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Susan shared, "I'm a mother of four and a grandmother of twelve. I've been disabled since 1991." She continued with a heartfelt, "So working with the disabled is something new. That I have just been doing in the last couple of years. I have found it very close to my heart."
In discussing the Caucus she remarked, "It is not an experience I am soon to forget"
The 12th Kansas Disability Caucus was held in Topeka, KS on August 10, 11, and 12, 2011.People with all types of disabilities, of any age, representing every county of the state attended. The purpose of the Caucus was to develop new disability leadership in Kansas, to educate Kansans with disabilities about the mechanics of the policy making process and encourage their participation in it, to determine major issues facing Kansans with disabilities and to seek solutions for issues identified.
The session that she recalled as significant was the "Brainstorming Concerns" As the group began the discussion Medicaid Reform, transportation issues, "...just whatever issue prevalent in your area of the state your city, how to get landlords to understand about companion animals, better understanding of silent disabilities." The discussion focused on many issues and how to apply independent living to those concerns.
"We had a wonderful band called "Flame". She shared how the group energized the crowd. "They didn't make anybody feel like you couldn't get in tune with the music." Susan shared how the group played the first night of the Caucus; which happen to be her birthday. "I thought this is wonderful. This band came just to play for me." Everyone there began to participate, dancing, wheelchair dancing, "You didn't care how you did it you just got out there and did it." Learn more down load the video http://www.flametheband.com/videos/promofx.wmv
FLAME,( http://www.flametheband.com ) a group from upstate New York made up of 10 people with developmental/physical disabilities, including autism, Down’s syndrome, and blindness, is capturing the world’s attention but their message remains the same. The band from Lexington Center, Fulton County Chapter, NYSARC, Inc., wants to change the world through music. They are a phenomenon that inspires people and changes the way the general public view people with disabilities. People of all ages and backgrounds connect with this special rock band, especially those who have a disability. Parents are often overcome with emotion watching FLAME, seeing that it’s possible to have their child achieve great things and, even more importantly, have a fun, fulfilling life.
FLAME began in 2003 from a recreation program at Lexington www.lexingtoncenter.org. The plan was to have the band play at the agency and around town. However the profound effect they have on their audiences made it impossible to keep FLAME within the confines of Fulton County. Word spread and requests for hire began pouring in and FLAME now averages over 70 paid performances per year, including concerts in 15 different states (NY, NJ, PA, CO, DC, ID, MA, ME, VT, RI, IN, CT, TX, OH) and in Europe. They perform for national and statewide conventions, corporate conferences, civic events, school functions, dances, and private parties. Their song list contains over 100 classic hit rock, country and blues songs from the past five decades.
FLAME is now an international touring band in high demand. They have released 3 CDs, travel on a custom tour bus, and working on releasing a 4th CD on May 11, 2011 at Lexington Center, 127 East State Street, Gloversville, NY.