Man on a Mission
Rick Macias is a tireless advocate for the disabled
By Nancy G. Holman
CHANUTE, Kan.—He’s an unlikely advocate for social change. Rick Macias is soft-spoken, mild-mannered and lives much of his life in a motorized wheelchair due to cerebral palsy, a developmental disability which limits his mobility.
But though Macias, 27, is a man with a life disability, he refuses to be disabled by it. First and foremost, he’s a man on a mission. And increasingly, those who operate a business or government agency in Chanute know it.
An employee and a customer of the Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center (SKIL), Macias is making a lasting difference in his town for people with disabilities—nicely whenever possible, of course, but always with a never-say-die determination that only comes from personal knowledge of some of the struggles he fights for on behalf of others.
He’s a powerful, tireless advocate that successfully challenges businesses to spend their dollars to better accommodate persons with disabilities. How he came to be such is an American success story of grit, motivation and triumph.
In today’s interview Joe and Lou Ann Kibbee discuss the programs that she is working with in Western Kansas. The K-Loan program is an alternative finance program for people who have disabilities. The program opens up opportunities for people to get loans for assistive technology equipment and devices that would not be acceptable collateral in the conventional loan market.
Lou Ann explains that also a big part of her job is systems advocacy. Self advocacy is learning to advocate for yourself. Individual advocacy is advocacy that benefits another person or that you advocate for or with the person. System advocacy is advocacy that at a system level will benefit a larger group of people. Policies and programs that benefit people with disabilities would be an example.
Lou Ann was the 2015 recipient of the Corey Rowley National Advocacy Award in Washington, DC. at the National Council on Independent Living conference.
“What are the attributes of a good advocate?” asked Joe.
“Oh Wow! I would say perseverance is one.” replied Lou Ann. Learn more in today’s interview.
Joe and Rosie discuss how the Caucus worked. Also how everyone there was able to set a goal and work to achieve it. The 2015 Kansas Disability Caucus theme is “ADA 25: Igniting the Fire for Employment, Involvement and Independence.”
Aug. 18, 2015
Sharon Traylor held a jewelry creating activity for the customers at the Dale Apts. in Coffeyville, Ks. There were 4 individuals who took part in the activity, making various pieces. The group spent a little over 4 hours sharing and creating jewelry. Everyone had fun, and one lady even brought a couple of items of her personal jewelry to the event. Sharon assisted her in fixing the jewelry. She plans to wear them again soon. Peer support and sharing of ideas was greatly appreciated by the group. The team buuilding around the table was very encouraging and everyone said they were looking forward to the next event.
SKIL Resource Center has a limited number of televisions for people needed a television. Contact Steven Weber or Theresa Hueback, Mon-Fri. 8-5 until September 30th. Televisions are free to the public and can be picked up at the 1801 Main location in Parsons, KS. This is a first come first served community service program. Call today and get to watching tonight.