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.

 

 

Employment Skills Class

Categorized: Employment

Are you interested in seeking employment, but not sure where to start?

Join us May 24th for a free employment skills class!  In the morning session we’ll learn about resumes, job searches, and the interview process.  In the afternoon speakers from Vocational Rehabilitation, Kansas WORKS, and a Benefits Specialist will give brief presentations of their services.  Sessions will be held 10 am to 12 pm and 1 to 2 pm on May 24th at our Emporia office location:  215 W. 6th Ave. Suite 202

Please RSVP by May 22nd by calling 1-800-580-7245 or emailing info@rcilinc.org

#KSCILs

Check out State Independent Living Council of Kansas’ annual report below.

SILCK Annual Report (PDF)

SILCK Annual Report (text only)

For questions or more information contact Kathy Cooper (785) 234-6990 or Kathy.cooper@silck.org

The Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas (SILCK) and the Centers for Independent Living in Kansas are holding stakeholder forums in 5 cities across Kansas to gain information on goals and issues regarding Independent Living for Kansans with disabilities.  The SILCK and the CILs plan to use this “grassroots” input to help write the next State Plan for Independent Living (SPIL).  Independent living demands consumer empowerment, control, equal access, and integration.  We hope that by hearing from the people first, we can better reflect what the needs are of people with disabilities and come up with an effective plan to truly make Kansas an inclusive community. 

Please join us for open discussion at one of the following events:

Thursday, October 29th, 2015  10am to 12pm
Victory Electric, Hampton room
3230 N. 14th Ave.
Dodge City, KS 67801
*Accessible parking on the South side, everyone else please park on the North side.

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015  10am to 12pm
USD 409 Atchison Public School District Office, Community Room
626 Commercial
Atchison, KS 66002

Monday, November 9th, 2015  10am to 12pm
Colby Public Library, basement conference room
375 W 4th St
Colby, KS 67701

Thursday, November 12th, 2015  10am to 12pm
Chanute Recreation Commission, Party Room
400 S. Highland
Chanute, KS 66720

Friday, November 6th, 2015  10am to 12pm
OCCK Transportation Building
340 N. Santa Fe
Salina, KS 64701

Please contact Kathy Cooper at kathy.cooper@silck.org or 785-234-6990 for any accommodations by 11/5/15.

 

The Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is preparing to submit the paperwork necessary to renew the waivers that guide HCBS in Kansas.  The draft includes changes to the existing services.  Consumers are encouraged to read the information that KDADS is going to submit to the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid and provide feedback. 

The draft renewals, which include the Transition Plan for Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Settings and proposed changes for each HCBS Program’s renewal are available online at www.KDADS.ks.gov for public comment until December 10, 2014. The Public Comment period allows all consumers and providers of the follow programs: Frail Elderly, Intellectual/Developmental Disability, Physical Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury.  

Additionally, KDADS has provided a summary of the proposed changes. Only the areas of proposed changes identified in the summary document are available for public comment. New documents with helpful information about the transition plan have been posted online as well.

You may access the documents three ways:

Online: www.KDADS.ks.gov – on the home page

In Person: At your local Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO), Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) or Center for Independent Living (CIL).

By Email: HCBS-KS@kdads.ks.gov – Please notify us if you need an accommodation

Questions and Answers are made available online and shared through appropriate public sessions, conference calls, listservs and bulletins during the comment period. A summary of responses will available online after the public comment period has ended for the renewals or any changes to them, and the summary of responses will be provided to CMS as part of the renewal submission.

Comments and Public Input on a Transition Plan can be submitted to KDADS during the comment period the following ways:

By Phone: 785-296-4986 or 785-296-3473
By Email: HCBS-KS@kdads.ks.govSubject: HCBS Renewals Public Comments
By Mail: KDADS, Attn: HCBS Programs, 503 S. Kansas Ave, Topeka, KS 66603.
By Fax: 785-296-0256, Attn: HCBS Programs

 

Due to home and community based services, Ross is able to live at his own home. Watch this video as he tells his own story.

