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The Council’s work has been driven by a series of State Plans which, more recently, have focused on Self-advocacy and Leadership Development; Employment and Self-employment; Quality Assurance and the Prevention of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation.

  • Self-advocacy: The Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) is a statewide self-advocacy organization led by, and for, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. KCDD partnered with SACK and the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) in Wichita to engage self-advocates in integrated leadership training. SACK will continue training self-advocates in Kansas and other states in the KLC Leadership principle that leadership is an activity, not a position, and that anyone can exercise leadership at any place and at any time.

    KCDD has also partnered with the Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) to support their week-long Annual Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF) by providing on-campus training to empower young Kansans with disabilities to become future leaders in their own lives and communities.

  • Project SEARCH: Project SEARCH provides employability skills training and workplace internships for individuals with significant disabilities, particularly targeting youth transitioning from high school to adult life. KCDD supported the expansion of Project SEARCH during its 2011-2016 Five-Year State Plan to 11 sites across Kansas. An annual average of 50 youth and young adults with disabilities were served in integrated internships in real world business settings that led to competitive, integrated employment in their community.

    KCDD also partnered with the Department of Commerce Disability Employment Initiative to develop two adult Project SEARCH sites. The real world success of the program allowed KCDD to transfer the Kansas Project SEARCH program to LifeShare USA (a subsidiary of the Sunflower Health Plan) to continue coordination and long-term sustainability. Project SEARCH has now expanded to 12 sites across Kansas serving approximately 90 youth and young adults.

  • Roadmap to Employment: The Council provided the funding to study employment barriers in Kansas for people with disabilities. KCDD partnered with nationally recognized experts in disability employment, Griffin-Hammis and Associates to analyze these barriers and provide recommendations that would lead to better employment outcomes. Once the study was completed KCDD worked with state agencies and providers to implement the changes that are needed to remove these barriers. KCDD is currently working with state agencies to help write areas that address employment in the new KanCare 2.0.

    KCDD continues to promote Employment First as the preferred outcome by providing training and conferences for providers and people with disabilities. Including the biannual Employment First Summit that is generally held in the spring of even number years. For more information, visit http://www.employmentfirstsummit.com/

    KCDD also continues to work with state agencies to develop plans around the Centers for Medicaid Services Final Rule on Home and Community Based Services settings, which prioritizes employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

  • Self-Employment: KCDD partnered with the Small Business Administration and Griffin-Hammis and Associates to help create self-employment/business opportunities for Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Alumni of this program have received national recognition for successfully starting their own businesses including: Joe Steffy - owner of Poppin’ Joe’s Kettle Corn, Anthony Swader - owner of Anthony’s Beehive, and Jenny Lu Unrien - owner of Jenny Lu Designs, among others.

    Joe Steffy’s success has enabled him to provide testimony to the Small Business Committee in the US House of Representatives held May 19, 2016. A copy of his testimony can be found here: http://smallbusiness.house.gov/uploadedfiles/5-19-2016_steffy_testimony.pdf

  • Quality Assurance: KCDD has been working for over eleven years to get better protections in place to prevent unnecessary restraints and seclusion in Kansas schools, which disproportionately target children with disabilities. In partnership with fellow stakeholders and concerned legislators, KCDD helped pass legislation that will protect all students, regardless of ability. KCDD will continue working with the Kansas School System to assist with implementation and ensure the intent of the law is being followed.

  • Prevention of Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation: KCDD partnered with the Sedgwick County Developmental Disability Organization to provide “Stop Abuse for Everyone” (SAFE) training for providers, self-advocates and families in the Wichita and surrounding area. SAFE is designed to reduce Abuse, Neglect and/or Exploitation (ANE) of individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD) by empowering those individuals with knowledge and awareness. The curriculum is specifically designed for adults with disabilities and focuses on education around individuals’ rights to personal safety and the ability to speak out.

  • Supported Decision Making: KCDD hosted a conference with over 250 family members and professionals in attendance to educate Kansans about alternatives to guardianship.

  • Joey’s Law: The Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities was a proud a supporter of Joey’s Law that went into effect July 1, 2017. Joey’s Law allows a person with a cognitive disorder to voluntarily request alert indicators. There are three different types. The individual can choose one, two or all three indicators. One indicator is a placard, about the same size of a Handicap Placard. On the back of the placard, it reads: “Notice to law enforcement officers: the driver/passenger in this vehicle has a cognitive disorder. Our intent is to comply with your commands. Please speak with a clear soft voice. Your patience and understanding will be appreciated. Thank you.” The placard can be placed on the driver’s side dash or visor. The other indicator is a tag decal for the license plate, and it will be displayed in the lower left corner. The last indicator shows a discreet “J” notification on a driver’s license which tells a law enforcement officer to flip the license over. On the back of the license it says cognitive disorder behavior. In order to voluntarily receive one or more of these indicators, application can only be filled out and submitted at the local county treasurer’s office. The applicant must provide proof that they need assistance with cognition, which, according to the law, can be provided by a licensed practitioner. The Kansas Department of Revenue will then send a notification to the applicant if they qualify.

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Five Year State Plan

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