RCIL will be hosting it’s annual Trunk or Treat on October 30th from 5:00pm-6:00pm.  It is held at our Osage City office (1137 Laing).  As always we will have candy, goodies, and FREE hot dogs! Bring your family out to enjoy a fun filled evening.

If you would like to donate to this effort or host a trunk call us by October 29th at (785)528-3105.

Trunk or Treat 2019 Flyer

The Resource Center for Independent Living, Inc. (RCIL) is pleased to announce that it has received an $826 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation-El Dorado Fund through the El Dorado Community Foundation affiliate of Central Kansas Community Foundation. The organization will use the funds for Resource Library Technology Improvements at the El Dorado RCIL office.

RCIL has a Resource Library in its El Dorado office that is available for use by individuals with disabilities. The Resource Library has printed materials on disability related topics and a telephone that consumers can use to schedule medical appointments, communicate with other providers and complete vocational/educational searches. The funding will be used to purchase a computer as an additional tool for individuals to utilize to complete vocational/educational searches, learn computer skills, and research additional programs and services. RCIL served 1,750 individuals in Kansas from October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018 statewide.

“RCIL is grateful for the funds it received to purchase a new computer for our resource library located in our El Dorado office”, said Deone Wilson, Executive Director. The computer is available to local community members with disabilities during the hours the office is open to the public

RCIL is a 501(c)(3) organization committed to working with individuals, families and communities to promote independent living and individual choice to persons with disabilities. Headquartered in Osage City, RCIL has 5 locations in cities all across Eastern Kansas. Current RCIL programs include the five “core services” of all Kansas Centers for Independent Living, which are Information and Referral Service; Advocacy; Independent Living Skills Training; Peer Support Services; and Transition Services. In addition, RCIL also provides Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) through various Medicaid waiver programs.

El Dorado Community Foundation (ECF) mission is “to assist the community in making charitable dreams a reality.” The purpose of ECF is to bring together individuals, groups and organizations which have needs with those who have the resources or leadership abilities to assist in meeting those needs. https://centralkansascf.org/affiliate-foundations/el-dorado-community-foundation/.

Central Kansas Community Foundation mission is “Building Stronger Communities Through Charitable Giving.” Founded in 1995 Central Kansas Community Foundation based in Newton, Kansas is an intermediary between donors and charities, the community foundation helps donors establish funds that financially support meaningful, charitable programs and services in their community. Central Kansas Community Foundation also host numerous affiliate community foundations throughout Central Kansas. www.centralkansascf.org

Bradford and Bryan Manning, were diagnosed with Stargardt’s  (a form of macular degeneration) at a young age.  They have since started a clothing company, “Two Blind Brothers” that profits help with finding a cure for blindness.  Something I thought was awesome, is they have Braille incorporated in all of their clothing.

Here is a clip from Ellen talking about their clothing line and how they got started.

I thought I would switch things up a bit and instead of posting about what other places were doing or events going on, I’d talk about myself.  This week I celebrated 10 years at RCIL.  Crazy to think how far I’ve come in those 10 years professionally and personally.  The older blind program that I run has also grown so much (in 9 years) from 15 counties to 32 counties. Recently, I have been working on becoming more efficient with Braille.  I passed the first course (Hadley) with flying colors and just starting the next course. (Any Braille users out there with tips let me know!) I also recently took a beginning JAWS class.  So, though I’ve had this job for many years I know I’ll never know it all or enough.  I’ll always be looking forward to learning that next thing to help my consumers.

Be on the lookout for updates coming soon about independent living classes for persons with vison loss and low vision fairs.  If you have any questions about Braille, JAWS, or the older blind program feel free to email me at amanda.smith@rcilinc.org

Follow the link to Time Magazine’s article- People With Disabilities Face Challenges Campaigning for Office. This Group Wants to Change That.  This article discusses how the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) is hosting webinars to help people with disabilities became strong leaders and enter politics.

 

 

RCIL is participating in the Chiefs Ticket Fundraiser again this year.  This year is a little different as the tickets range in price but RCIL will receive $10 per ticket! There are 10 home games to chose from this season. New this year you can purchase tickets to Monster Jam and International Champion Cup both of which will be held at Arrowhead.

To purchase tickets: go to https://www.chiefs.com/ticketfundraiser; click the game you want to attend; then enter promo code RCILINC (all caps).

Thank you for supporting RCIL and Go Chiefs!

 

Employment First Summit is an opportunity for professionals, employers, job coaches, caregivers, people with disabilities, family members, students, etc. to learn about raising awareness, increasing opportunities, and sustaining competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities.

This event is FREE thanks to our sponsor Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities and will be held Friday, May 3rd.  Registration begins at 7:30am and morning keynote begins at 8:30am.

