Lindeman attends Education        Secretary Arne Duncan’s      success tour


David Lindeman, director of the University of Kansas Life Span Institute in Parsons and the Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, Parsons site, was one of the six Kansas early education leaders who met with senior officials from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 14 at Woodland Early Learning Community School in Kansas City, Missouri, regarding new federal guidance on including children with disabilities in early learning programs. 

This was the first stop in Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s 10-city tour, Ready for Success: 2015 Back-To-School Bus Tour. The tour was launched with a joint policy statement from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announcing the recommendations for increasing the number of children with disabilities in public and private high-quality inclusive early childhood programs nationwide. 

This meeting with USDE Deputy Secretary Libby Doggett, HHS Deputy Secretary Linda Smith, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services Michael Yudin, OSEP Associate Division Director Christy Kavulic and HHS Policy Advisor Shantel Meek provided representatives from Kansas and Missouri an opportunity to discuss the potential impact of the joint policy statement. 

The discussion focused on activities in their respective states regarding inclusion and focused on both opportunities and challenges. The federal officials and state representatives engaged in extended discussion regarding reaction to the policy statement. They discussed specific components of the statement, identified dissemination opportunities for the statement and discussed additional support the federal agencies can provide states. The discussion lasted 1 1/2 hours.

This policy statement highlights the benefits of inclusion for children with and without disabilities, provides the scientific and legal foundations supporting inclusion, provides a clear definition of inclusion and provides recommendation to states, school districts and early childhood programs for expanding inclusive high-quality early learning opportunities for all children.

As noted in the news release on the event from the USDE, this year is the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Act and the 50th anniversary of Head Start, but too many preschool children with disabilities are still excluded from early childhood programs with their peers. There is significant work to be achieved regarding inclusions of young children with disabilities into everyday activities and learning environments.

Each member of the Kansas team represented a specific group of stakeholders, early childhood service program and/or professional development and technical assistance support for individuals working in the field of early childhood. Other members of the Kansas team were Barbara Dayal, Kansas State Department of Education, Part B, 619 coordinator, services for children 3-5 with disabilities; Carrie Hastings, children’s services manager, Kansas Department for Children and Families in the Strengthening Families Unit; Gayle Stuber, Kansas State Department of Education, coordinator for early childhood programs; Sarah Walters, Kansas State Department of Health and Environment, coordinator of IDEA, Part C Services, services for children birth to age 2 with disabilities; and Erick Vaughn, executive director, Head Start Association. 


Patel named office manager for LCMHS

Asha Patel became the office manager for Labette Center for Mental Health Services on Oct. 1.

Patel will maintain all of her current duties for Labette Center. In addition she will provide supervision and administrative functions for the business office.  

Patel was hired in 2006 in the accounts receivable department. She then moved into the position of corporate compliance and in 2008 assumed the title of accounts payable. In 2011 she also began handling the functions of payroll. Patel holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree in management and accounting that she earned from Pittsburg State University, graduating in 2000.

Patel resides in Parsons with her husband, Kanak, their children, Shaan and Aashka. Originally from Pennsylvania, Patel moved to the area in 1996. She also is a 2010-11 graduate of Leadership Labette. Patel enjoys spending time with friends and family and attending her children’s sporting activities. She and her family stay active in the community as well as in their children’s schools. 

Labette Center for Mental Health Services provides a full range of mental health and substance abuse services to clients of all ages and works closely with local agencies to provide the best care possible.


Candy Basket to open later than planned

Marcus Smith of Parsons still plans to open The Candy Basket at 109 St. 18th, but the store will open later than originally planned.

Smith, who was unavailable for comment, posted on the future candy store’s Facebook page last month that The Candy Basket will still open, but because of a lack of funding and the long process of getting a small business loan, he is behind his original schedule. Smith assured those interested that he will still open the store as soon as possible.

The downtown store front’s windows have been decorated with signs for a few months, and many people have asked Smith about the opening.

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