Red tape for developmentally disabled
Recently, my husband and I attended an informational meeting hosted by the Sedgwick County Developmental Disability Organization. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment presented information about how to acquire state benefits for loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We sought information on how our adult son with severe autism Medicaid benefits would change when he goes on Medicare. We consider ourselves educated and informed parents, but we left feeling frustrated and confused.
A parent mentioned that because the state failed to send the proper paperwork, his son’s services were dropped. Two mothers were starting the daunting process for their adult sons with I/DD. They felt discouraged and lost in the mounds of paperwork. Even the two capable KDHE presenters admitted that the system is constantly changing and difficult to navigate.
Once home, we called our case manager in a panic, worried our son would be dropped from services that we have worked for years to obtain. She reassured us and patiently explained the process. Other waivers such as the Frail and Elderly waiver don’t have case managers, and many vulnerable people are falling through the cracks. The state of Kansas should remove roadblocks for those with disabilities.
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Aldona Carney, Wichita
Contemporary education problems
Being an adjunct professor, accreditation visitor, industry adviser to university and public school programs, parent, and student provided insights into education over seven decades.
Public schools and institutions of higher learning have turned away from expectations and rigor, choosing instead to hold the fort as disinterested students pass through. This does not blame educators, nor suggests there are no bright students or educational successes.
The urgent need is for parents to instruct their children that focus and discipline are keys to maximizing their education and are critical as they prepare for the world of work. This will not be easy. Most adults and children are addicted to wireless communication devices. This contemporary addiction not only threatens our educational system, but has degraded the work force.
It’s likely that more money eases the burden on certain school districts forced to comply with mindless directions from Washington. Competitive salaries also cost money. It’s unfortunate our Kansas judiciary needs to decide such a common sense matter.
But very little of substance can be expected until parents recognize and remove or mitigate short attention spans in themselves and their children, rediscover parent-teacher groups, and demand administrators back teachers so teachers can educate rather than babysit.
Leland Johnson, Wichita
A prom treat
Saturday was a gloomy. rainy night for a senior prom, but with spirits high and pictures taken our granddaughter and her friends headed to Wasabi restaurant on Rock Road to enjoy a dinner at their favorite restaurant.
When all seven had finished their meals, they were told by their server that their dinners had been paid for by an anonymous couple. They didn’t get to thank the couple, which had already left.
On behalf of the girls, thank you for your extreme generosity and for helping to add to the experience of their senior prom. God bless you both. The example that you set will be passed on.
Juanita Olson, Wichita
Honoring public service
In our community and throughout the nation, local, state and federal government employees serve and protect us. Public servants deserve our appreciation daily, but Public Service Recognition Week (May 6-12) is a time set aside to honor our men and women in government.
Public service is a calling to serve one’s fellow Americans. Our diverse workforce at the federal, state and local levels consists of highly talented individuals with a strong drive to improve the lives of the American people. They ensure a clean environment, safeguard the food we eat, protect our communities from violence, stabilize and grow the economy, come to our rescue after disasters and teach our children, to name a few ways public servants make our lives better.
Please join me in thanking our public servants for the important work they do for our community.
David Petrie, Andover
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