Letters to Santa are coming in
Starkey is partnering once again with the City of Wichita to collect letters for Santa and give away early Christmas presents that will include a ride on a Wichita fire truck.
Individuals at Starkey will help mail return responses to Wichita children for the letters that are dropped off for Santa. Letters can be dropped between November 18 and December 10 at Starkey, 4500 W. Maple, CityArts, Cowtown, Mid-American All-Indian Center, Century II or Cambridge Market.
Children need to put a return address on each letter to receive a response. Every child who participates will be automatically entered into a prize drawing - one grand prize winner will be selected to read his or her letter live on KAKE News at 11 a.m. with Jemelle Holopirek.
Starkey building new apartments
Construction is nearly complete on Starkey's new 22-unit apartment complex at 591 N. McComas, near Central and West.
The $2.2 million project includes 16 apartments in the main building and two smaller buildings, each of which includes three apartments. The main building will also have a community room for activities.
Community living trainers will be on site during the week and on weekends at designated times to help with meals, grocery shopping, bill paying and transportation.
Financing for the project is provided by Bank of Kansas. The contractor is Ink Construction, and Don Folger Jr. and Associates is the architect.
Read more here.
Knights of Columbus volunteers raise funds through Tootsie Roll drive
If you see local Knights of Columbus members outside retail stores in the area, they are collection donations to benefit people with intellectual disabilities (and offering a Tootsie Roll as a thank-you).
For many years, organizations like Starkey have benefitted from the hard work of the Knights - and the generosity of the stores who make it possible - and donations from local Knights of Columbus chapters have helped purchase accessible buses.
Thank you, Knights, for your long-standing support!
Delta Dental awards 864 dental kits to Starkey
The Delta Dental of Kansas Foundation has awarded 864 oral health kits to Starkey for its Three Steps to Dental Health project for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The project will emphasize daily brushing and flossing and will offer other educational opportunities to help individuals develop healthy habits.
A study that appeared in a 2012 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association indicated that adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities have poor overall oral health. One-third have untreated cavities, 80 percent have gum disease and 10 percent are missing teeth.
The Delta Dental kits will be made available to individuals served in Starkey’s day and residential programs. In addition, Starkey will partner with local dental hygiene students to offer further oral health training to people with disabilities who live on their own or who have limited staff support.
Disability employment awareness month
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, designated by Congress as a time to raise awareness about the incentives for businesses to hire workers who have disabilities.
In Wichita, many local businesses - restaurants, pharmacies, banks, car dealerships, country clubs, retail stores and manufacturing firms - have hired individuals from Starkey. Some of these individuals have enjoyed job tenures of 10, 15 and 20 years.
Read more from the Wichita Eagle here about Davis-Moore, which hired three individuals from Starkey.
National recognition for LIGHTHouse
Dr. Matthew Janicki, director of technical assistance at the University of Chicago's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging and Developmental Disabilities, recently reported on Starkey's Earl and Mathilda Goebel LIGHTHouse Homes to the President's Advisory Council on the National Plan to Address Alzheimer's Disease.
The LIGHTHouse homes are being used as a model by CARF to develop new accreditation standards for dementia care. They were opened in 2010 for people with intellectual disabilities and dementia. Read more from the Wichita Business Journal here.
Building the OASIS
The Outdoor Activity Space Initiative for Starkey (OASIS) will create an outdoor park on a grassy 1/2-acre near Starkey’s main building at 4500 W. Maple. With a walking path, exercise and activity stations, a water feature, picnic tables under a shade structure and benches for rest or conversation between friends, the OASIS will help individuals fit wellness and relaxation into their daily routines.
GLMV Architecture of Wichita has generously donated its design services for the project. The initial plan allows flexibility to add new features in the future, based on how the space is used.
Research has shown that people with intellectual disabilities gain therapeutic benefit from activities conducted in natural environments. Safe, clean spaces encourage people to walk more often, lowering stress and increasing fitness levels, resulting in numerous health benefits. Green spaces have also been shown to reduce stress, measured through muscle tension, blood pressure and electrical brain activity - sometimes detectable within minutes of exposure to a natural environment.
Construction of the OASIS is expected to begin in late summer 2013 after the annual fund campaign is complete. Please consider a gift to OASIS today - and learn more here.
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Find Starkey on YouTube
You can learn more about Starkey here by visiting our YouTube channel!
Find a general information video, specifics about our employment programs and a futuristic view of our OASIS project!
Wichita Wagonmasters award gift for accessible equipment
The Wichita Wagonmasters presented a $750 grant to Starkey for the purchase of wheelchair-accessible equipment to be installed in the OASIS, a future half-acre exercise space with walking paths, covered seating areas and exercise stations to be constructed at Starkey.
For more information about the OASIS, link here.
Imagine moving halfway across the country to find disability services for your baby girl.
That's just what Janet's parents did when they moved from New York City to Wichita, Kansas, in the 1950s. Janet, now 58, has grown up at Starkey and flourished. Read her story here.