It is time to ask for nominations for the Michel Lechner Advocacy Award.
The deadline for nominations is July 31st.
Every year the Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns (KCDC) recognizing one or more persons or organizations for their advocacy work to improve their community or the State of Kansas for people with disabilities. To nominate someone or an organization you need to provide a summary of the nominee’s advocacy activities including: the issue/situation; nominee’s activities that improved the condition or situation; and the geographic area of Kansas in which the improvement occurred. It also helps to have a support letter from someone else praising the nominees advocacy efforts.
You can read more about it on their website.
Members of Congress are back home this week for recess, so it’s the perfect time to meet with them about the Disability Integration Act (DIA)! If your Senators or Representative have still not signed on to the DIA, take action over the recess by urging them to become a cosponsor!
The Disability Integration Act (S. 910 and H.R. 2472) is a critical bill that would reverse the institutional bias and help disabled people stay in our homes and communities. The DIA is the next logical step in our fight for disability rights and the only piece of legislation that will protect our community from institutionalization. We need ALL of our Members of Congress to support the DIA!
We know the disability community has the power to make things happen, and every meeting, email, call, and action counts. Use this recess to educate your Senators and Representative on the DIA and urge them to become a cosponsor! Tell them that living in our own communities and making choices about our lives is our right, and as our elected officials, it’s their responsibility to protect that!
Learn more about the DIA at www.disabilityintegrationact.org.
by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
SMILE is a new positive behavior support system SKIL has developed recently. SMILE is an acronym that stands for Successful Manageable Inclusion Leadership and Encouraging. The concept was first brought to CEO Shari Coatney's attention by SKIL Special Projects Coordinator John Stacy Denham, who had read about Fortune 500 companies adopting similar programs.
“I had originally talked to Shari Coatney about setting it up with the kid's program, and when she heard about the positive behavior support I was interested in putting together for that, she thought that was something we could do system-wide, completely across the board,” explains Denham.
“Basically what it does is it sets up positive behaviors you want to see and it rewards people for that as opposed to coming down on people for breaking the rules.” The concept behind SMILE is that it establishes a shared language and verbiage that all customers and employees at SKIL can use. For example, Information and Referral Specialist Heather House recently coined the term SKILsters for customers and representatives, and the term has since caught on.
The idea behind SMILE is to enforce inclusion and to make everyone feel they are part of a collective family at SKIL. According to Denham, the introductory SMILE project was handing out little cut-out smiley faces to people who were smiling as an attempt to reward desirable behavior.
Hello, I am a deaf doctoral candidate at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, doing my dissertation on the social experiences of deaf/Deaf or hard of hearing people in social interactions. The purpose of this study is to understand social experiences that deaf children have had, and how those experiences affect them as adults.
I am distributing this survey to deaf/Deaf and hard of hearing people who are in regular contact with hearing people, have had hearing impairments before the age of three, and live in the United States and Canada. The survey will take around 25-35 minutes to complete. I understand that your time is limited, and your participation is appreciated. Your participation would be voluntary and anonymous. There will be a drawing for five people to win a $50 Amazon gift card for participating. The odds of winning are between 3% and 7%, depending on the number of responses.
To take the survey, go to this link:
To learn more about the study, you can also visit this website:
Many thanks in advance,
Holly Siegrist, M.A., M.S.
Clinical Psychology Psy.D. Doctoral Candidate
California School of Professional Psychology
Alliant International University
San Francisco Campus
Doris Ekstrom participated in the Fishing Has No Boundaries event in Hayward, WI, for 20 years and always enjoyed attending, not only for the fishing, but to visit with friends she had met over the years. She was known for her smile and outgoing personality: she always visited with everyone. In December of 1985, she had toxic shock syndrome and in January of 1986, she had both legs amputated below the knees along with most of her fingers. After 17 weeks in the hospital, she said,” I went in the hospital on a gurney and walked out on new legs.”
She was now on her way to a new lifestyle, and did not let these new challenges stop her. She was still able to fish with the help of a sleeve that fit on her left arm to hold her fishing rod and she had enough of her fingers on her right hand to be able to reel the fish in. In October of 2001 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and from then until her death in November of 2010 she kept her attitude positive. This scholarship is in her honor and what Fishing Has No Boundaries meant to her.
More information can be found at the FHNB, Inc website.