Tuesday, December 16, 2014

InterHab honors advocate & past president

InterHab honored Bill Craig, President and CEO of Lakemary Center, for his years of service to the Kansas I/DD field during the association's December 2014 Board meeting.

Although Bill is retiring from his position at Lakemary Center at the end of the year, he will always be a proud and active advocate on behalf of the I/DD community.

Watch his retirement speech here and congratulate Bill on his many accomplishments at Lakemary and InterHab!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Remembering Yo Bestgen

Yolande "Yo" Bestgen during her leadership at InterHab
InterHab is sad to report about the passing of Yolande "Yo" Bestgen, our friend, our association's leader from 1987 to 1993, and a nationally known advocate for persons with disabilities and community service organizations. 

She has traveled far and wide since she moved on from here, but she remained a friend of many of us, and a friend of this organization.

Yo gathered and synthesized the ideas, and the inspiration and dedication of the community service movement in Kansas, and, as much as anyone, invented the association we are a part of today.

She helped engineer the reputation that our predecessors developed in the Statehouse both in terms of tenacity, and collaborative spirit as well. It is not too strongly stated to say that during Yo’s years and the years that followed her tenure, she, through the association she led, helped shape every policy issue that counted for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities and for the organizations which grew from the grassroots of Kansas compassion to serve those persons and their families in need.

Not everyone today working in the I/DD field may have known Yo or her role in nurturing our roots, but as we think about this good woman – whether or not you knew her – we should now think about her legacy, which has now been passed on to us.

Keep Yo's friends and families in your prayers, that they find comfort in their memories of her, her work, her heart and her legacy.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Spread the word!

The public comment period for the Kansas I/DD HCBS Waiver renewal application has been extended to December 20. 

Click here to access an electronic flyer you can share with other advocates to encourage them to provide feedback directly to the State of Kansas and the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services!

This electronic flyer includes: 

  • The 3 issues of concern on this topic
  • How to share concerns
  • A KDADS survey to collect feedback 
  • Who to contact at CMS

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What we are thankful for...

As our thoughts turn gratefully to those who have made our progress possible, there is no time more fitting to say thank you to our valued members and supporters. 

The staff at InterHab wish you a bountiful Thanksgiving holiday with your friends and loved ones. 

May your burdens be light and your bellies be full! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

How will Kansas lawmakers solve its $1 billion problem?

Disability advocates will not be alone this year during the coming budget debates. Every nook and cranny of the State budget is about to be picked apart.  The wholesale give-away of revenues largely driven by historically deep income tax cuts is making dire predictions come closer on our immediate horizon.

Kansas is now poised to face a budget crisis for one simple reason: the same decision-makers whose fiscal policies have created this mess seem convinced (or want us to be convinced) that trickle-down fiscal policies will work, if only we give them time to work. It is our alternative hope that a fact-based examination of the financial hole will cause all thoughtful legislators to revisit some of the decisions which dug the hole.

According to an article in the Wichita Eagle, lawmakers will have to drastically cut spending and/or raise taxes. Republican legislators have already begun dividing into two camps about how to solve the state’s budget woes, foretelling a fight that’ll play out within the party that controls both the Kansas House and Senate. Kansas is projected to have a cumulative budget hole of more than $1.4 billion by July 1, 2016.

Read more here. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Elections - Moving forward on behalf of Kansans with intellectual & developmental disabilities

Stand up for I/DD issues in KS government
No matter how you voted in this week’s election you can feel pride in knowing that you did your part in promoting the candidates and issues you believe in.  And whether or not the results came back the way you hoped, it doesn't change what your goal should be in the coming months: building and maintaining positive working relationships with legislators and government officials.

Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities need your help. With recent landscape changes to the I/DD service system, changes in federal funding rules, and stagnant funding, your advocacy is needed now more than ever!

Spend time this fall and winter educating legislators and policymakers on the big issues. Be proactive. Write, email, and schedule personal meetings in order to help make your elected officials aware of the challenges facing the I/DD service system in Kansas. If you’re looking for new and creative ways to engage in advocacy, InterHab can help. Just email mfletcher@interhab.org or call 785.235.5103.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

November 4th

In less than one week, perhaps the most pivotal election in our lifetime will occur here in Kansas. What’s at stake? The future of Kansas I/DD services.

Sounds like hyperbole, right? Consider however:

  • The past four years have ushered in highly disruptive changes to the Kansas    I/DD service system.
  • The next State administration will be responsible for interpreting potentially significant changes in federal rules pertaining to I/DD funding.
  • The Kansas I/DD service system hasn't received an increase in reimbursement rates for seven years.

As advocates, we want to change the world for the better on behalf of Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, that advocacy process begins with exercising our civic duty as voters—to select and elect candidates for office who will make decisions in support of these vital Kansans.

So, begin with the question, “Who are the candidates that support issues that are important for Kansans with I/DD?” Do the research and find out where candidates stand on these important issues. Circle November 4th on your calendar. It’s the day you could help make Kansas a better place for persons with I/DD. It’s the day you will vote.