Serving people with intellectual disabilities since 1971.

SLI News

COVID-19 Update - Shawnee County stay at home order

March 24 - 5:47 pm

To:  All SLI clients, parents, families, employees, board of directors and stakeholders

The Shawnee County Health Department’s Health Officer, Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino has issued a stay at home order effective on March 26, 2020 at midnight.  The order requires that all Shawnee County citizens stay at home except to seek medical care and get medications and groceries or other essential services as deemed essential by the Shawnee County Health Department.

This order applies to all citizens with the exception of essential personnel.  SLI employees are considered essential personnel providing long-term services to a vulnerable population.  Every employee has received an essential personnel authorization letter that they are carrying with them in route to and from SLI homes and for SLI business.

While we have allowed limited visits from parents, immediate family members and guardians of those we serve, we must ask that, unless it is an emergency, those visits cease in order for us to promote compliance with the order and keep clients and employees safe and healthy.  There are a few instances in which continued visits may be deemed necessary due to the consequences that would occur without such visits.  These will be evaluated on a case by case basis by Traci Vincent, COO and myself as requested by a parent, family member, guardian, client or employee. 

All employees have the ability to Skype or FaceTime as long as they have a cell phone and will help our clients connect that way as much as desired and as is possible.  Phone calls are also encouraged.  

Thank you for your support and cooperation during this very difficult time.  

Please let me know if you have any questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sincerely,

Lisa Jackson, President/CEO

 

Adopt-A-Home Program

To:  All SLI parents, families, administrative personnel, board of directors and volunteers

Good afternoon all,

I hope this finds everyone healthy.  So far, SLI clients and employees have remained healthy overall for which we are extremely grateful.

As you are all aware, our clients and their staff are isolating in the SLI homes.  While we are staying in touch every day and certain deliveries are being made by supervisors, this can be very lonely, isolating and for some, depressing.  In an effort to try to alleviate some of this, we are implementing an “Adopt-A-Home” program.

We own 21 homes in Topeka where we provide services 24/7.  We would like to have each home “adopted” by administrative personnel, board members, parents, family members, guardians and/or volunteers.  If you or someone you know is interested, please email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  If you have a particular home you want to “adopt” please let me know which one.  Otherwise, I will match you with a home.  Traci or I will then send you a little information about the home, clients who live there and staff who support them (without violating any privacy or confidentiality laws).  We ask that you commit to doing one thing per week for the home you have “adopted.”

Some ideas of things one might do for the clients and employees may include:

  1. Drop off a DVD(s) and popcorn for a movie day/night
  2. Drop off baked goods, casserole or snacks
  3. Have a pizza or other food delivered
  4. Drop off games, puzzles, craft items
  5. Drop off your favorite recipe with ingredients so the clients and employees can make your favorite recipe
  6. Mail a letter/postcard
  7. Make regular (maybe weekly) phone call to say hello and tell employees thank you
  8. Make goodie bags and drop off
  9. Gather your friends and family to parade outside the home stopping in front to flash your car lights
  10. Deliver flowers

These are just a few ideas and I am sure that you can all come up with additional ways to help our clients and employees feel connected, cared for and appreciated during this time.

We ask that you call ahead to let staff know if you will be delivering something or having a dinner delivered so they can plan accordingly. We ask that all deliveries you might make be dropped off at the front door.  Ring bell or knock and staff will come outside to pick up.  If handling food to be delivered, please use recommended hygiene practices such as washing hands with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to handling.  Do not cough or sneeze over food.  Sanitize surfaces food may touch during preparation.

Each person “adopting” a home will be given an essential personnel/volunteer letter in the event Shawnee County goes to stay at home order. 

Our goal is to have at least one person assigned to every single home by the end of this week.  Please help if you can.  We can do this together!

Sincerely,

Lisa Jackson, President/CEO

 

March 20th COVID-19 Update

March 20 - 12:42 pm

To:  All clients, parents, families, guardians, employees and stakeholders

Good afternoon all,

I have just a few updates and information to pass along.

