Written by Nancy Holman

PARSONS, Kan.—The SKIL Resource Center recently held mandatory diversity training for its entire staff, said SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney. Staff at the Independent Living Center’s downtown Parsons headquarters, six branch offices, the Assistive Technology for Kansans and K-Loan offices participated in the formal training on April 20 and 21, 2021. The training, which lasted approximately two and one half hours, was held virtually via ZOOM due to COVID-19 concerns, Coatney said.

Coatney’s executive assistant Adina Harrison, who is a member of SKIL’s Diversity Team, led the virtual training assisted by Coatney, which included education on racial bias and systemic racism, information about the LGBTQ community, gender identity and its use of proper pronouns, and lively staff discussion on the topics.

“As we fight for disability rights and hold trainings on diversity, it is long overdue that we include trainings on all marginalized minority communities,” said Coatney. “Everyone has bias. We get it from our experiences and our background.”

Harrison, who wrote the presentation assisted by SKIL’s Diversity Team, said she appreciated the opportunities the training created.

“It was an honor to take part in creating this training to help represent groups of minorities who don’t normally get recognized,” she said. “I am grateful to have reached fellow co-workers—especially when receiving messages about how inspired and enlightened it has made people feel.”

SKIL, as a Center for Independent Living, welcomes everyone. It serves people with all disabilities or those whose environment is disabling. Headquartered in downtown Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan. It also operates Assistive Technology for Kansans offices in Parsons and Wichita, and the K-Loan office in Parsons.

For more information, call Parsons SKIL at: 1-800-688-5616 or contact any SKIL office.

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