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.

February is Low Vision Awareness month so I’d like to share some knowledge on this topic.

1.) Low vision is a vision loss that makes it difficult to accomplish visual tasks even with the best possible correction, but with the potential for use of available vision, with or without optical or non-optical compensatory visual strategies, devices and environmental modifications.
In other words, even with glasses, contacts, surgery, etc. the person does not have enough vision to do daily tasks. But with use of some tools/skills the person may be able to complete these tasks.

2.) People with low vision may label themselves as blind, legally blind, visually impaired, partially sighted or many other terms.
In order to be deemed legally blind by a doctor, the person’s vision when best corrected (wearing glasses, contacts, after surgery, using medication, etc.) is 20/200 or less or has a visual field of 20 degrees or less. 20/200 means that a person with 20/20 vision can see at 200 feet, that person can see at 20 feet. A visual field of 20 degrees or less can be demonstrated by putting your hand out in front of your face in a fist and only the area blocked by the fist would be visible.
People who are blind can be spilt into two groups – light perception and no light perception. Our society stereotypes that people who are blind only see darkness. This is not true; many can see light, different shades of color, shadows and or shapes.

3.) Low vision devices include everything from computer software, handheld magnifiers, video magnifiers, scanners, binoculars, monocular and many other items.
Most the time, when people think of devices that help people complete daily tasks, they think of high priced electronic equipment. That is not always the case. A rubber band can aid a person in detecting which can of food they are needing out of the cabinet. A raised bump can identify which medication the person needs to take in the morning. A piece of cardboard cut correctly can help a person with low vision fill out a check to pay their bills.
Some tasks people do by using mostly their vision, people with low vision have to unlearn using their vision and rely on other senses in order to complete these tasks. One example would be to use your hearing for the beeps while on the elevator instead of watching the number move above the elevator door.

4.) The term low vision is very broad and encompasses many people with many different types of vision loss. The most common causes for low vision in the United States included age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. Most of these diseases do not affect people until they are 45 years or older but that is not always true. There are forms of macular degeneration that affects children, infants can be born with cataracts, and if a person has been diagnosed with diabetes in their early years they can end up with Diabetic Retinopathy at an early age as well.

Please have your eyes checked annually especially if you are 45 years or older and make sure your eye doctor is checking your eyes for common diseases.

Kidzfest El Dorado

Categorized: RCIL Updates

Macy Collins, ILS in our El Dorado office, attended the Kidzfest on Saturday, January 5th.  This was held at Blackmore Elementary School and included fun activities, exhibits, and information about community resources.  If you’d like more information about Kidzfest you can follow them on Twitter @eldokidzfest or KIDZFEST El Dorado on Facebook.

If you or someone you know has a mobility limitation or chronic illness and wants to be more physically active in 2019, we have you covered!

The “14 Weeks to a Healthier You” program is a FREE online exercise and nutrition program for people with disabilities. Sign up now and start moving more this year!

To learn more and to register, visit our website http://ihdps.ku.edu/physical-activity and click on REGISTER FOR THE PROGRAM

 

All RCIL offices will be closed on December 24th and 25th for observance of Christmas.  They will also be closed on January 1st, 2019 for New Year’s Day.

 

Thank you and Happy Holidays to All!

Happy Thanksgiving

Categorized: RCIL Updates

RCIL would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!  All offices will be closed Thursday, November 22nd and Friday, November 23rd.  We will reopen Monday, November 26th at 8:00am.

 

How about them Chiefs!  If you missed your chance to see them with our fundraiser you’ll be happy to know three more games have been added for next month!  Tickets are $33.50 and RCIL will receive $10 of that!

https://www.chiefs.com/tickets/ticketfundraiser

Supplies are limited so get your tickets soon!  Thank you for supporting RCIL and Go Chiefs!

Fall seems like a busy time of the year for everyone and here are some more items for your list:

Register to vote!  Tomorrow, October 16th, is the last day to register to vote in the election on November 6th.  The disability population holds the largest amount of voters!  Don’t forget, if it’s difficult to get to the polls you can register for an absentee ballot to be sent to your home.

Celebrate National White Cane Day! Today, October 15th, is National White Cane Awareness Day which was signed 54 years ago by President Johnson.  Ways to celebrate: inform people on what a White Cane is and why it is important to travelers with vision loss, donate to the National Federation for the Blind who gives out free white canes, or look up some information on white canes to educate yourself if you are unfamiliar.

Check out our calendar! RCIL is hosting many events this month and next so check out our calendar to find an event close to you.  Also, look for our next blog coming out on our equipment drive.