  1. A couple of IDD day service providers remain open for services.  SLI’s protocol, which follows Shawnee County Health Department, KDADS and CDC guidelines, remains as it is.  Our administrative offices are closed to the public.  All clients living in SLI owned homes are isolating with staff support in place.  Any client who leaves the home with a family member or guardian or to attend a day service will not be permitted to return to the home.  Clients in the Independent Living Program (living in their own home with minimal staff support) have been given information regarding the virus and best health practices in order to make an informed decision regarding whether or not they will continue to work or attend any functions away from their home.  We are strongly urging them to self-isolate.
  2. No client or employee illnesses have been reported as of now.
  3. Inventory of supplies was just completed Wednesday and will continue each Wednesday and as needed indefinitely.

We have received some very nice donations of cash, supplies, non-perishable food and hygiene items.  These continue to be coordinated through Karen Streeter, Vice-President of Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We sincerely thank all of you for your recent donations.  I want to share a couple of examples of how some donations have occurred.

Board members writing personal checks, donations online at www.slitopeka.org and board members and employees bringing in supplies, non-perishables and hygiene items that they have collected and/or purchased.  I just picked up a very large donation of personal hygiene supplies, games, puzzles, and socks, to name a few things, from Bargains Plus, LLC, owned by Tim and Adele Finney.  They are the aunt and uncle of a person we serve.  Everyone is really stepping up to pitch in and help as they can.  We appreciate each and every one of you more than words can express.  

Updates can continue to be found on SLI website at www.slitopeka.org and SLI Facebook and Twitter pages.  

Lisa Jackson, SLI President/CEO

 

March 18th COVID-19 Update #2

March 18 - 7:48 pm

To:  SLI clients, parents, families, guardians, employees, board and stakeholders

Good evening to all,

First and most importantly, as of this hour, all of our clients and employees are well and exhibiting no symptoms to our knowledge.  There has been one travel situation reported and that person has not been at any SLI home or other facility since returning from travel ( no positive testing) and will not be until instructed that it is acceptable (by health authorities and SLI protocols).

Secondly, there are just a few minor updates related to the continual changes taking place and as it relates to SLI:

  1. SLI has taken complete inventory of all PPE that is currently at SLI owned homes, in SLI owned vehicles, and that has been distributed to administrative personnel.  There is a complete inventory of that equipment that we maintain a supply of and in order to replenish as well.  Inventory will be taken every Wednesday until further notice.
  2. Groceries will be ordered online every week for the SLI homes.  However, we have to follow protocols in place for those stores as well which include only being able to place an order two days in advance and having orders not ready for pick up for possibly a few days.  We have made plans to adjust for this so no one runs out of food.
  3. Our Quality Improvement Director, Anita Mitts, has put together some goodie bags that are being delivered to each home for the clients that include things such as art supplies, games, activities and other items – thank you Anita.
  4. An order for some PPE supplies was able to be made today in order to be prepared to replenish our stock.
  5. We are ready to implement next phase of our plan should Shawnee County prohibit any gathering of 10 or more.  For the most part, this is already being implemented agency wide with minor exceptions regarding family visitors and community employment.  We are strongly urging all employees to follow this practice regardless of any mandates in order to reduce exposure chances.

I continue to be so appreciative of our employees.  I have been overwhelmed with pride and honor to get to work with such remarkable people.  People, without question, stepped up to work together to do whatever needed to be done and who have voiced commitment of preparedness to continue to do so for the health and well-being of our clients, employees and families.

I am also so very grateful to those of you who have taken a moment to send encouraging words, ideas, donations and prayers.  Please keep it coming.  Especially for our front line staff.  

You can leave messages or ask questions if you wish, as follows, to:

All staff:   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for distribution on your behalf

President/CEO and board of directors:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Vice-President of Development for donations of any kind:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please remember to check for updates and pass on to your friends and family on SLI website, Facebook and Twitter.

