Independent Living

Call to Action: Contact Senate Ways and Means Committee

By Mandy Smith | February 28, 2012

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…

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KS AuthentiCare/EVV For ALL Waivers March 4th

By Mandy Smith | February 27, 2012

Kansas AuthentiCare/Electronic Visit Verification(EVV) will begin for all waiver services including Personal Services and Sleep Cycle Support for the Physically Disabled(PD) and Traumatic Brain Injury(TBI) waivers effective Sunday, March 4, 2012. Please make certain that RCIL (or your FMS provider) has your correct telephone and/or cell phone numbers. Please report any updates to an RCIL…

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Denied: Jim’s Story

By Mandy Smith | February 24, 2012

Jim H., is a person with a disability, one of the over 3,500 Kansans on the waiting list for Home and Community Based Services. Jim has Huntington’s Disease. Because Huntington’s is a progressive disease, it is getting more and more difficult for Jim to accomplish his daily activities, including cleaning and cooking for himself. The…

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Call to Action: Contact Social Services Budget Committee

By Mandy Smith | February 14, 2012

From now through Thursday February 16th, we need the disability community to contact each member of the House Social Services Budget Committee. A complete list of names and contact information is available here. As they are working on budget issues we need to make sure they know the importance of funding the Home and Community…

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Sharon’s Story

By Mandy Smith | February 13, 2012

“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…

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Disability Etiquette

By Beth | February 10, 2012

  If you have not had many interactions with persons with disabilities, you may not know exactly how to act. For example, you may ask yourself “how do I talk to someone in a wheelchair?” or “how do I interact with someone who is blind or deaf?” These questions often come to our minds whether…

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Update: What About the Waiting List?

By Mandy Smith | February 8, 2012

On February 1, 2012 disability advocates across the state began a concerted effort to contact the Governor’s office and SRS regarding the Waiting Lists for Home and Community Based Services. The Governor’s office and the SRS administration responded less than satisfactorily advising (after several off the wall suggestions) that the Waiting Lists for Home and…

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Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP)

By Beth | January 13, 2012

Do you need assistance to pay your utilities bills?  Starting January 18, 2012 The Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) applications will be available at your local Social Rehabilitation Services (SRS) office and on the SRS website through March 30, 2012. LIEAP is a federally funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of…

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Legislative Session Begins

By Mandy Smith | January 9, 2012

  Today at 2:00pm the Kansas House and Senate will convene to start the 2012 Legislative Session. This promises to be one of the busiest, and maybe toughest sessions in recent years. All eyes are on the Senate as it is an election year for them and the coalition of moderate Republicans and Democrats that…

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KS AuthentiCare EVV Implementation Update

By Mandy Smith | January 4, 2012

The State of Kansas has delayed the start of the KS Authenticare (also known as electronic visit verification or EVV) for “Personal Services” through the PD and TBI waivers. We will notify you with the new start date as soon as we receive it from the state. EVV for “Sleep Cycle Support” will start on…

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2012 Legislative Session

By Mandy Smith | December 28, 2011

  With the new year comes a new Legislative session in Kansas. The 2012 Session starts on Monday January 9th at 2:00pm and promises to be a busy one. The disability community will be closely watching as the Administration and the Legislature take on huge items including an expected Executive Order re-organizing SRS, the Medicaid…

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You May Qualify for a Free Lifeline Cell Phone

By Mandy Smith | December 23, 2011

  In Kansas (and several other states), certain people may be income-eligible to receive a free cell phone and limited minutes at no cost. If you are not currently enrolled in another Lifeline program (meaning discounted land-line service, NOT the Personal Emergency Response System) and you, or someone in your household, receive any of the…

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Kansas AuthentiCare (EVV) is Coming

By Mandy Smith | December 21, 2011

KDOA and SRS announced on the evening of  Dec. 29th they have decided to change the launch date for Kansas AuthentiCare/EVV to January 16, 2012 at 6:00am The new year is bringing with it new procedures for our consumers who are on Home and Community-Based Services. The state is replacing the current paper time and…

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Home and Community Based Services in Kansas

By Mandy Smith | December 12, 2011

Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) became an integral part of the lives of Kansans with disabilities and those who are elderly though legislation passed in 1989 (KSA 39-7, 100). This legislation provided Kansans who wanted to have choice and remain independent with the ability to receive long-term care services in their own home and…

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Are You Ready to File Your Taxes?

