The ICI Observer – Information for YOU!

Our Independent Connection Inc. Newsletters!  Now named, “The ICI Observer!”  Please go into the following links for issues:

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

November 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 6
May, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 5
April, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 4
March, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 3
February, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 2
January, 2019 – Volume 5, Issue 1
November, 2018 – Volume 4, Issue 9
October, 2018 – Volume 4, Issue 8
September, 2018 – Volume 4, Issue 7
August, 2018 – Volume 4, Issue 6

Independent Connection consumers – if you have worthwhile information you want to contribute or if you just want to know more about a particular subject, please let us know.  Call 785-452-9580 or talk to your Independent Living Specialist! 

(Previous issues upon request!)

Kansas Disability Caucus

We the People... Our Rights, Our Responsibilities, Our Lives!” … is the theme for the 2020 Kansas Disability Caucus – seeking Concurrent Session Request For Proposals during August 12th-14th, 2020 at the Capitol Plaza, Topeka, KS

The purpose of the Kansas Disability Caucus is to provide opportunities for Kansans with disabilities to learn, share, and provide solutions to issues faced by the disability community.

In 1988 ninety people attended the first Kansas Disability Caucus in Salina, KS. The outcome of these individuals coming together was a united charge to pass the first consumer directed personal care assistance program in Kansas. It has been common to have leaders in the disability rights movement, such as Ed Roberts, Andy Imparato, and Kelly Buckland speak at the Caucus in the past. One of the vital pieces of the KS Disability Caucus has always been to have participants divide into three regions where we gather their concerns on issues or barriers to their independence and potential solutions they may have. Another important part is the ability for participants to gain information about topics and issues occurring that affect Kansans with disabilities and our rights to live independently in our communities and make choices in our lives.

The 2020 Kansas Disability Caucus theme is We the People…Our Rights, Our Responsibilities, Our Lives! being held in Topeka, KS on August 12th-14th, 2020. On July 26, 1990 the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability,  was signed into law by George H.W. Bush. This year will be the 30th Anniversary of this very important law to millions of Americans with disabilities. When looking at before and after the ADA became law, many changes have occurred to improve life for people with disabilities. Physical and program access has advanced a great deal. There is much to celebrate! Although while celebrating the advancements, we must recognize all the barriers that still exist. Many people with disabilities are not given the freedom to receive the long term services and supports they need to live outside of an institutional setting. Many currently living in the community are not receiving what they need to be successful in living in their home. Individuals with disabilities still experience barriers in our communities that prohibit us from employment,  education, healthcare, shopping, travel, etc. There are other barriers to inclusion experienced by people with disabilities that are supposed to be protected by other civil rights laws that continue to have barriers, such as housing, and fall short of meeting our needs and complying with said laws.

The Kansas Disability Caucus believes the strength of the voice of the disability community falls back on the power of our VOTE at elections. The Caucus will be held right after the Primary Election, so we will need to push hard before the General Election in November. We must breathe power into the grassroots of our community to get people with disabilities and our supporters registered to vote, educated about the issues and solutions, and then get out the VOTE. The disability community is the largest minority in the country. We CAN make a difference if we VOTE!

The Kansas Disability Caucus for 2020 is hoping to educate participants about the civil rights of people with disabilities on an array of issues to be better informed of how to protect our rights. We are looking for information on programs and services that will improve the independence and freedom of Kansans with disabilities to be able to live inclusively in our communities. Our goal is for participants to be better informed and empowered to leave confident that the disability community can make a difference at the polls, starting with each of us, by using our voting power.

It is with these goals in mind that the KS Disability Caucus seeks proposals for sessions at our 2020 Disability Caucus. Presenters and facilitators are not exempt from registration fees. Presenters must register and pay for all days they plan to attend; presenters that attend only their session and no other events do not need to pay. The Caucus is unable to pay travel expenses or honorarium to any presenter or facilitator.

Our attendees expect, and learn best when provided with print outs of presentation slides and relevant handout materials. To increase education and the application of concepts, we strongly encourage presenters to provide handouts. All handouts must be available in accessible formats. Accessible formats include: Braille, Large Print (18 point bold), Audio (read aloud on USB), Electronic (plain text on USB), and Plain Language versions (Contact SACK for assistance at  janderson@thearcdcks.org). Learning sessions run for 75 minutes each.

Deadline for Submission is March 13, 2020. No proposals will be accepted after 11:59 p.m. Central time on this date.

The Caucus Board will carefully review each proposal and select those that are, as a whole, relevant to this year’s Caucus theme and are valuable to a cross-section of various participants, including individuals with all types of disabilities, disability advocates,  community based organization staff, and providers. The Caucus Board will choose with no preference or bias. When decisions have been made, you will be contacted by Lou Ann Kibbee. Please submit your proposal by email as well as any questions to Lou Ann Kibbee louannk@skilonline.com  with “Caucus Proposal” in subject line. The proposal submission form is below.

Concurrent Session Request for Proposal Form Deadline for Submission is March 13, 2020

CUSTOMER APPRECIATION AND OPEN HOUSE FEB. 14th 9-11am

Please join us for a customer appreciation event!! We will be giving away a few awards to some consumers who are successfully reaching all goals they set. We will be having snacks and light refreshments so please join us! Please RSVP if you can so we may have enough snacks for everyone!

Call at 785-452-9580 or email ic@indconnectinc.com

Can’t wait to see you there.

What Kansas Can Learn from Medicaid Expansion in Other States (June 2019)

Almost nine years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 36 states and the District of Columbia have expanded their Medicaid programs. Fourteen states, including Kansas, have not. This issue brief examines different state approaches to expansion, as well as enrollment and cost trends and the effects of expansion on health outcomes and state economies.
For more information, please click HERE.

Join the “See Us” Movement Today!!

There are 5.4 million Americans living with paralysis. Despite strength in numbers, our voices have become diminished by the barriers we face every day and our achievements are overshadowed by the misconceptions on what it means to live with a disability.

We are more than our injury or disability — we are a powerful community full of individuals ready to be seen for who we really are. That’s why we launched See Us, a movement to share ourselves, our experiences, and our stories with the world.

For more information and to participate, please click HERE.

Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), through its ePolicyWorks initiative, is currently hosting the Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue until Friday, June 21 to gather perspectives on Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act. We invite you to join the conversation and share your ideas and comments regarding local trends, experiences with transition, and visions for the future regarding Section 14(c) and the employment of people with disabilities.

To share your experiences and ideas, and to comment on ideas submitted by others, please click HERE.

If you or someone you know is not able to contribute to the Section 14(c) National Online Dialogue via this online platform, but would like to share ideas and comments, perspectives or experiences around Section 14(c), please contact ePolicyWorks@dol.gov or ODEP at 202-693-7880 for further assistance.

2019 SpinLife.com Innovation in Motion Scholarship Program

As the country’s largest internet retailer of mobility equipment, SpinLife is excited to offer the annual SpinLife Innovation in Motion Scholarship program designed to aid college students in their academic endeavors. The annual program will award one (1) $1,000 scholarship and one (1) $500 gift card to Spinlife.com and is open to students who are manual or power wheelchair users enrolled at an accredited 4-year institution.

This year’s theme is “Life in Motion”.

Tell SpinLife about your “life in motion”. This is an open-ended request. You can write a message – a poem, paint – anything that expresses what “life in motion” means to you – let your creativity guide you. The only limitation is that it must fit on one, (1) 8.5” x 11” piece of paper.

For more information and to download an application, please click HERE.