“My disability exists not because I use a wheelchair, but because the broader environment isn’t accessible” – Stella Young, Australian comedian, journalist and disability rights activist, d. 12/06/2014

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Medicaid Continuous Enrollment Period Set to Expire, Leaving Many Without Coverage

image contains a closeup of a stethoscope with a Medicaid Card in the foreground

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government introduced the Public Health Emergency (PHE) which, among other things, blocked states from ending Medicaid benefits for people who were no longer eligible. Continue Reading ►

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Long-COVID Support Group Now Forming!

If you have had Covid-19 and have since experienced long-term, lingering, worsening or new symptoms that are affecting your physical, mental or emotional health and well-being, contact us today! Peer Support can help! Continue Reading ►

image of a hand placing scrabble tiles that spell out Long Covid and text that reads Virtual Peer Support Groups Forming Now

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We are So Grateful Our for Partners, Sponsors and Donors! We Couldn't do This Work Without YOU!

dark green background with decorative leaves and text that reads A huge thank you to all of you who supported us and contributed to our organization throughout 2022

We appreciate YOU and your commitment to accessibility, independent living and the right to full inclusion and access for all people!

Missed our Fall Campaign? It's never to late to give!

 Give Now! ►

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Would Your Website Pass an Accessibility Scan? Compliance isn't an Option, It's the Law!

An Eye-Opening Look at Lack of Web Accessibility Compliance and What's at Stake for Business Owners, Non-Profits and Other Public Facing Entities. 

image of a graph depicting percentage of website home pages that do not meet accessibility guidelines. Each graph bar represents a percentage of home pages that have common accessibility features that are missing. These include high contrast text, alt text, form labels and document language.

Above: Bar graph showing home pages with most common accessibility failures including low contrast test, missing alt text, empty links, missing form labels, empty buttons and missing document language.

The phrase "we don't know what we don't know" is a concept we can apply to many, if not all, subjects. Let's frame it in the context of web accessibility.

In an article on Forbes.com, October 11, 2022, contributor David Moradi wrote, "With the digital accessibility specialist hiring surge, the rise of accessibility lawsuits and the many articles written on the subject, one may think we are making real progress toward equal access to the internet. But as of 2022, only 3% of the internet is accessible to people with disabilities, and the majority of business owners still don’t know how to make their websites accessible—some don’t even know they have to—for the 26% of American adults who live with a disability."

Continue Reading ►

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Resources for Business Owners: Making Your Web Content Accessible and Compliant

Web Aim: Introduction to Web Accessibility


Accessibility Training, Technical Assistance, Accessible Site Certification and more


Web Accessibility Initiative: In-Depth Introduction to Web Accessibility

Forbes: What's next for Digital Accessibility?


How Many Websites are ADA Compliant? What's the Problem and What to do about it

closeup of an accessible keyboard and computer with a hand on the keyboard

Follow the links to the left to learn all about Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, ADA Law, How to get your website into compliance and why it's not just a help to people with disabilities, it's their right.

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Consumer Success: Breaking Through Barriers to Find Safe, Affordable Housing

- by Dale Mantz, Independence Inc. consumer

image of wooden block style houses with painted rooftops aligned close together to depict a neighborhood
Continue Reading      

Despite the ongoing affordable housing crisis, Independence, Inc. consumer, Dale Mantz, after working with one our Independent Living Counselors, was able to quickly implement his newly-acquired independent living skills to successfully find affordable and safe housing, and navigate his way through the many barriers he encountered along the way. This is Dale's story in his own words...

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2022 APRIL Conference Presentation Helped Deliver Much-Needed Information on Long-Covid and the Implications it may have on Society, Systems and People with Disabilities

For many people with disabilities, living independently is often a struggle - not because of their disability, but rather the attitudinal, physical and systemic barriers that still exist that create a lack of inclusion to society, housing, resources, recreation, education and the community as a whole. For people in rural areas, these barriers can be even more extensive. The Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) is a "national grass roots, consumer controlled, nonprofit membership organization consisting of centers for independent living, their satellites and branch offices, statewide independent living councils, other organizations and individuals concerned with the independent living issues of people with disabilities living in rural America". - Source: APRIL website

Zoom conference screen shot with presenter and ASL interpreter pictured on the right hand side and a presentation slide pictured on the left that reads Breaking down barriers, Is COVID 19 still a threat?

