What is an Assistive Technology Device?
Assistive Technology devices, or ATs, are defined as "any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially, off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve functional capabilities of individuals with disabilities" (IDEA, Sec.602(1)).
Who is Eligible for Assistive Technology Devices and Services?
In Kansas, services for children from birth to three years of age are coordinated through Kansas Infant-Toddler Services. Students ages 3 through 21 years, if they have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), are eligible for services through their school program. AT needs should be documented on the plan. Those with IEPs have to have a transition plan (including AT needs) at age 14 years to assist in their move from secondary education to other settings. For AT devices and services to be provided, they must be listed on the IEP.
Adults are eligible for devices and services through federal and state dollars distributed through the Assistive Technology for Kansas Project. Various funding sources might be utilized, including vocational rehabilitation, Medicaid, insurance, etc.
Assistive technology devices and services should be included in the plan, whether it be an Individual Program Plan (IPP), IEP, Individual Home Plan (IHP), Essential Lifestyle Plan
(ELP), Person-Centered Plan (PCP), etc.
How Do I Get the Help I Need?
- Email PSH&TC
- Assistive Technology Access Site located at the SKIL Resource Center
- Assistive Technology of Kansas Project
620-421-6550, ext. 1783
PSH&TC has been a partner with the University of Kansas (KU) since the mid 1950s when the first federal research grant was awarded to PSH&TC and KU. The two agencies are known internationally for the pioneering work done on the communication, learning and behavior problems of individuals with severe disabilities. PSH&TC has enjoyed a national and international reputation in the field of intellectual disabilities primarily as the result of a relationship with the University of Kansas, University Center on Developmental Disabilities at Parsons, which was established in January 1958. This affiliation has created many significant advances in research and attracted a large group of highly qualified professionals who provide professional training opportunities and leadership in Kansas programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Click here for more information about KUCDD.
In 1966, the late Dan Willis, a radio personality at KKOW radio station, wanted to do something to brighten the lives of all residents living at PSH&TC during the Christmas holiday season. He was the driving force behind Operation Santa which assures that each person receives special Christmas gifts selected especially for that person. Although Dan lost his battle with cancer in 2005, in his memory the tradition has continued. KKOW radio station continues to hold fundraisers, including the Memorial Dan Willis Poker Run, to raise money for Operation Santa. PSH Endowment also provides assistance to assure that each person receives three gifts.
In recent years, two other worthwhile projects have been established by other organizations and volunteers to assist with Operation Santa. The Health Science Academy at Parsons High School has an annual Noodle Fest to supplement the Operation Santa funds. The Labette Community College Nursing Department purchases small stocking stuffers taht are distributed to all residents during the holiday season. All of the proceeds are used to purchase Christmas gifts for the residents. Additional funding support is provided by PSH Endowment to help assure each resident at PSH&TC receives at least one of the items on their Christmas list.
The primary sponsor of the Annual Gary J. Daniels Sunbelt Rodeo is the PSH Endowment Association. Since 1981, this unique event has offered the thrills of rodeo competition to individuals with intellectual and other disabilities. Participants are divided into four divisions based on riding skills and compete in goat tying, horsemanship, trail course, flag racing, pole bending, barrel racing, keyhole, and mechanical bull riding. Volunteers, service organizations, schools and businesses return year after year volunteering their time, horses and other resources which contribute to the success of the rodeo.
Participants travel from Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri and Kansas for the competition. The event begins on Saturday with two "Go-Rounds" in events such as barrel racing, trail course, pole bending, mechanical bull riding, key hole, flag racing, horsemanship and goat tie. The evening culminates with a barbeque and dance. Starting at 9 a.m., Sunday's event includes the finalists competing in the actual rodeo. Participates in the Red are paired with a riding club member and compete as a team for the finals.
For more information about participating in or volunteering for the rodeo call 620-421-6550 ext. 1726 or email PSH&TC.
Zimmerman Family Indoor Riding Arena
The most recent addition to the rodeo was the completion in 2009 of the Zimmerman Family Indoor Riding Arena – in indoor riding arena to allow year-round riding for residents at PSH&TC. The 100’ x 200’ foot arena, with a 100’ x 200’ seating area, was funded through the Endowment Association, and a generous donation by a parent of one of the residents. The arena has been named the “Zimmerman Family Indoor Riding Arena” in honor of that donation.
The Parent Advisory and Review Committee, formerly known as the Citizens Advisory and Review Committee, was established in August 1980. Membership at that time consisted of parents of individuals with developmental disabilities, self-employed individuals, bankers, teachers, attorneys, a pharmacist and a railroad employee. The purpose of the committee was to solicit citizen advice by creating and supporting active citizen advisory boards to serve as one means of making the facility accountable to the state by monitoring the implementation of new policies and procedures, assisting in setting budget priorities, monitoring programs, patient rights and training staff.
In 1982, the committee split into two groups, establishing the Parsons State Hospital Endowment Association. The focus of the Endowment Association was to provide a source of funding for the various projects, entertainment, equipment, benefits and other charitable programs for residents of PSH&TC. One of the first projects of the Endowment Association was the Sunbelt Special Rodeo. The Endowment Association is a community oriented, not-for-profit organization controlled by a Board of Directors composed of parents and business leaders within the community.
Today, the Parent Advisory and Review Committee members are parents of individuals who are or have been residents of PSH&TC. They continue to advise the administration on matters pertaining to programs and community relations that represent the parents and residents of persons served by the facility. The Superintendent advises the committee on current legislation affecting the hospital, budget issues and numerous other projects that are ongoing. The parent group is instrumental in communicating with legislators throughout the state, providing valuable insight into the services, care and treatment provided to individuals receiving services through PSH&TC.