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Advocacy

SACK Leadership Training

The Council continues to be a proud sponsor of the annual Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas (SACK) Conference; the SACK conference is a wonderful opportunity for people with intellectual/developmental disabilities to meet, share and learn from each other and experts in the field.  Conference participants have the opportunity to choose from 20 different Learning Sessions during 5 breakout sessions.   A motivating keynote speaker and other activities are also offered at the conference.

KCDD has forged a partnership with the Kansas Leadership Center (KLC) and SACK to provide integrated leadership training opportunities for self advocates, family members, providers, and support staff.  Self Advocates participate in world class leadership training alongside community leaders at KLC.  Self Advocates are able to take the skills and leadership competencies they've learned back to their local communities and become more engaged in personal, collaborative, and civic leadership.  The principles taught in these leadership trainings have spread across Kansas and into regional and natioanl self advocacy networks.

Cole Browne, a Kansas Leadership Center self advocate alumni was awarded a SARTAC grant to help translate KLC principles into consumer friendly language to share nationwide.

If you are a self advocate or family member who is interested in participating in leadership training opportunities at the Kansas Leadeship Center in Wichita, scholarships are available for tuition, lodging, and travel.  For more information on these trainings, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. at the Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas.  (Phone:  785.749.5588)

FACES of Change Youth Leadership

The FACES of Change (FACES) program is an advanced leadership training for youth between the ages of 17-25.  The goal is to foster the growth of existing leadership skills through leadership development, peer support, and civic engagement. The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) will gather participants to meet in Topeka to learn the following session Topics.  Job Description of a Leader; P.A.V.E. the Way; Language of Leadership; Leading from the Front: Leading from the Side; Leading from the Back, and Look at this Face. Team members will work on meeting outcomes, such as understanding the expectations and responsibilities of leadership; identifying their purpose, authenticity, values, and emotional intelligence; understanding and improving their professional communication; identifying and practicing skills that are needed to lead from the front, side, and back; and embracing leadership transition. The FACES structure and components provide one-to-one and group activities, coaching, facilitation of youth involvement in specific leadership activities, training, project management, and peer-to-peer support. Faces also provide mentoring opportunities for youth and around the issues of goals, leadership, and self-sufficiency and assist youth in obtaining higher self-esteem and self-efficacy, obtaining job readiness skills, lowering chances of bullying, and creating a commitment to community and civic engagement. KYEA is committed to decreasing risk factors, assuring that Faces of Change is guided by 5 protective factors: nurturing and attachment, knowledge, resilience, connections, and support. KYEA will focus on low self-esteem and self-efficacy, low expectations, high unemployment, victims of bullying and youth violence, as well as lack of safe spaces for life exploration.

The KCDD has partnered with KYEA to increase understanding of the various sides of leadership that includes: job description of a leader, P.A.V.E. the way, language of leadership, leading from the front, side, back and leadership transition.

  • The KYEA will distribute pre and post-session evaluations to measure progress at the end of each session.  Each session will include a team building exercise that will be facilitated related to specific monthly objectives.

  • Each month, members will have taken home leadership challenges putting what they learn in practice between sessions.  Members will be videotaped explaining what leadership means to them in month 1 and again in month 7.

  • Various leaders will present on their leadership journey and specific monthly topics.  Team members will know their leadership strengths, areas of improvements, and style to effectively lead on committees and board of directors.

  • The Faces of Change manual will be edited and updated with material gathered from previous class experiences.

The goal is to have a total of 20 team members participate in the Face of Change Program. KYEA will partner with SACK to create/provide a curriculum that is reader-friendly. And at least 15 youths will graduate from the Faces Program with at least 6-10 youths have I/DD. The project uses monthly activities to keep the members enrolled moving towards the goal of having a working community change project in action or a fully complete community change project.

