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.”
Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) Membership Nominations
Are Being Accepted Through May 3, 2019
The Kansas State Board of Education is accepting nominations to fill three appointments on the Kansas Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC). The appointments will be for three-year terms beginning July 2019 through June 2022.
The purpose of the Kansas Special Education Advisory Council (SEAC) is to:
- advise the State Education Agency (SEA) of unmet needs within the State in the education of children with exceptionalities;
- comment publicly on any rules or regulations proposed by the State regarding the education of children with exceptionalities;
- advise the SEA in developing evaluations and reporting on data to the Secretary of Education under section 618 of the Act;
- advise the SEA in developing corrective action plans to address findings identified in Federal monitoring reports under Part B of the Act;
- advise the SEA in developing and implementing policies relating to the coordination of services for children with exceptionalities, including: advising on eligible students with disabilities in juvenile and adult correctional facilities; and
- advise the SEA of unmet needs within the State in the education of children with exceptionalities, including gifted
The following vacancies are available beginning 2019-2020 school year:
- Homeless Children representative
- Vocational, community or business organization (transition services)
- Private schools representative
When selecting nominees who meet the above requirements, additional consideration will be given to: (a) being a person or parent of a person with a disability (b) membership representation from each of the ten Kansas State Board districts; (c) previous working and educational experiences; (d) current responsibilities of employment and membership in other organizations and councils; (e) leadership in such organizations and advisory councils; and (f) representatives of diverse populations. Individuals commit to actively participating in Council meetings and duties.
Please consider recommending a person you feel would be able to fulfill the responsibilities of being an active council member and can commit to active participation. Individuals appointed to the Council will be expected to commit to meeting five or more times per year, generally in the Topeka area. Travel expenses associated with meeting attendance will be reimbursed at state rates. Names of nominees, their representative roles, a vita or letter of support, and contact information need to be submitted to the Pat Bone, Special Education and Title Services Team at the Kansas Department of Education no later than May 3, 2019.
The nomination form is available online by following this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe7Ijb4Li-HWed3B8EgKDjtForemp6MjtGxo9g1tQdHtI5SIg/viewform?usp=sf_link
We appreciate your assistance and support in providing strong representation for the youth of Kansas with exceptionalities.