Here’s to a restful and healthy evening for all,

Lisa Jackson, SLI and FSLI President/CEO

 

March 18th COVID-19 Update

March 18 - 6:53 am

To:  SLI clients, parents, families, guardians, employees and stakeholders

Good morning to all. 

Yesterday, late afternoon, we received much awaited communication from the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services.  The measures and guidelines don’t vary from the plans that we already have in place and the actions we have already taken.

As posted and emailed previously:

  • All SLI owned homes are restricting ALL visitors with the exception of immediate family and guardians who have not traveled outside of the state/country since March 1 and do not have any symptoms, fever or reason to believe they have been exposed to COVID-19, influenza or pneumonia or other contagious illness.
  • The office and Community Integration Program (day service) is closed to ALL visitors and is minimally staffed.  All administrative personnel are enabled to work remotely and/or have been given assignments to assist out in the homes.
  • All meetings that need to take place are being conducted through teleconference.
  • Skype has been enabled so that every single employee at SLI has access to utilize this on their phones for meetings and for immediate family and guardians to visit with their loved ones virtually.
  • We are following all Shawnee County Health Department and CDC requirements and guidelines.

Daily monitoring includes but is not limited to:

  • Client's overall health, any symptoms and fever.  Every potential symptom reported to primary care physician and we are following their instructions for each person served that is their patient.  (Formal tracking completed daily)
  • Employee health, any symptoms and fever.  Employees are self-monitoring and are not to report to work at homes if displaying any symptoms, fever or possible exposure as defined by Shawnee County Health Department. (Formal tracking completed daily)
  • Grocery supply – groceries are being ordered online and staff are utilizing drive-thru pick up.  The ordering has been set up for weekly pickups and will be automatic. 
  • Other supplies such as cleaning products, paper towels, toilet paper, etc. are being centrally ordered and searched for by administrative personnel throughout the city on a regular schedule.
  • Personal Protective Equipment – every home and vehicle has these supplies currently and we are monitoring all online sites and locations for central ordering.  Most of these items are out of stock with every single vendor at this time.  While we currently have enough, we are monitoring very closely.
  • Systems for ensuring day to day business operations continue.
  • Client medications.

We have distributed booklets for employees to reference in order to explain the situation in an understandable manner to our clients.

We encourage all employees in SLI homes to be hyper mindful of “cabin fever.”  We encourage keeping blinds and curtains open during daylight hours, taking a car/van ride to get out of the house and see some other scenery, utilize their home’s outdoor space when weather permits, and maintaining schedules, structure and activities in the home as much as possible.

We will continue to post any new updates/news through email, SLI website, SLI Facebook and SLI Twitter.  Please monitor all of these communications as you can and pass on information to your family and friends who may have an interest or concern.

Please refer to previous emails and posts, titled COVID-19 Update, for complete details and full updates.

I will continue to post updates as necessary and should changes occur to current practices or plans.

I want to thank all of our clients, parents, families, guardians, employees, board of directors and stakeholders for your support, understanding, hard work, cooperation and words of encouragement. 

All donations of cash, supplies and non-perishable food items are being coordinated through Karen Streeter, Vice-President of Development, who can be contacted daily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please feel free to email me anytime with questions, concerns or comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

Wishing you all good health,

Lisa Jackson, SLI & FSLI President/CEO

 

March 16th COVID-19 Update Part 2

March 16 - 7:09 pm

To:  SLI clients, parents, families, guardians, employees and stakeholders

Good evening all.  Not a lot to update since early this afternoon but did want to touch base so that everyone is able to stay abreast of how things are going.

As of this hour, we have had no reports of symptoms, fever, express care or ER visits today.  We are thankful and will celebrate each day this can occur.

We have been able, with the help and dedication of our amazing direct service staff and additional administrative staff, to be able to be ready to staff all of our clients from their homes tomorrow.  Therefore, no day services will be held at the 3401 SW Harrison building tomorrow.

