Peer Counseling is a Core Service that RCIL offers to people with disabilities.  RCIL helps them connect with other people who have, or have experienced, a disability by hosting an online RCIL Friends group once a month.  The group meets virtually via Zoom on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 2:00pm – 3:00pm.  They discuss disability related topics such as health and wellness, safety, transportation, housing, and direct support worker concerns.  Individuals can participate in the meeting using their computer, tablet, smartphone, or their phone.  Are you interested to join?  Contact RCIL at 785-528-3105 to sign up and to attend the next online RCIL Friends group meeting on February 23, 2021 at 2:00pm.  We will be discussing about the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) and utility resources.

The State of Kansas moved into Phase 2 of the vaccination process Jan 21, 2021.  Details about Phase 1 and Phase 2 can be found here.  Listed below you will find vaccination information we received from local county health departments with our core service area.  This information is subject to change at any time so please call your local health department for the most up to date info.

Allen, Anderson, and Bourbon:  Currently the vaccine is only available to healthcare workers, long-term care residents, and persons over the age of 65.  As Phase 2 begins notices will be placed in public locations, newspapers, on radio, Facebook, and our website regarding the location and times for vaccinations. We are NOT taking appointments for this phase.  There is no “list”. There will be a large dispensing clinic site set up and everyone over 65 will be able to get vaccinated at that clinic. The health department will use this same model for Phases 3-5 as well.

Butler County:  Get updates and register online using a link on this website or call (316) 321-3400.  DSWs need to bring a paystub, work ID, or letter of verification.

Chase County:  Individuals interested in receiving the vaccine should contact the Chase County Health Department as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine. The phone number for the Chase County Health Department is (620) 273-6377.  Direct Support Workers need to call the Health Department as soon as possible to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. Be sure to tell them that you are a Community Based Long Term Support Worker. Consumers are able to be put on the list for phase two by contacting the health department or completing this survey.

Coffey County:  To sign up for the vaccine call 620-364-8631 or complete the CCHD’s COVID-19 vaccination waitlist on this website.

Cowley County:  Currently making a list of seniors and people with disabilities – call (620) 221-1430.  Bring your ID and/or proof of residency.

Elk County:  Call the Health Department at (620) 374-2277 to get on list. DSW’s and consumers are Phase 2. Bring your ID if you have one.

Greenwood County:  Call the Health Department at (620) 583-6632 to get on list.  You will need to provide proof of residence.

Linn County:  Call the Health Department at (913) 352-6640 to provide your information and be added to the list.  The Health Department will then mail a permission slip and call them to schedule an appointment when they receive the vaccine.  The Facebook page also contains vaccination information.

Lyon County:  Lyon County is currently vaccinating eligible individuals in Phase 1 and persons age 65 and older (Phase 2).  See the Lyon County Health Department Facebook page or call (620) 208-3741 for the next steps for vaccination scheduling.  When vaccine supply becomes available for eligible individuals according to Phase 2 KDHE guidelines, patients over 65 years of age will begin to be contacted by their primary care provider’s office with further direction for vaccination. Currently, there is no need for a patient to call their doctor’s office.  The individual receiving the vaccine should bring their ID to the appointment. More information will be given to individuals receiving the vaccine once their appointment is scheduled.

Marion County:  Call the Health Department at (620) 382-2550 to get on list. CMS designated workers are eligible now as well as persons 65 or older. Bring your ID and/or proof of residency.

Miami County:  Call 913-294-2431 for information.

Morris County:  Call 620-767-5175 to be placed on the waiting list.

Osage County:  All persons interested should call (785) 828-3117 to be placed on the waiting list.

Vaccination Info for Direct Support Workers

Categorized: Independent Living

We have been receiving some questions regarding how Direct Support Workers (DSWs) can get a COVID-19 vaccination.  The following information was provided by the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS):

Community-Based Long-Term Services and Support (LTSS) workers like DSWs in Kansas are deemed health care workers in the context of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.  As such, DSWs should contact their local Health Departments or Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) to request vaccinations for LTSS workers.  The supply of vaccinations, at the local level, will dictate the responsiveness of the requests.

Access to Independence

Categorized: Independent Living

James and Sandy Garner were thrilled to have their ramp built at their home.  For several years, James spent numerous days inside their home because it was difficult for him to walk and to use steps.  When he had to go to the hospital, the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) had to use their back door and cut some of the handrails on their porch to make it easier for them to carry James out of the house to the ambulance.  Sandy reached out to RCIL for assistance.

The Independent Living Specialist, Beth Burnett, assisted them to achieve their goal to get a ramp built.  James and Sandy received a power chair covered by their health insurance for James to use.  They found two contractors to submit bids to build the ramp.  They also applied and received funding assistance from the Build a Ramp Program and the Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation.

After the ramp was built to their front door, James was happy to use his power chair to get in and out of their home independently.  Sandy said, “Having a ramp has made our life a little easier.”  They like sitting on their deck outside of their front door to enjoy the fresh air.  James often times goes to their mailbox to check the mail.  He also enjoys going through his things in their garage.  He uses public transportation to attend his medical appointments.  Sandy explained, “It was so much easier for James to utilize transportation that has a wheelchair lift instead of him trying to transfer into their vehicle and leaving his power chair behind.”  Sandy also stated, “The ramp was user friendly for the EMS crew.”  She explained, “James was admitted to the hospital after the ramp was built.  The EMS used our front door and the ramp to carry James out of the house with no issues.”

James and Sandy thanked Beth for their assistance to get a ramp built.  Sandy told Beth, “The one thing I learned from the process is to be patient.  It took a lot longer than I expected to get a ramp but it was well worth the wait.”

ADA 30: Nothing About Us Without Us

Categorized: Advocacy, Consumer Education, Independent Living

A Virtual Celebration with Judith Heumann

Judith Heumann, internationally recognized disability rights leader and activist, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month virtually with the University of Kansas and the Lawrence communities and guests worldwide on October 28-29, 2020.

Heumann’s visit is organized by the KU ADA Resource Center for Equity and Accessibility. All events are free, and the majority are open to the public. See the full schedule here