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ATK Holding Free Training Sessions, Participants to Receive FREE iPad!

Assistive Technology for Kansans is giving away free iPads! Interested? If so, you must participate in training sessions on how to fully utilize the iPad and it's apps in your daily life. Active Living, Better Health & Employment through Technology is a project funded by UnitedHealthcare. The purpose of the project is to help people with disabilities learn to use technology to develop job skills, get a job, and monitor health conditions. ATK staff will work with 15 individuals with disabilities in each region (Wichita, Parsons, Oakley, Salina and Topeka) for a total of 75 people. Individuals who are selected will receive an iPad Air2, case, and charger and be will be required to attend four workshops teaching them how to use the iPad to achieve employment, health, organization, and other goals. Individuals who attend all 4 workshops are allowed to keep the equipment. If you would like to apply to participate in the workshops, you need to: 1) have a disability or chronic health condition; 2) have an employment goal; and 3) be willing to attend all 4 workshops held in your region.

For more information on how to participate, contact Stuart Jones at 866-666-1470 or


KAN-DO Logo Design Contest!

A group of like-minded people are in the process of creating a statewide organization called Kansas Advocacy Network- Disability Organization or KAN-DO. KAN-DO members will have a Facebook page where all members can speak freely. KAN-DO members will have a monthly phone call to discuss the latest involvement issues for people with disabilities and good old fashioned peer sharing. Most important this will be a card carrying disability community organization. To get started- they need a logo! Are you a graphic designer or drawer? Learn more about this contest


State Rehabilitation Council Searching for New Youth Members

Are you a youth with a disability in Kansas who uses Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) services? Would you like to have more input on the services that VR provides? The Kansas State Rehabilitation Council is currently looking for new youth members to serve on their Council. If you are interested in serving, please contact Carrie at KYEA for more details at or 785-215-6655.

Families Together Inclusion Award Seeking Nominees

There are many Kansas parents, educators and community members who understand that, given supports and services, individuals who have disabilities can be valued, contributing members of our families, schools and communities. Families Together, Inc. invites you to nominate an individual who helps families and communities to maximize the abilities of children with disabilities for their annual Inclusion Award. To nominate, share their story. All you have to do is send a letter or an email to the Topeka Families Together office. The award recipient will be recognized at the Families Together "Together We Can Learn" Conference on March 9, 2013. Nominations must also include a photo of the nominee for possible use in the conference brochure.

Nominations must be received by the Topeka Center of Families Together by noon, February 15, 2013.


Upcoming "Plan It, Live It" Webinar Directed Toward Youth with Disabilities

Are you a young person with a disability in Kansas? Then you need to learn about this new, exciting, online program that will help you learn about what YOU need to be independent and how YOU can take charge of your life! Join KDHE for a webinar on December 11 called "It's YOUR Life, SO...Plan It, Live It! Helping YSHCN Become Independent!"

It's tough to figure out the crazy world of transition. Youth and young adults have a million different things to think about, with school, college, work, social life, family life, and everything in between. KDHE wants to provide opportunities that can help youth and young adults as they navigate the different types of transition. In this webinar, you will learn about an online program that youth and young adults can use to help them learn about what they want for their future, plan for their transition, practice and master skills needed to successfully transition, and much more. This youth-directed program consists of 6 "Lessons" that can help you learn about who you are and who you want to be.

Join the webinar to learn this valuable resource to support youth and young adult independence! Details of the webinar are below:

Date: Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Time: 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM CST

To sign up, visit

View the Flyer   Word version   PDF version

Stakeholder Meetings Held Across State... Youth Voice Needed!

Individuals and organizations interested in employment and independent living services for Kansans with disabilities are invited to participate in a series of regional Stakeholder Meetings that continue to be hosted in December 2012 by Kansas Rehabilitation Services (KRS) Director Michael Donnelly. 

Our state needs to know about issues facing youth with disabilities! Consider attending an upcoming meeting in your area!

KRS is a division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families.  KRS is responsible for vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs for Kansans with disabilities. During the meetings, KRS Director Michael Donnelly will discuss the four strategic goals of KRS. 

Participants will be asked to share:

  • Their knowledge and experience related to the needs of Kansans with disabilities
  • Their views about the strengths of KRS programs and services
  • Suggestions on ways to improve programs and customer service
  • Opportunities for greater collaboration with other stakeholders and organizations

Input received will become part of the agency's comprehensive statewide needs assessment and will be used to update strategic goals and state plans.

Each of the meetings will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. There are three meetings left across the state:

December 4, 2012 - Chanute
3rd Floor, Memorial Hall, 101 S. Lincoln

December 11, 2012 - Garden City
Bunker Room, Kansas Department for Children and Families Service Center, 1710 Palace Drive

December 12, 2012 -- Hays
Expeditions Room, Sternberg Museum of Natural History, 3000 Sternberg Drive

All meetings will be held in accessible locations and real-time captioning will be provided.  To request a reasonable accommodation (such as a sign language interpreter, Braille, large print, other special media or any other accommodation), please call toll-free 1-866-213-9079 or toll-free TDD 1-800-432-0698 at least 10 days before the meeting you will be attending.