Administrative employees are set up to work remotely for everything that is possible.  There will be limited staff on the premises at any given time and we will be closed to the public.

Our Office Manager, Shirley, will be working from 8am-2pm answering phones, transferring messages, retrieving medications delivered, US mail, deliveries and such.  She will also sanitize keys and other surfaces that are used by the limited staff who need to be there.

We have administrative staff assignments made to handle all other necessary work that needs to be completed and some assignments to run errands for our homes, deliver supplies, pick up mail, etc. 

As of now, we are in good shape as far as groceries, water, supplies and protective equipment.  As you all are, I’m sure, well aware, many of the essentials are in short supply.  Please let us know if you are able to find or donate certain items like hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial hand soap, disinfectant cleaner, disinfectant spray, toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries for men and women, laundry detergent and non-perishable food and bottled water.  We have staff out looking for these supplies on a daily basis and we are all picking up what we can, responsibly, as we can find it but all help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all for your continued hard work, care, concern, support and words of encouragement. 

Sincerely,

Lisa Jackson
SLI President/CEO

 

March 16 COVID-19 Update

March 16 - 1:28 pm

To:  SLI clients, parents, families, guardians, employees, stakeholders

Good afternoon to all.  I write hoping this finds you all in good health.  There will likely be another update coming later today but wanted to send you out some information from our morning meetings. 

  1. Remaining in effect, the Community Integration Program (day services) will be closed no later than 5:00 pm on March 17.  Over half of those we serve in day service began being staffed at their SLI homes today and the remainder will be implemented by tomorrow, even possibly by morning. 
  2. Effective March 17 at 5:00 pm the administrative offices will be closed to the public.  Employees based administratively will work primarily remotely, limited hours at the office and given other field assignments to help direct service.  Those assignments will be made and clear instructions given by the end of today.  We will have a few employees who will be in the office on a daily basis to retrieve mail, deliveries, medications and relay phone messages but the office doors will remain locked and building closed to the public.  Our senior leadership team are all hands on deck and available to access 24/7, as is our emergency on-call.
  3. For those clients who have community employment, we are looking at each on a case by case basis.  We want to do all we can to support people in maintaining their employment while keeping them and those they live with safe.  To that end, we are looking at factors such as risk factors of the client employed in the community, risk factors of their roommates, taking daily temperatures, additional hand hygiene training, close monitoring of any symptoms.
  4. Heartland Pharmacy delivers meds to us daily during the week and usually on Saturday.  As of now, deliveries continue as normal with the exception of how the meds are dropped off to us.  They will call ahead and SLI employees will meet them at the door of the office to collect and sign for the medication.  Our employees will then distribute appropriately to the clients they belong to. 
  5. Case Coordinators will be calling physicians of which our clients have upcoming appointments to seek guidance on whether or not the physician wants the client to keep that particular appointment, postpone or any other orders.
  6. All homes have about a 14-day supply of groceries and supplies.  Grocery orders will be placed online and retrieved through drive-up pick up by SLI employees. 
  7. We have implemented protocols for staff and client reporting of travel and potential illness.  All travel in last 14 days must be reported.  All fevers and symptoms must be reported.  Reporting for staff should be by email to Chrissy Reetz, Employee Relations Director at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and reporting for clients should be by email to Traci Vincent, COO at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All updates to both lists will be reviewed by the President/CEO daily and as needed throughout the day to determine case by case responses.
  8. The Community Living Directors, Admissions and Habilitation Director and Emergency On-Call will each carry purchasing cards to be able to make any needed purchases outside of any “normal” hours and as needed.
  9. We have many clients in our Independent Living Program who will be hurting for food in about a week and who are on limited budgets.  These are folks who live in their own home with limited staff.  SLI will ensure that each client has food items, water and medications they need.  However, since this is not within normal services for this program, any cash and non-perishable food items, as well as cleaning products and detergents, are much appreciated.  If you can donate, please contact Karen Streeter, Vice-President of Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  10. Screening checklists for staff to utilize with visitors (who should be limited to immediate family and guardians) will be distributed late today or tomorrow.
  11. All employees are to keep their SLI badge which also serves as access control on their person.  If our city should implement a curfew or lockdown, you may need to have this to let authorities be able to identify that you should be driving to and from work.
  12. The executive and senior leadership teams are being partnered in the event one of us becomes ill and needs a backup.
  13. A number of employees will be taking agency vehicles home to utilize for SLI business and for safe parking while we have limited attendance at our office.
  14. All bill paying and check signing is being taken care of by our accounting department, Kathy Brayton and Lisa Jackson – no businesses should see any difference in this process or in getting paid.
  15. We are looking at ways we can work with employees to be able to assist clients to Skype with family members, friends and loved ones during this time for those who wish to use that method of staying in touch.
  16. Our emergency on-call list has been re-posted as a reminder of who is on-call and the phone number.
  17. For those who have questions, comments or concerns, you may make contact in any of the following ways:
    1. Client related – Anita Mitts at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Tim Gorton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Traci Vincent at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    2. Employee related – Chrissy Reetz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Doug Vincent at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    3. Donation related – Karen Streeter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Shannon Warta at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    4. Finance related – Angie Gleason at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Kathy Brayton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    5. Technical support (computer, phone) – Steve Picotte at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    6. Maintenance needs (home, vehicle) – Bret Hart at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Doug Vincent at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    7. President/CEO contact – Lisa Jackson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    8. Office number 785-233-2566 (leave a message if no one answers, messages will be retrieved daily)
    9. Emergencies only please – emergency on call #785-220-8631 (primarily to be utilized by employees only please)