 

 

Please watch the video to find out about Heidi’s story.  Being at home is important and so are home and community based services!

Please ready Elise’s story of independence through using home and community based services.

My name is Elise, I suffer from Diabetes, Fibromyalgia, Spinal stenosis, Bile duct reconstruction, Parkinson’s disease, depression, and anxiety.  I also just had open heart surgery. I live with my husband Bill Fears who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. I have a son who lives here in Ottawa and a daughter in Tulsa. I moved to Ottawa from Illinois to be closer to my son.

I am on the Physical Disability waiver. I have a direct service worker who comes into my home to help care for me. My DSW (Direct Service Worker) cleans the house, does laundry, cooks, runs errands, helps me with bathing, and is a real support system for me. It would be very hard if not impossible for me to get things done around the house without my DSW. Some days with the fibromyalgia I can’t get out of bed. My DSW also helps when the depression and anxiety gets bad. If I did not have a DSW Bill and I would most likely be in a nursing home.

 I took advantage of the Peer Specialist Program at RCIL. I worked with Peer Specialist Rebecca at the Ottawa RCIL office, I created an Independent Living Plan that helped me figure out what to do about my vehicle that I was having mechanical problems with. It went very well working with Rebecca & I feel it was a success. I would use the Peer Specialist Program again & I would recommend it to my friends.

I am thankful that RCIL is there to help me, RCIL helps me stay at home, and RCIL helps me stay living independently. Taking away Centers for Independent Living in Kansas would hurt the people who need them the most. I certainly could not keep my husband at home with me if it were not for my DSW and RCIL. If I could tell the legislators something it would be this. Please keep Centers for Independent Living budgeted. So we, who need them, can stay Independent & stay in our communities. We don’t want institutionalization & I REFUSE to live in a nursing home. I don’t want to be confined, I don’t want to be told what I can or can’t do, I am not a 66 year old child, I am a 66 year old grown woman, and I would like to be treated as such!

This is Elise’s story, if you would like to share your story of independence, please email it to mandy.smith@rcilinc.org.

It is imperative that the disability community contacts each member of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. A complete list of names and contact information is available here.

They will begin debating the budget in sub-committees on March 8th. As they are working on budget issues we need to make sure they know the importance of funding the Home and Community Based services Physically Disabled waiting list and to restore the Financial Management Services(FMS) rate back to $140.

Shannon Jones assembled the following handouts to use in making your contacts with the Legislators.

Some of the talking points for funding the waiting list are:

  • As of February 1, 2012 there are 3,433 persons waiting for HCBS/PD services.
  • 30 persons died while waiting during the month of Jan. 2012
  • 10 persons entered a nursing facility during the month of Jan. 2012.
  • The last person offered PD Services had been waiting for 3 years!
  • Since 2010, 1,200 persons have come off of the PD Waiver, yet no one is coming off the waiting list.
  • Approximately $33 million (State funds) would fund HCBS waiver services for those waiting.

Some of the talking points for increasing the FMS rate are:

  • Last fall, Providers were notified of the $115 reduced rate with no justification and no opportunity for discussion.
  • Providers are asking for a fair rate for services delivered.
  • CILs anticipate additional layoffs associated with the FMS, which will amount to roughly a 25% reduction in agency staffing, the majority of which are people with disabilities.

Once you have made contact with each Legislator on the House Social Services Budget Committee, please email me any responses that you receive so we can track and amend our message as needed.

“The moral test of government is how it treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadow of life, the sick, the needy, and the disabled.” – Hubert H. Humphrey

Reflect on those words for a moment. The differently abled people in the state of Kansas are NOT just sitting at home waiting for their assistance.
I want to work, but I just CAN’T! What is a state government coming to when it turns its back on a very large population of educated, but challenged individuals who can NOT function without assistance!

Hi! My name is Sharon and I am a face behind a Medicaid card. A little bit about me. I am an L3 paraplegic due to a rare autoimmune disorder very similar to Multiple Sclerosis. I have multiple chronic health issues, both physical and mental. I was able to attend college and graduate with the ultimate goal of getting off public assistance. Sadly, life is a journey with many twists and turns, so my goal to be a teacher was never realized.