New Website Launched for Kansas Youth with Disabilities

The Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) program at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Center for Child Health and Development at KU Medical Center have recently collaborated to develop a website to assist Kansas youth with disabilities, parents and professionals in planning for the transition of entering adult life. The Building a Life website is a guide that can help families and professionals assist young adults with disabilities in moving from dependence to independence in their community. The site will provide knowledge of the services available and how to access them, regardless of where the person is in the transition process.The information on this site will assist with decisions ranging from where young adults can live, how they will make a living, hot to manage their own health, and more!

Check out the website at

Kansas Voices for Mental Health Seeking New Advocates

Do you have an interest in advocating for people with mental health disabilities? The Kansas Mental Health Coalition (KMHC) has launched a new and exciting project to expand the opportunities for mental health advocacy for Kansans and they are inviting participation from community members to help expand this network.

Earlier this year, KMHC established the Grassroots Advocacy Network: Kansas Voices for Mental Health. They are seeking to recruit and train additional mental health advocates from among consumers, family members, service providers and others interested in the mental health field. The goal is to build a statewide network of Legislative District Advocates to influence public policy through their state and local elected officials. Advocates will establish relationships with their state and local elected officials and will receive key mental health policy updates and action alerts.

Involvement with this project is also open to all persons interested in supporting issues for the broader disability community.

There are four upcoming opportunities to join this project in 2012:
Saturday, October 13th, Independence, Kansas
Saturday, October 13th, Wichita, Kansas
Thursday, November 8th, Shawnee, Kansas
Friday, November 16th, Dodge City, Kansas

To participate, you must fill out and submit an application. For more information, contact Rick Cagan at 785-233-0755 or e-mail


Celebrity Wheelchair Softball Event Coming Up in Topeka

Kansas Accessible Sports and the American Legion Post 421 are sponsoring an upcoming celebrity wheelchair softball game in Topeka. The game will take place on Saturday, September 15, starting at 8:30 am, and will be held at the new accessible softball diamond in Gage Park. Come out for some softball fun, drawings, food, and more! For more information, contact Ray Petty at View the flyer


Assistive Technology Expo to be Held in September in Wichita

The annual Assistive Technology Expo is right around the corner and will be held in Wichita this year! The Kansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association & Assistive Technology for Kansans invite you to "Imagine the Possibilities with Assistive Technology" at this year's ATK EXPO 2012. The Expo will be held on September 27 and 28 at the Wichita Hyatt- Century II.

Over 90 exhibitors will be present and will demonstrate current devices including:

  • Communication devices
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Hearing aids
  • Vans with adapted lifts & hand controls
  • Memory aids
  • Power & Manual mobility devices
  • Standing wheelchairs
  • Eye gaze access for computers
  • Adapted hunting, fishing & sports equipment
  • Screen readers & video magnifiers
  • Ceiling lifts
  • Devices for medication management, dressing, cooking
  • Service and advocacy organizations

The Expo is open to the public and general admission is $10. To request FREE tickets, contact ATK at 620-421-8367 or your regional AT Access Site at 800-KAN DO IT (800-526-3648). OR, if you are part of the KYEA family and you would like some free tickets, please contact us at 785-215-6655.


Mobility Company Awarding "Local Heroes" with New Wheelchair Accessible Vans

Do you know someone who needs a wheelchair accessible van? Kansas Truck Mobility is proud to announce their participation in the inaugural NATIONAL MOBILITY AWARENESS MONTH, sponsored by the National Mobility Dealers Association, to be celebrated throughout the month of May 2012. As part of this campaign, three fully customized wheelchair accessible vans will be awarded in the US and Canada to a Local Hero. A “Local Hero” is a person with a disability, a caregiver or a veteran, who has a mobility disability.

In order to be considered, the person must submit their story online. Voting begins April 1 and every individual can vote one time each day. Share your story and vote online at the Life Moving Forward website.

People with Mobility Disabilities Needed: Study to Focus on Inaccessibility of Homes

Are you a wheelchair user who would like to share your experiences in trying to visit the inaccessible homes of family and friends? A local researcher at the University of Kansas and friend of KYEA, Dot Nary, is conducting a study on the effects of invisitable homes on wheelchair users. To be eligible to participate, you must:

  • be a wheelchair user who cannot walk at all
  • be aged 18-65
  • have used a wheelchair for five or more years
  • have access to a phone
  • be willing to talk about your experiences in visiting family and friends.

Participation will involve:

  • being interviewed by phone for about one hour and
  • providing feedback on a summary of the interview.

A small stipend will be provided--$20 for completing the interview and $10 for giving feedback on the summary. Women and people living in rural areas are especially needed. As the study is being conducted by phone, people living in any state are eligible.

If you are interested in participating, contact Dot at 785-864-0631 or


Upcoming Rally to Focus on Freedom from Unsafe Restraint and Seclusion

Do you have concerns about unsafe seclusion and restraint of youth with disabilities in our schools? Then attend this rally to be held tomorrow! This rally is for all advocates concerned about seclusion and restraint of youth with disabilities in our public schools.

Tuesday, February 21 at 1:00 PM.
ROOM 159-S in the State Capitol Building Press conference & Rally to promote HB 2444!

