Each year Disability Network Southwest Michigan honors individuals and organizations in the community who have made a significant contribution to the disability community and to the mission of the organization. The Bob Davis Independent Living Award is given to a person who has exemplified the “Independent Living Philosophy.” The award is given in memory of Bob Davis, who overcame obstacles to remain living independently after sustaining a brain injury and spinal cord injury in a car accident.
The 2020 Bob Davis Independent Living Award will be presented to Karen Luke who has multiple disabilities related to various health issues which required her to live in nursing facilities for more than 15 years. Through Disability Network’s Nursing Facility Transition program, after receiving medical clearance, Karen moved to her own apartment and now lives independently. When moving out of the nursing facility, one of the things Karen was most looking forward to was returning to work. She had worked previously and missed the intellectual and social stimulation. Karen quickly found a job training program as a secretary with a local non-profit where she looks forward to going to work every day. “I have many gifts and talents and I am so grateful to be able to put them to good use,” said Luke.