Independent Connections Youth Advocacy & Leadership

The KCDD recognizes that often youth with an intellectual and developmental disability often do not have the skills needed to advocate for themselves and exercise their rights as citizens.  Youth struggle -with participating on boards and in leadership roles due to a lack of skills. Youth do not have information on how to access transportation that is accessible and affordable in the rural counties of Kansas. As a result, youth struggle to access their communities and experience powerlessness and isolation. This can result in a loss and denial of basic human rights, segregation, and discrimination in their personal and community lives. Youth are often not aware of the opportunities that are available to them so they do not access available resources. A lack of confidence in their own abilities limits the number of youth who take an active role in making financial and medical decisions. Youth often do not register to vote when they are of age because they have a lack of skills and knowledge of the process. Youth lack the confidence in their abilities, therefore, they do not share their expertise regarding disabilities to advocate and become involved with boards and task forces at the local, state and national level. Youth with disabilities lack flexible supports and skills that are needed to enable them to live and actively participate in their communities. Youth who live in rural areas are limited by the lack of affordable accessible transportation. This is a major contributor to the low numbers of youth in rural Kansas that take active leadership roles in the communities.

This grant will help youth with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities by providing the opportunity to meet with an Independent Living Specialist in a group setting or a one-on-one setting as requested by the youth. The youth will work on a set of curriculum that addresses self-advocacy, leadership and engagement skills. Students will also be discussing current political issues and local civic activities in their communities. Youth will discuss current disability-related issues with an emphasis on taking active roles in advocating for the rights of youth with disabilities. These group settings will provide opportunities to engage with peers as well as community organizations in an effort to increase participation in leadership opportunities.

  • The project will bring speakers from local community organizations to share what they look for in leadership and to explain the processes of getting on local boards.

  • Activities will include outings to local agencies and community organizations that seek participants on their advisory boards.

  • Youth will begin a support group, facilitate the group and discuss topics they choose. The groups will be a minimum of 5 youth ages 14-24 years. Students who participate in these groups will have the opportunity to apply for one grant to cover their expenses to attend the Kansas Disability Caucus, the SACK Conference or the Kansas Youth Leadership Forum. Students will be required to submit a report explaining what they learned about leadership and/or advocacy and where they will use their new skills.

  • Independent Connection, Inc. will provide leadership and advocacy training to a least 10 youth during this grant cycle. These individuals will be provided the opportunity to then take part in local boards increasing the number of youth who participate in leadership roles across Kansas. Increasing youth participation in boards across Kansas will increase the awareness of intellectual and developmental related disability issues. Youth will be more engaged in the policies that affect their lives in central Kansas.

Kansas Youth Leadership Forum

The Kansas Youth Leadership Forum (KSYLF) is a 5-day intensive leadership training for high school juniors and seniors (as well as those within an 18-21 transition program) with a variety of disabilities including intellectual developmental disabilities. The KSYLF aims to create a safe atmosphere of acceptance and encouragement so that the youth can grow, express their true goals, start to create their own plan for the future, and have a successful transition into adulthood. KSYLF provides information and activities related to the basics of leadership, disability history, disability awareness, individual and systems advocacy, goal setting, and assertive communication.  Through information provided in our large and small group sessions by successful professionals and role models, as well as information provided in their manuals, youth learn about the community and statewide resources, the process of living independently, and career options.

The KCDD has partnered with the KSYLF to assist youth to develop into leaders within their own lives and in their community. An intense schedule, with thought-provoking topics, challenges the students through small groups and large groups daily.

  • The week's activities include a mock debate within the State Capitol Senate Chambers and a formal mentor luncheon. The mock debate is sponsored by a selected legislator who guides and supports them throughout the debate.

  • Large group sessions with specific topics on leadership skills, disability heritage, goal setting, disability awareness, and system's advocacy.

  • During the systems advocacy session, delegates learn about the legislative process, including how a bill becomes a law and the various roles of a legislator and their impact on the state of Kansas.

  • The Kansas Youth Empowerment Academy (KYEA) searches for a potential mentor that fits within one of three categories: 1) works in the identified career field or is receiving education towards employment in that career field, 2) has a disability, and 3) lives in the same community as the delegate.  After all, mentors are cleared through the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, disability awareness training is provided in hopes of breaking down any fears or hesitations that may arise concerning the topic of disabilities.  

A Personal Leadership Plan is the ultimate goal of the week. Not only do the participants leave with a wealth of knowledge about life and leadership, but they also leave with a fully self-authored Plan, which serves as a guide once they return to their own communities. The Personal Leadership Plan allows the delegates to write down their future goals in a variety of life domains including employment, education, advocacy, community service, independent living, social, recreational and technology and resources. The KYEA we follow up with the youth after they return to their communities to ensure that they are working on their Personal Leadership Plans.

