Week 5 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5

One thing that I’ve learned this summer is how much of a difference one person can truly make. Coming into the position, I expected the City of Detroit’s Office of Disability Affairs to be a massive team, considering that Detroit is home to roughly 117,000 residents with disabilities. Instead, I was shocked to learn that, aside from interns, the Office of Disability Affairs Director is also its only employee. Obviously, the City of Detroit has had significant financial troubles in the past that still result in budget shortages today, but having a one-person ODA seemed crazy to me. My supervisor has had to essentially advocate for over a hundred thousand residents of Detroit by himself for years on end now.

Despite this huge hurdle, my supervisor has made a huge impact on the lives of these residents with disabilities. He addresses community concerns, manages a large network of community partners, and continues to provide other city departments with guidance on how to best serve residents with disabilities. While the Office of Disability Affairs may grow soon, I’ve found it extremely inspiring to learn about how one person has changed so much.

lsa logoum logo