by Joe Reinecker and Andy Rausch
The Chanute SKIL center recently relocated to a new location at Four East Main on November 19th. The Chanute location is primarily a one-person operation; there are several part-time workers, but Independent Living Coordinator (ILC) Sharon Traylor is the only full-time employee. The center provides services to roughly 120 customers from Neosho, Woodson, and Allen counties.
The decision to relocate (after having been at the previous location for five years) was largely a consideration of space, or a lack thereof. “The building we had was really narrow and the customer room was really small, so we couldn't get very many people in it and you couldn't really move,” explains Traylor. “The new building has a nice big place for reception, an actual office, and lots of room for the customers. It's much, much better than what we had.
“Now we will have much more room to participate in the activities,” she continued. “They will be able to talk to me without hearing a lot of commotion or interruptions from the same room. This will also allow us to leave the activities set up without having to take them down every time we have a meeting.”
Another key feature of the new location will be multiple handicapped bathrooms, whereas the previous office had just one.
“Moving into this new building is going to be great for us,” said Traylor. “I'm really happy about the move.”
What kind of students participate in the Youth Leadership Forum?
Young people with disabilities who would want to discover their potential for leadership.
What will happen at the Forum?
- Bring together young people with disabilities to share information with each other. Includes such topics as leadership, goal setting, assertiveness, disability awareness, advocacy, disability heritage, and much more.
- Involve numerous presenters, community leaders, legislators and other professionals who will interact with the students.
- Identify existing barriers to personal and professional success and develop plans to deal effectively with those barriers.
- Assist in developing a “Personal Leadership Plan” which will include specific action plans for the students when they return to their communities.
- Participate in activities such as: small group discussions with fellow delegates, large group presentations by successful community leaders, a formal luncheon with community mentors, a picture at the State Capitol, an activity in the Senate chambers, a resource fair and Real Life Fair, a talent show, and a dance.
What are the requirements to attend this Forum?
To be eligible for the Youth Leadership Forum, students must:
(a) Reside in Kansas
(b) Have a disability (as defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act)
(c) Be in the 11th or 12th grade as of December 31, 2018
(d) Have demonstrated leadership potential or interest in school and the community
What is involved in the application process?
Student applicants must mail the completed application packet to the KYEA office no later than December 15. Semi-finalists will be selected and contacted by telephone to arrange a personal interview. All applicants will be notified by letter whether they are selected to attend the Forum. Approximately 20-25 youth will be accepted to attend based on this competitive selection process. Additional detailed information on the Forum will be provided to those selected to attend.
There will be NO charge for student delegates or volunteers to participate in this Forum. All appropriate expenses will be paid by KYEA, including lodging, food, interpreters for students who are deaf, personal care attendants, and other accommodations, if needed.
Due to rising costs, parents or guardians who can provide transportation for their students are asked to do so. If assistance is needed, KYEA staff can make arrangements for transportation to be provided by a resource in the student’s community.
For additional information, please contact the KYEA office
The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) is requesting renewal of the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Intellectual Developmental Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) waiver programs. Requests for renewals of HCBS waivers are made to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Proposed changes for the waivers are now open to public comment and feedback from 11/01/18 through 11/30/18. You can view the Proposed Waivers and a summary of the proposed changes at: https://kdads.ks.gov/commissions/home-community-based-services-(hcbs) under the section titled Intellectual Developmental Disability and Brain Injury Waiver Renewals. Tribal nations are reminded that public comments are extended to December 30, 2018 and in-person consultation may be requested.
Comment by phone: KDADS will host two conference call opportunities at the following dates and times. Refer to the attached conference call notice for details. Please share this information broadly throughout your community networks. A specific request is made to ADRCs, CDDOs, and CILs to post the attached notice in a conspicuous location and assist persons with disabilities in accessing the public comment process.
HCBS Participants, Family Members, Friends Conference Call
November 13 or 14, 2018, 6-7 PM
Phone Number: 877-400-9499
Participation Code: 1769231304
HCBS Providers Conference Call
November 13 or 14, 2018, 1-2 PM
Phone Number: 877-400-9499
Participation Code: 1769231304
Next steps: Public comments regarding the proposed changes will be reviewed by KDADS. The proposed waiver renewal applications will be amended if necessary prior to submission to CMS for approval. The final renewal application will be submitted to CMS no later than 12/31/18 and posted to the KDADS website at https://kdads.ks.gov/commissions/home-community-based-services-(hcbs).
