On this week's edition of "Resource Central," Joe Reinecker interviews Rick Macias from the Chanute SKIL office on the recent ADAPT rally in Washington, D.C. At the rally, ADAPT supporters were trying to advocate a bill that would keep more disabled people out of nursing homes.
Interview by Joe Reinecker
Transcription by Andy Rausch
On this week’s edition of “Resource Central,” Joe Reinecker talks to SKIL President/CEO Shari Coatney about SKIL’s new motto, “People Matter.” Because the phone connection was poor, the interview is being posted here in transcribed form rather than with audio.
JOE REINECKER: Welcome to today’s edition of “Resource Central.” Today’s guest is President and CEO of SKIL, Shari Coatney. Shari, welcome to “Resource Central.”
SHARI COATNEY: Thank you. I am so happy to be here.
JOE REINECKER: We’re happy to have you here. I hear that SKIL has a new motto. Could you talk about that?
SHARI COATNEY: I’ve been very frustrated with the way things are going in our state. Recently we had one of our board members, who was also a legislator for many, many years, pass away. The timing of those two things made me start feeling this passion—“people matter.” Bob Grant was one of our heroes in Southeast Kansas because he never forgot that he represented the people. He sat on our board after he left legislation because he still really cared about people. It was a place where he could take his passion and ensure that people were getting what they needed, and he could keep an eye on the way that the legislation in the state of Kansas was affecting people. The working class people and poor people… people who had needs for services. This motto, “people matter,” kind of came about at a board meeting after Bob’s passing when we decided we were going to do a memorial fund. But I think a lot of people have forgotten that, that people matter.
JOE REINECKER: I don’t know if I should ask this question, but I’m going to do it anyway. Do you feel that disabled people are being forgotten by the governor’s budget cuts?
SHARI COATNEY: I think that people are just not the priority right now. I think the budget cuts and the tax reductions and the insanity of the shortfalls of budget…their thinking on how to fix that is to take it away from people. It’s not just people with disabilities—it’s people in general. People with disabilities fall into every class, so they’re taking it off the backs of the poor, they’re taking it off the backs of children, they’re taking it off the backs of senior citizens—just anything that has to do with human services.
JOE REINECKER: I said I’d never do this show with a politician, but it would be nice to know what the governor’s thinking.
SHARI COATNEY: I think he’s just thinking about cutting taxes and cutting expenditures. I think he looks at people as tax-takers . When you’re talking about kids and the elderly and people with disabilities, generally you’re not talking about the people he’s talking about. He thinks about big business owners. He thinks that’s what makes the economy work. And I don’t think it’s just him; I think it’s more than just the governor. I think the entire legislative body just don’t have enough reminders that people matter. The people on waiver services matter, the people on food stamps matter, people who need medical assistance matter, the elderly matter—people frickin’ matter. I think we’ve listened to the rhetoric long enough that we as people start to forget what pays for our schools and what pays for our social services…even our highways. It’s tax dollars. We have to have tax revenue in order to have programs, and it’s our responsibility on every level I can think of to make sure we’re taking care of the people within our state.
JOE REINECKER: How long have you worked with SKIL?
SHARI COATNEY: I’ve been there twenty-two years.
JOE REINECKER: How long have you been the president and CEO?
SHARI COATNEY: That whole time.
JOE REINECKER: What gets the president and CEO of SKIL fired up in the morning?
SHARI COATNEY: Knowing that I make a difference in people’s lives by providing the services we provide. Also, I get fired up when I see that someone else is not taking care of someone’s needs. We’ve all got to do our part. I think that’s where the “people matter” mantra comes in. We all have a responsibility—every single one of us. People need to figure out that if the government isn’t going to do what they need to do, then it’s up to us. You’ve got to get out and vote. You can change the mindset of those people by not voting or promoting for them. If they know you’re vote is at stake, then they’re going to care a whole lot more about what you think. Also, I think we’ve all got to reach into our pockets, as well. I don’t care if you can only give fifty cents or five bucks. I don’t care who you give it to. It can be SKIL, it can be your local church, it can be the school system. Give it to a teacher to buy extra pencils for students. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that we have a responsibility and we’ve got to remember to take our responsibilities seriously, whether it’s helping our elderly neighbor or volunteering at a local non-profit. Donate to your local food bank. We’ve all got to give more.
This week on Resource Central, Joe follows up with Chanute Independent Living (IL) Coordinator Sharon Traylor about a woodworking class she established for customers last month.
The class is open to anyone in the area who would like to participate. To get involved they should contact Sharon at (620) 431-0757.
He tools around the kitchen in his bulky electric wheelchair, and though former Los Angeles Times contributor David doc Robertson is no longer a promising fleet footed athlete or talented musician/vocalist, he is always the showman. In his YouTube program, Kickin It in The Kitchen, Doc dishes out useful information and displays his unorthodox culinary talents.Robertson, who is a quadriplegic with little use of his hands, demonstrates how he manages around the kitchen, not specifically designed for wheelchairs.
Everything he does on the show is different from other chefs on camera. He uses techniques that he is still perfecting to show others in his situation useful cooking tips that will help build independence. He especially targets the young disabled men and women starting new lives since the wars in the Middle East.Doc suffered a spinal cord injury during a high school football practice in his senior year. His show offers practical tips to anyone in a wheelchair or with difficulty using their hands.
The culinary tips show that just about anyone can prepare tasty meals. David doc Robertson is also an author of fiction and non-fiction with several books available on Amazon Kindle. His latest book, I Tried to Box With God is a personal memoir, that he released in October of 2015. Before Kickin It in The Kitchen, he worked as a college counselor at the University of Arizona until the recession forced the university to close his department. This action culminated 25 years as an educator during which he also taught English, Spanish, tennis, and had a 123 - 49 record as a high school basketball coach. Hall of Fame basketball player, and special guest Marques Johnson, went home smiling and full after sampling Doc's Scrambled Eggs and Shrimp Surprise.
LATEST EPISODE HERE:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvicSCuCXz4 CONTACT: David doc Robertson, 213-926-0762
Summary by Andy Rausch
On this week's edition of “Resource Central,” Joe Reinecker talks with Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDL) manager Darren Sorrick (Parsons branch) and SACK President Scott Ball. They discuss their newly-established Parsons chapter of SACK (Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas). The organization encourages and teaches people to speak up for themselves and to obtain the highest possible level of independence. Their vision is that all Kansans with intellectual or developmental disabilities will have the opportunity to express opinions and make choices in order to create a life where they are treated with the same dignity and respect as persons without developmental disabilities.