We teach people with disabilities self advocacy skills used in a wide variety of situations, and how to use and enjoy rights based on federal, state and local laws that prohibit discrimination based on disability. These include the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Fair Housing Act, and Kansas Act Against Discrimination, how to request reasonable accommodation, auxiliary aids and services, and other aspects of these and other laws. Our advocacy efforts extend to community, state and national level systems change.
Independence, Inc. assists people with disabilities in successfully transitioning from institutional settings to Independent Living. We coordinate with the state's Money Follow the Person program which allows people to transfer Medicaid funds from nursing home care to services in the community. This allows individuals to live independently as opposed to living in a nursing home.
Independent Living Skills Training
This service focuses on assisting people to develop the skills necessary for successful independent living. Examples include budgeting and shopping skills, communication and self advocacy, obtaining affordable and/or accessible housing, household management, meal planning and cooking. Group activities include: Cooking Club, Music Appreciation Group, Accessible Garden Group, GROOVE (Getting Ready for Outstanding Outcomes from Vibrant Exercise), and The Writers Corner.
Information & Referral
This service is available to assist anyone needing information on agency or community resources and programs. Staff are available over the phone or to meet face-to-face in order to problem-solve issues and seek resolution. Referrals are based on need and circumstance and are made to Independence, Inc. staff, or when appropriate to other community agencies.
Peer Counseling and Peer Support
We provide informal support through the volunteer mentoring program. Volunteers with disabilities are trained as mentors and matched with people with newly acquired disabilities or who are just beginning to seek independent living services. In addition, we offer several consumer support group activities.
Our Benefits Advocate assists individuals with disabilities determine if they may be eligible for various disability benefits, including Social Security. On a case by case basis, the Benefits Advocate assists with the Social Security application process, and represents people during the Social Security appeal process. We don't provide general legal services that require an attorney, except for helping people appeal eligibility for social security benefits.
Braille ServicesIndependence, Inc. offers Braille services, including printing, editing, and special orders.
Computer Learning Center (CLC)Provides an open use computer lab for people with disabilities. Open 8am-5pm Monday through Friday. Self-paced learning software is available for a fee.
Equipment Loan Program
The Equipment Loan Program provides loans and donations of recycled durable medical equipment at low or no cost to the public. Each item has a suggested donation amount, but no one is turned away because of lack of ability to pay.
Independence, Inc. provides a wide variety of services relating to housing issues. Our primary service is to help those in our community find and acquire accessible, safe and affordable homes. Home modifications are also part of our services through several departments including Independent Living, Advocacy, Assistive Technology and Information and Referral. We also provide help accessing a variety of federal, local, city, and state programs that are designed to provide accessible housing for all with needs in our community. First time homeowners, those moving from institutions to community housing, landlords and tenants, students and others are welcome to contact our staff for help.
The Kansas Telecommunications Access Program (TAP) is a telecommunications equipment distribution program. The program is funded pursuant to state law through the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF) and is regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC). The purpose of TAP is to provide specialized equipment to Kansans with disabilities or impairments in order to access basic home telecommunication services.
Personal Care Attendant/Personal Assistant Service Systems (PCA/PASS)Independence, Inc. provides business management services for eligible persons with disabilities desiring to direct their own personal care attendant services under the Kansas Medicaid HCBS Waiver Program. Business management includes: preparation of semi-monthly paychecks; filling of related payroll returns and W-2's; filing taxes including unemployment insurance and worker's compensation coverage.
The Successful Living Workshop is an interactive workshop targeted at helping families maximize their resources to effectively transition to self-sufficiency.
Targeted Case Management
Independence, Inc. provides both case management and payroll management for people in northeast Kansas eligible for the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services waiver programs. These programs allow people with disabilities to live independently by hiring their own personal care attendants to assist them with daily living activities in their own homes. Targeted Case Management is also known as Independent Living Counseling.
We have provided transportation services in Douglas County for over twenty-five years. We have four accessible vehicles on the road each day. These services ensure people who are unable to drive can get to and from work, educational programs, recreational activities and medical appointments.
Work Opportunities Reward Kansans (WORK)
Independence, Inc. conducts eligibility assessments for the new Medicaid WORK program across the entire state of Kansas.
Youth Employment Program (YEP)
The Youth Employment Program is a partnership between Independence Inc. and local public schools to promote positive attitudes toward employment for youth with disabilities. Our goal is to increase employment options and outcomes for students age 15 to 21.