The goal is for 20-25 applicants (at least 6 with I/DD) will be selected as forum delegates.

Employment

JCDS Career Trajectory

Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) is collaborating with Midwest Advocacy and Disability Rights to infuse the LifeCourse Framework into their existing supported employment efforts including Project SEARCH and End Dependence Kansas. These efforts will ensure that the people with I/DD whom they support are active participants in the employment planning, decision-making, and job acquisition process.

Career planning can be a self-directed process using a three-phase problem-solving strategy in which a facilitator supports a person with a disability to identify and set a career or employment goal, develop an action plan to achieve that goal, and self-monitor and self-evaluate progress toward the goal, revising the action plan or goal as needed. In each phase, facilitators support participants to solve a problem by answering four questions in each phase, they must: (a) identify the problem, (b) identify potential solutions to the problem, (c) identify barriers to solving the problem, and (d) identify the consequences of each solution.   Too often, when employment was obtained, the person did not stay in the job for long. The LifeCourse Framework provides a means to engage people with I/DD to set career and job goals related to their interests and preferences. Essentially, the process is supporting people to engage in self-regulated problem solving to set and attain a job and career goals.

The KCDD has partnered with the Johnson County Developmental Supports to look at additional ways to promote and support self-determination and integrated employment.  The grant will develop supports around self-determination and employment in the following ways.

  • Development of a plan (roadmap) to implement the LifeCourse Framework into pre-employment and sheltered employment services at JCDS.  They will work with the contractor, Midwest Advocacy, and Disability Rights, to design a department strategy to effectively promote and support self-determination and integrated employment.
  • Promote client self-determination and engage/enlist the families of clients in an effort to promote and support self-determination and integrated employment.  The JCDS will work with the contractor to develop an educational curriculum and implement services for clients, families, and stakeholders for clients receiving Day Services or sheltered employment. JCDS will further enlist the contractor to train department staff as trainers in the curriculum to ensure sustainability.
  • Additionally, the contractor will build and release a Spanish language version of the Vocational Fit Assessment.
  • A minimum of 15 clients will participate in a pilot pre-employment program.

Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT)

The KCDD recognizes the path to employment is complex and frustrating to anyone seeking work, but especially so for an individual with a disability. Parents, caretakers, and professionals in the field are not always aware or have the knowledge to assist and support individuals with a disability to become competitively employed in a work setting with their peers. Although many services exist to assist a person with a disability to seek and gain employment, the lack of support and knowledge from the family unit creates a barrier to the goal of employment.

The Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) was created to engage and empower discouraged families to renew their dream of employment for their family member with a disability as well as provide an avenue to introduce them to the other services and providers who will continue to encourage and support their journey to integrated and competitive employment FEAT will provide three statewide trainings; one in each of the Families Together, Inc.'s service regions, Southwest Kansas, Southcentral Kansas and Northeast Kansas. The FEAT training held in Southwest Kansas (and other locations as registrants' needs require) will provide training about available services, including competitive, integrated employment, to Spanish speaking families in their primary language.

The KCDD has partnered with Families Together to provide training and supports.

  • Families Together will provide FEAT training and follow up support to 45 individuals with developmental disabilities (at least 10 whose primary language is Spanish) and those persons providing support to them (families, personal care attendants, etc.) and 30 employment services providers. Three 2-day FEAT training will be provided in three different regions of Kansas and will incorporate the LifeCourse Framework into the training.
  • Families Together will collaborate with the Business Leadership Networks (BLN) in Sedgwick County and the Kansas City Metro area to present 2 overviews of the FEAT curriculum to their members, focusing on customized employment options, Employment First law in KS, employer and employee support on the job.
  • Families Together provide one training at a statewide conference (i.e. Interhab, Employment First Summit, etc.) about the findings related to services and employment needs of individuals with I/DD whose primary language is Spanish in Southwestern Kansas based on the training provided.
  • 30 employment service providers will have had the opportunity to attend at least one of the FEAT Training increasing employer’s awareness of the kinds of jobs persons with disabilities might do in their organizations for businesses and the funds available to encourage employment of persons with disabilities for them and to support the accommodations for their employees with disabilities.

