Do you have an issue or a goal that you need some assistance to achieve? Perhaps you can’t afford that piece of medical equipment you need? Is your goal is to make a cake, learn how to budget, or find a job? RCIL’s Independent Living Specialists work with people with disabilities to help them resolve their issues or achieve goals by developing an independent living plan (ILP). The ILP involves individuals identifying their goal and steps to take to achieve that goal.

Why should you develop a plan? Having a plan written down with a set date for accomplishment can gives you something to plan and work towards. It can also help you to stay focused, motivated, and it can be a constant reminder of what you need to accomplish. When the plan is accomplished, it can build your self-confidence as you recognize your own ability and competence in achieving the goals that you have set.

How do you develop a plan? First you will need to identify your number one issue or a goal you want to achieve. Then write your SMART goal on paper. SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time Oriented. For example, instead of saying “find a new place to live” as a goal, use SMART goal to make it more powerful such as “I want to live in an apartment within walking distance to a grocery store by March 31, 2020.” When a SMART goal is written, list all of the steps you need to take along with target dates to complete them. Next, make a list of things that may interfere with your plan and how to overcome those barriers. When your plan is developed, place it where you will see it daily as a reminder and motivation. You can share your plan with your family and friends who will give you support and assist you when needed. They can also help your accountability to follow through with your plan.

What should you do when you accomplish your goal? When you have achieved your goal, take the time to enjoy and celebrate what you have accomplished!

If you are a person with a disability and need assistance to achieve your goal, contact RCIL at 1-800-580-7245 and an Independent Living Specialist will assist you.

Researchers from The University of Michigan are asking women 18-50 years old with physical disabilities to take part in surveys about their experiences related to women’s health issues.

Surveys can be done from home and compensation is available. The amount you receive will depend on the number of surveys you are eligible to complete.

See the flyer here. If you are interested or want more information, contact The University of Michigan at 734-763-9374 or email at

Do you have a mobility – related disability and are looking to lose weight?  You may be eligible for the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Study.

This weight management program provides diet guidance, physical activity and social interaction without leaving your home!

All participants must be over the age of 18 with a mobility related disability, and open to:

  1. Being randomized to either individual home visits or group participation via video conferencing
  2. Recording food and beverage intake, and participate in physical activity eithter self monitored or via group video

Participants will learn behavioral strategies from a trained health educator with compensation for their participation in the study.  No travel required.

This program is 18 months and takes place in the home.  Individuals must live within 50 miles of Kansas City or Lawrence.

For more information contact Trish Smith at or call 785-764-1312 or visit

Mobility Impaired Get Healthy Together (MIGHTY) flyer




Here’s a link to check eligibility for free health screenings for women who do not have health insurance.

The program enrolls Kansas women at average risk who meet the income eligibility and:
* are 40 to 64 years old for cervical cancer screenings
* are 45 to 64 years old for breast cancer screenings
* do not have health insurance

Learn fall prevention techniques and exercises as well as hearing from community experts regarding overall health and wellness.  This program is free to the public.  The meetings are every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Flinthills Room at Newman Regional Health in Emporia, KS.  The first meeting starts on April 4, 2019.  Below is their schedule.

April 4: Introduction to Program and Exercises
April 11: Moving about Safely
April 18: Advancing Exercises and Home Hazards
April 25: Vision & Falls, Community Safety and Footwear
May 2: Managing Medications, Bone Health, Sleep Better
May 9: Getting Out and About
May 16: Review and Plan Ahead

They are currently taking applications.  If you are interested, contact Bobbi Larson at Newman Regional Health at 620-343-6800 ext. 2246.

Researchers from The University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation are doing a research project on women’s health and disability. They are interested in connecting with women with physical disabilities living in Lyon County. We are helping spread the word to women in our community!

The researchers want to hear from you and get your opinion about important areas of your health as a woman. They will travel to Emporia, Kansas to host a focus group of 8 to 10 women. Women in this study will receive $25 as a thanks for their time.

If you are between 18 and 50 years old and have some limitation in your mobility for at least 6 months and need some help with either personal care and/or routine needs, like everyday chores or going to the store you may be eligible.

To learn more about the study and see if you qualify, you can contact the researchers in three different ways.

  1. Call them at 734-763-0430
  2. Email them at
  3. Write them at Women’s Health and Disability Study, c/o Jodi Kreschmer 325 E. Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 300, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108.
  4. Or if you wish, the Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL) would be happy to send your -name and contact information to the researchers with your permission. Just call or email Beth Burnett and her phone number is 785-528-3105 and email is at RCIL and let them know.

Women’s Health (PDF Flier)

“Part of Me, Not all of Me”

Categorized: Well Being

Summer is here!

