Participate! Kansas Programs You Can Use
These are programs in Kansas that have been proven to work for people with disabilities. The Disability and Health Program does not sponsor these programs, but provides this information to give you more options for improving your health.
Click on the program name to learn more. If you are interested in participating, contact the program directly.
Please visit our pages on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Oral Health to learn about programs that the DHP offers to Kansans.
The Mid America Multiple Sclerosis Achievement Center
Members come to the Achievement Center one day per week. They focus each day on fitness & physical therapy, cognitive stimulation and occupational therapy, emotional support and education, and recreation and connection. Members bring their lunch and spend the lunch hour catching up with each other. All of the services happen in a group setting; members are in groups of 8-10 that rotate through the activities together. This format builds connection and support among the members and gives the opportunity to do targeted work, but is less costly than private therapy.
A typical member of the program would be:
- Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and at least 18 years of age
- Experience physical or cognitive disability that limits work or daily activities.
- Able to communicate basic daily needs: thirst, hunger, toileting needs, pain
- Willing and able to participate and engage in all aspects of the program
- Free of uncontrolled wandering
- Someone who conducts themselves in a respectful manner and is committed to regular attendance
- Have reliable transportation to allow them regular attendance
- Abides by the guidelines in the MS Achievement Center Handbook.
To apply for the program or for more information, contact:
The American Stroke Foundation’s Next Step Program
The Next Step Program is aimed at maintaining and improving health, wellness, and participation for individuals who have moved beyond their stroke and wish to take their next steps in life.
Health professionals develop targeted activities within four primary areas to address participants’ goals: Communication, Health Behaviors, Life After Stroke and Physical Fitness Participants must be able to fulfill basic personal needs (e.g. eating, using the restroom) or be accompanied by a caregiver who can assist them. Socially appropriate behavior is also required. The program fosters a collegial family atmosphere.
Next Step has three Locations in the Metro Kansas City area: Mission, KS; Blue Springs, MO; and Kansas City, MO. For more information or to schedule a tour, contact:
American Stroke Foundation - Business Office
6405 Metcalf Ave, STE 214
Overland Park, KS 66202
Neuromuscular Wellness Center at Fort Hays State University
The Neuromuscular Wellness Center at Fort Hays State University (FHSU) is a fitness center that serves adults with a significant neurological disorder, including stroke, paralysis, muscle spasticity, multiple sclerosis, and those who are at risk for falls. It is different from a rehabilitation program in a hospital setting, but rather seeks to provide a “next step” after completion of a physical therapy program.
Center staff emphasize a “do it yourself” approach. Involvement starts with creation of a customized exercise routine that can promote movement, improve cardiovascular health, and increase stamina. The program director, Dr. Charmane Kandt, and trained student staff work with participants to reach individual goals, with the ultimate goals of preserving self-sufficiency and independence at home.
Some benefits that participants obtain:
- Improved health in a safe, accessible environment;
- Opportunity to try a variety of exercise machines and activities;
- Encouragement and support by working one-on-one with trained students;
- Social opportunities with others who are trying to improve their health.
The Center is located in Albertson Hall 168 on the FHSU campus, with convenient reserved parking nearby, and is open five days weekly, Monday to Friday. Check the daily hours at https://www.fhsu.edu/hhp/nwc/
The program is offered at no cost to participants, although donations are encouraged.
If you have a neuromuscular condition and live in the FHSU area, this program can provide a great opportunity for fitness and health!
To participate or for more information, contact:
Wheelchair Sports, Inc. (WSI)
If you are a person with a physical disability who lives in the Wichita area and wants to increase your activity level through adaptive sports, you might want to check out this program!
Wheelchair Sports, Inc. (WSI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of adaptive sports and recreation in south-central Kansas, and works toward four goals:
- Provide, promote, and encourage and engage in sports, physical fitness and recreational activities designed for individuals with physical disabilities;
- Provide an atmosphere of support and learning for individuals interested in expanding their current levels of activity;
- Increase awareness and interest in adaptive sports;
- Promote the social health and well-being of individuals with physical disabilities.
Current activities include adaptive cycling, tennis, basketball, boccia, wheelchair hockey, and bowling. The board of Wheelchair Sports, Inc. includes several members who use wheelchairs, and all board members are enthusiastic about sharing their love of adaptive sports with others. For example, WSI organizes clinics and events for handcyclers, and has several handcycles for members to try out, whether their interest is racing, recreation, or just fitness. This is a great benefit since it’s not possible to just go out and rent a handcycle anywhere, and members are interested in providing basic instruction so that a novice’s first experience will be a good one.
WSI coordinates yearly events such as A Day at the Lake for water sports, and equipment exhibitions. Also, additional sports activities such as snow skiing and horseback riding may be organized.
Membership is open to people with and without disabilities through the membership form on the WSI website: http://wsi.wcsports.org/
So if you’re interested in adaptive sports and fun in a supportive atmosphere in the south central Kansas area, check out WSI!
To participate or for more information, contact:
Wheelchair Sports, Inc.
3033 W. 2nd St. North
Wichita, KS, 67203
Special Olympics Kansas
Energized by the pride and power of teamwork, Special Olympics Kansas (SOKS) provides individuals with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to be an athlete, and more, through achievement, acceptance, inclusion, physical fitness, health and nutrition programs and leadership development. SOKS is committed to providing free health and wellness opportunities to individuals who are registered as SOKS athletes. Health has a substantial impact on the quality of life for ALL people, especially those with intellectual disabilities (ID) and affects each athlete’s ability to train and compete in sports effectively.
Special Olympics Health Heroes Program (currently under development) and the Healthy Athletes Program are a series of projects with the goal of combatting these issues. These projects provide free health screenings and education to our athletes. By teaching preventative care practices on a consistent basis SOKS believes athletes learn the importance of developing a healthy lifestyle.
If you or someone you know has an intellectual disability and wants to be a part of Special Olympics Kansas, go to www.ksso.org and click on athlete. Starting at age of 8, athletes are accepted into the program with proper paperwork.
You are never too old for sports – including Special Olympics. There is no age-out. We have Local Training Programs available all across Kansas. So come for the sports, but stay for the quality of life!
To participate or for more information, contact the regional director for your region:
Or contact the main office:
Special Olympics Kansas
5280 Foxridge Drive
Mission, KS 66202