Again, I want to thank everyone for their hard work and support during this situation.  It is a privilege to get to work with so many talented and remarkable people and be associated with so many generous and thoughtful supporters of our mission.

Lisa Jackson 
CEO

More COVID-19 updates from SLI

March 15 - 3:57 pm

First, I send sincere thanks and appreciation to our employees who have stepped up in a remarkable way to address issues related to the virus.  I also want to express my appreciation to all who have offered to help by getting extra supplies to us such as non-perishable food, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, toiletries and cash donations.  This is so incredibly important right now.  We are definitely taking on extreme, unexpected expenses related to this situation.  Some of these include additional staff overtime, additional supplies, food and water for 150 people, the addition of staffing hours during the day to support our clients at home rather than sending them to their day programs and numerous others.

If you are able to assist in any of the above ways, please contact Karen Streeter, Vice-President of Development at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   We would be very grateful.

The senior leadership team of SLI will be meeting tomorrow morning, 3/16/20, to review all protocols, assignments and processes of our infectious disease plan.  We will provide regular updates on our website, Facebook and Twitter.  Please check, encourage others to check and share those sites with those you know who may be concerned.

Some of the protocols we will be covering tomorrow include but are not limited to:

  1. Medication, PPE, grocery and supply update/inventory
  2. Staffing updates
  3. Tracking protocols related  to client and staff travel, potential exposure and symptoms
  4. Client physician visit protocols
  5. Emergency on-call system and back-up
  6. Screening checklists and procedures
  7. Medication delivery protocol
  8. Petty cash for homes and on-call for emergencies
  9. Disinfecting updates
  10. Remote access for administrative personnel

Again, I send my sincere thanks to all of SLI employees and all those concerned for your support.

Sincerely,

Lisa Jackson

SLI & FSLI President/CEO

 

COVID-19 update from Heartland Homecare Pharmacy

March 14 - 12:39 pm

I have just heard from the owner of the pharmacy that we utilize for our clients at SLI. They have done an exceptional job getting prepared to ensure continuity of services to their customers. They specialize in providing medications to the IDD population and are very aware of our unique situation and needs.  The following summarizes the information I have just received from the pharmacy owner:

