Friday December 4th everyone is invited to the annual My Home for the Holiday's.
Join SKIL as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act and the Holiday season.
Bring a friend, your family or a neighbor and join the SKIL for a warm holiday dinner, great prizes and plenty of family fun.
Remember My Home for the Holidays is Friday December 4th.
Join us at the Parsons VFW at 5:30 pm for the My Home for the Holiday's.
The World Institute on Disability and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) are conducting a brief 15 to 20 minute survey about access to and use of banking and financial institutions for people with physical disabilities. These responses will help guide future efforts to provide improved banking and financial institution products, services and programs to better reach the physical disability community.
In Kansas, there are 182,000 working age people with disabilities, 41% of them have been able to find work. While this better than the national average, the Sunflower State under Governor Sam Brownback still has room to improve outcomes for its residents with disabilities. Indeed, 79% of the state’s non-disabled population is employed so the labor force participation gap is massive. In 2012, vocational rehabilitation was able to obtain jobs for 1,619 out of an applicant pool of 6,803 people with disabilities. However, the Brownback Administration gave back $7,500,000 to Washington that could have been used to drive better outcomes and enable more people with disabilities to get jobs. There are 11,300 young people with disabilities in Kansas who will be entering the workforce in the near future. They should not be abandoned at this critical moment.
SKIL exists in part because people give us monetary and other donations. We’d like to introduce these wonderful folks to you and honor them in our new website Menu Link, “Donors Corner.”
Every quarter we will feature one or more donors. Please click on the Main Menu Link “News” to the left of this article, then scroll down and click on “Donors Corner” to read about those who help us keep our doors open!
Our first Donors Corner features well-known philanthropists Peter F. and JoDee Herschend of Branson, Missouri. The Herschends and their family own Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE), which includes Silver Dollar City, White Water, the Showboat Branson Belle, the Harlem Globetrotters and other top-quality entertainment experiences. Today Herschend Family Entertainment is considered the largest family-owned themed attractions corporation in the United States. Peter and his brother Jack Herschend founded the entertainment company.
Summary by Nancy G. Holman
Today Joe Reinecker features Mary Laskowski, Independent Living (IL) Coordinator at the Independence SKIL branch office. Joe and Mary discuss inclusion, a favorite topic of Mary’s, and how SKIL is making a real difference in people’s lives.
Sometimes people are excluded from aspects of life instead of being included, and we all know how that feels. Inclusion for everyone, including people with disabilities, is what drives Mary and her work at Independence SKIL.
“Sometimes, we ignore that (inclusion) and we don’t even know who’s not included,” Laskowski said.
The Independence SKIL office is known for helping people, she noted. Inclusion is very important because a community is not strong unless the people who live in it act responsibly. Reaching out to those who have been isolated or eliminated from community participation is what SKIL does.
Laskowski said SKIL’s open-door policy is well-known in Independence.
“If somebody has a problem, no matter what it is, they’re welcome to come in and talk and if I can find a resource for them to help them better their lives, I do so,” she said. “We present an attitude of acceptance, concern and caring, and they usually come to us.”
Sometimes people have been hurt so much by their life experiences that they lose all sense of trust and belonging, Laskowski said.
“(And) it becomes an emotional difficulty, and it’s going to take a miracle for them to respond,” she said. “But, you know, they do know that they’re cared for and that they can come here…they won’t be judged, they won’t be criticized, they can come here and be fully accepted.”
SKIL offers acceptance and assistance to many who have a wide variety of needs, including housing, utilities, food and independent living skills help, and home and community-based services.
Independence SKIL is a vital part of the Montgomery County community. Laskowski has been an IL coordinator there for going on five years. Listen to the entire interview now.