Disability Advocates of Kent County
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About

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Mission Statement & Values

We work to create an accessible and welcoming community for all and to support individuals with disabilities in living full and exciting lives.

History

Disability Advocates of Kent County was founded in 1981 by persons with disabilities who sought to help themselves and other persons with disabilities gain control over their own lives. We began as the Grand Rapids "Center for Independent Living," the title used by other such emerging efforts around the country. In 2002, we changed our name to Disability Advocates of Kent County to more accurately describe the role we play in our community and to better define our geographic reach.  Throughout our entire thirty-three year history, we have maintained our status as a federally and state-recognized "center for independent living" as defined in the Rehabilitation Act.

One key fact about us is that "we are who we serve." Over 50% of our board, staff, and volunteers always have been--and always will be--individuals with a disability. We are a dynamic collection of people supporting people with disabilities in achieving their independent living goals and working toward an accessible and inclusive community for all.

On the individual level, Disability Advocates’ expert and knowledgeable staff provides support in a variety of issue areas including transportation, housing, employment, and veteran’s assistance. And while we help thousands of individuals each year, we also advocate for systems change at the local, state and federal levels. We believe that this involvement helps to assure that these systems meet their intended goals and are changed when necessary.

At Disability Advocates of Kent County, we continue to do our best each day to help individuals with disabilities lead full and exciting lives in our community.

Our Mission

  • We help individuals with disabilities live full and exciting lives
  • We focus on changing the Individuals environment to suit their needs and advocate for communities that are inclusive and accessible for all
  • We recognize society's negative perception about disability, and we work to change these misconceptions by showcasing the strengths, talents, and stories of individuals with disabilities

We believe every individual:

  • Has the right to lead a self-directed life
  • Has the dignity, worth, and capacity to contribute to their community
  • Has the right to make choices and advocate for these choices in both the personal and public spheres
  • Has the right to affect the decisions that impact their failures and successes
  • Has the right to create and participate in community activities

Disability Advocates of Kent County (DAKC) is a Center for Independent Living ‑ The term "center for independent living" means a consumer‑controlled, community‑based, cross‑disability, nonresidential private nonprofit agency that is designed and operated within a local community by individuals with disabilities and provides an array of independent living services.

Get Involved

Your support can help in many ways. You can donate money or donate your time by volunteering. We greatly appreciate any support you can give. Click through to learn more about the different ways you can help support individuals with disabilities. Donate >

Have Questions?

Our highly qualified staff is ready for any questions or concerns you might have. Please do not hesitate to let your voice be heard, because when it comes to making a difference in yours or your loved ones lives, change starts with you.Contact >

Copyright © 2016 Disability Advocates of Kent County all rights reserved.