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 Kansas Disability and Health Program with The University of Kansas Institute for Health and Disability Policy Studies developed a fact sheet called “Kansans with Disabilities: Transportation Barriers = Health Barriers.” The fact sheet identified the transportation barriers along with possible solutions to remove those barriers for people with disabilities. They also listed several personal experiences that they received from people with disabilities. Here are a few experiences from the fact sheet:

  • “A van with a wheelchair lift costs $30,000 to $40,000 more than a typical van, way over the budget of most people with disabilities.”
  • “When the paratransit is late then people miss their appointments, or they are late and this does not sit well with medical providers.”
  • “Transportation outside of the area where people live is not available. If someone needs to see a specialist in another town/city, it is difficult if not close to impossible to get there.”

Click on the fact sheet here for details about the transportation barriers. This fact sheet is also on the Kansas Disability and Health Program website at https://ihdps.ku.edu/dhp-resources.

For more information, contact Kim Bruns, Disabilities and Health Program Coordinator, at 785-864-1561 or kbruns@ku.edu.

Researchers with the Great Lakes ADA Center in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago are seeking participants to complete an online survey about work, internet use, and disability rights.

Who is eligible for this study?
Survey participates must:
Identify as having a disability.
Be 18-24 years old.
Work or be currently seeking employment.
Live in the United States.

What does the research involve?
It involves an online survey that includes questions about how and where you work, how you use different social networking websites, and your familiarity with disability rights related issues. You do not need to have any prior knowledge in order to participate. Survey participants can enter a drawing for one of eight $50 Amazon gift cards.

Questions? Contact:
Robert Gould, PhD (Principal Investigator).
Assistant Clinical Professor
Director of Research, Great Lakes ADA Center
Department of Disability and Human Development
University of Illinois at Chicago
rgould3@uic.edu
(312) 413- 2299

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.

The Kansas Disability Caucus, Inc. Board has five positions up for election each beginning January 1, 2020 for a two year term. They are seeking individuals who want to join the group to organize and coordinate activities that promote independent living of all people with disabilities through collaboration, networking, education, planning, and peer-to-peer interaction, including the Disability Caucus held during even numbered years. The Kansas Disability Caucus supports and encourages successful outcomes for people with all types of disabilities of all ages, especially encouraging the involvement of young adults.

For more information or if you would like to apply, view the application here. The deadline to submit the application is December 1, 2019.