House Bill 2444, which would require minimum standards of proper treatment of students with disabilities when seclusion and restraint becomes necessary, will die in the House of Representatives; Thursday, February 23rd, unless it is taken up by the House as a whole and passed out favorably to the Senate.

The Big Tent Coalition is planning a media event on Tuesday, February 21 at 1:00 at the Statehouse. This bill is very important and represents years of effort to get to this point.  This bill will ensure to the families and students with disabilities in our state that there are minimum standards for this kind of treatment of school kids.

If you would like to attend, or want more information, contact Mike Oxford at 785.224.3865 or Rocky Nichols at They are also looking for parents or students with disabilities to speak at the rally. If you are interested, contact Mike or Rocky. For more information, see the press release.


Employment First Summit II to be Held in April

The Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities and Working Healthy are gearing up for the 2nd Employment First Summit in Kansas! If you believe in competitive, integrated employment for people with disabilities, then this is the conference for you. This year's Summit will be held on April 4-5 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. It will feature national and regional experts who will share best practices and strategies designed to establish integrated, competitive employment as the first priority for Kansans with disabilities. The opening keynote speaker will be David Hoff, with the Institute for Community Inclusion, and the closing session will be lead by the Employment First Oversight Commission.

All stakeholders are encouraged to attend including: people with disabilities, family members, service providers, Community Developmental Disability Organizations, Centers for Independent Living, Mental Health Centers, educators, rehabilitation counselors, employers and policymakers. Advanced registration is requested as the Summit is limited to the first 400 registrants. The summit fee is $50 per person and is refundable upon attendance. Scholarships are available for people with disabilities and family members on a first-come, first-served basis. For information, call 785-296-2608.

View the Information Packet

Print the Summit Scholarship Application


Kansas CEC "Yes I Can" Awards to be Held in Topeka

Join the Kansas Council for Exceptional Children as they honor accomplished Kansas youth and special educators! The 3rd Annual Kansas CEC "Yes I Can" Awards will be held on October 1 at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Topeka. Community members are encouraged to attend. This event works to raise awareness of the important progress being made by students and the crucial role of Special Education Professionals in Kansas. To register for the Luncheon, visit the Kansas CEC website.

There is also still time to nominate a student or a Special Education professional for a "Yes I Can" award! The nomination deadline is September 17, so submit your nomination today. To submit your nomination, fill out the online Yes I Can nomination form or Special Educator of the Year form.

Governor Brownback Offers Internship to College Students in Kansas

Do you want to learn about what happens on a daily basis in the Governor's office? Do you have an interest in politics? Then, consider being an intern in the Governor's office! The Governor’s Intern Program is a select internship experience designed to give high-quality college students (juniors and senior undergraduates, graduate and law students) the opportunity to see the inner workings of state government and contribute to growing and improving the State of Kansas. This program places students in each of the divisions of the Governor’s Office (Appointments, Communications, Constituent Service, Legal, Lt. Governor, First Lady, Budget and Policy) and in each of the Cabinet level agencies (Labor, Commerce, Revenue, Transportation, Agriculture, Adjutant General, Aging, Highway Patrol, Administration, Securities Commission, Corrections, Juvenile Justice Authority, Social and Rehabilitation Services, Wildlife and Parks, and Health and Environment) and the Kansas Department of Education.

The objective is for interns to be directly involved with the upper-level workings of the office or agency.  Students will be exposed to the real decision-making processes and engaged in projects that utilize their skills, abilities, and enthusiasm.  The internship program is designed to be an educational experience - not just a “copy and collate” internship.  Students are expected to work with the respective colleges and universities to develop learning objectives and obtain academic credit, certification or recognition.

The intern program places 8-10 interns in the Governor’s Office and 1 intern in each agency. The program will operate in three time frames:

  • Spring (January – May)
  • Summer (May - August)
  • Fall (August – December)

Students interning in the Fall and Spring are expected to work at least 16-20 hours per week and summer interns are expected to work at least 30 hours per week. To apply for an internship, all interested students must submit an application. The application deadlines are November 1, 2011 for the Spring Term and March 15, 2012 for the Summer Term.

For full details, visit the Governor's website. You may also contact the Director of Constituent Services, Shawn Cowing, at 785.368.8500 or


Share Your Story- Advocate for Continued Funding of Centers for Independent Living

Have you used the services at your local center for independent living? Do you want to help make sure that these services continue to be available? Then this is your chance to advocate for continued full funding of CIL's across Kansas. Legislators at the statehouse are currently reviewing the SRS budget, which is where CIL's receive funding. In order for these essential services to not be cut, our legislators need to hear from us! If you have been positively impacted by your local CIL and would like to share your story, contact your legislators in the next few weeks. To find the names of your legislators, visit the KS Legislature website. Contact your legislators today!

SACK Conference Coming Up in April

The annual Self-Advocate Coalition of Kansas Conference is quickly approaching and will be held on April 1-3, 2011. It will be held at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Topeka. This conference is an opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to meet, share, and learn from each other and experts in the field. Conference participants have the opportunity to choose from 15 different workshops during five breakout sessions. A motivating keynote speaker and other activities are also offered at the conference. This year's theme is "Risky Business." All registrations are due by March 20, 2011. To learn more about the conference, visit the SACK website.