By Beth | December 10, 2011

  Starting January 1, 2012 everyone will be busy filing their 2011 Income taxes, Homestead tax refund, and/or Food Sales tax refund. The deadline to file is April 17, 2012.  Independent Living Specialists (ILS) at RCIL will be available to teach consumers that are interested to learn how to file their Homestead tax refund and…

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What’s at Stake

By Mandy Smith | December 7, 2011

  I talk to people a lot about the proud history of the disability community in Kansas. The progress that was made in the state by dedicated advocates placed Kansas in the forefront on disability rights. We have constructed a system that, while not perfect, works to empower Kansans with disabilities, helps them acquire gainful…

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Safe Winter Heating

By Mandy Smith | November 28, 2011

  Temperatures are dropping as winter creeps closer so I thought a timely topic would be home heating safety. The rising cost of gas has left many people using other methods of heating their homes. Fireplaces, wood burning stoves, gas or electric space-heaters are among the most popular alternatives to furnace heating. Each of these…

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The Olmstead Decision

By Mandy Smith | November 25, 2011

  Twelve years ago, the United States Supreme Court rejected the state of Georgia’s appeal to enforce institutionalization of individuals with disabilities and affirmed the right of individuals with disabilities to live in their community in its 6-3 ruling against the state of Georgia in the case Olmstead v. L.C. and E.W. The Olmstead Decision…

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I Am a Case Manager

By Mandy Smith | November 21, 2011

  I am a Case Manager, yet I do not manage cases, I work with people. My job is to visit people in their homes who have physical disabilities and complete an assessment to determine if they are eligible for a Medicaid program that provides long term care services to them in their own homes.…

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Assistive Technology for Kansans

By Mandy Smith | November 18, 2011

  The Resource Center for Independent Living also houses the North East Kansas access site for Assistive Technology for Kansans(ATK) and the Kansas Equipment Exchange(KEE). Both of these programs help people with disabilities obtain needed assistive technology(AT) and medical equipment. Assistive technology is a device or service that is used to increase the level of…

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Tis the Season

By Mandy Smith | November 7, 2011

  As the winter Holidays approach, the natural charity and good will within all of us seems to increase. This year as you contemplate how to spend this, please keep the Resource Center for Independent Living in mind. We consist of and work with Kansans with disabilities, of all ages. Some ways in which you…

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Advocacy Action: Town Hall Meetings

By Mandy Smith | November 4, 2011

The Big Tent Coalition and Kansans for Quality Communities are teaming up to bring Town Hall meetings to towns across Kansas. The purpose is to “discuss the impact of continuing budget cuts on vital state services and the ramifications of eliminating the Kansas income tax.” The Resource Center for Independent Living is working to ensure…

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By Mandy Smith | November 2, 2011

As we edge closer to winter, the leaves are changing and falling, the air is cooler, and the days are shorter. These are expected changes we prepare for each year. This year, Kansans with disabilities are experiencing many other changes. There is a new administration in Kansas state government and in SRS, over the last…

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Happy Halloween!!

By Mandy Smith | October 31, 2011

The Resource Center for Independent Living would like to wish all of you a happy and safe Halloween. Across the country emergency preparedness organizations within local governments and other agencies have embraced the possibility of a Zombie Apocalypse as a fun way to get folks to tune into the necessity of being ready to face…

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Kansans United

By Mandy Smith | September 19, 2011

  Last Friday a new advocacy group named Kansans United in Voice and Spirit held their first rally at the Statehouse. The turnout was good as far as such things go with a little over 250 people present on a cold and damp day. The group’s website states that they are “Concerned citizens of Kansas…

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