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    November 12, 2019

    HOLLAND, Mich., November 4, 2019 – Disability Network/Lakeshore (DNL) today awarded its ninth annual Ability Award to Lori Hastings of Coopersville, Mich. The DNL Ability Award recognizes an individual within Ottawa and Allegan counties who promotes a spirit of inclusion and a community without barriers. Hastings was selected for her work creating the not-for-profit organization, Lori’s Voice, which helps children with disabilities pay for services that insurance doesn’t cover.


    As founder of Lori’s Voice, along with her husband Dave, Lori hopes to touch the hearts of children and their families as they learn to live with a disability. Living with a disability herself, Lori understands first-hand that medical needs are not always covered by insurance. She has made it her mission to make a difference in the world by assisting parents by connecting them with the tools that will enhance their children’s lives and let their children have vibrant childhoods.


    “Lori’s love of children seems to have no bounds, and her commitment has changed how families approach medical needs and insurance by starting here in West Michigan and expanding across our state,” said Terry DeYoung, selection chair for the Ability Award. “She embodies the spirit of the Ability Awards by encouraging children to be the very best that they can be, and we are delighted to recognize her in 2019.”


    Lori’s Voice provides funding for equipment, educational resources as well as expenses related to medical treatment of young people up to the age of 18. Recipients to date have included children who are living with neurological, muscular or other degenerative conditions resulting in permanent impairment or mobility issues.


    Hastings accepted the award during the Ability Awards dinner on October 28, 2019. Ten individuals were nominated for the 2019 award, including those who live with a disability, have a family member with a disability, or are a friend or ally to the disability community.


    The Ability Award reception featured a keynote address from Nika Maples, a nationally renowned author, speaker and podcaster, who shared her message of hope and endurance with the awards audience. Maples story of overcoming her quadriplegia, earning an MA in English and teaching in public schools for ten years was presented with joy and embraced with laughter.


    For more than 25 years, Disability Network/Lakeshore has worked in Allegan and Ottawa counties to create communities where people with disabilities can participate, contribute, and belong. The DNL organization is staffed and managed by a majority of individuals with disabilities and serve those with any type of disability, including many that are “invisible” (such as sensory or cognitive impairments and mental health concerns).


    More information can be found by visiting www.dnlakeshore.org.


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    About Disability Network/Lakeshore

    Serving Allegan and Ottawa counties since 1992, Disability Network/Lakeshore helps over 1,500 people annually with a vast array of disabilities to lead productive lives. Our mission is to connect people with disabilities to resources and opportunities while building communities where everyone can participate, contribute, and belong. For more information about Disability Network/Lakeshore visit www.dnlakeshore.org and follow us on Facebookand Twitter.




    Sophie Vanden Bosch

    for Disability Network/Lakeshore




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