Midnight Farm Offers Summer and Spring Break Camps for Youth with Disabilities

Midnight Farm is a 40-acre working farm specializing in country-style services for people with disabilities. The Farm provides NARHA Therapeutic Horseback Riding classes and a "Green Thumb Project" horticulture program with greenhouse and gardens tended by persons served and volunteers.Midnight Farm is located in rural Douglas County and features a 22,000-square-foot, multi-purpose facility that includes a rustic meeting lodge, a bunk house, an equestrian facility/ arena, and a barn for horses and farm animals. Outside the barn are paddocks, areas for petting the animals, trails for walking and horseback riding, a fishing pond, a small playground, a butterfly garden, and picnic areas.

Midnight Farm is currently offering two different camp opportunities:

Horsin' Around at Midnight Farm- All Abilities Summer Horsemanship Camp
August 1-5, 2011
This camp will be from 10 am to 4 pm daily and is open to children of all abilities, ages 8 –16. Camp is limited to 16 campers so don’t wait to register and risk missing out! Get to know the horses, learn horse safety, grooming, saddling and of course, RIDING!! Low camper/staff ratio plus specially trained volunteers and horses will allow them to meet the specific needs of each person to maximize their camp experience!

Midnight Farm Day Camps for Children with Autism
March 14 – 18, 2011
May 31 – June 3, 2011
July 25 – 29, 2011
CLO’s 2011 day camp program for kids with autism, ages 6 to 18, is now open for registration. Camp at Midnight Farm includes activities like crafts and sing-along’s, outdoor/indoor games, animal petting in the adjoining paddocks, and supported horseback riding in the large indoor arena.

For more information about either of these camps, visit the Midnight Farm website or call 785-218-9358.

AMC Theaters in Kansas City Offers Sensory Friendly Films to Youth with Autism

Are you a youth or a parent with autism? Do you struggle with attending shows at movie theaters because of your disability? Well, AMC Theaters in Kansas City has just the thing for you and your family... sensory friendly films! This program provides an opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing! The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with a child who had autism for a special screening at a theater in Maryland. More than 300 children and parents attended the first screening.

AMC Theaters is now offering the program at many locations nationwide, including Kansas City! The following are participatory theaters: Barrywoods, Independence Commons, and Studio 30 with IMAX. For more information, contact the individual theaters or visit the AMC website.


African American Youth Day Coming Up in March

The Kansas African American Affairs Commission is hosting African American Youth Day: Quest to be the Best on March 22, 2011 in Topeka. This event is being coordinated by one of our very own KSYLF alumni, Shawn Bryant, and he is hoping to see some Kansas youth with disabilities attending this exciting day! This leadership event will expose youth to the political process in Kansas, allow them to meet their elected officials, and serve as an excellent networking opportunity with other youth and community leaders. The aim is to empower youth with the motivation to become change agents in their community through community service and civic engagement.

The coordinators are also searching for people to serve as volunteers for this event. Volunteers (in sets of two)  would host of group of young children and chaperon them throughout the day.

All youth participants and coordinators are expected to fill out an application in order to participate. Both types of applications are due on March 11, 2011. See below for the fact sheet and applications for this event. For more information, contact Shawn Bryant at 785-296-4874 or

African American Youth Day Fact Sheet
Youth Participant Application
Volunteer Application

Systems in Sync to Host Health Care Transition Workshops

Systems in Sync is partnering with Families Together to host eight regional workshops on health care transition for parents, professionals, and youth with special health care needs. Beginning February 22, Systems in Sync will once again head out across Kansas to meet with and hear from consumers. Only this time, they are bringing you a great workshop on health care transition as well as a chance to share your experiences and voice your concerns! They will host two (2) workshops in each city. One of these is dedicated for youth with special health care needs and the other is for parents, families, and professionals. Both workshops are at the same location, just separate meeting rooms. See dates and locations below:

February 22 – Wichita, KS
Independent Living Resource Center

February 24—Pittsburg, KS
Pittsburg State University, Overman Student Center (Inaugural and Sunflower Rooms)

March 7—Concordia, KS
Cloud County Community College (Rooms 251 and 258)

March 8—Lawrence, KS
Lawrence Union Pacific Depot

March 9—Atchison, KS
Atchison SRS Center

March 15—Garden  City, KS
Salvation Army

March 16—Colby, KS
Colby Community College, Campus Bookstore (Rooms 106 and 108)

March 17—Hays, KS
Fort Hays State University, Memorial Union (Rooms 222 and 226)

For more information, visit the Systems in Sync website or contact Heather Moore at or 785-296-4747.


Community Conversation to be Held in Kansas City

A community conversation for people with disabilities will be held in Kansas City, MO on March 3, 2011. The event will take place at the Bruce R Watkins Cultural Heritage Center. It will provide an opportunity for representatives from the community to gain a better understanding of the issues that individuals with disabilities face. The agenda will include speakers and a discussion panel that will focus on building a plan of action for community integration for persons with disabilities to enjoy leisure and recreation activities throughout the greater Kansas City area. Special guests will include Kathie Snow with Disability is Natural and Sue Fleming of the Recreation Council of Greater St. Louis. Please contact Jennifer Omillian if you have any questions related to this event and to R.S.V.P. no later than Friday, February 25, 2011 at 816-718-1845 or See the event flyer for further details.


