The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy and Resource Center for Independent Living present… A workshop of the Empower Me! Series

Join us as we bring you the complete lowdown on relationships, dating, friendship, and sexual health!

Saturday, May 6
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Townhouse Apartments Community Room in Iola
(217 N. Washington)


Missing a piece to the HCBS Payroll puzzle?


WHAT: We all deserve happy and healthy relationships! Spend a day with us learning about all types of relationships, dating, social skills, safety, sexual health, and more in an interactive group setting. Hear from speakers, participate in group discussions, meet other youth with disabilities, enjoy hands on activities, food, prizes, and more! Register NOW!

WHO: This workshop is open to youth with disabilities, ages 15-25, who live in Iola or surrounding areas.

For more information: Contact Carrie at 785.215.6655 or

Registrations DUE by APRIL 28!

Relationships 411 flyer info

Relationships 411 flyer- text only

Relationships 411- Registration Form


Carrie and Delaney - Ms WheelChair Kansas 2015 & Litle Miss Wheelchair Kansas 2015

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas is currently searching for women to participate in their 2016 event to be held March 11-13 in Topeka. Contestants can be nominated by a person or group or can choose to participate in the program.

Are you a woman of achievement who is wheelchair mobile? Would you like to share your voice with the state of Kansas? Then participate in our upcoming event and compete for the title of Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2016!

Or… do you know a woman who is wheelchair mobile who is also passionate, dynamic, articulate, and who has a message to share throughout the state? Then nominate them to be a contestant in Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2016!

The selected titleholder will have the opportunity to travel throughout the state of Kansas educating various groups about the issues of importance to people with disabilities. She will serve as a role model, mentor our Little Miss titleholder, share her chosen platform, and interact with the media.

Also, Ms. Wheelchair is looking for young ladies between the ages of 5 and 12 who happens to be wheelchair mobile and is also full of life. Nominations are being except now for that young lady to be Little Miss Wheelchair Kansas 2016!

Each year, one girl will be chosen from a pool of contestants to serve as the Little Miss titleholder. Whoever is chosen will work alongside our Ms. Wheelchair Kansas titleholder to empower and educate people of all ages. She will attend various events, share her story, serve as an example for other youth with disabilities, and empower Kansans through her positive attitude.

The following are links for more information:

YLF LogoKYEA is announcing that the delegate application deadline for the 2015 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum has been extended to February 2, 2015. This extension is being made in order to provide more youth with the opportunity to apply this year. So, do you know of a high school junior or senior with a disability who has leadership potential or interest? Then they still have time to apply for this year’s KSYLF!

The 2015 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities will be held July 13-18, 2015 at Washburn University in Topeka. The KSYLF is an annual conference that is heading into its fifteenth year serving students with disabilities across the state. During the forum, delegates enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment! They participate in a variety of sessions and activities, including large sessions with community speakers, small breakout sessions with their peers, as well as activities like a trip to the Capitol, mentor luncheon, recreation session, real life fair, barbecue, talent show, and a dance!

All students who are interested in attending the KSYLF must meet the following criteria:
• reside in Kansas
• have a disability as defined with the Americans With Disabilities Act
• be in the 11th or 12th grade as of December 31, 2014
• have demonstrated leadership potential or interest in school and the community

There will be no cost for students who are selected to attend. All lodging, food, and accommodations are paid for through KSYLF funds. Accommodations such as personal care attendants, sign language interpreters, large print or Braille materials, and other accommodations will be provided for those delegates who need them.

Students must fill out an application that will be reviewed through a competitive selection process. About 25 – 30 delegates will be selected to attend. The delegate application deadline has been extended to February 2, 2015.

Delegate applications, as well as other information, can be downloaded from our website at The application and fact sheet are also attached. More information can also be obtained by contacting me at 866-577-5932 toll free or

KDADS will be hosting information sessions to provide you with program updates in response to the Federal rules shared with consumers at the last public information sessions. The program updates impact the following programs:

Autism, Frail Elderly, Intellectual/Developmental Disability, Physically Disabled, Serious Emotional Disturbance (SED), Traumatic Brain Injury, and Technology Assisted.

The sessions will provide updated information on how the Federal rules will impact HCBS programs, your access to services and how to manage your direct service workers.

Please plan to join one of the sessions either in-person or by conference as indicated below.

Regional In-Person Meetings

Regional meetings are being held for persons served, families, advocates, and providers so that you can be informed and have your questions addressed about changes that will be made. Plan to attend one of the meetings below.

All meetings will be held from (10 am –12 noon)
and repeated from
(2 pm -4 pm)




November 12, 2014 Eugene M. Hughes Metropolitan Complex Wichita, KS
November 13, 2014 Ambassador Hotel, 3603 Vine Street Hays, KS
November 14, 2014 Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center, 200 McDonald Drive Lawrence, KS

If you need help making arrangements, contact your Managed Care Organization care coordinator or your case manager. 

Conference Calls

This information will also be covered at the regular “HCBS Providers Lunch and Learn” conference calls on the dates below calling 1-866-620-7326 Enter PIN 4283583031#.



Morning Session, November 17, 2014 11 am to 12 noon
Evening Session, November 17, 2014 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm (repeat of morning session)

To register and get materials for calls, go to

For questions, concerns, or to request accommodation, call 1-785-296-3473.

iKan-RCIL will be hosting a low vision fair in Fort Scott on April 2nd.  The fair will consist of Dr. Mitchell and Dr. Foulk speaking about eye health, diseases and conditions along with Audio Reader, Talking Books, Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK), and iKan-RCIL speaking about their program and services.  Assistive technology equipment will be available for hands-on demonstrations.

