Advocacy

Contact: Bob Mikesic
(bmikesic@independenceinc.org)
Co-Executive Director
841-0333 ext. 107

People with disabilities benefit from knowing the laws that affect their relationships with employers, businesses, landlords, and government.

Independence, Inc. is part of a nationwide network of agencies working to ensure that people with disabilities have opportunities to live independently.

We ask that you join us as advocates for the preservation of strong civil rights laws and home and community based services, so that people with disabilities continue to be integral to Kansas community life.

Self Advocacy by People with Disabilities

Not only do we advocate for individuals, but we also teach self-advocacy. Knowing the principles of effective communication can be useful in a variety of situations, e.g.:

  • Finding or maintaining housing or employment
  • Making requests in writing
  • Explaining to landlords and businesses why certain service animals are used
  • Working to improve accessibility community-wide

We provide information about civil rights laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fair Housing Act, Kansas Act Against Discrimination and Kansas Residential Landlord & Tenant Act. People with disabilities learn how to exercise their rights, use mediation to resolve differences and, when necessary, file complaints.

Additional Resources

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    (http://www.ada.gov/)
    1-800-514-0301 (Voice)
    1-800-514-0383 (TDD)
  • Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) Enforcement Guidance on the ADA
    (www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/accommodation.html)
  • Great Plains ADA Center-Disability Business Technical Assistance Center (DBTAC)
    (http://www.gpadacenter.org/)
    Provides technical assistance, training, and materials on all areas of the Americans with Disabilities Act and related disability laws to individuals in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
    1-800-949-4232
  • Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
    (www.jan.wvu.edu)
    JAN facilitates employment and retention of workers with disabilities by providing information on job accommodations, self-employment, small business opportunities and related subjects. JAN is a comprehensive resource for job accommodations.
    1-800-526-7234
  • United States Access Board
    (http://www.access-board.gov/)
    The federal agency committed to accessible design that develops the accessibility standards utilized by the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.
    1-800-872-2253 (V)
    1-800-993-2822 (TDD)
  • Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity Rights and Resources
    (http://www.hud.gov/offices/fheo/disabilities/index.cfm)
    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
    (http://www.bazelon.org/Where-We-Stand/Community-Integration/Housing/Housing-Policy-Documents.aspx)
    Comprehensive information about rights under the Fair Housing Act, including information sheets on aspects of Fair Housing Act that apply to people with disabilities.
  • Kansas Attorney General’s Office
    (http://www.ksag.org/home/)
    Consumer Protection
  • Kansas Human Rights Commission
    (http://www.khrc.net/)
    Agency that enforces the Kansas Act Against Discrimination
  • Kansas Insurance Commissioner
    (http://www.ksinsurance.org/about/contact.php)
    Consumer Information & Fraud Protection
  • Kansas Joblink
    (www.kansasjoblink.com)
    Excellent information and links to other resources in “Disability Resources.”
  • Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Inc. (DRC)
    (http://drckansas.org/)
    DRC is a legal advocacy agency empowered by federal law to advocate for the civil and legal rights of Kansans with disabilities. DRC is the official Protection and Advocacy System for Kansas and part of the national network of federally mandated and funded protection and advocacy systems. DRC advocates for the rights of Kansans with disabilities under state or federal laws (ADA, Rehabilitation Act, Federal Medicaid Act, Kansas Act Against Discrimination, etc.). DRC is also empowered by federal law to educate policymakers on needed improvements to the law and public policy.
    1-877-776-1541 (V)
    1-877-335-3725 (TDD)
  • Accessible Parking Permit Application (PDF file)
    (http://www.ksrevenue.org/pdf/tr159.pdf)
  • City of Lawrence, Human Relations Division
    (www.lawrenceks.org/legal/complaint_process)
    The City of Lawrence Human Relations Division at 1006 New Hampshire, is a civil rights enforcement agency. It investigates complaints from persons alleging they have been discriminated against in employment, housing, or public accommodations because of race, sex, religion, color, national origin, age, ancestry, sexual orientation, disability or familial status in housing. Human Relations provides education and outreach for the City’s anti-discrimination law. The Human Relations Commission serves as the advisory board for the agency. If you believe you have been discriminated against, you can submit an Intake Discrimination Complaint form online. Read the Human Relations ordinance (PDF, 134 KB).