Creators of New Calendar Seeking Kansas Artists With Disabilities

The creators of a new work incentive calendar are searching for artists in Kansas who are willing to have their work displayed in the calendar. Two calendars are being created to share work incentive facts and social security information. These calendars will also display artwork from Kansas artists with a variety of disabilities. If you are an artist in our state who would like to share your creations, then this is the opportunity for you! Contact Shannon at for more information.


Families Together Announces Together We Can Learn Conference To Be Held in February

The 2011 Families Together "Together We Can Learn" Conference has been set for February 26! Registration materials are now available and parents, youth, and advocates are encouraged to sign up. The conference will take place at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Topeka from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm. It will feature a full schedule with a variety of speakers, including a keynote from John Maag from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Breakout sessions will cover topics including technology for all learners, positive behavior support, planning for the future of a youth with a disability, medical homes, accommodations for students with cognitive disabilities, sexuality for youth with disabilities, and more.

Early bird registration for this conference is $35 for a family member or a person with a disability, $45 for a professional, and $25 for a college student with an ID. The Early Bird Registration deadline is January 26, 2011. To register, visit the Families Together website.

Families Together is a statewide organization that serves families of children and youth with exceptional needs.


Systems in Sync Announces Call for Investments on Youth Programs

The “Systems In Sync” grant through Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs (CYSHCN) has developed a Call for Investment (CFI) for individuals, agencies, or organizations in Kansas to assist in the development or expansion of activities supportive of the grant objectives. This competitive application process will result in 2 awards of $15,000 each to be awarded to those working to promote healthy, productive, and independent adult lives for youth/young adults with special health care needs. The submission deadline is December 31, 2010 at 1:00 PM. Learn more about this opportunity by visiting the Systems in Sync website.

Topeka Autism Support Group Seeks Planning Committee Members

An Autism Support Group in Topeka is planning for their upcoming carnival and picnic to be held in April. They are seeking youth, parents, and community members who are interested in joining the planning committee for this event. The group is hoping to have a very successful event and needs more people to help bring it together. This planning committee will meet weekly in Topeka. For more information or to join the planning committee, contact Mari White at

KU Seeking Research Study Participants with Mobility Disabilities

Do you have a mobility related disability? Are you interested in helping to enhance independent living and full participation of people living with disabilities? Then participate in this research study! The Research and Training Center on Independent Living at the University of Kansas is conducting a study that aims to increase community participation for people who experience some type of mobility-related disability. The benefits to participants include training in the use of a PDA, financial incentives of up to $200, and support to explore increased participation in communities. 

To be eligible for participation, you must: have a mobility-related disability as a primary disability, be between the ages of 18 and 65, commit to 18-12 weeks of involvement, not work full-time, live within a 30 mile radius of Lawrence, and be interested in becoming more involved in the community. This study seeks to enroll four to six participants within the next six weeks.

To participate in this study, contact Chiaki Gonda at 785-864-4095 or email at


Partners in Policymaking Recruits New Participants

Do you want to get more involved with the disability community? Do you need more knowledge on how to affect laws and advocate for people with disabilities? Then attend the upcoming Partners in Policymaking class! Partners in Policymaking is a recognized advocacy training program that many Councils on Developmental Disabilities have sponsored for several years. The program teaches people to be community leaders. It is designed to provide information, training, resources and skills building to people with disabilities and their immediate relatives so that they may obtain the best available services and advocate for a better life. The program is open to a limited number of interested people at no cost. For more information, contact the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities toll free at 877-431-4604.

KDHE Seeks Feedback on Physical Education and Recreation

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment wants to hear about your participation in physical education and recreation! Please take a few minutes to complete this survey. Your answers will be used to:

  • guide a conversation at a State conference of Physical Education teachers. 
  • work to get more Parks and Recreation communities involved in adaptive sports.

Your answers will make a BIG difference in how the State of Kansas provides access to physical education for ALL students. 
Fill out the survey

Conference to Focus on Family Employment Awareness Training

Join Families Together, Beach Center on Disabilities and the Kansas Health Policy Authority as they explore the three KEY principles of the Family Employment Awareness Training Project!

  • Everyone with a disability can work when provided with the appropriate supports and services.
  • Everyone with a disability can have a job that is both enjoyable and satisfying.
  • Everyone with a disability will always make more money working than by relying on public benefits alone.

Trainings are currently scheduled for Kansas City, Topeka, and Hays. The trainings feature speakers Rud Turnbull, Wendy Parent, Judith M. S. Gross, as well as a panel of other experts and young adults who are employed. To learn more, visit the Families Together website.

Join a wheelchair basketball team for junior athletes!

Parks & Recreation of Topeka and Kansas Accessible Sports, Inc. with support from the Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital and the Combined Federal Campaign will be sponsoring a wheelchair basketball team for junior athletes, ages 12 thru completion of high school. Practices have begun and junior practice is at 5:30 every Wednesday thru March (except during holidays).  Most weeks, the junior team practice is over by 7:30 or 8:00 at the latest.  The practice location is at the Garfield Community Center in Topeka. Wheelchair sports are for people with mobility impairments – but players do not need to be regular wheelchair users! For more information, contact Ray Petty at 785-841-8558 or or Jarvis Stirn at 785-550-7179 or


National News


NFB Offering Scholarship to College Students with Visual Impairments

To recognize the achievements of students who are blind, the National Federation of the Blind annually offers college students, who are blind, in the United States and Puerto Rico, the opportunity to win one of thirty national scholarships worth from $3,000 to $12,000.

All applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • must be legally blind in both eyes, and
  • must be residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, or Puerto Rico, and
  • must be pursuing or planning to pursue a full-time, postsecondary course of study in a degree program at a United States institution in the 2013 scholastic year, except that one scholarship may be given to a person employed full-time while attending school part-time, and
  • must participate in the entire NFB national convention and in all of its scheduled scholarship program activities, July 1 through July 6, departing on July 7.

In addition to a scholarship, each winner will receive assistance to attend the 2013 National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, providing an excellent opportunity for high-level networking with people who are blind in many different professions and occupations.

For more information, visit the NFB website.

NASA Providing Internship Opportunities to Students with Disabilities

NASA is looking to increase the number of students with disabilities pursuing science, technology, engineering, and math careers through their internship programs. NASA has a two-percent hiring goal for employment of people with disabilities and internships are a good way to get experience. Students can apply for summer internships now! Summer 2013 internships run for ten weeks for college students and six to eight weeks for high school students, from early/late June through early/mid-August. College students receive a stipend of $6000 and high school students $1800. As an intern, you are responsible for your own housing. NASA internships for college students are also offered during Spring, Fall and Year Long Sessions.

NASA has internships for high school students and for rising freshmen through doctoral students in the fields above. A rising freshman is a high school student who has been accepted to an accredited institution of higher learning, i.e., a college or university, at the time of the internship. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, with a minimum GPA of 2.8 for college and 3.0 for high school . High school students must be at least sixteen years old at the time the internship begins.

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday, March 15, 2013, and they will begin extending offers to students as early as February 2, 2013. For more information, visit the NASA Internships website.

Video Contest to Award Creative, Homemade Assistive Technology

Does Assistive Technology (AT) play a role in your life? Do you use an assistive device to get things done, or to make your life easier? Have you modified a device to make it work better, or come up with your own device? Then show off your AT! Share your ideas and win some cash doing it.

The purpose of the contest is to showcase the creative ways people with disabilities use assistive technology in their daily lives. Many people with disabilities use assistive technologies to accomplish tasks they otherwise could not. Sometimes they modify a commercial device or improvise their own device to meet a specific need. By sharing your ideas and the solutions you created, you can motivate and inspire others who are looking for solutions of their own.

Five finalists will be selected from submitted videos and posted to the AT Network Channel on Youtube. Online voting by the public will determine the winner. The winning video will be featured on the new AT Network website.

The winning Video will receive:
1st Prize- $400
2nd Prize- $150
3rd Prize- $75

Videos can be submitted starting February 6 and online voting ends at midnight on February 28, 2013. For full details, view the entry form.


AAPD Announces Summer Internship for Students with Disabilities

AAPD is pleased to announce that they are now accepting applications for the 2013 Summer Internship Program. If you are currently an undergraduate, graduate, or recent graduate and self-identify as a person with any type of disability, you are eligible to apply. The application is available on the AAPD website:

AAPD's Summer Internship Program is a ten-week experience offering participants an opportunity to work in either the public or private sector. Interns receive a stipend, travel to and from Washington DC, and accessible housing. Please feel free to contact with questions.

"If I Had a Trillion Dollars" Film Festival Seeks Submissions

The annual If I Had A Trillion Dollars national youth film festival is currently seeking submissions. They ask youth, ages 10 - 23, "If YOU had the power to choose, how would you spend 1 trillion dollars? What could that money do for your family, for your community, for your nation, or for the world?" 

The contest can be approached in any way that inspires you. For past festivals, people have written skits and songs, mini-documentaries, infomercials, etc.

Submit a video today! The submission deadline is January 11, 2013. For more information, visit

Competition Focuses on Young Singers with Disabilities

Are you a young person with a disability who has a talent for singing? Then this is your opportunity! The Kennedy Center invites entries from musicians ages 14 to 25, with a disability, for the 2013 International Young Soloists Competition. The competition is open to: international and domestic applicants; individuals and ensembles of two to five members; and musicians of all genres. Winning musicians receive $2,500, professional development opportunities, and a performance at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.

The entry deadline is January 15, 2013. Guidelines, an application, and more information is available at


TCM Channel to Feature Disability-Related Movies in October

If you are a movie fanatic, then be sure to check out the TCM channel throughout the month of October! Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will dedicate the month of October to exploring the ways people with disabilities have been portrayed in film. On behalf of Inclusion in the Arts, Lawrence Carter-Long will join TCM host Robert Osborne for The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film. The special month-long exploration will air Tuesdays in October, beginning Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. (ET).

The Projected Image: A History of Disability in Film features more than 20 films ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s. Each night’s collection will explore particular aspects, themes, or types of disability, such as blindness, deafness and psychiatric or intellectual disabilities. In addition, one evening of programming will focus on newly disabled veterans returning home from war. In a first for TCM, all films will be presented with both closed captioning and audio description for audience members with auditory and visual disabilities.

For a full schedule of the movies that will be shown, view the press release online.

Yes I Can! Awards Seeking Nominations of Youth with Disabilities

The Yes I Can! Awards are here again! Consider nominating a young person with a disability who is achieving great things in their community. The Yes I Can! Awards recognize the achievements of children and youth with disabilities. Thousands of children and youth have been recognized since the program's inception in 1982.

CEC will select 21 winners for their outstanding achievements in:

  • Academics  
  • Arts  
  • Athletics  
  • School and Community Activities  
  • Self-Advocacy  
  • Technology  
  • Transition

Candidates must be 2–21 years of age when they are nominated. The nominee must also have an identified disability.

Nominations are due by October 9, 2012. The nomination form and more information can be found on the Yes I Can! Award website.

Award to Recognize Outstanding Individuals in the Disability Community

The 2013 Paul G. Hearne American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) Leadership Awards are seeking applications! This year, AAPD will once again recognize outstanding individuals personifying leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large. 

Two individuals, emerging as leaders in the cross-disability civil rights movement will each receive $10,000 to help them continue their progress as leaders and further connect their work with the national grassroots of AAPD. The recipients of the 2013 Hearne Leadership Awards will also have an opportunity to meet and network with national disability leaders at the AAPD Leadership Gala in Washington, DC in March 2013.  U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply.

Submissions are due November 5, 2012.  For more information and to apply visit the Paul G. Hearne Award website.


Low-cost Computers Available for People with Visual Disabilities

Do you need a computer for someone who is blind or visually impaired? What do think about spending only $100? Yes, it is possible! A group in Texas is giving away fully accessible computers at the low price of $100. Here is your chance to have a powerful computer with software allowing people who are blind or visually impaired to fully participate in the digital experience. Each computer comes complete with monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers, and all associated cables. It also comes with preloaded software. Software includes: Open Office for word processing/book keeping, NVDA screen reader, demo version of Window-Eyes (will function for 30 minutes before computer restart), and 60 day demo version of ZoomText.

For a donation of only $100, the Texas Center for the Visually Challenged will send your newly refurbished computer right to your door. As of this morning, they have sent over 4,100 computers to visually impaired individuals. Computers can only be shipped to the United
States or Canada.

Call Lee Mann at 214-340-6328 for full information.


President Obama Takes Time to Hear from Youth with Disabilities

President Obama recently met with various youth with disabilities in Washington, DC to hear about issues of importance to them. These youth are currently serving as interns for the American Association of People with Disabilities. A video was compiled to capture this unique meeting. View the video on the White House Blog.


New Video Challenge Combats Bullying

A new Stop Bullying Video Challenge has been launched to help stop bullying across the United States. Bullying can affect everyone- those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Federal Partners are launching this video challenge to help prevent and end bullying in schools and communities across the nation.

This challenge invites youth ages 13-18 to create a 30 to 60 second video that will inform and motivate youth to prevent bullying, and that promotes an environment where kindness and respect for others matters. Make your video creative, informative, smart, and entertaining! The focus should be on how youth can be more than a bystander, rather than a video that solely explains why bullying is wrong.  Review the judging criteria for this challenge to learn how the winning videos will be selected.

The goal of the contest is to create an impact through accepting videos that demonstrate:

  1. Peer-to-peer communication
  2. Positive messaging, and
  3. Promotion of the website.

This video contest is open to U.S. middle and high school students aged 13-18 at the time of entry. Contestants may be individuals or groups (including but not limited to middle and high schools located in the U.S., and youth advocacy groups incorporated in and located in the U.S.). Contestants must submit their videos between August 7 and October 10, 2012.  Each contestant must complete and submit the required information on for the video entered into the Contest.

For full details, visit the Stop Bullying Video Challenge website.

National Youth Leadership Network Accepting Governing Board Applications

The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is accepting applications for their Governing Board. NYLN is a membership-run organization. This means that their members lead the work that they do. Governing Board members are NYLN's organizational leaders. They make decisions for NYLN and are often the leaders in NYLN projects.

Examples of GB responsibilities include:

  • Serving on at least one committee;
  • Representing NYLN in coalitions and at conferences;
  • Building collaboration with other organizations;
  • Recruiting new members; and
  • Finding ways for NYLN to be active in your local community.

The requirements for serving on the Governing Board are:

  • Be between 14 and 28 years old
  • Have a disability
  • Live in the United States or its territories
  • Have a passion for social justice, and
  • Believe in and practice full-inclusion.

NYLN is a cross-disability organization. This means they are made up of people with all kinds of disabilities. Anyone with any kind of disability is welcome to apply.

The new deadline for 2013 governing board applications is Sunday, September 30 for e-mailed applications.  However, if you wish to snail mail your application it MUST be postmarked by Saturday, September 29. Applications can now be snail mailed to the address provided on the application or e-mailed to which is also provided on the application. Visit the NYLN website for more information.


Youth Video Contest Challenges Perceptions of People with Disabilities in the Workplace

Can YOU promote positive change and challenge misconceptions about the skills and talents of people with disabilities? Then create a video and submit it to the Campaign for Disability Employment's "What can YOU do?" Video Contest! And check this out- there is a category specifically for youth!

The Campaign for Disability Employment’s “What can YOU do?” Video Contest is an opportunity for YOU to promote positive change by illustrating that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. The contest is looking for short videos that are informative, inspirational, surprising, serious, or even funny. The possibilities are endless and film makers are encouraged to be creative! The point is to make people think and challenge their opinions about people with disabilities and employment. How you do this is up to you.

This national video contest promotes the talent and skills that people with disabilities bring to America’s workplaces and economy, in support of the CDE’s national effort to increase the employment of people with disabilities.

The videos must be about sixty seconds in length. Youth category entries may be submitted by individuals or groups but not on behalf of corporate entities or organizations. The first place winner will receive an Apple® iPad®, and cash awards will go to second place winners.

For full details, visit the video contest website. But create fast... the deadline for submissions is this Friday, March 30.

White House Internship Program Still Open

The fall White House Internship Program is still open and available to interested applicants. White House Interns have the chance to work with government officials in offices such as the Office of the First Lady, the Office of the Chief of Staff, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the National Economic Council and the Domestic Policy Council. Assignments vary dependent on an intern’s office, but interns conduct research, attend meetings with officials, write memos and requests, participate in speaker series’ with senior staff members, engage in service projects, and staff and plan events. By dedicating their time, talents, energy and service, interns become part of the White House team and work to improve the community and the nation.

For full details on the program, please visit There you can find a detailed application process, a timeline with deadlines, and all the departments that participate in the program.  A complete application includes: short answers, two essay questions, a one-page resume, and two letters of recommendation. The deadline to apply for Fall 2012 is April 1, 2012 so apply now!

Youth Transitions Fellowship Offers Job Experience for People with Disabilities

The HSC Foundation and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) are accepting applications for the 2012 Youth Transitions Fellowship. This opportunity is a paid, year-long fellowship position at AAPD beginning in May 2012. The Youth Transitions Fellow will gain exposure to youth programs serving people with disabilities and will have the opportunity to facilitate collaboration among internship, fellowship, and apprenticeship programs based in the Greater Washington, DC area. This fellowship is ideal for a person with a disability who has an interest in youth career transitions and employment solutions.

Completed applications must be received by AAPD before 5:00 PM EST, Monday, April 30, 2012. To learn more, visit the Youth Transitions Fellowship website.

Annual NCIL Conference Set for June in Washington, DC

Have you ever wanted to attend a national conference for people with disabilities? Then this is your chance! The dates have been set for the annual National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) Conference and registration is now open. The 2012 Conference will be held on June 11-14, 2012 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. The theme for this year's conference is "30 Years of Advocacy: And miles to go before we sleep." The 2012 Conference celebrates NCIL’s 30th Anniversary! Over the past three decades, the disability community has grown from a handful of advocates and the Centers they represent into a force of thousands of people with disabilities from CILs and SILCs in every state and territory of the U.S. This June, people from all corners of the nation will converge in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the history and accomplishments of the disability community, while also preparing for tough economic times ahead.

All people are invited to attend this conference, including youth and seasoned advocates. The conference agenda includes a wide range of breakout sessions related to the disability community, advocacy, and independent living. It also includes the annual March to the Capitol and Rally at the Capitol, as well as exhibits, celebrations, and regional caucuses.

To register for the conference, visit the NCIL Conference website. The registration rates are as follows: Youth- $110, NCIL member- $265, and non-NCIL member- $385. Register now to attend this exciting conference!

New Program Makes Wheelchair Accessible MV-1 Vehicle More Affordable

Recently, the Vehicle Production Group LLC (VPG) announced its Cash for Conversion Clunkers incentive program, which will provide consumers a $3,500 allowance towards the purchase of a new MV-1 vehicle. The MV-1 is the only vehicle built from the ground up as a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. It features a fully-deployable side ramp, can accommodate up to six occupants – including wheelchairs and motorized scooters – and offers an environmentally-friendly compressed natural gas engine.

Under the Cash for Conversion Clunkers program, consumers can trade in a used "conversion" vehicle –a standard vehicle that has been modified to accommodate wheelchair passengers – and the dealer receives the appropriate allowance from VPG to be applied toward that customer's purchase of a new MV-1.

The Cash for Conversion Clunkers program begins on March 1, 2012 and ends on May 31, 2012 and will be in affect at all VPG dealerships nationwide. Visit the VPG Autos website for complete information on the program and for a complete list of VPG dealers.


Do Something Awards Seek Youth Who Want to Change the World

What would you do with $100,000? If you said "change the world" then has the power to make it happen. Do Something is celebrating young people 25 and under who are tackling social issues in their communities. Up to five finalists will be featured on the VH1 Do Something Awards and get $10,000, but only one will win the grand prize of $100,000 on live TV. Applications are open from now until March 1, 2012, so apply now, or nominate someone! For full details, visit the DoSomething Awards website.

New Helpline Number to Assist People with Disabilities Before Flying

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced the launch of TSA Cares today, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions, prior to getting to the airport. Travelers may call TSA Cares toll free at 1-855-787 2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

Since its inception, TSA has provided information to all travelers through its TSA Contact Center and Customer Service Managers in airports nationwide. TSA Cares will serve as an additional, dedicated resource for passengers with disabilities, medical conditions or