We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passage in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 158 cosponsors listed on congress.gov and ten more have committed to signing on this week, which means we only need 50 more to secure a majority of the House. Every week, we’re building more momentum and gaining more cosponsors!
Next Monday through Wednesday, ADAPT will be in Washington, DC for three days of historic work to get the DIA closer to passage. They’re coming to DC to call on Democratic members of the House to keep their promise of civil rights for all.
We need the IL community to be ready to mobilize and support their work!
First, check the list of current cosponsors. If your Representative is not a current cosponsor, start by calling now, and then be prepared to follow next week’s action!
- Contact your Representative now! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office, or contact their office directly using the House directory. You can use these fact sheets with talking points for both Democrat and Republican offices.
- Follow the action! ADAPT will be posting updates using the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST and #DIAtoday.
- Be ready to make follow up calls next week if ADAPT ends up in your Representative’s office!
Get ready to be a part of history!
COLUMBUS, Kan.—The SKIL Resource Center in Columbus will hold its free annual customer appreciation picnic May 23 and invites the public to attend.
The free picnic will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Columbus City Park on Country Rd. and Kansas Ave. Hot dogs and sides will be served, and there will be a special speaker and prizes.
SKIL holds the free picnics every summer, to thank its customers and to further introduce the public to SKIL, a local non-profit independent living center that serves people with disabilities. The picnics are held in towns where SKIL has a branch office.
The Columbus picnic is held in honor of Gwain January, a now-deceased SKIL employee, for his long and dedicated service to the agency, said SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney. January worked at Columbus SKIL as an independent living coordinator. Before that, he worked at Pittsburg SKIL as a targeted case manager.
“I always look forward to seeing our customers from Cherokee County,” said Coatney. “Gwain was excited about what he did for people with disabilities, and his legacy and excitement continue as part of this event.”
“The community is very supportive of SKIL and our work,” Coatney said. “Their loyalty is definitely felt with the success of this event.”
Founded in 1992, SKIL serves over 4,500 customers with disability needs. Over 2,000 staff work through the agency, a major southeast Kansas employer.
Headquartered in Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan.
In addition to operating the independent living center, SKIL also operates an alternative lending program called K-LOAN that enables people with disabilities to purchase assistive equipment; and Assistive Technology for Kansans sites in Parsons and Wichita that provide assistive technology assessments and training, as well as other programs related to technology.
For more information, call 1-800-688-5616 or contact any SKIL office. On the web at: www.skilonline.com
Why the Disability Vote Matters
Your vote affects everything. Who you vote for impacts your civil rights and direct access to health care, education, transportation, housing and the list goes on and on. We need you to get registered and vote, and get others registered and voting to help show the political power of the disability community and make the disability vote count!
National Disability Voter Registration Week
Voter registration drives are a great way to promote community involvement and civic participation across the country. There are many issues that Americans with disabilities are passionate about. The first step is to help your community get registered to vote!
The REV UP Campaign coordinates National Disability Voter Registration Week (NDVRW) each year on the third week of July to increase the political power of people with disabilities while also engaging candidates and the media. We invite you to join the REV UP network in hosting or joining a voter registration event this July! Please submit information about your event through this form: https://aapd.kindful.com/register/rev-up-events.
Join AAPD for the 'National Disability Voter Registration' Call
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
2:00pm to 3:00pm Eastern Daylight Time
This year, NDVRW is scheduled for July 15-19, 2019. Interested in hosting or joining a voter registration event? On May 15th, AAPD will bring together local, state, and national leaders to discuss the disability vote and how to get folks registered. For anyone interested in community organizing, voting, and political/civic engagement of people with disabilities you don’t want to miss this call.
by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
The Kansas Senate adjourned May 4th without approving Governor Laura Kelly's plan for Medicaid Expansion. What does this mean? It means Medicaid expansion won't happen in 2019.
“The House had passed Medicaid expansion over in their chamber,” explains SKIL Systems Advocacy Manager Lou Ann Kibbee. “The problem arose in the Senate, where they couldn't get the votes.”
So, what is Medicaid expansion? According to Alliance for a Healthy Kansas Director April Holman (quoted in The Wichita Eagle), expansion would benefit people who make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little for subsidies. “KanCare expansion is a common sense policy that the state of Kansas needs to adopt,” she says.
“Expansion would benefit a lot of people,” says Kibbee. “There are people with low-paying jobs out there who don't have health insurance provided through their employment. One of these low-paying jobs is the personal care attendants who work for the people with disabilities in their homes. They help us get up everyday and help us get dressed, cook meals, whatever. The wages for those workers are not very high. So, they would definitely benefit from Medicaid expansion.
“There are also people with disabilities who are working part-time,” she says. “But they can't qualify for Medicaid because they're making too much money, but they're not making enough money to reach that marketplace income level.”
While Medicaid expansion is dead for 2019, it could happen next year. Majority Leader Senator Jim Denning promised to install an interim bipartisan committee that will produce a plan for expansion. “He says he's committed to bringing a bill back in January when the legislature returns,” explains Kibbee. “So, we'll see. I think a lot of people right now are questioning what this will accomplish given that there have already been a number of studies.”