  1. No shortages are expected on regular medications at this time
  2. Shortages in antibiotics and nebulizers (used primarily to treat respiratory symptoms) may be anticipated
  3. Our pharmacy, Heartland Homecare, has ordered and purchased ahead additional antibiotics and nebulizers, in particular, those that our clients have used the most of in the last year.
  4. Supplies that are out of stock include gloves, masks of all kinds, hand sanitizers, and hand soaps.  SLI has purchased additional gloves, masks and gowns and as of now we have a fair amount in inventory.
  5. Heartland Homecare will continue to deliver our medications as they have been but will call ahead to inform us they are coming and drop medications at door rather than entering any facility.  This will remain in place as long as our office staff continue to work at our office site at 3401 SW Harrison.  Should offices close, medications will be delivered to each home as needed following the same protocol.

I want to thank Heartland Homecare for their continued excellent service to our clients and their foresight to plan ahead. 

Lisa Jackson

SLI & FSLI President/CEO

 

Updated COVID-19 Response

March 14 - 9:24 am

Dear SLI employee, clients, parents, families, staff and stakeholders,

First, there are no known COVID-19 positive tests or reports of concerns of anything similar as of now.

I am sharing this information with all stakeholders in an effort to ease concerns and keep communication lines open for all who are concerned with the health of the SLI family.

Our efforts are designed to be proactive rather than reactive and to do all we can to  protect the health and safety of those we serve, their families and loved ones and our employees.  I understand that the situation is fluid and changing by the hour and this can be frustrating.  However, if we all work together, we can be hopeful that the spread of this virus will not impact our SLI community.

I shared with SLI employees, board of directors, the Shawnee County CDDO and KDADS, in an earlier email today, the situation with the COVID-19 is rapidly changing, we are monitoring closely and we are prepared to adjust.  After considering Kansas Department of Health and Environment news conference and the U.S. President’s news conference declaring a national emergency along with the fact that all Shawnee County schools are closed, I am implementing next steps of our infectious disease plan. The plan is attached for your review.  Effective immediately and until further notice:

  • All SLI employees are to follow the infectious disease plan related to proper hygiene.
  • All SLI owned homes and facilities will be restricting all visitors.  Parents, immediate family members and guardians should call ahead to visit and not have any symptoms, any reason to believe they may have been exposed to the virus, not have traveled out of state or country in the last 14 days.  Call staff at the home where your loved one lives prior to visiting.  Staff may ask a serious of questions related to screening to ensure the health and safety of our clients, staff and visitors.  Checklists will be in place asap at each home for signing in and out and must be adhered to in their entirety. 
  • A 14-day supply of groceries is to be maintained at each home.
  • All medications should be counted immediately by staff at each home and orders shall be made immediately for additional medication needs.
  • Posters are to be placed at each entry of each home and other facility owned by SLI that notes the restriction of visitors.
  • All symptoms of illness and/or fever being experienced by clients or staff shall be reported immediately to Chrissy Reetz at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or Doug Vincent at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Clients are not to be taken out in large groups (100 or more) and ALL activity, no matter the size, should be limited and social distancing should be practiced.
  • Additional supplies of gloves, masks and gowns have been purchased and have been or will be distributed immediately as needed and through staff reporting.
  • Program Directors and COO will begin preparations to serve all clients at home 24/7 until further notice.  Final preparations and fully serving all clients from their homes shall take effect by March 18 at 8:00am.  SLI reserves the right to move individuals, support self-quarantine if needed and consolidate homes if it should become necessary.  This information will be communicated should it become necessary to implement.
  • Administrative staff who work in the office should still report into work as normal, unless ill or there is reason to believe there has been exposure to a person who has tested positive for the virus.
  • All meetings shall be held by teleconference or postponed as is possible.

Please email Traci Vincent, COO, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Doug Vincent, Vice-President of Employee Relations and Facilities, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Lisa Jackson, President/CEO at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions/concerns.

We are all in this together and it is imperative that we maintain open communication and partnerships to ensure the safety and health of the entire SLI family. On behalf of the SLI board of directors, employees and clients, we thank you for your support during this difficult time.

