• Home
  • RTC Partners on Employment Project Funded by United Healthcare

RTC Partners on Employment Project Funded by United Healthcare

April 10, 2015 – The RTC on Independent Living is working with seven other Kansas disability organizations to improve employment opportunities for Kansans with disabilities. The group, known as the Employment Systems Change Coalition (ESCC), is funded by a $199,500 Empower Kansans grant from United Healthcare. The goal of the grant program is to increase employment among persons with disabilities and address systematic barriers to employment.

UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Kansas CEO Tim Spilker (center) presents a

check to Employment Systems Change Coalition members (from left) Rocky Nichols,
Martha Hodgesmith,Rosie Cooper, Stephanie Breaker and Val Renault.

Other members of the cross-disability coalition are: the Association of Community Mental Health Centers of Kansas, Autism Society–The Heartland, Disability Rights Center of Kansas, Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living, National Alliance on Mental Illness–Kansas, SelfAdvocate Coalition of Kansas, and Skills to Succeed, which is coordinating the effort.

The coalition will create a comprehensive plan to address employment needs in Kansas. To accomplish this, they will review current state efforts and needs, gather stakeholder feedback, research best practices from other states, and provide technical assistance for training service providers in best practices.

RTC staff members Martha Hodgesmith and Val Renault will lead the stakeholder feedback sessions, adapting a community engagement model that the RTC has researched and applied in several other projects, including the current Community Engagement Initiative Knowledge Translation Research Project and two projects focused on health care access for Kansans with brain injuries and Kansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Two other KU disability organizations also received grants to increase employment. Read more about awards for Assistive Technology for Kansans and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities.


More About the Center

In addition to our News page, we publish a RTC/IL newsletter for disability advocates and stakeholders of our work.

To subscribe, please email rtcil@ku.edu.


Celebrating the ADA at 25

Our Center celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act with this tote bag.

A woman models the tote bag, which says, "Celebrating the ADA - 25 years and going strong." The Center's logo is beneath the slogan.

We distributed the tote at national and local events to spread the word about this landmark civil rights law.


Disability advocate Imani Barbarin started the hashtag #ComebacksForAbleism on Twitter, and the responses are delig… https://t.co/CYIOXHkC4V

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times
KU Today