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Detroit, Michigan

 

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Marshall Hunt of the Accounting Aid Society at [email protected] or Miriam Lulion of Wayne County Asset Building Coalition/ Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency at [email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Tinesha Leverette at [email protected].

  
 
 
Disability Initiative Workgroup Members

Through long standing community partnerships with agencies such as the Detroit Workforce Development Department, Detroit Human Service Agency, and others the workgroups in the Detroit area have reached out to persons with disabilities. The numbers served have substantially increased in the past several years. Wheelchair accessibility is noted on all tax site information (and is a strict requirement for any new tax site) as well as availability of an ASL interpreter at selected sites. They continue to look for and contact new potential partners.

Since 2006, the Wayne County Asset Building Coalition/Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (WCABC) has been promoting inclusive access to tax prep services for persons with disability in all community tax sites operated by the Coalition's members and hosting mobile tax sites at organizations serving primarily persons with disability and their families. The organizations participating in this initiative have been Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, VA Medical Center of Greater Detroit, Lincoln Behavioral Center, Wayne County Regional Library for the Blind and Handicap, and Inkster Weed and Seed at Dartmouth Square Apartments.

In 2010, the Inclusive Access to Tax Prep initiative will work with the Wayne County Asset Building Coalition to 1) include etiquettes for serving persons with disability in the training of all site managers and volunteers; 2) secure sign language translators to help via webcam at one tax site serving persons with hearing disability; 3) secure people that speak arab, spanish, and/or bengali to help at tax sites; and 4) host mobile community tax sites at locations/organizations serving people with disabilities.

The Accounting Aid Society (AAS) new administrative headquarters is located in the same building as a Goodwill Industries program and the two organizations are working closely. A tax site was opened in this building last season (Northend) but now that the offices are there, service hours have been expanded. Accounting Aid Society is increasing the number of mobile sites at locations still being identified. A third Neighborhood Tax Center (Brightmoor) is being opened this season. AAS is a participant in the Bank On Detroit initiative. They are also developing an initiative with the Wayne County Health Authority involving preparation of Medicaid applications at our Northend site.

WCABC will hold two financial fairs/education events during the tax season targeting persons with disability. AAS has done a radio interview about new tax credits. In addition to the valuable federal tax credits Michigan has some new refundable energy credits which will be available to many of our clients, even those with nontaxable income. They have received many media mentions in the past and expect that to continue. TV2 will run PSAs again this year. The official grand opening of the new Brighmoor Neighborhood Tax Center is scheduled for the January 29 EITC Day with media and political officials being invited.