Lisa Jackson

SLI & FSLI President/CEO

 

SLI's Response to COVID-19

March 12 - 5:45 pm

The health and safety of our clients and staff is always our top concern. As such, SLI has made some decisions about dealing with the potential spread of the COVID-19, which, according to public health officials is imminent. There are no known cases of the virus within the SLI community at this time.  We are making every effort to be proactive rather than reactive. In an effort to try to avoid spread, SLI will be implementing the following procedures effective March 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm: The health and safety of our clients and staff is always our top concern.  As such, SLI has made some decisions about dealing with the potential spread of the COVID-19, which, according to public health officials is imminent.  There are no known cases of the virus within the SLI community at this time.   We are making every effort to be proactive rather than reactive.  In an effort to try to avoid spread, SLI will be implementing the following procedures effective March 13, 2020 at 12:00 pm:

  • Visitors will be restricted from entering the homes owned by SLI.  Family members and guardians who have no known risk factors such as travel outside of the state, over the age of 60, underlying health conditions, symptoms of cold or flu and/or fever may continue to visit as normal.  However, please utilize the hygiene practices promoted by the CDC and avoid close contact with all of those who live at the SLI home except for the person you are there to visit. We insist that visitors wash or sanitize their hands upon arrival and prior to leaving.

  • Visitors will be restricted from entering the SLI facility, including the Community Integration Program, located at 3401 SW Harrison beginning March 16, 2020.  If you believe you must come into the building and you are not a client or staff member, please call ahead to determine if the matter can be handled elsewhere or otherwise.

  • Staff are asked to participate in necessary meetings by phone or tele-conference and not in person when at all possible.

Internal procedures, including SLI’s infectious disease plan, will be implemented as needed to protect our clients and staff.  Some of these include but are not limited to:

  • Self-quarantine protocols for clients to stay home with staff
  • Maintaining 14-day supply of non-perishable food, water, sanitizing supplies and the like
  • Maintaining extra gloves, gowns, and masks to utilize where and when needed
  • Maintaining sufficient supplies of medications for clients
  • Identify all clients and staff who are considered to be in a high-risk category
  • Possible limiting or elimination of public transportation
  • Make preparations for administrative personnel to work remotely
  • Implement back up plan for staffing or the consolidation of homes should it be necessary

We know this is a difficult and frustrating time in all communities across the United States and globally.  Safety is everyone’s responsibility. As we work towards vigorously maintaining the health and safety of our SLI family, we need your assistance for its optimal success.

Lisa Jackson, President/CEO, SLI & FSLI

Chiefs Kingdom

SLI had a fun week celebrating the Kansas City Chiefs playing in the Super Bowl! Clients and staff were encouraged to wear their favorite Chiefs attire and participate in many contests to win Chiefs prizes during the week. CIP made shirts and patches in support of the team. Super Bowl week ended on Red Friday with a finger-food tailgate at lunch and a great victory by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday!

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SLI Parking Lot Expansion

Thanks to the work from Bettis Asphalt and Construction, the SLI parking lot expansion is looking great! The parking lot is being enjoyed by the large number of SLI staff and visitors who come to the SLI service center each day. We can't wait until spring when the landscaping will be finalized and provide more green space!

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Go Pilots!

SLI enjoyed attending Topeka Pilots hockey games this season thanks to our awesome ticket sponsor CoreFirst Bank & Trust! Clients have cheered on the team to victory and love meeting the Pilot's mascot, Ace.

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Healthy Lifestyles

The SLI Healthy Bodies, Healthy Lifestyles program has recently created a fitness room for all clients to use to continue on their journey to a healthy life!
 
Through donations and a grant from Walmart, the fitness room includes a treadmill, cardio glide, hand weights, yoga ball and mats, fitness videos, pedometers and a mini fridge with water. Clients can utilize this room with a staff member every day of the week.
 
