Topeka Independent Living Resource Center

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Disability Rights
are Civil Rights

The Disability Integration Act, S2427

The Disability Integration Act (DIA) is civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer to address the fundamental issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. The legislation (S.2427) builds on the 25 years of work that TILRC and many other disability rights advocates have done to end the institutional bias and provide seniors and people with disabilities home and community-based services (HCBS) as an alternative to institutionalization. The DIA will fulfill the Community Integration mandate of the ADA by creating a civil right to home and community-based services and supports (HCBS) as an alternative to institutions!


newspaper News of Interest

Local nonprofit organizations partner to serve people with disabilities

A partnership between two Topeka nonprofit organizations is likely to become a national model for making homes accessible for people with disabilities.

“We are offering an accessibility modification section in our ReStore which is the first ReStore in the country to do that,” said Janice Watkins, executive director of Topeka Habitat for Humanity. “They (national Habitat) have affirmed their commitment to third world countries and the aging population but I think the physically disabled population has been overlooked by Habitat for a while.” ...

Read the full story on our State/Local Issues News page

Vision for Topeka's travel future comes together

How do you see yourself moving about the city in the future? The Metropolitan Topeka Planning Organization wants to know. ...

... If you were not able to attend Thursday’s meeting, you can give your input by taking an online survey. It can be found at ...

Read the full story on our Transportation News page

Disability Could Play Outsized Role In Election

The number of potential voters with disabilities is on the rise and now exceeds that of either African-Americans or Latinos in this country, according to a new report. ...

... “People with disabilities are often overlooked in elections, but they are one of the largest minority groups in the United States,” said Lisa Schur, a co-author of the report. “They often receive messages from society that they are not welcome or expected to participate, but their votes can sway election outcomes.” ...

Read the full story on our Federal Issues News page

New to the TILRC Website:

ADA Checklist for Polling Places (PDF) - this updated technical assistance publication on polling place accessibility for voters with disabilities from the Department of Justice includes a survey to guide election officials in evaluating the accessibility of facilities used or being considered for use as polling places.

Parenting with a Disability: Know Your Rights Toolkit - This toolkit provides a summary of disability laws that protect families’ rights. Inside of the toolkit, you will find information on topics like adoption, custody, visitation, family law, and the child welfare system. We have also shared parts of NCD’s report, Rocking the Cradle, with stories from parents who have been treated unfairly because of their disabilities.

Disability Integration Act (S 2427) - This ground-breaking legislation will finally, truly support full implementation and compliance with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ADA, Olmstead requirements that mandate effective home and community service and support alternatives to nursing facilities and other institutions. DIA requires both public and private providers of long term care to provide a home and community alternative to any institutional benefit. (DIA Summary)


If you are a TILRC consumer you may already know how we help people who want to transition from an institution, like a nursing facility, back into the community or how we help folks get the attendant care services they need through the Medicaid Home and Community Based Waiver Programs, but you may not be aware of all the other ways we help people with disabilities maintain or increase their independence. Learn more about how our advocates can help you be more independent in many aspects of daily living.

Job Openings


Work Incentive Seminar Events (WISE) Webinars

Ticket to Work: Working with a Federal Contractor, August 31, 2016, 2-3:30PM

ADA National Network Webinars

ADA Web Accessibility & the Public Inclusive Infrastructure Grant, August 31, 2016, 2PM CT

Accessibility Online Webinars

Open Q & A, September 01, 2016, 1:30pm CT - This is a regular session in the webinar series that provides an opportunity to ask questions on any topic related to the Access Board’s work and activities.

Mathematica Center for Studying Disability Policy Webinars

Helping Workers Keep Their Jobs After an Injury, Illness, or Disability, September 13, 2016, 11am-12:30pm CDT

PEAT Webinars

PEAT Talks: The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII), September 15, 2016, 1-1:30pm CDT

Technology Webinar Series

Speaking the Same Language: Making Closed Captioning Work, September 15, 2016, 1-2:30pm CT

ADA Legal Webinar Series

Criminal Justice and the ADA, September 21, 2016, 1pm CT

ADA Audio Conference Series

Rights of Air Travelers with Disabilities and the Air Carriers Access Act, September 27, 2016, 1pm CT


Youth Organizing! Disabled & Proud's Voting Survey - YO! Disabled & Proud invites youth and young adults with disabilities, ages 18 - 28, to take part in their first ever voting survey specially for and by youth. This quick survey was created to increase understanding about the youth with disability vote. The survey findings will also be used to engage youth in organizing and planning youth-friendly voting activities & events.

Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) launched to collect stories from PVA members and the disability community about their air travel experiences. PVA is working with the broader disability community to bring attention to the successes and failures in air travel for passengers with disabilities. Please share your stories on the site and on social media with the hashtag #ACAA30.

Survey to Improve Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities - The Employment Systems Change Coalition is conducting this online surveyto obtain information and data to help improve the employment outcomes of Kansans with disabilities. The target age for respondents is 14-65. Deadlione for completing the survey is January 31st.

Transportation Access and Experiences Survey -This survey which is designed to improve understanding of accessibility of public transportation for people with disabilities. Responses to the survey will be used to make improvements at regional and national levels.

Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) Survey of User Needs (SUN) for Wireless Technology - The purpose of the SUN is to learn about how people with disabilities use this technology and why some people with disabilities don't use these products. This information is used to let designers know the needs of people of all ages and with all types of abilities, in order of make wireless products easier to use.

George Washington University Disability and Disasters Study - GWU is conducting research about how adults with physical disabilities think about and prepare for disasters. Email or call (202) 994-1887 for more information!

Crutch User Survey - Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) are looking into ways to improve walking assistance provided by walking crutches in a grant from the National Science Foundation. To help better guide this research and make future crutches more effective and usable, they are asking crutch users for their help in completing a short survey about crutch use.

United Spinal Association Medicare Beneficiary Wheelchair Repair Survey - This survey is being done to gather information on the ability of Medicare beneficiaries to get timely repairs to their wheelchairs. The results will be shared with Medicare officials and policymakers

Wireless RERC Survey on Emergency Communications & People with Disabilities - This survey by the Wireless Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center asks you to share some information about yourself, your experiences, and your preferences for communicating in emergencies. Your answers will be used to improve accessibility of emergency communications for people of all ages and abilities.

ITEM Coalition Survey on Access to Assistive Devices Under Medicare - The Independence Through Enhancement of Medicare and Medicaid (ITEM) Coalition is surveying Medicare beneficiaries with disabilities and chronic conditions to assess their experience accessing the devices they need to function independently in everyday life. ITEM is interested in getting feedback from individuals who access medical device and assistive technology in areas where Medicare has implemented a selective provider contracting program known as the DME Competitive Bidding Program, and comparing that feedback to individuals who use devices outside of those areas.

SABE Self Determination Survey - Tell SABE if your local or statewide self advocacy organization's activities help its members to be more self-determined.

SPREAD THE WORD TO END THE WORD! - Help eliminate the use of the R-word in everyday speech.



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