by Andy Rausch and Joe Reinecker
This year, like always, Southeast Kansas Independent Living will be having an annual meeting and Christmas dinner. This year the event will be held on Friday, December 7th at the Parsons VFW 704 (105 E. Main). It will begin at 5:30 pm and last until 11. According to SKIL CEO/President Shari Coatney, this year's keynote speaker will be Mike Oxford, the former director of the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center and Kansas ADAPT organizer.
“Mike is about to retire, so we asked him to be our speaker, which is pretty exciting,” said Coatney. “He's a good speaker and he's good at getting people fired up.”
Last year was the first time the dinner featured a 50/50 drawing. It proved to be a success and they are doing that once again. “Hopefully this year it'll be even bigger and better,” Coatney explained. “That's fun and exciting, and it's also a way for us to help pay for the dinner. And somebody will get to go home with some extra cash in their pocket.” There will also be door prizes awarded.
As usual, there will also be an awards ceremony for deserving individuals. “We have a very diverse group accepting awards this year, and that's exciting,” said Coatney. “The board members had so many worthy nominations for people to be recognized this year, and that's a really cool thing.” In addition, there will also be elections for the Board of Directors at SKIL.
Coatney says the main point of the dinner is to provide people who don't get out of their homes very often to have a place to go and have fun at the holidays. “It offers the opportunity for socialization to people who don't normally get that,” said Coatney. “A lot of people with disabilities don't have many opportunities to let their hair down and have fun and be accepted for who they are and whatever their abilities and limitations are. They can dance and not feel uncomfortable dancing in a wheelchair.”
This year's caterer will be Mom's Best, and they will be serving roast beef, potatoes, a vegetable, and roll. “We've had them cater the past few years and it always works out smoothly,” said Coatney. “The food is good and they take care of everything, such as serving food and cleaning up afterwards.”
The event is open to SKIL customers, employees, and the general public.
A cafe featuring robot waiters remotely controlled from home by people with severe physical disabilities opened Monday in Tokyo's Minato Ward.
Five robots, 1.2 meters tall, controlled by disabled people with conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a form of motor neuron disease, took orders and served food at the cafe that opened on a trial basis.
The cafe, which will be open until Dec. 7, deploys OriHime-D robots that transmit video footage and audio via the internet, allowing their controllers to direct them from home via tablets or computers.
"The robots enable physical work and social participation," Kentaro Yoshifuji, CEO of Ory Lab Inc, the developer of the robot and one of the three organizers of the cafe, said at a press conference.
Ten people will work shifts for 1,000 yen per hour.
The three entities, including the Nippon Foundation and ANA Holdings Inc., aim to launch a permanent cafe by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
The organizers said Monday they have also formed a partnership to further promote employment assistance for disabled people by utilizing remotely controlled robots.
"Avatar robots have potential...for transportation and communication," ANA Holdings chairman Shinichiro Ito said.
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