The H.I.R.E.D. Program:  Strength Based Assessment

The KCDD is interested in supporting integrated employment for Kansans who have a developmental disability.  KCDD has partnered with Advocacy In Motion, Inc. to look at ways to create opportunities for competitive, integrated employment for individuals with developmental disabilities (IDD) using strengths-based assessment of skills and job development to reach employment goals.

Kansans with IDD should be able to participate in appropriate competitive, integrated employment in their communities, ensuring everyone who wants to work is able to pursue this life-enhancing goal in the communities of their choice. Despite a desire, ability, and willingness to work in their communities, the majority of adults with disabilities are either unemployed or underemployed.

The grant will be provided in Johnson and Wyandotte counties and serve Individuals with Intellectual and developmental disabilities. The H.I.R.E.D. program will offer at least 5 cohorts of 10 individuals training and resources to better access competitive integrated employment opportunities in Johnson and Douglas County.  This will include participating in Job Discovery, Job Development and Job Coaching to meet the program outcome of producing employees who are more self-sufficient and independent in the workplace.

The H.I.R.E.D. program will connect with the business community and employer partnerships through outreach and participation in the local chamber of commerce, the Greater Kansas City Business Leadership Network (BLN) and the Association for People Supporting Employment First (APSE).    Additionally, the H.I.R.E.D. program will work with local school districts in Johnson and Douglas Counties, to build relationships with transition coordinators in the 18-21 programs for referrals of individuals needing employment support into employment opportunities after graduation.

The H.I.R.E.D. program will offer employers and individuals with I/DD disability awareness education and technology assistance training seminars to reduce stigma and discrimination in the business culture and assist hiring managers with effective work performance evaluations.  The program will maintain a database of program candidates and provide referrals to employers of individuals who have gone through the program.

In addition, the H.I.R.E.D. program will provide consultation services to employers to identify strategies to maintain retention of the employee to the extent possible.

Performance Measures

Anticipated Outcomes: The H.I.R.E.D. program will help 50 Kansans with IDD by providing informal and formal long-term supports and resources for competitive, integrated employment in Johnson and Douglas counties. Program participants with I/DD will obtain competitive work, earn minimum wage or higher, work a minimum of 19 hours per week, and improve job performance rating as measured by the B-WAP2 (Becker Work Adjustment Profile, 2nd Edition.)

Education

The LifeCourse Framework/Supporting Families Community of Practice

Kansas has opted to participate in the Supporting Families Community of Practice (CoP) alongside 16 other states working towards integrating the Charting the LifeCourse Framework across disability services, supports, and spectrums.  Kansas is currently in the second of three years in the current CoP cohort. Kansas is quickly becoming a leader in innovation and adaptation due to grassroots efforts to empower families with tools and strategies to create a vision for a good life using integrated services and supports.  Enthusiasm for this more “holistic” view of supporting people in their communities of choice has been embraced by policymakers, providers, families and self advocates alike.

Part of Kansas' participation in the Community of Practice included creating a Strategic Planning Team whose purpose was to make recommendations on how the LifeCourse Framework could best be implemented in the state.  Facilitation of this Strategic Planning Team is led by KCDD.   After a year of studying how the LifeCourse Framework could positively impact self advocates, families, and the various supports that ultimately lead to a "good life,"  KCDD officially launched a Kansas Charting the LifeCourse Kickoff Event in December of 2017 with over 120 participants.  The goal:  Educate local "grasstop" leaders who will help bring the LifeCourse Framework to their local communities and regions.

KCDD is now providing opportunities for local entities to host regional LifeCourse Framework training events in their area.  KCDD is partnering with local organizations to bring in natioanally recognized trainers so that self advocates, families, providers, and community support networks can apply the LifeCourse Framework to their lives.

Organizations interested in partnering with the Council to host a local or regional learning event may submit an unsolicited proposal for under $5,000 to help fund these opportunities in their area.
 
The LifeCourse Framework local/regional learning events should be inclusive, engaging audience members across disability and across the lifespan.
 
Interested parties should complete the linked KCDD Unsolicited Project Application Survey Monkey to apply for funding. 
 
