KS LEND Trainee Sarah Hoffmeier Discusses Legislative Visit

February 19, 2008

By Sarah Hoffmeier LEND Social Work Trainee 

Kansas LEND trainees in Topeka

Kansas LEND recently kicked off the spring semester activities with a legislative focus. On January 28, University of Kansas faculty and LEND Trainees participated in the AUCD Legislative Webinar Presentation with Kim Musheno regarding federal advocacy and legislative updates. Her overview of the upcoming 2008 year was very informational not only as a citizen of the United States, but also as students and future professionals working with individuals with developmental disabilities. Learning about the disability issues on a federal level was eye opening and made us realize the impact that policy has on our daily work at the Center for Child Health and Development.

One week later we traveled to Topeka, the state capital of Kansas. We were given a tour which not only covered the historical aspects of the capitol building, but also explained the legislative process of the representatives and senators. Several of us attended a Ways and Means Committee meeting where proponents testified on behalf of several bills including one to support the training of allied health and special education professionals working with children with autism spectrum disorders. Others in our group attended a Bureau of Family Health meeting with Kansas Division of Health with a discussion of the new WIC program and a tour of the Children with Special Health Care Needs Program. Our last stop was at the Council for Developmental Disabilities, which advocates and offers services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Our time in Topeka captured the meaning and purpose of the AUCD webinar and provided us with an overview of current and proposed policy on the state and federal level.