Topeka Independent Living Resource Center

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newspaper News of Interest

Erasing Stephen Hawking's disability erases an important part of who he was

In the days since Stephen Hawking's death, obituaries have described him as being "confined" or "chained" to a wheelchair, as someone who "overcame" his disability and succeeded in spite of it.

None of those things are true. Stephen Hawking had a disability, and Stephen Hawking used a wheelchair. His work was possible because of those things, not in spite of them. ...

Read the full story on our Health/Long-term Services News page

Pain and Fear Teach Nothing: An ADAPTer Reflects on the Judge Rotenberg Center

Cal Montgomery, one of the organizers of ADAPT has been at the almost week-long vigil outside FDA director Scott Gottlieb’s Foggy Bottom home. He sat down with us to talk about his feelings as an autistic person, on the treatment other autistic people that reside at the Judge Rotenberg Center. The Rotenberg Center is the reason the disability rights organization ADAPT is living outside Gottlieb’s residence. Their use of electric shock aversives to punish and discipline disabled people has been condemned by all major disability-led organizations and cited as torture by the United Nations. ...

Read the full story on our Civil Rights News page

Lifting Therapy Caps Proves A Load Off Medicare Patients’ Shoulders

... The federal budget agreement Congress approved last month removes annual caps on how much Medicare pays for physical, occupational or speech therapy and streamlines the medical review process. It applies to people in traditional Medicare as well as those with private Medicare Advantage policies. ...

Read the full story on our Benefits News page

New to the TILRC Website:

Recognizing Elder Abuse and Knowing Your Rights - This guide is an informational resource on how to recognize and combat elder abuse from the National Council for Aging Care.

The Fully Accessible Guide to Home Loans for People with Disabilities - This guide offers a comprehensive overview of resources and opportunities that can help you overcome the financial challenges that stand between you and homeownership.

Disability Integration Act (S 910) - 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 Incentives Seminar Event (WISE) Webinars

Achieving Financial Independence with Ticket to Work and an ABLE Account, March 21, 2018, 2-3:30pm CDT

ADA Legal Webinar Series

Disability Harassment in the Workplace, March 21, 2018, 1pm CDT - Southwest ADA Center Legal Specialists Diego Demaya and Sashi Nisinakaro will discuss the growing trend of disability harassment in the workplace.

Accessibility Online Webinars

Accessible Shared Streets: Notable Practices and Considerations for Accommodating Pedestrians with Vision, April 05, 2018; 1:30pm CDT - This session will describe the specific challenges pedestrians with vision disabilities face when navigating shared streets and the strategies they employ, and discusses ideas on how accessibility for pedestrians with vision disabilities can be addressed in the planning and design process.


RTC: Rural is conducting interviews for a study on how young adults with disabilities participate in social and community events in rural areas. Participants must be 18 to 34 years old, be in or from a town of less than 10,000 inhabitants, and have had an IEP in high school and/or a current disability. Participation involves a 1 to 2 hour interview and participants will be compensated for their time. For more information, contact Rayna Sage, PhD, at 406/243-5233 or

Research Participants being recruited by KU for a study on participation in volunteer activities by people with mobility-limiting impairments. For more information contact Alicia Sellon at, 785-864-4778.

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.

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.

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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