Link to KCDD Unsolicited Project Application Survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCDD_Unsolicited_Grant_Application
 
Proposals must contain a budget that reflects a match of at least 25% of the cost.  Match can be “in-kind” or the time attendees are engaged in the training (Training time can be calculated at a rate of $10/hour per participant).  The proposed budget must also include $1,500 to cover the cost of a LifeCourse Framework trainer from UMKC.
 
Successful applicants will need to complete the KCDD Project Evaluation Survey after hosting the event. 
 
Link to KCDD Project Evaluation Survey: 
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCDD_Project_Evaluation_Survey
 
Successful applicants will also be expected to gather demographic and satisfaction data to help fulfill federal reporting requirements.  KCDD has a Project Participant Evaluation Template that can be used to gather this data.  (This data will be used to answer questions 14-27 in the KCDD Project Evaluation Survey.)
 
Link to KCDD Project Participant Evaluation Template: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KCDD_Participant_Evaluation_Template
 
KCDD reserves the right to make multiple awards or no awards.
 
Questions should be directed to Craig Knutson.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
785.296.1980

 

Quality Assurance

Over the next five years, KCDD is focusing on the prevention of abuse, neglect, and exploitation quality care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in healthcare facilities, schools, group homes and daycare settings. The council will engage in activities that will add to the quality of care for improving consumer and family-centered quality assurances will protect people with I/DD from abuse, neglect, sexual or financial exploitation, or violation of legal or human rights.

This will be achieved through a series of funded initiatives that will include:

  • Monitoring services, supports and assistance provided to individuals with I/DD. 
  • Leadership training in self-advocacy and self-determination for individuals with I/DD, their families and their guardians to ensure they understand standards of care and their legal rights.
  • Coordination and systems integration to improve and enhance services, supports and other assistance contributing to protecting self-determination, independence, productivity and inclusion in all facets of community life for individuals with I/DD.

The Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD) will provide citizens with I/DD, their families and support networks with advocacy and training on how to better access and implement adequate, effective, person-centered supports and services.

KCDD identified the primary need to develop and implement a coordinated investigatory, reporting and response system to prevent the abuse, neglect and exploitation (ANE) of persons in Kansas with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). Trauma, as it is experienced by those with I/DD, can contribute to substantial complications in care, case management and treatment. The ANE grant will examine how different stakeholders from across the state manage ANE within their I/DD populations, including rural, suburban and urban counties. 

Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation

The KCDD has identified the primary need is to develop and implement a coordinated investigatory, reporting, and response system to prevent the abuse, neglect, and exploitation (ANE) of persons in Kansas with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). Trauma, as it is experienced by those with I/DD, can contribute to substantial complications in care, case management, and treatment. The ANE grant will examine how different stakeholders from across the state manage ANE within their I/DD populations, including rural, suburban, and urban counties.

The KCDD has partnered with the Wichita State University Research and Technology Transfer division through a one year grant with an additional three one-year grant periods to complete the following activities.

Research

  • Data sources will be determined and stakeholders, such as Department of Children and Family Services, Adult Protective Services, Child Protective Services, interviews with individuals and then finalize data collection instrument.
  • Collect and analyze data collected from all identified stakeholders.
  • Determine with design team any additional research requirements.

Development

  • Develop a website and integrate with prevention resources, including eLearning opportunities to assist with prevention information.  This will be a centralized hub for all activities related to the grant.
  • Literature Development – Parents, families, people with disabilities to provide education, counseling or services to the disability community.
  • Resources listing – Comprehensive listing of resources available to encourage those affected to reach out for help. Provide information to assist participants in legislative activities. Provide support and resources surrounding reporting suspected ANE. Provide information on ANE Prevention.
  • Information exchange – DCF protective investigators and law enforcement officials; Provide interviewing tips and techniques to be used with individuals with developmental disabilities during the course of their investigations.

Training

  • Domestic/sexual violence shelters; Provide information on the unique needs of individuals with developmental disabilities who may be in need of their services.
  • Training/ training materials – Support service providers, quality assurance monitors, guardians, self- advocacy groups, and others identified
  • Provide information to assist with recognizing the signs and symptoms of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of persons with developmental disabilities

Charting the
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