You can also send comments via regular mail to:
Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS)
Attn: HCBS Brain Injury and IDD Waiver Renewal Comments
503 S. Kansas Avenue
Topeka, KS 66603
Visit Their Website: www.kdads.ks.gov
October 29, 2018 by Lisa Weintraub Schifferle- Attorney, FTC, Division of Consumer & Business Education
If you get a call that looks like it’s from the Social Security Administration (SSA), think twice. Scammers are spoofing SSA’s 1-800 customer service number to try to get your personal information. Spoofing means that scammers can call from anywhere, but they make your caller ID show a different number – often one that looks legit. Here are few things you should know about these so-called SSA calls.
These scam calls are happening across the nation, according to SSA: Your phone rings. Your caller ID shows that it’s the SSA calling from 1-800-772-1213. The caller says he works for the Social Security Administration and needs your personal information – like your Social Security number – to increase your benefits payments. (Or he threatens to cut off your benefits if you don’t give the information.) But it’s not really the Social Security Administration calling. Yes, it is the SSA’s real phone number, but the scammers on the phone are spoofing the number to make the call look real.
What can you do if you get one of these calls? Hang up. Remember:
- • SSA will not threaten you. Real SSA employees will never threaten you to get personal information. They also won’t promise to increase your benefits in exchange for information. If they do, it’s a scam.
- • If you have any doubt, hang up and call SSA directly. Call 1-800-772-1213 – that really is the phone number for the Social Security Administration. If you dial that number, you know who you’re getting. But remember that you can’t trust caller ID. If a call comes in from that number, you can’t be sure it’s really SSA calling.
- • If you get a spoofed call, report it. If someone calls, claiming to be from SSA and asking for information like your Social Security number, report it to SSA’s Office of Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or https://oig.ssa.gov/report. You can also report these calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.
For more tips, check out the FTC’s How to Stop Unwanted Calls and Government Imposter Scams. If you think someone has misused your personal information, go to IdentityTheft.gov to report identity theft and find out what steps to take.
by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
SKIL CEO and President Shari Coatney took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to sit down and talk about the importance of voting in the disabled community.
So why is it important for the disabled to vote?
“Obviously it's our civil right and our responsibility to vote for those whom we feel can best represent us, but that's the corny politically-correct answer,” Coatney said. “The reality is that our lives really do depend on it. Justin Dart (father of the ADA) said, 'Vote like your life depends on it, because it usually does.' That's especially true here in Kansas, where we've seen the effects of what voting in the wrong politicians can do. Our lives have been extremely affected by the outcomes of those elections over the last decade, and we have paid the price severely. Especially when it comes to social services, which affect the disabled, children, and the elderly.
“The people who have really been affected by those things, who have really felt that bite, need to know it's time to take the power back by showing up to vote.” said Coatney. “They need to not just show up and vote, but they also need to be educated about who they're voting for. They need to let people know what their issues are and how they feel about things, and then they have to vote. Those are important things because again, our lives depend on it and our quality of life is going to be affected. And do I believe people may have died as a consequence of the people who have been elected? I absolutely do. People have had to fight so hard to get on Medicaid or to get insurance and to get access to medical services, that I do believe there are people who have died. There are people who have waited so long, and even fallen off the waiting list for services and were forgotten when there were changes to the social services program. And now people are still waiting for services and don't get referred for free services or don't have access to programs that can help them get by until they get the services they need.
“I'm certain people have died and fallen through the cracks,” said Coatney. “It's insane that people with disabilities now have to wait ten years to access the services they need. And these are the reasons that it's imperative that we, the disabled community, get out there and vote.”
Many people say they don't vote because they don't know how to vote or they don't know if they are registered to vote. Don't let these questions be the reason you don't vote. Both of these questions can be answered easily at the following link: Ksvotes.org. Early voting ballots can also be obtained there so you don't even have to leave your house.