cultivate community, and to develop pride.
- Build the economic and political capacity of local groups to effectively participate in communities of choice and issues advocacy .
- Create a state-wide collaborative technology infrastructure to foster long term communication between local disability groups.
- Sponsor events and activities that promote sharing of best practice, collaborative planning, and the building of consensus around policy impact goals.
- Find and develop economic and political resources, independent of the existing government and funding sources, that can be allocated according to the plans of Michigan's disability community, instead of bureaucratic priorities.
- Mold a staff team, with a long term commitment to Michigan's disability community as a customer base—a team capable of working anywhere in the state, focusing on the uncertain and rapidly evolving disability policy future, and using collaborative technologies to supplement face-to-face networking.
- Forge a partnership between board, staff and constituents for strategic development and strategic priorities.
The essence of American citizenship is the right of free participation in all that affects the community interest.
The best use of resources available for supports is the free choice of what is needed by the customer. Forcing people to receive services that are not needed, because of bureaucratic requirements, teaches people that they are dependent and that they must "game" the system to get what they need. The best way to assure efficient use of supports is to focus on the use of supports for full citizenship, instead of trying to build bullet-proof entitlements.
Grass Roots Initiative:
People with disabilities must organize locally to achieve full citizenship in their chosen communities. Facilitated skill-building, at the direction of local groups, can support effective grass roots advocacy; but, ultimately, people with disabilities must take responsibility for their own futures.
The best support for the disability community in achieving full citizenship is the creation of personal and community economic self-sufficiency. Disability benefits are not an adequate substitute.
Technology as a Citizenship Tool:
Michigan's disability community must seize technology as a critical tool in its fight for full citizenship. The Internet and other collaborative strategies must be a key part of our common struggle. We must lead this effort, not wait for the rest of society to deem our technology issues a priority.
"Nothing about me, without me."