I tried very hard to work and even do some volunteer work, but my multiple challenges presented too great of an obstacle to doing either one. I never intended to spend my life living on public assistance! However, you must take what hand life has dealt you and move up. Down is NOT an option!

Before I go any further, I want you stop and imagine not having working legs to just “hop” out of bed in the morning. Not having legs to carry you into the bathroom that allows you to step into the shower with little effort or getting on and off the toilet with ease! Imagine having to ask for help in completing these tasks.

I have to use my arms as my “legs” to do what a non-disabled person does with so much ease. It takes a lot of effort and skill to move from my bed to the wheelchair, the wheelchair to the toilet and to my shower bench. When it was determined that my challenges presented too great of an obstacle to any sort of work, I was thankfully given the opportunity to get onto the Home and Community Based Services(HCBS) – Physically Disabled(PD) waiver, I began working with a Center for Independent Living(CIL), which has given me the ability to live as independently as possible in this given situation.

I use Resource Center for Independent(RCIL) and have had the opportunity to meet many wonderful targeted case managers(TCMs). My current TCM has been my advocate in more than one difficult situation and provides me with answers I can’t find on my own. Proposed cuts would close these independent living centers and the loss of these TCMs. It terrifies me that if I lost my CIL and TCM, I would lose the ability to live with my parents and maintain the level of independence that as a TEAM my TCM and I have worked very hard to achieve!

The thought of this termination is burdening me with much unwanted stress. I already have multiple stresses in my daily life; it creates unwanted stresses that I don’t need to add to! The idea of so-called “managed care” means to a move away from consumer directed care to a committee of outsiders directed care. How can they possibly know all complexities of my multiple challenges? This group only would know me by a so-called case file and a number.

Meeting one face to face is the ONLY option in providing the best decisions for maintenance of my current level of independence! What would happen to me if I lost the ability to have a personal care attendant come into my home 5 days a week to provide me with activities of daily living assistance and various housekeeping tasks? I know what would happen – I would be TOTALLY DEPENDENT upon my family to provide me with the help that I need to do everything from toileting to doing my laundry!

There are far reaching ramifications of me being totally dependent on family for assistance could range from them having to leave their jobs to take care of my needs and that would impact the state economy because there would higher number of unemployed people providing the care for the disabled loved ones.

Think about that – less people bringing home income would equate a HUGE HIT to the various revenues available to the state of Kansas. It might even result in me being FORCED to move out of the house I share with my parents. Being sent to live in a long-term care facility is only just a politically correct term for a human warehouse.

Decisions are made there that are NOT in the best interest of the person because it is a group of outsiders making those decisions. The loss of both RCIL and my TCM would mean a loss of the level of independence that we and I have worked TOGETHER very hard to achieve. One thing is not more important than another…there has to be balance. My TCM is a very valuable asset to me retaining my current level of independence.

Consumer and TCM directed care is a far better option in my opinion than what has been deemed “managed care”. It is essentially a committee that makes the decision that they deem best for the individual. The consumer and TCM know far better what is in my best interest and a MCO (managed care organization) would not have the opportunity to see the face behind the number.

Without knowing the person, you can’t make an informed decision. Knowledge is power. Ignorance is NOT bliss! I hope that by me sharing my story it helps you to make a much better and informed decision on the far reaching ramifications of such proposed cuts.

Take a minute to think about the far reaching ramifications of these changes. It would not only put the multitude of Kansas residents on the various HCBS waivers who would be losing out on living as independent life as much as their different challenges allow, but it would create a huge gap in invaluable services that these CIL’s provide.

They provide a lot more than just a TCM. These services range from providing a voice to those who are differently abled to being an invaluable resource for everything from locating adaptive equipment to being a source of belonging. Belonging to me means having a sense of self and pride in what I am able to accomplish every day. It is also a sense of community that makes me feel less isolated from my peers.

One final thought is a quote from a late and great president, Ronald Regan.  He was quoted as saying “concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty”. Thank you for letting me share my journey!