While KYEA provides many formal programs, we also provide many other services to youth with disabilities, the disability community, and the general public across our state. One of our core values is awareness; therefore, the majority of our other services relate to awareness for our youth, their parents, employers, teachers, professionals, and the general community. These other services are listed below.
Our staff are available to speak on a variety of topics!
Does your group need some education on disability topics, self-esteem, goal setting, and other empowerment topics? Then contact us, and we've got a team of speakers to add to your agenda. Our staff have the experience, knowledge, and passion to speak on a variety of topics relating to disability awareness and empowerment. Our speakers are available to do presentations on the following topics:
- Disability Awareness and Etiquette
- Disability History
- Advocacy (see Advocacy in Healthcare section)
- Goal Setting (1 session presentation)
- Goal Setting: Living Out Loud (2 session workshop)
- Youth Empowerment and Leadership
- Transition Topics
- Sharing of Personal Stories
- Other Youth or Disability Related Topics- Please contact us if you have a specific topic in mind. Our speakers are willing to adapt each presentation to the desired topic and audience, within reason. If we do not feel as if we have the appropriate knowledge on a topic, we will be happy to suggest other speakers in the community who would fit the desired criteria.
Are you a youth with a disability who would like to meet a successful adult with a disability? KYEA can work to connect you with this adult. Mentors provide support, encouragement toward your goals, and lots of information. KYEA can assist youth in finding a mentor who can provide all of these things. Mentors can live in the youth's town or share that youth's disability or even work in the career field of interest to the youth. You tell us your preferences and we will find a great mentor!
Taking others directly to the source who can provide an answer!
We realize, at KYEA, that we do not have all of the answers. Our state and nation is full of resources and organizations who can assist people with disabilities in a variety of ways and answer any questions that may arise. We are here to connect our youth and their parents, siblings, teachers, etc. to the appropriate organization in any given situation. We provide information on resources in two main ways:
- Contact us by phone or email and we will use our knowledge to connect others to the appropriate resource in the community.
- Web-surf on over to our Resources page of the KYEA website. This section contains a list of contact information for a wide variety of community organizations, as well as an extensive list of helpful website links.
No matter what information that you need, we will either answer your question or provide a connection to an organization who can answer your question. We can answer general questions or provide a resource on the following topics: independent living, community resources, mentoring opportunities, transition issues, state and national disability initiatives, and much more.
We facilitate youth involvement in local and national initiatives!
The disability community in our nation is comprised of many organizations. We make it a priority to not only introduce youth with disabilities in Kansas to these resources, but also provide frequent updates and opportunities from these organizations. KYEA is a member of many national organizations, such as the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL). We also maintain contacts with other national organizations such as the National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN), Kids As Self Advocates (KASA), the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), and more. Our goal is to maintain involvement with these organizations throughout the year by attending national conferences and subscribing to list serves. We then take this information back to our state and pass it onto our youth. We also try to take other Kansas youth to national conferences and encourage them to get involved in a variety of ways.
KYEA is also connected to many state organizations as well. We maintain a strong connection to inependent living centers throughout the state, as well as the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas (SILCK) and the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living (KACIL). Our staff works to represent the youth voice in Kansas by attending local meetings, conferences, and events. KYEA is represented at the Big Tent Coalition, the Kansas Disability Caucus committee, the Shawnee County Transition Council, and much more. We have a partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation, as well as with local Disability Mentoring Day events. We make a point of attending local disability events and representing young adults with disabilities in state initiatives. We encourage all of our youth to do the same.
We disseminate information on local and national initiatives to youth and their supporters in two ways:
- Publishing a quarterly e-newsletter (see E-Newsletters)
- Posting updates on our website as soon as they become available (see What's Up)
Advocacy, employment, and more!
Advocacy: KYEA staff are available to serve as advocates in one-on-one or group situations at school, work, or in a daily living setting. KYEA also advocates for issues facing youth with disabilities during the legislative session and encourages youth to tell their story for the Legislature as well.
Youth-Driven Organization: KYEA is about, and for, youth with disabilities. Not only are KYEA programs directed towards youth with disabilities, but the organization is youth-driven and youth are involved in decision making for the organization.
Employment: We maintain a strong connection to Vocational Rehabilition; therefore, we have a strong focus on employment. KYEA encourages youth with disabilities to set goals and explore career options. We work with youth across the state to achieve their future goals. We also provide feedback to VR on employment and transition issues related to youth with disabilities.
Future Expansion: The sky is the limit for the future of KYEA! We believe that there are many possibilities and many issues that can be further addressed in the lives of our youth. Because of this, we are always open to creating new programs and collaborating with other agencies and organizations in Kansas.