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Filing Complaints to Leverage Olmstead Enforcement: The Kansas Experience

Presented by Shari Coatney, President/CEO, Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (SKIL) on March 22, 2012

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About the Training

Community living is a hallmark of Independent Living. But so many CIL consumers face waiting lists and other barriers that threaten to put them in nursing homes or prevent them getting out and going back to their own homes. When waiting lists were implemented in Kansas, advocates organized to overwhelm the US Department of Health & Human Services and the US Department of Justice with Olmstead complaints to draw attention to the issue and highlight the damage waiting lists can cause in people’s lives. The presenter details how this process worked and how you can implement it in your state.

Target Audience

Executive directors, program managers, board members, and line staff of centers for independent living concerned with Olmstead advocacy and enforcement.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this training, participants will have knowledge and resources that will enable them to:

  • Explain the background of the Olmstead decision and the role that CILs and center staff have in educating, assisting, and supporting consumers to advocate for themselves.
  • Describe steps centers can take to advance Olmstead implementation and enforcement, especially by promoting consumer empowerment through assisting them with filing complaints.
  • Identify strategies to form a unified effort for achieving systems change through effective networking and organizing with other CILs, SILCs and relevant organizations.

About the Presenter

Shari Coatney serves as President/CEO of the Southeast Kansas Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (SKIL), based in Parsons, KS. Throughout her seventeen year tenure in that position, Shari has served on the boards of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas (SILCK) and the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living (KACIL), often holding positions of leadership. She continues to serve on many statewide working committees impacting policy decisions affecting Kansans with disabilities. Shari holds membership in the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and lives in Thayer, KS.

Transcript and Resources:

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Presented by CIL-NET, a program of the IL NET national training and technical assistance project for Centers for Independent Living (CIL-NET) and Statewide Independent Living Councils (SILC-NET). The IL NET is operated by ILRU, Independent Living Research Utilization, in partnership with the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living (APRIL).

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Last Modified: November 15, 2012