Above: Amy Ballinger, Independence, Inc. Community Engagement Manager and Social Support and Resource Specialist, presents a keynote address, Living in the Long-COVID Era: From Diagnosis to Disability and Everything in Between, at the 2022 Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL) Conference. 

Every year, the association holds a National Conference and the theme in 2022 was "The Power of Peer Support". The virtual 2022 APRIL Conference was highly attended and offered numerous sessions relating to disability, independent living, peer support, the ADA and other relevant topicsIndependence, Inc. Social Support and Resource Specialist, Amy Ballinger, presented a keynote on Long-Covid with valuable information on navigating employment, housing, reasonable accommodations, Medicaid and even the health care system while living with Long-COVID. The presentation was well-attended and received valuable feedback on the importance of the topic, revealing a great need for further research, peer support, resources and patient recognition from the medical community.

Continue reading ►

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We're Hiring! Independent Living Counselor for Remote Work in the Central Kansas Area!

image of a female with short reddish brown hair, sitting in a wheelchair and leaning up to the kitchen counter with a knife in hand, cutting fruit to prepare a meal

Work from your home office in the McPherson or Abilene areas.

M-F 8:00 - 5:00

$34,320/year ($16.50/hr)

+ great benefits!

Find Out More ►

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We're Hiring Drivers! Full Time, Monday-Friday

Full Time Transportation

Operator Needed!

M-F 8:00 - 5:00

$27,040 ($13/hr)

+ great benefits!

Find Out More  
image of dark skinned male with short gray hair exiting a van and into a wheelchair with the assistance of a medium-dark skinned female with short gray hair and text overlay that reads we're hiring drivers. Full time or part time fill in positions available. Monday through Friday 8 to 5

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New Independent Living and Peer Support Specialist Joined our Team - Welcome Kimberly!

closeup photo of a light skinned female with long black hair wearing a pink shirt and light blue vest smiling at the camera

Kimberly Kaehn, Independent Living and Peer Counseling Specialist, began working at Independence Inc. this past September. Kim will be working one-on-one with consumers, assisting with services like employment, housing, peer support and advocacy to help reach their independent living goals. Previously employed at the Lawrence Community Shelter, Kim has lots of experience working with community members seeking housing resources, employment opportunities and how to live in accordance with the independent living philosophy. 

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Our 2022 Annual Report is in the Works!

Our Annual Report will hit the printer next month! Check your inbox, your mail box or check back on our website in March to get your copy!

Annual Report Archives ►  
image of an old scrap book cover with a photo collage of people with various disabilities and text that reads a journey through twenty two. Independence, Inc. Annual Report twenty twenty two. Strategy. Impact. Vision. Reach.

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Local Artist and Independence, Inc. Consumer Sets Sights on Creating Change Through Art

art easel with two original works of art displayed in a studio space with exposed brick walls

Above: two unique works of art by Linda Clark, rest on an easel in a studio in the East Lawrence Arts District

Linda Clark, Independence, Inc. consumer and Art Therapy Peer Group participant, has a unique perspective on creating art. "I'm in a weird space of wanting to contribute to the community in epic ways that help people feel okay about themselves. We're all trying to fit into this weird societal box and it's not working."

Continue Reading ►   

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We Love to Share Art From our Art Therapy Peer Group Participants!

Our Virtual Peer Groups are open to anyone who identifies as having a disability and wants to find a social and support system with others who may share similar experiences, coping strategies and independent living skills. Art Therapy may be a great place to start. We love showing off what our participants create!

Right: bright flowers in a pot and a honey bee to cheer up a dreary day, by Kelsey Leonard

Below: Jamie Jones chose an array of beautiful, bright colors to fill-in these felt lined color pages to create this one-of-a-kind art piece

brightly colored designs on a felt background depicting dragons, butterflies, flowers, the man in the moon and a rainbow and clouds
original coloring page of a flower pot with bright colored flowers and bee buzzing over

Above: bright flowers in a pot and a honey bee to cheer up a dreary day, by Kelsey Leonard

Left: Jamie Jones chose an array of beautiful, bright colors to fill-in these felt lined color pages to create this one-of-a-kind art piece



Find Out More