The fair will be held at the Fort Scott Housing Authority/Scott View Apartments (315 Scott Ave. Fort Scott, KS 66701) from 1:00-3:00pm.  If you have questions please call Mandy Smith at (877) 719-1717.

iKan-RCIL is a program for individuals who are 55 years and older who are blind or have low vision.  iKan-RCIL is funded by Kansas Rehabiliation and Services and covers 23 counties in Kansas.


Low vision support group –  a group of people who have some type of vision loss that gather and talk about strategies, stories, equipment, etc.  A support group can be very beneficial especially if a person has a new vision loss or is having a hard time handling their new way of life.

iKan-RCIL will be hosting low vision support groups in Wamego and Council Grove every month.  For January, Wamego’s meeting will be held at the Wamego Senior Center on January 30th at 12:30pm.  This month’s meeting will be focused on recreational assistive technology.  Council Grove’s meeting has been canceled for January.

Council Grove Senior Center Wamego Senior Center
Canceled January 30 12:30pm
February 26 1:00pm February 27 12:30pm
March 26 1:00pm March 27 12:30pm
April 30 1:00pm April 24 12:30pm
May 28 1:00pm May 29 12:30pm
June 25 1:00pm June 26 12:30pm

The group of people who attend the meetings will have the say so on what topics are covered.  The meetings will happen on the last Wednesday of the month in Council Grove and the last Thursday of the month in Wamego.  If you have questions please call (785) 267-1717.

I read a story by Dr. Chris Kuell this week and I pulled this quote from it…

“My cane does announce to the world that I’m blind, but I’m okay with that. It only symbolizes inferiority in the hands of those who don’t have the skills and confidence to use it properly. When I’m walking down the street, it signals to cars and pedestrians alike that I’m going places.” – Dr. Chris Kuell

In my short time as a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist, I’ve learned that for most people learning to use a white cane can be very tough.  This toughness can be physical when in training the person uses arm muscles a lot to move the cane.  But mostly it is an emotional toughness.  They must admit not only to themselves but also to their friends, family and the public that their vision is either leaving or gone.  Using a cane does not allow them to hide their disability anymore.

When people lose their sight they go through a grieving process.  Most people go through denial, anger and depression which could be a short amount of time or a year or longer.  This can also occur to individuals who lose some sight but keep a remainder (low vision).  (Most of the people who I’ve worked with who have low vision say the worst part was losing their driver’s license.)

I wish people looked at their cane the way Dr. Chris Kuell now looks at his cane.  (He did not always feel this way…)  Yes, a cane does “label” a person as blind but that can be a very good thing.  Using a white cane gives the pedestrian the right of way and also makes drivers be a little bit more carefully.  People should not think that their cane shows off their disability but instead shows off their capabilities.  Just like Dr. Chris Kuell said, “…it signals to cars and pedestrains alike that I’m going places.”

If you’d like to read all of Dr. Chris Kuell’s story follow this link.

KanCare wants your thoughts on their program that was started January 1, 2013.  There will be two meetings on the same day in each of the city they visit. Meetings will be in the afternoon and evening. You can come anytime between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM for the afternoon meeting and anytime between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM for the evening meeting. You do not have to stay for the full two hours.  If you have questions, please call 1-866-305-5147. If you need accommodations, please call Cindy Stortz at (785) 296-4753.  You can also email  Si necesita asistencia en Español llame al (866) 305-5147.

Questions KanCare would like to hear your thoughts on:

1. What do you like most about KanCare?

2. What do you like least about KanCare?

3. What was important to you as you chose your KanCare Health Plan?

Meeting days and locations
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Windsor Place Events Center       Southwest Developmental Services, Inc.
102 W 8th Street                             1808 Palace Dr., Suite B
Coffeyville, KS 67337                      Garden City, KS 67846

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
ComCare Mental Health Center    Ft. Hays State University – Robbins Ctr.
635 N. Main                                        One Tiger Place
Wichita, KS 67203                              Hays, KS 67601

Thursday, May 23, 2013
Lawrence Memorial Hospital        Central Kansas Foundation
330 Arkansas, Conf. Room A          1805 S. Ohio St
Lawrence, KS 66044                        Salina, KS 67401




The Miss Wheelchair Kansas event was held at Capitol Plaza Sunday.

The program annually selects one woman  who is wheelchair mobile, to successfully empower people at a state level.

Angel Shaver, 38, of  Wakeeny, Kansas was crowned as the winner. She suffers from nerve damage and traumatic brain injury from a car accident. She overcame her struggles and holds a master’s degree.

Shaver’s goal is to encourage other people to not let challenges prevent them from reaching their goals.

She will focus on sharing her platform, “Maintaining an Attitude Of Gratitude.” She will represent the state of Kansas at the Ms. Wheelchair America competition in Houston, Texas in July.

Other contestants, such as Jessica Soderlund of Oakley, gave speeches sharing their struggles and missions as well.

Ms. Wheelchair Kansas committee members would like to thank the contestants, for a wonderful weekend!

(Also  pictured with Ms. Wheelchair Kansas 2013 Angel Shaver are title holders from 2004 [who is also the state coordinator], 2005, 2006, 2009, and 2012.  The other ladies in the photo [including myself] are committee members.)