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Kansas Department for Aging & Disability Services, the Kansas State Treasurer and the Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities will team up to promote Kansas ABLE Accounts to IDD waitlist

November 29, 2023

ABLEACTPressConferenceandRoundtable2LAWRENCE—Kansas State Treasurer Steven Johnson, Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) Secretary Laura Howard and Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities (KCDD) Executive Director Sara Hart Weir announced a formal partnership among their agencies to enhance awareness of the Kansas ABLE Savings Program for those individuals within the intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) community who are impacted by the IDD waitlist in Kansas.

Through the partnership, KDADS, the State Treasurer’s Office and KCDD will spearhead new educational resources for self-advocates, family members and caregivers; and host a series of webinars for disability stakeholders, including Kansas providers, Community Developmental Disability Organizations, managed care organizations and disability organizations. The group will also conduct a Kansas ABLE Roadshow across the state in 2024. KCDD is supporting these outreach efforts with a grant to the State Treasurer’s Office.

More than 5,100 individuals with IDD are currently on the waitlist, waiting approximately 10 years for services, in Kansas. Working together, the coalition members recognized that these individuals with IDD as well as their family members and caregivers, need resources, support and services while they wait for a Home and Community Based Service (HCBS) waiver.

The Stephen Beck Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 created a savings and spending tool designed specifically for people with disabilities. Under the ABLE Act, “ABLE accounts” allow individuals to spend on disability qualified expenses, save, and invest money while helping them to protect benefits like Medicaid and SSI. The Kansas ABLE program currently has 1,821 open accounts with a total of $16.9 million in assets under management.

The announcement was made at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas, in recognition of the late Senator Bob Dole’s legacy and service to families in the IDD community. In addition to the press conference announcing the partnership, Johnson, Howard and Weir also facilitated a roundtable discussion with legislators, community organizations and stakeholders in the IDD community.


View photos from the event 

Watch the video of the press conference




KDADS administers services to older adults; administers behavioral health, addiction and prevention programs; manages the four state hospitals and institutions; administers the state’s home- and community-based services waiver programs under KanCare, the state's Medicaid program; and directs health occupations credentialing. The agency’s mission is to Protect Kansans. Promote Recovery. Support Self-Sufficiency.


About STO

The Office of the Kansas State Treasurer ensures safe and efficient operation of state government through effective banking, investment and cash management. As the administrator of the Kansas ABLE Savings program, the office serves the disability community by assisting in removing limits from what people living with a disability can do. ABLE savings accounts allow Kansans the opportunity to save for their future without losing their eligibility for certain assistance programs, like SSI and Medicaid. More information on ABLE accounts is available at http://kansascash.ks.gov/able_savings.html.


About KCDD

KCDD’s mission is to empower individuals with I/DD and their families to lead systems change, build capacity, and advocate for inclusive, integrated, accessible communities where everyone belongs and thrives. KCDD serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities through advocacy, public policy, and education. You can learn more by visiting www.kcdd.org


For More Information:


Cara Sloan-Ramos
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Allyson McCain
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Clint Blaes
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