Categorized: Well Being



Although it has felt like summer since winter, it seems, it is now official!  What are you going to do for summer?  I came up with some of my favorite things to do in summer time and some new ideas I’m going to add to my list.

1. Go for a walk

2. Run through a sprinkler

3. Build sand castles at the beach

4. Take a road trip

5. Enjoy summer foods: watermelon, BBQ, homemade popsicles and lemonade

6. Catch fireflies (lighting bugs)

7. Draw pictures with sidewalk chalk

8. Go fishing

9. Go to a carnival

10. Go to a baseball game

11. Go on a boat ride

12. Make giant bubbles

13. Have a picnic

14. Go camping (even if just in the back yard)

15. Go on a nature hike

16. Plant a garden

17. Go to a farmer’s market

18. Go to a zoo

19. Go to an amusement park

20. Have an outdoor movie night

21. Go to a museum/nature center

22. Take photographs of “summer”

23. Play mini golf (putt-putt)

24. Go to an outdoor concert

25. Make a scrapbook of all your summers of fun

Enjoy your summer and make sure to wear sun protection such as sun glasses, hats and sunscreen.


When growing up it seems like kids always made fun of other kids who were “different” than “the norm.” Whether it was kids who: were overweight, dressed in different fashions, wore glasses, etc.

Now that I’m a parent and my son is starting school and sports I worry not only about what kind of social interactions he’s having but also about his safety. How does a parent address safety issues in sports without making his/her child a “target” for bullies?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, every 13 minutes an emergency room in the United States treats a sports-related eye injury. 40% of sports eye injuries occur in children between 11-14 years-old. And according to Prevent Blindness America 90% of all eye injuries are preventable with proper eyewear. Another fact for you, 21% of traumatic brain injuries among United States children and adolescents are from you guessed it, sports.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love sports and I do not believe eliminating sports is the answer to these injuries. I believe the answer is for parents to teach our children that protective eyewear and helmets aren’t dorky, goofy and especially aren’t stupid. We as parents have to teach our children that bicycle helmets are cool and we must teach by example. (Remember we are still at risk for injury.) The more people who wear protective eyewear and helmets the less “different” it will become. When you tell your son/daughter to put on his/her shin guards for soccer he/she may ask you why. You simply say, “To protect your shins.” When you hand him/her protective eyewear and he/she wants to know why he/she has to wear it you simply say, “It’s to protect your eyes.” We want to protect our children from as much as possible and if I’m protecting my son from a bruise on his shin shouldn’t I be protecting his eyes and brain?

Remember… “The hardest struggle of all is to be something different from what the average man is” – Charles Schwab But, it will always be worth it!

Thanks for the Hassle!

Categorized: Well Being

I know it isn’t Thanksgiving anymore, but I was just thinking about eye health and it made me realize I take so many things for granted.  (I think about eye health a lot since studying to become an Orientation and Mobility Specialist.) Here is a list of every day hassles that I’m thankful for!

Eye doctor appointment… “I have to go to the eye doctor once a year, and he blows that air in my eye, I have to wear glasses and my contacts are so expensive”. Why can’t I just be happy that I have insurance that allows me to go to the eye doctor?  Or that my vision is correctable with contacts or glasses.

Getting a parking spot towards the back of the parking lot…  Shouldn’t I be thankful instead that I am able to walk to the door from this horrible spot instead of cussing out the jerk who took up two spots?

Elevator too full…  Again, shouldn’t I be thankful that I am able to take the stairs.  Yes, I may be out of breath when I get to the next floor but I made it.

Two cashiers in the whole store…  I should be thankful that I am able to stand in line and wait to pay for my items.

Dinner is late… Why am I not happy just to be able to eat a home cooked meal?  Or the fact that I was able to choose what I wanted for dinner.

Slow driver in front of me… I drive my car to work five days a week and I usually have at least one reason why it is a pain. Whether it is the slow driver in front of me, the school bus stopping to pick up kids, or just I’m running late I should still be thankful that I have a car that is reliable and that I have a job!

My mother always giving me advice… I feel like my mom is always telling me how I should live my life.  But shouldn’t I just be thankful that she cares?  Or that she is still alive to give me that advice?

Monthly loan payment… Shouldn’t I be thankful that I went to college instead of whining about the payment every month?

Shower water doesn’t stay cold… Shouldn’t I be thankful that I have a working shower and that the water is hot for at least a few minutes?

Potty training… My son is learning to use the potty and this can be messy and annoying at times.  But shouldn’t I be happy that he is starting to catch on, that he is able to communicate with me to let me know when he needs to go?

And I’m sure I could think of many more.  I know I’m still going to complain about some of these things (most likely the slow driver!) but on the other hand I think I’ll appreciate them much more.  What “hassles” are you thankful for?