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First Quarter Wrap Up - 2020

Link to PDF: 2020 First Quarter Update

2019 Wrap Up

Happy Holidays! We are thrilled to share InterHab's success in 2019, and we are looking forward to 2020. 

Link to PDF: 2019 Wrap Up.pdf

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What I'm Thankful For

It's Thanksgiving week around the InterHab office. What a great time for me to pause and note what I give thanks for. 

I'm thankful that our state is turning the corner away from harmful policy that served to further marginalize the needs of Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A majority of the legislators we have interacted with believe that providing services to persons with IDD is a core responsibility of our government. I'm very thankful that we have legislators in office who want to make progress on these critical issues. 

I'm thankful for our governor, and her young administration, who seek to engage in collaboration with community service providers. The only way we will fix the critical issues facing the IDD system, such as shortages in our DSP workforce, is through a strong government/community partnership. 

I'm thankful for my InterHab team, who somehow amplify the skills of four into what feels like the efforts of a dozen. We are small but mighty, and our team's endless sense of optimism never fails to recharge me. I am very grateful that they have chosen to share their talents with the members of InterHab. 

Speaking of which, I'm thankful for each and every member of InterHab. Their dedication to serving Kansans with IDD is inspiring. As I've toured our members this year, I have been reminded over and over again of the innovation occurring across our state. Our members truly are mission focused in helping Kansans with IDD to live as independently as possible in their communities of choice. 

Finally, I'm thankful for my little family, which added a 7-pound, 5-ounce bundle of joy in May. Theodore is now almost seven months old. He's healthy and happy, and he's a constant reminder to be thankful for what I have been given in life. 

I hope you have a very happy Thanksgiving and I hope it gives you occasion to stop and consider what you have to be thankful for. We are all blessed in so many ways. 

Quarterly Workforce Roundtables

Family Voices are More Important Than Ever

The I/DD system in Kansas was built on a foundation of advocacy led by mothers and fathers of Kansans with disabilities. Those ardent and vocal advocates envisioned a world in which their sons and daughters could live independently in their community of choice. And they did so at a time when the most widely accepted form of "treatment" for persons with I/DD was behind the locked doors of institutions. 

In the decades since those pioneers first spoke up, the I/DD system has grown to provide supports applicable across the lifespan of persons with I/DD. All services are provided within the community with the overarching goals of independence, inclusion, integration and productivity. A true civil rights revolution.

However, the Kansas I/DD system is now challenged in ways not foreseen when those advocates began their work. The funding that once enabled I/DD providers to expand to serve more persons was allowed to go largely stagnant for nearly 20 years. The result? A provider network that has become increasingly brittle in its ability to expand to meet even the needs of existing persons already served. Also, a waiting list that has been allowed to grow to more than 4,000 adults and children, many of whom have waited close to a decade for services. 

Family voices are needed, now more than ever, in educating and informing policy makers and elected officials about the importance of I/DD services. Families should make 2020 the year for a new influx of family-led advocacy. Families can once again lead the way in securing a better tomorrow for Kansans with I/DD.

Power Up! Wrap Up 2019

Third Quarter Update

Fifty Remarkable Years

One of my favorite Christmas movies is Frank Capra's classic "It's a Wonderful Life". The movie's despondent main character, George Bailey, is afforded an unique opportunity to see what the world would be like if he'd never existed. His contributions to his world were profound, but not immediately evident, because of the subtle nature of the actions he'd taken over time. 

Recently, the world recognized the 50th anniversary of mankind's first steps on the moon. A remarkable event that is easy to acknowledge for its impact on history. However, despite the spectacle, did it really change the world for the better? 

I prefer the George Bailey approach to making our world better. That's what InterHab represents to me as I think back on our first 50 years. I know that the IDD system in Kansas would be profoundly different had it not been for the work of InterHab's members in pushing for a future defined by independence, inclusion, integration and productivity. 

Our collective work under the banner of InterHab has made our world a profoundly better place for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Our members' dedication can best be summed up by the George Bernard Shaw quote that, "You see things; and you say "Why?" But I dream of things that never were; and I say "Why not?"

Second Quarter Update

First Quarter Update

Check out what has been taking place in the first quarter of 2019! 

HB 2044 Signed into law

Yesterday afternoon, HB 2044 (income tax credit for taxpayer purchases of certain goods and services from qualified vendors providing employment for blind or disabled individuals) was signed into law!

Congratulations to Pat Jonas and Pat Terick of CPRF for their incredibly hard work on this bill!

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InterHab to hold legislative advocacy rally March 26

TOPEKA, KAN. – InterHab, Inc., the statewide association for developmental disability service providers, will host its annual Advocacy Day on Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2019. More than 600 Kansans with developmental disabilities, their friends and family, as well as disability advocates from across the state are registered to meet in the state capitol at 9:30 a.m.

The annual event is a day for attendees to call on the legislature to enact laws and policies that will improve and sustain services provided to more than 9,000 Kansans with developmental disabilities—services necessary for them to live independent and inclusive lives in their home communities.

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Congrats to t-shirt design winner - Brad Friedman!

Please join us in congratulating Brad Friedman, JCDS in his t-shirt design win! We are thrilled to have a consumer design on our 2019 Advocacy Day t-shirt and can't wait to wear them on March 26 at the Capitol. 

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David's Job Story

David cleans the Adult Service building three times a week. He does tasks such as vacuuming, dusting, taking out the trash and moping the floors.

Thank you Lakemary Center for sharing his story!

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Power Up! 2019

Dementia: Communication Tips and Effective Day/Activity Structures

Participants will learn how communication is affected by dementia, as well as tips to overcome these communication deficits and declines. Common behavior triggers will also be discussed, and how behaviors are often related to a person’s ability to communicate, or are a function of communication in and of themselves. This session will also discuss ways to structure day programs and activities for those with dementia in order to provide a consistent, predictable, and calm environment that promotes engagement and quality of life.

Networking Across the State

Networking helps develop and improve your skill set, stay on top of the latest trends in your field, meet prospective mentors, partners, and clients, and gain access to the necessary resources that will help your career development.

InterHab offers an added value to your membership and assists in fostering the exchange of information and ideas among individuals and groups that share common interests through our resource networks. Throughout the past five decades, InterHab resource networks have been key in the development of I/DD strategy across the state of Kansas, not to mention an incredible resource for I/DD employees of all types.

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Disability Integration Act Would Prohibit Wait Lists

The Disability Integration Act would prohibit states from imposing waiting lists, cost caps, and other policies which are currently different than those in place for institutional care. 

The bill would ensure that people with disabilities would have the right to access services in their own homes, rather than in an institution. 

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When the Sky is the Limit

Update from the Executive Director: 

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InterHab 2018 Wrap Up

A last look at our work in 2018 and a huge thank you to everyone on the InterHab team - we couldn't do it without you!