Keynote speakers:
Rob Hoffman, Owner/Senior Partner, Employment Analytics, Crystal Bell, Coordinator of Missouri Family to Family, Dan Meers, KC Wolf mascot of the Kansas City Chiefs

Breakout session topics include: education, employment, self-advocacy, quality assurance, and employment inclusion.

Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/290128901613338/

Contact Macy Collins at our El Dorado office for more information or to register (316)322-7853

Friday April 26, will be the 2019 Autism Summit from 8:45am-3:00pm.  This conference is for anyone who supports a child with autism (parent, teacher, caregiver, etc.) . You can register for free at Autism Summit. 

The Summit will include a keynote speaker in the morning about building social skills from childhood to young adulthood. The afternoon sessions will include: Charting the LifeCourse, Your Social Future, Building Friendships and Social Inclusion, Social Media: Playing it Safe

The Autism Summit is organized by the Capper Foundation; Families Together, Inc.; and Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA).

April 26 8:45am-3:00pm
Autism Summit 2019 – Team Empowerment Conference
Capper Foundation
3500 SW 10th Ave, Topeka, KS 66604

If you need daycare they have a $50 voucher that you can call about at (785) 233-4777.  You can also request any accomdations you need at that same number.

 

 

As I get ready to get in the car for today’s appointments, I thought I would take this rainy morning to remind everyone of iKan-RCIL.  iKan-RCIL is a program for those who are 55 years and older and have a vision loss caused by such conditions as Glaucoma, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, Diabetic Retinopathy, and many more.  This program is often referred to as the “older blind program”.   The person does not have to be totally or “legally” blind but the condition causing the vision loss must affect their daily living to qualify for services.  The iKan-RCIL program covers 32 counties which are listed below and if you are interested in a county not listed email Amanda Smith and I’ll get you the contact information. iKan-RCIL coverage includes: Allen, Anderson, Bourbon, Brown, Chase, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Clay, Coffey, Crawford, Dickinson, Doniphan, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Jackson, Labette, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Montgomery, Morris, Nemaha, Neosho, Osage, Pottawatomie, Riley, Shawnee, Wabaunsee, Washington, Wilson, and Woodson counties.

I visit individuals at their home and teach them skills or give them technology to live as independently as possible with their vision loss.  To qualify for this service you must live in one of the mentioned counties, be 55 years or older and have a vision loss. There is no cost to participate in this program and if you or someone you know is interested they can email Amanda Smith or call at (785) 528-3105.

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas (MWKS) crowning ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 3, 2019, 2 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Lawrence, Kan. The ceremony will be open to the public and free of charge. It will include platform speech presentations by the contestants; a keynote speech from Ms. Wheelchair Missouri, Hilary Muehlberger; farewell from the current titleholders, and crowning of the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. Brittany Moore, with KSNT News in Topeka, will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies.

The mission of the MWKS program is to annually select one woman, who is wheelchair mobile, who will successfully advocate, educate, and empower all people on a state level. This is NOT a beauty contest, but rather a competition to select the most articulate, accomplished delegate who will serve as a role model and spokesperson for people with disabilities in Kansas. The crowned titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will share her voice and platform with the community through presentations, public appearances, and interaction with the media. Her reign will ultimately lead up to an opportunity to attend the national competition in July, where she will represent Kansas and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair America.

The two contestants participating in the 2019 MWKS competition are Andrea Romero of Wichita and Kynedi Weaver of Olathe. These contestants will participate in a variety of activities March 1 – 3 to prepare for Sunday’s crowning. The contestants will be scored during four different events: two personal interview sessions, a platform speech presentation, and on-stage questions. Judges will evaluate the participants based on their accomplishments, self-perception, communication, and projection skills. The contestants will also take part in a variety of informative sessions on such topics as self-esteem, advocacy, and working with the media, and will experience giving back to the community through a volunteer experience.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas will also be announcing the new Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas. The Little Miss program gives the younger generation of 5-12 year olds the opportunity to educate, meet people, share their voice, and learn from adult role models. Ariana Hutchinson of Topeka, the current Little Miss, will pass her title onto the next young role model at this year’s ceremony.

The Ms. Wheelchair America Program was created in 1972, and this is the sixteenth year that Kansas will be represented at the national competition. The reigning titleholder, Allison Merriam of Kansas City, has worked in this past year to empower Kansans and spread her platform of “Transformation of the Perception of Disability.” She will say farewell at the crowning ceremony and will pass her crown on to the 2019 titleholder. Be there as we celebrate 15 years, say goodbye to our current titleholders, and crown the new Ms. Wheelchair Kansas and Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas!

For more information, please contact Carrie Greenwood, State Coordinator, at (785) 267-5982 or via e-mail at mswheelchairkansas@yahoo.com. More information can also be found on the Ms. Wheelchair Kansas website at www.mswheelchairkansas.org.

The Ms. Wheelchair Kansas program is sponsored in part by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation.