Archived News

Below is archived KYEA news from 2006 to 2008. Scroll down to view KYEA's journey through the years.



KYEA Seeking Nominations for Justin Cosco Scholarship Award
KYEA is currently accepting nominations for KSYLF alumni who are eligible to receive the Justin Cosco Scholarship Award. This award is given out each year to a KS Youth Leadership Forum alumni who has demonstrated progress toward their goals and growth as a leader.

The following are requirements to receive this award (each nominee must meet one or more of these requirements):

Be a KSYLF Alumni from the years of 2001-2007. (required)
Have demonstrated leadership skills and accomplishments.
Be in the process of completing and/or have completed the KSYLF Personal Leadership Plan.
Have used community resources to pursue leadership goals.
Be willing to participate in post KSYLF organizations/activities.
Alumni can either nominate themselves or be nominated by someone else. Nominations are due by April 1, 2009. One winner will be chosen and notified by May 1, 2009. The winner receives many benefits including a scholarship to the 2009 Kansas Disability Caucus, a plaque, recognition at the 2009 KSYLF Mentor Luncheon, and more! 



ADAPT Accepting Applications for 2009 National Youth Summit
The National ADAPT Youth Summit is currently accepting applications for the 2009 Summit. This year's gathering will be held on April 26-30, 2009 in Chicago, IL. The week will be focused on "Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Supreme Court's Olmstead Decision." Young people with disabilities, who are between the ages of 18 and 30, are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2008.

Participants will experience the following:

Meet disability rights activists of all ages.
Learn more about ADAPT and its issues.
Learn how ADAPT organizes campaigns.
Practice nonviolent direct action to create change on issues that matter to YOU and your community.
What is ADAPT? It is a group that organizes the disability community and uses civil disobedience and similar non-violent direct action tactics to achieve its goals. ADAPT focuses on promoting services in the community instead of putting people with disabilities in institutions and nursing homes. 



Summer Internships in Washington, DC Offered for Students with Disabilities
The American Association of People with Disabilities is currently searching for college students with disabilities to apply for summer internships in Washington, DC. The two internships available are the MEAF-AAPD Congressional Internship and the Microsoft-AAPD Information Technology (IT) Internship. Accepted candidates will spend the summer in Washington, DC working either in Congressional offices or the IT Divisions of Federal Government Agencies.  Roundtrip airfare, accessible housing, and a living stipend will be provided to each intern.

Hosted by AAPD and sponsored by the Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, the AAPD Congressional Internship Program welcomes all sophomore and junior applicants with disabilities to apply. Selected interns will have the unique opportunity to work on Capitol Hill for members of Congress.

Hosted by AAPD and sponsored by the Microsoft Corporation, the Microsoft-AAPD Congressional Internship Program encourages undergraduate students interested in pursuing careers in Information Technology to apply. Selected interns will have the unique opportunity to work in various agencies in the executive branch of the Federal government.

All internship applications are due by January 9, 2009. To learn more about these internships, visit the website below. You may also contact the AAPD National Programs office at 1-800-840-8844 ext. 22 or via email at



Calling All Artists! Submit Your Work to the Creative Horizons Art Contest
The American Association of People with Disabilities is looking for artists with disabilities to submit their work for consideration in its Creative Horizons Art Contest, which recognizes artists with disabilities for their creative and innovative visual work. The winning artwork will earn the artist $500 plus the contest winner’s piece will be the featured artwork of AAPD’s 2009 Leadership Gala, AAPD’s prestigious annual award ceremony which recognizes leaders in the disability community. The artwork will be featured on the event’s invitation and program, and will be prominently displayed at the event, which will be held March 4, 2009 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Contest applications must be postmarked by December 15, 2008.



Union Station Exhibit Demonstrates Visual Disabilities
Union Station Kansas City is currently hosting Dialog in the Dark, a unique traveling exhibit that demonstrates living with a visual disability. Dialog in the Dark is a groundbreaking new Exhibition where guides who are blind or visually-impaired groups on a life-changing journey. The Exhibition encourages teamwork, communication, trust, and understanding. Dialog in the Dark is not an ordinary exhibit - it's an experience that awakens senses, challenges prejudices, and deepens a sense of self-awareness as participants are led through a series of fully-darkened galleries that replicate everyday environments.
This exhibit will run through Sunday, March 29, 2009. It is located at the caliber of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Bodies Revealed in the Bank of America Grand Gallery. Tickets are limited. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged, as tickets must be reserved for specific dates and times.



Survey Conducted on Documenting Learning Disabilities in High School
A national online investigation is being conducted on documenting learning disabilities for students transitioning to college. This survey is being conducted by the University of Connecticut. It will gather the largest amount of data about LD documentation for high school students in transition. Any high school student who has a learning disability may complete the survey. All responses are kept confidential and never linked to your name or school. All survey participants may be eligible to receive one of five $20 gift cards. Questions can be directed to Joseph Madaus at or 860-486-2785.



Bilingual Website Provides Resources for Latinos with Disabilities
A unique, bilingual English-Spanish website is now available and provides resources and information for Latinos with disabilities. Proyecto Visión is a bilingual project to connect Latinos with disabilities to employment opportunities. This project has recently begun a new focus on disabled youth, expanding its outreach to young people with disabilities from culturally diverse backgrounds. The Proyecto Vision website has lists of scholarships for students with disabilities, information about internship opportunities, and a newsletter discussing important issues for people with disabilities and profiling those who have successfully fulfilled educational and/or career goals.





KYEA Searching for Delegates to the 2009 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum
It's that time again! The dates have been set for the 2009 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF), and we are searching for high school students with disabilities who have an interest or potential for leadership.

The 9th Annual KSYLF will take place on June 16-20, 2009 at Washburn University in Topeka. During the forum, delegates will enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment! Through various large sessions, delegates will hear from community leaders on such topics as disability history, advocacy, goal setting, leadership, assistive technology, and much more. Students will also have the opportunity to share life experiences, goals, and ideas during breakout sessions with small groups. By week’s end, all delegates will have stated their future plans and career goals in their very own Personal Leadership Plan. They will also participate in activities such as a Day at the Capitol, mentor luncheon, barbecue, recreation session, talent show, and a dance!

All students who are interested in attending the KSYLF must meet the following criteria:

reside in Kansas
have a disability as defined with the Americans With Disabilities Act
be in the 11th or 12th grade as of December 31st of the current year
have demonstrated leadership potential in school and the community
Students must fill out an application that will be reviewed through a competitive selection process. About 30 – 40 delegates will be selected to attend. The application deadline for the 2009 forum is December 15, 2008.



National Youth Leadership Network Publishes Fall Newsletter
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) has published their fall issue of the Youth Empowerment Press newsletter. This issue is dedicated to the topic of relationships and sexuality for people with disabilities. To read the newsletter, visit the NYLN website (see link below).



Learn More About the Legislative Process Through Meetings Across the State!
Would you like to learn more about the legislative process and how you can have an impact on laws and decisions in our state? Then attend an upcoming training in your area! The Kansas Mental Health Coalition and Kansas Commission on Disability Concerns are sponsoring meetings in various cities in Kansas to help people understand how the legislative process works. Topics will include the rights of people with disabilities, steps in the legislative process, how to have an impact on legislators, and an overview of important mental health issues for the upcoming legislative session. A panel of actual legislators will be available to answer questions.

Legislative meetings will be held on the following dates:

Friday, November 14: Garden City  
Thursday, November 20: Topeka  
Friday, November 21: Wichita  
Monday, December 1: Independence  
Monday, December 8: Hays
Space is limited at each site. If you would like to attend, contact Sheli Sweeney at or 785-234-4773.



Upcoming Keynote Speech on Growing up with Autism
National AgrAbility is inviting young people with disabilities and their families to attend an upcoming presentation by Temple Grandin. Temple is a person with autism who has a Ph.D. in Animal Science, is world renowned for her design of low stress livestock handling facilities, and is an author on a variety of topics. She will be speaking on the topic of growing up with autism, her perspectives and advice to young people with disabilities, and strategies and successful supports for people with autism and Asperger's. The dinner and keynote address will be on Monday, November 10 at 6:00 pm. It will take place at the Hyatt Regency in Wichita. The dinner and keynote is only $55 per person. Youth with disabilities, parents, educators, and those working with people with disabilities are encouraged to attend. To register, visit the AGRABILITY WEBSITE. For more information, contact Sheila Simmons at




Scholarships Available for Upcoming Conference on Disability and Community Service
There are many people with disabilities across the state who are actively involved in community service and volunteering. An upcoming national conference will focus on greater inclusion of people with disabilities in community volunteersim. The National Conference on Disability Inclusion and National Service will be held October 16-18, 2008 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, VA. The purpose of this conference is to bring together members from the national service network and the disability community to focus on issues related to actively getting people with disabilities into national service and community volunteerism. The conference theme will be "Acting Today to Shape the Future." If you are a person with a disability and you have a great interest in volunteering in the community and encouraging others to do the same, then this conference is for you!

There are even scholarships available to help pay for travel and lodging costs. The National Service Inclusion Project has available a number of (up to) $1000 scholarships for individuals with disabilities who wish to attend this conference. If you are interested or would like to recommend someone that would benefit from attending this conference, please send your or their name, along with contact information and a brief reason why this person should attend, to by October 8, 2008. Scholarships are available on a first come first served basis. To register for the conference or for further information, visit You may also contact NSIP at 888-491-0326 (voice/TTY) or with any questions.




New Transportation Planning Committee to Visit Local Cities
Do you have an interest in improving transportation options in Kansas? Then here is the opportunity for you to do something about it! Governor Kathleen Sebelius recently announced the creation of a transportation task force called “Transportation Leveraging Investments in Kansas” (T-LINK). This group will be developing our state’s next transportation program. The T-LINK task force will develop recommendations for improving all forms of transportation for the future of our state. Transit needs for people with disabilities will be a large part of the discussion of this new transportation program. In order to get feedback and ideas from the public, staff from KDOT and members of the task force will be travelling the state in September to assess needs through Local Consult Meetings. These meetings will take place in Ulysses, Hays, Hutchinson, Abilene, Topeka, Olathe, Wichita, and Pittsburg. People with disabilities are definitely encouraged to attend. To see when a meeting will be in your town, visit the T-LINK WEBSITE. Additional information and continuous updates are also on this website.




3rd Annual DeaFest Right Around the Corner
KLDHH and KAD will be hosting the 3rd annual DeaFest on Saturday, September 27 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The event will be held at Heartspring Conference Center in Wichita. It will be free and open to the public. This year's DeaFest will include workshops, food, exhibits, raffles, a silent auction, and more! There will also be a "Celebrate Asli" performance and a movie showing at 3:00 pm. For more information, send an email to




Bring Disability History and Pride to Your School Today!
As another school year quickly approaches, KYEA is gearing up to start scheduling the Disability Heritage Project (DHP) in local classrooms. The DHP works to bring disability history and pride into the schools. KYEA staff are available to come and present to students of all ages about a variety of topics. Students learn what leaders, laws, and movements paved the road to the freedom of our future. They also learn what it means to be proud of one's disability and the disability community. KYEA will speak to elementary, middle school, high school, and college aged groups, as well as people with OR without disabilities. Community groups, companies, and organizations are also encouraged to schedule one of these trainings. KYEA will cater each presentation to the audience.
Do you know of a group who would benefit from this presentation? Then bring the Disability Heritage Project to your area today! To obtain a cost estimate and schedule a presentation, CONTACT US.


NYLN to Host Teleconference on Dating and Sexuality
Save the date for the upcoming teleconference and webcast, “Let’s Talk About Sexuality!” presented by the National Youth Information Center of the National Youth Leadership Network on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 at 8:00PM Eastern. The teleconference will focus on such topics as dating, marriage, reproductive issues, safety, etc.


Rhonda L. Basha Civic Engagement Scholarship Available
The Rhonda L. Basha Civic Engagement Scholarship is available to a Washington, D.C. intern who worked or is working to advance disability policy and/or disability empowerment in addition to utilizing their new knowledge gained at their internship to give back to their community. Awards will be provided in $500 increments. Qualifications of this scholarship are:

A college student (with or without a disability) working, in part, on disability policy and/or disability empowerment during their internship; and
Participated in an internship in Washington, D.C. during 2008.
Must be between 17 – 30 years old.
The deadline to apply is September 30, 2008.


AAPD Seeks Emerging Leaders for Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award
The American Association of People with Disabilities is once again recognizing those outstanding individuals who personify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to and for the disability community at large. Three individuals, who are 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 2009 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 2009. U.S. residents with any type of disability are eligible to apply. The deadline is September 30, 2008.


Assistive Technology Expo To Be Held in October
Assistive Technology for Kansans will be hosting an AT Expo in Wichita next month. The Expo will be held on October 1-2, 2008 at the Century II Convention Center in Wichita. National and regional presenters will focus on assistive technology devices and services in education, employment and community living settings. The Assistive Technology Expo Hall features over sixty providers and organizations demonstrating a full range of assistive technology devices.


NAMI To Hold Annual Mental Health Conference in October
The National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI) of Kansas is currently accepting registrations to their annual conference to be held in October. The conference, entitled "Standing Up for Mental Health: Making Our Voices Count," will take place on October 10-11, 2008. It will be held at the Savior Pastoral Center in Kansas City, KS. The conference will include a legislative forum, keynote presentations, workshops, and a discussion on strengthening the NAMI organization. Conference registrations must be received by September 26, 2008.




Kansas Youth Leadership Forum Proves Successful for 8th Year in a Row
KYEA recently welcomed 18 new alumni into the family! These 18 youth from across the state recently participated in the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum. The 2008 KSYLF was held June 17-21 at Washburn University in Topeka. For the 8th year in a row, KSYLF proved to be a great success with lasting memories, new friendships, and the development of many youth leaders. The theme for this year's Forum was "Own Your Dreams. Make Your Mark. Leave Your Legacy."


Fund Available to Purchase an Accessible Vehicle
Do you need some financial assistance to purchase an accessible vehicle? Are you a youth with a disability? Then this is the opportunity for you! The Disability Rights Auto Fund will select one young person from a rural area (preferred) who will receive approximately $4,500 in order to purchase or modify a vehicle. The goal is that this fund will make independence and employment possible. This fund is being sponsored by The National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL), and The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN), in collaboration with Yoshiko Dart. To apply or nominate someone for this award, a short application must be filled out with an essay on how an accessible vehicle will increase independence for the person. The winning applicant will be announced this month.


Free Viewing of "Music Within" to be Shown in Hutchinson
The Prairie Independent Living Resource Center along with the Hutchinson Public Library and the Hutchinson/Reno Arts and Humanities Council will sponsor a free showing of the theatrical film “Music Within” on July 23. The showing will be at 6:30 pm in the auditorium of the Hutchinson Public Library. This film is being shown to highlight July as Americans with Disabilities Awareness Month and note the 18th anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (July 26th). The film will be followed by a panel discussion concerning issues addressed by the ADA. “Music Within” is the true story of Richard Pimmental who in his career played a key role in the creation and passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. After losing his hearing due to his military experience in Vietnam, Pimmental returns home to deal with his own frustrations and doubts as well as trying to overcome the obstacles that existed due to the lack of acceptance and understanding of the disabled by society. For more information, call Annette Smith at 620-663-5441 #132 or Mark Rassette at 620-662-1280, or e-mail


Coalition for Independence Celebrates 20 Years in Kansas City
The Coalition for Independence is planning a 20th Anniversary Celebration on July 22-24 in Kansas City. The celebration is free of charge and will include open houses at both office locations, door prizes, a presentation by keynote speaker Geri Jewell, and an outdoor celebration with entertainment, food, music, and demonstrations for people of all ages.
VIEW A COMPLETE SCHEDULE  Warning! A new window will appear. 


National Youth Leadership Network Publishes Summer Newsletter
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) recently published their summer issue of "Youth Empowerment Press." The issue is full of voting topics and articles. It is also completely written by and for youth.




KASA Searching for Youth Board and Task Force Members
KASA wants YOU! The national organization, Kids As Self Advocates (KASA), currently has positions open on their Advisory Board and Task Force. They are searching for youth, between the ages of 12 and 24, to serve on their Advisory Board or Task Force. KASA is a national, grassroots project created by youth with disabilities for youth. KASA is for people who have leadership experience as well as for those who want to gain more leadership experience. If you are interested in applying for either the KASA Advisory Board or the KASA Task Force, please contact Naomi Ortiz, Project Director, at or 785-273-3398. To learn more about these opportunities, visit the KASA WEBSITE. The deadline to apply is June 13, 2008. 


Emporia State University Seeks Input on Transition
Would you like to share your transition story? Do you have suggestions on successful transition? Then complete this survey! The Great Plains ADA Center and Emporia State University are studying the services that students with disabilities receive as they “transition” from high school to adult life. The purpose of this survey is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of those services throughout Kansas.

Feedback is needed from the following groups to share information based on their experiences in their own local communities:
- Recent high school graduates with disabilities
- Family members of students and recent graduates with disabilities
- Regular and special education personnel
- Adult or youth service providers who work with individuals with disabilities
- Disability advocates
- Employers

A summary of findings from this survey will be shared with state and local agencies that are interested in improving services to students and young adults.




Delegates Announced for 2008 Youth Leadership Forum
The delegates who will attend this summer's Kansas Youth Leadership Forum have been announced. Twenty-two youth leaders in Kansas will come together to learn about leadership, advocacy, goal setting, disability culture, and so much more! READ THE PRESS RELEASE
Warning! A new window will appear.




KSYLF Selects Delegates for 2008 Summer Forum
The 2008 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum is right around the corner and this summer's delegates have been selected! We have chosen 22 youth leaders from across the state who will attend the 2008 Forum. The KSYLF will be held June 17-21 at Washburn University in Topeka. Congratulations to those youth who have been selected! Stay tuned for more details... 


NYLN to Hold Teleconference on Voting
Are you ready to vote in the 2008 election? Are you ready to show Washington and the nation, the power of the disability vote? If so, this is the event for you! The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) will be hosting a national conference call focused on the upcoming election. The teleconference and webcast will be on Tuesday, April 15, 2008 at 7:00 pm Central time. LEARN MORE 




February E-Newsletter Published
Our February issue of the KYEA E-Newsletter has been published! And it has a whole new look! READ IT NOW
Warning! A new window will appear.




KSYLF Still Searching for Motivated Young Leaders... Application Deadline Extended
Are you a youth interested in attending our 2008 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum? Did you miss our first deadline? You're in luck! The deadline to apply for the '08 KSYLF has been extended to January 31, 2008. We are still searching for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities who have leadership potential or interest. Our 2008 Forum will be held on June 16-21 at Washburn University in Topeka. The KSYLF is heading into it's 8th year serving students with disabilities across Kansas. The week-long Forum is a motivational leadership training designed to empower delegates to follow their goals, become strong leaders, and celebrate disability pride! Visit our KSYLF PAGE to learn more about the program and fill out an application.


KYEA Announces Executive Director Position Available!
The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy announces the availability of a job position within our organization. We are currently accepting resumes for the position of Executive Director.


Please send applications and resumes to PO Box 475, Topeka, KS 66601 or Any questions may be directed to this email as well. 




KYEA Announces Two Job Positions Available!
The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy has announced the availability of two job positions. We are currently accepting resumes for the positions of Executive Director and Office Assistant.
VIEW THE OFFICE ASSISTANT JOB DESCRIPTION  Warning! A new window will appear.
Please send applications and resumes to PO Box 475, Topeka, KS 66601 or Any questions may be directed to this email as well.


KSYLF Still Searching for Motivated Young Leaders... Application Deadline Extended
Are you a youth interested in attending our 2008 Kansas Youth Leadership Forum? Did you miss our first deadline? You're in luck! The deadline to apply for the '08 KSYLF has been extended to January 15, 2008. We are still searching for high school juniors and seniors with disabilities who have leadership potential or interest. Our 2008 Forum will be held on June 16-21 at Washburn University in Topeka. The KSYLF is heading into it's 8th year serving students with disabilities across Kansas. The week-long Forum is a motivational leadership training designed to empower delegates to follow their goals, become strong leaders, and celebrate disability pride! Visit our KSYLF PAGE to learn more about the program and fill out an application.


KYEA Has a New Address
The KYEA office has moved to a new location in Topeka. Our new mailing address is PO Box 475, Topeka, KS 66601. ALL MAIL should be sent to this address. Our in person address is 225 SW 12st St. in Topeka. Stop by and visit our new offices!




National Youth Leadership Network Looking for New Board Members
The National Youth Leadership Network (NYLN) is looking for youth leaders who would like to serve on their governing board. NYLN is a non-profit organization run by young people with disabilities. They empower all young people to reach their maximum potential. NYLN is very similar to the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy, except on a national level.

Applicants to the governing board must:

Be between 15 and 28 years old;
Have a disability;
Have leadership and advocacy skills.
In order to apply, you must fill out an application, which can be found at The application deadline is December 7, 2007. NYLN also wants you to spread the word! If you are already a member of NYLN, and you encourage other people to apply, then you will be eligible to win a $50 Target Gift card. This gift card will be given to the member who encourages the most people to apply. To be eligible for this prize, you must have found at least three members to apply. They must write your name on the application under the question that asks "Who asked you to apply?".

For more information, call 1-866-480-6565 or e-mail


Families Together Hosting Statewide Inclusion Conference
Is the topic of inclusion a passion of yours? Do you want to see young people with disabilities included in all aspects of life? Then attend the upcoming Statewide Inclusion Conference hosted by Families Together. The conference will be held on Saturday, December 8 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Wichita. Session topics will include inclusive practices, how to write IEP's, accommodations, transition, siblings of youth with disabilities, and more. There will also be exhibitors available throughout the day. Parents, school personel, community service providers, advocates, siblings, and, of course, youth, are all invited to attend. If you would like to attend the conference, ACT NOW! The registration deadline is December 1, 2007. To register or learn more about the conference, view the CONFERENCE FLYER. WARNING! A new window will appear.




Youth Leadership Forum Searching for Potential Youth Leaders
It’s that time again! KYEA is currently searching for potential youth leaders to attend our 8th annual Kansas Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities (KSYLF). The 2008 KSYLF will be held June 17-21 at Washburn University in Topeka. The KSYLF is a motivational five day forum in which a group of students gather to learn about leadership development and disability pride. During the forum, delegates enjoy a week full of learning, fun, friends, and, most of all, a new sense of empowerment!

All students who are interested in attending the KSYLF must meet the following criteria:

reside in Kansas
have a disability as defined with the Americans With Disabilities Act
be in the 11th or 12th grade as of December 31st of the current year
have demonstrated leadership potential in school and the community
Students must fill out an application that will be reviewed through a competitive selection process. About 30 – 40 delegates will be selected to attend. The application deadline for the 2008 forum is December 15, 2007.




November E-Newsletter Published
Our November issue of the KYEA E-newsletter has been published! READ IT NOW 


KYEA Celebrates 2nd Birthday!
It seems like just yesterday that the first Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF) was held. Now, eight years later, we celebrate the second birthday of the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA), which was born from the KSYLF. KYEA officially opened its doors on October 1, 2005, so last month, KYEA turned two years old! What was once a small program and vision is now a reality in the form of a full non-profit organization. Look around our website to see what we are all about. Also, be sure to read our TWO YEAR SUMMARY. 




DeafFest Coming Up in Wichita
The Kansas League of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and Heartspring are sponsoring an upcoming DeaFest in Wichita. The event will be on Saturday, October 13 from 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. It will be held at the Heartspring Convention Center in Wichita, KS. The event will include workshops on different topics, exhibitions, a silent auction, food, and door prizes. VIEW THE FLYER 


New Online Course About Violence Against People with Disabilities
IL NET is hosting an upcoming online course about violence against people with disabilities. The course will be held October 22 - November 9, 2007. Participants will gain a greater understanding of domestic violence and sexual assault to help people recognize, respond to, and prevent abuse. The target audience is center for independent living managers and board members, but anyone is welcome to join the course. The registration deadline is October 12, so sign up now. 


Webcast to Focus on Accessible Parking and Compliance Issues
Do you have an interest in accessible parking issues? Then this webcast may be for you! The Southwest ADA Center at ILRU will be hosting a Web cast on accessible parking and compliance issues. Aaron McCullough, attorney at law, will present the Web cast "All about Accessible Parking and Compliance," on Wednesday, October 10 at 2:00 pm CST. This Web cast will focus on solutions to accessible and compliant parking for employers, employees, and more.




KYEA Hosting "Youth Talk" in Garden City
The KYEA staff are coming to western Kansas! On Monday, September 24, KYEA, along with the Center for Independent Living of SW KS, will be hosting a “Youth Talk” in Garden City. So, what is “Youth Talk?” It is a chance to be involved in discussion and activities related to discovering who you are and who you want to become. Participants will learn more about KYEA and have the opportunity to chill with other youth with disabilities. Movies, skating (bring your own skates), and games will be available. Free pizza and drinks will be provided! So, who can come? If you are a youth with a disability who is 30 years old or below, then you are invited to attend. The event will be held from 5:00 – 8:00 pm at the Center for Independent Living of SW KS office (1802 E. Spruce St). If you would like to attend, please RSVP to Troy Horton at 620-276-1900 or View our YOUTH TALK FLYER for more information. We hope to see you all face to face when our van rolls through Garden City!


Important Announcement About Former KSYLF Website
You may have noticed that our KYEA website is expanding everyday and that we now have our Youth Leadership Forum section coming together. As most of you know, our old YLF website was located at Please note that we are now incorporating our YLF site into this existing KYEA website. From now on, if you would like information about the Youth Leadership Forum, please visit this site as your source of information. We are no longer affiliated with, nor do we endorse, any content relating to the site. On that note, we suggest that you will want to refrain from visiting this site as it now contains unwanted spyware and, possibly, viruses that can damage your computer. So please update your bookmarks with our WWW.KYEA.ORG website! The YLF section of this website is currently under construction, but we will be working on it in the coming months. In the meantime, take a look at our YLF ’07 page, complete with an overview and lots of pictures! 


KSYLF Volunteer Featured in Upcoming Barbershop Concert
Our very own, Tim Anderson (KSYLF Interpreter 02-07), will show off his singing skills during an upcoming Barbershop Concert. Tim is a part of the Cody Choraliers and they will be having their annual show this weekend on Saturday, September 22 in Leavenworth. Show times are 2:00 and 7:30 pm. Tickets are just $10. All proceeds will go towards the support of vocal music education in the public schools. Along with the Cody Choraliers, 3 Men & A Melody will also be singing in the show. Don't miss your chance to hear Tim sing in person! For more information, or to purchase tickets, contact Tim at or 913-306-4860.


Scholarship Available for Students with Autism
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) has announced the Schwallie Family Scholarship, to support qualified individuals with autism or Asperger Syndrome pursuing post-secondary education. READ ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP


Online Course Teaches About Olmstead Law
IL NET will be having an online course introducing the Olmstead decision and how it affects the community. Participants will learn about the background and significance of the U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision. They will learn if state and federal laws and programs really support the rights of persons with disabilities. They will also learn how the Olmstead law affects people with disabilities. Topics covered will include consumer directed services, as well as useful strategies for transitioning people from nursing homes to the community. LEARN ABOUT THIS ONLINE COURSE


Youth Advisory Committee Searching for New Members
The National Council on Disability Youth Advisory Committee is currently searching for new members. NCD's Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is a 12-member advisory committee that provides advice to NCD on disability-related issues affecting youth. Applications will be accepted from people between the ages of 16 and 25 at the time of application. Youth with a variety of disabilities, underrepresented diverse racial and ethnic groups, and representatives from around the country are encouraged to apply. READ MORE  




KYEA Undergoes Period of Transition
All of us go through transition periods in our lives. KYEA is no different. Transition equals change and our organization has had a large change occur in the past month. As of Monday, July 9, Brenda Eddy resigned her position with KYEA; she plans on exploring other opportunities. Brenda is a great person, a wonderful leader, and a friend to all of us. Her absence will not be forgotten.

Julia Fonseca is currently serving in the position of Interim Director. She has been with KYEA since its creation in 2005.

Through this period of transition, we will continue to have the youth of our state as our focus and hope to move towards an even brighter future. We thank all of you who have supported KYEA over the years.


KYEA Honored With Distinguished Service Award
KYEA was recently awarded the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award. This award is sponsored by EP Global Communications and Mass Mutual. The award honored KYEA for its competitive spirit and effort on behalf of the disability community. Julia Fonseca, Interim Director, and Martha Gabehart, Board Member, accepted the award during Disability Awareness Night at the Royals game at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium on July 26. Disability Awareness Night is a national program intended to increase awareness and support for the millions of Americans who have a disability in the United States. LEARN MORE ABOUT THE AWARD AND VIEW PICTURES


YLF Welcomes 26 New Alumni!
The YLF family is growing every year and we just added 26 more youth and 7 new volunteers to the group! The 2007 Youth Leadership Forum was held on June 12-16 at Washburn University in Topeka. Twenty-six youth with disabilities from across the state attended this year’s forum and created that familiar "YLF majic." All of the youth participants showed great leadership skills and truly bonded as a group. To our 26 new youth alumni and 7 new volunteers—welcome to the family! VIEW PICTURES AND OVERVIEW


Interested in Joining the KYEA Board? Board Positions Are Now Available!
Do you have a passion for the KYEA mission? Then consider serving on the KYEA board of directors. We are currently searching for youth and adults who will bring skills and commitment to our board. The KYEA board has two youth positions and two non-youth positions available at this time. Visit our CONTACT US page to learn more about this position and download an application.


KSYLF Alumni Attend Kansas Disability Caucus
The 2007 Kansas Disability Caucus was held on August 8-10 and approximately 14 KSYLF alumni were in attendance. The youth were able to attend sessions, network with other community members, share thoughts during a Youth Gathering organized by KYEA, and have their voice heard throughout the week. Congratulations to Jacob and Angie, YLF 2007 Alumni, who were chosen as the spokespersons for two separate Regional Caucus Groups. These two spoke in front of a crowd of 500 people! A big thanks to all of our alumni who attended the Caucus.


Part 1 of August KYEA E-newsletter Published!
Part 1 of our August issue of the KYEA E-newsletter has been published! This issue contains lots of KYEA updates, as well as local news that relates to youth with disabilities. Look for Part 2 coming to your Inbox very soon! To view our August issue (Part 1), visit our JUST 4 YOUTH! page.


Bring Disability History and Pride to Your School Today!
As another school year gets underway, KYEA is gearing up to start scheduling the Disability Heritage Project (DHP) in local classrooms. The DHP works to bring disability history and pride into the schools. KYEA staff are available to come and present to students of all ages about a variety of topics. To learn more about this program, visit our DISABILITY HERITAGE PROJECT page. Do you know of a group of students who would benefit from this presentation? Then bring the Disability Heritage Project to your school today! CONTACT US




KSYLF Selects 35 Outstanding Youth Leaders
YEA received 40 YLF delegate applications this year that met the criteria of participation. These applications were reviewed last week and 35 youth leaders were chosen to participate in the 2007 KSYLF! These chosen delegates were notified of their acceptance this week. Congratulations to all who were selected! We look forward to seeing you in June! For a complete list of selected delegates, see our FULL PRESS RELEASE.


April KYEA E-newsletter Published!
Our April issue of the KYEA E-newsletter has been published! Each issue is full of KYEA updates, as well as local and national news that relates to youth with disabilities. To view our April issue, visit our JUST 4 YOUTH! page.


Survey Drawing Winner Announced
Congratulations to Daniel Jayne for winning a $20 Target Card from KYEA! Daniel and several other KSYLF alumni participated in a Personal Leadership Plan follow up survey in December. By responding to the survey, alumni were automatically entered into a drawing for a prize. The responses we received were very positive. We have youth with disabilities in Kansas living their dreams and moving forward! Thanks to all who participated.


Vote for John!
John Deterding, YLF Alumni 2006, has been writing songs and has even entered some into online contests! Check out some of John's songs on the web. If you like what you hear, cast your vote for your favorite song. Check out JOHN'S SUBMISSION PAGE now!


Transition Resource Fairs Coming Up Around the State
If you are a high school student in Topeka or Lawrence who is looking to find resources in your community, then take the opportunity to attend an upcoming Resource Fair. Transition Councils in both Topeka and Lawrence have set dates for their local resource fairs. Details are below:


3rd Annual Shawnee County Resource Fair
Tuesday, April 10
4:00 – 6:30 pm
Whiting Fieldhouse at Washburn University (Topeka)
Other Details: The Shawnee County Transition Council is hosting this Fair to assist adults or families with children in discovering services and local resources available to them now and in the future. “Breakout” sessions will include a short presentation as well as question and answer time. Session topics will include the topic of Autism, Social Security Benefits, Vocational Rehabilitation, and CDDO’s.


7th Annual Douglas/Jefferson County Community Resource Expo
Wednesday, April 25
4:00 - 6:30 pm
Free State High School (4700 Overland Drive) in Lawrence
Other Details: This is an opportunity for individuals, families, and caregivers to meet with and gain firsthand information from area service providers, organizations, and support groups covering all types of disability related topics. Individuals can explore options and gather information to assist them in accessing services and planning for future needs as well as meet with others sharing similar needs in the Douglas and Jefferson County area. Information on services related to employment, independent living, higher education, financial planning, guardianship, respite care, social activities and many more topics will be available. Participating agencies will represent services available for individuals from birth to adulthood. Admission is free and open to anyone who has questions about disability or transition related services.


National Contest for Young People with Disabilities
VSA arts and Volkswagen of America, Inc. are sponsoring an art contest for youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 25. If you have a talent and interest in art, we suggest that you check out this contest. The competition, entitled “Driven,” is open to young artists with disabilities, ages 16 -25, living within the United States, who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability. There is no entry fee. "Driven" challenges artists to pinpoint the motivational force behind their artistic expression and to identify the catalyst that sustains their creative energy. Art must be an original work that has been completed in the last three (3) years. Eligible media includes: paintings, drawings, fine art prints, photography, computer-generated prints, and mixed media; must be presented in two dimensions. Artwork should not exceed 60 inches in either direction. Fifteen (15) finalists will be awarded a total of $60,000 in awards during an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill in September 2007, and artwork will be displayed in a nation-wide touring exhibition that debuts at the Smithsonian.

The deadline for the contest is July 6, 2007 (midnight, MST). For additional information and to download an application, please visit




New KYEA E-newsletter Published
Our February issue of the KYEA E-newsletter has been published! Each issue is full of KYEA updates, as well as local and national news that relates to youth with disabilities. To view our February issue, visit our JUST 4 YOUTH! page.

Good News for the Month!
YLF Alumni 2001, Deric Morrow, has been promoted at his job with ADT Security Service. Deric has been working with this company for over three years and has worked his way up the ladder with multiple positions in the company. He recently was hired for a Customer Relations Representative position in San Francisco, California and will be moving to there in February. A big congrats to Deric on this huge accomplishment! We are very proud of you!

Deric's story has prompted us to start a discussion of disability disclosure in the workplace. VIEW DERIC'S STORY AND DISCUSSION ON DISCLOSURE




YLF Delegate Application Deadline Extended
The deadline for delegate applications to the Youth Leadership Forum has been extended. The new deadline is January 15, 2007. View our UPCOMING YLF page for a printable application.




KYEA Featured in Kansas Connections
Kansas Connections, a publication of KU Medical Center, recently featured an article on the YLF Reunion / Focus Group. VIEW THE ARTICLE


Good News for the Month!
A 2006 YLF Volunteer recently received a large scholarship to Wichita State University. Casey Cantrell was awarded the Gore Scholarship, which is the largest scholarship given out in the state of Kansas. A big congrats to Casey on her accomplishment!




Youth Leadership Forum Application Deadline Approaching!
The deadline to apply for the 2007 Youth Leadership Forum is quickly approaching. All delegate applications are due by December 15, 2006. It's not too late to fill out an application and send it in. If you are a high school junior or senior who has a disability, then you may be eligible to apply for the YLF!

We are currently searching for commited, enthusiastic volunteers for our 2007 YLF!
Calling all former and potentially new volunteers! YLF is now accepting applications for volunteers for our 2007 Youth Leadership Forum. Do you have the skills and passion to facilitate groups and motivate youth with disabilities? Then consider serving as a volunteer at our upcoming YLF to be held next June.

Delegate and Volunteer applications are now online! Visit our UPCOMING YLF page for further information.


KYEA Website Gets a Makeover
Our website is currently in the process of being reformatted. Our new design is slowly coming together. Please check back often for updates and important news from the KYEA office.


Good News for the Month!
A local youth recently accomplished a large personal milestone. Heather Grace, of Topeka, recently completed 62.3 miles while handcycling for the Eastern Kansas MS 150 Bike Tour on November 24. Although Heather has quite a bit of experience with handcycling, she says that this was her longest ride yet! VIEW HEATHER AT THE 50-MILE MARK.

One of our very own YLF volunteers is a new daddy! Brian Ramsey, YLF Volunteer 02-04, and his wife, Amanda, are the proud parents of a baby boy. Clayton Alex was born on November 10, weighing 6 lbs 10 oz. Congrats to Brian and Amanda!


Internship Opportunities Available
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Foundation is looking for a graduate student, medical student, or experienced undergraduate student to work on a paper related to disabilities research. The internship is from approximately January 2 to February 9 with slight flexibility in start and end dates. Working in conjunction with the AMSA’s staff at the national office in Reston, VA the intern will research disabilities education, especially in the medical field, and will write a professional paper/proposal on the topic.

The qualifications for this position are listed below:
- Experience in literature review and research
- Experience and excellent skills in writing
- Understanding of topic area
- Understanding of the field of medicine
- Computer skills
- Mature, professional
- Self-starter
- Must be current and legal resident of the United States

This position is unpaid but free, local housing is provided if needed.
To apply, please send resume and short writing sample to Shadia Garrison, AMSA Foundation, 1902 Association Drive, Reston VA 20191 or email No faxes please.

The NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is currently offering a number of internships. The application process began on November 1 and will conclude on January 16, 2007. Applicants may apply to a number of different programs. The program descriptions are listed on the website and interested applicants should make their selection based on personal talents, qualifications, and interests. There is even a program specifically geared towards students with disabilities called ACCESS. For more information, contact Laureen Summers at 202-326-6649 or by email at To apply online, visit


November Issue of the KYEA E-newsletter Published
The November issue of the KYEA E-newsletter has been published! View the e-newsletter on our JUST 4 YOUTH! page.