The fitness room is currently in a temporary location while the actual location is being finished. That location will have a Wii Fit system, its own special door entrance and space for fitness classes. We are excited to see the final fitness room! Watch for updates in an upcoming Scoop newsletter.
 
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Fall Festival

 

SLI celebrated the Halloween holiday at the annual Fall Festival. It was a fun evening of chili, photos and dancing. Thank you to the Washburn University baseball team for volunteering and making it a great time! Check out some of the fun costumes that SLI clients wore.
 
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CIP Pumpkin Auction

CIP held its annual SLI pumpkin auction and it was a great success! The wonderfully decorated pumpkins created by Community Integration Program clients raised over $650 between a live auction and a silent auction. The highest selling pumpkin went for $75! The money they raised will be used for upcoming CIP activities.
 
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Softball Cookout

Thank you to everyone who participated in SLI's annual softball cookout! It was a fun evening where everyone had a chance to play a game of softball together and enjoy delicious, fresh off the grill hamburgers and hot dogs.
 
A huge thank you to the Washburn University baseball team for joining in the fun of the softball cookout and spending their evening with the clients. The team was great at encouraging all clients while batting and even helped serve dinner!
 
Thank you also to Michael and Sondra Warner for grilling all of the delicious food.
 
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Eagle Scout Project at SLI

We love community projects that engage our clients in new adventures. Parker Wise designed his Eagle Scout project to expose SLI clients to the joy of scouting

 
“As a member of Camp Staff at Falley Scout Reservation, I see so many young Scouters enjoy the outdoors and the programs we provide,” said Parker of his project. “I wanted to share that same experience with those who may not have had the opportunity to experience something like it.”
 
Through his project, seven SLI clients and one SLI staff member enjoyed the best that the Boys Scouts have to offer from tent and fire making, s’mores, the history of scouting, fishing, and more. Our own Doug Vincent mentored Parker during this project. Thank you Parker!
 
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SLI Flag Team

SLI has started a flag team! The team is starting by learning different techniques, but they are all excited to be a part of the group. We can't wait to see them perform!
 
 
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CIP Pod Presentations

CIP gave their Pod presentations at the end of the month on a variety of topics! Pods are small groups of clients that meet each morning to learn about different topics of their choosing. The Pods worked on posters and presentations that they gave to the whole program to help everyone learn about the topics. The topics included states, countries, notable figures and even facts about themselves! We can't wait to learn more from our clients at the next Pod presentations.
 
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E.S.C.A.P.E

 September 2019
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The E.S.C.A.PE. ladies had another fun monthly meeting! They threw a surprise party for Megan, who is moving to live closer to family, and learned how to make no-sew blankets. They are excited to continue the work on their blankets!
 

 

Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds Program

June 2019
Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds nutrition program continues to work with SLI clients by teaching them how to incorporate healthy choices into their everyday life. Recently, Carl and Doug were excited to make a delicious meal of lean pork chops with savory mushroom gravy, fried okra with cherry tomatoes, corn muffins and cantaloupe.
 
Through the program, clients work on cooking skills such as cutting, liquid and dry measurements and how to safely work with the stove and oils. Soon they will be able to make healthy meals for themselves!
 
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Thank you Civitans!

June 2019

Thank you to the Civitan Club of Topeka for their hard work cleaning up the landscaping around SLI homes. The residents will enjoy being outdoors in their beautiful yards!
The Civitan Club has been a great supporter of SLI and individuals with diverse abilities. Check out their hard work in photos below.
 
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Silver Dollar Farms Visit

April 2018

The Community Integration Program had a great time visiting Silver Dollar Farms. They had the opportunity to learn about and get up close to horses, mini horses, goats and chickens. Thank you Silver Dollar Farms for a wonderful day!

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March E.S.C.A.P.E.

March 2019

The March E.S.C.A.P.E. gathering celebrated Mardi Gras! They made festive candy boxes and dawned colorful masks and beads. E.S.C.A.P.E. is a group of female clients in the Targeted Case Management program that meet monthly to socialize with friends and participate in activities together.

 
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SLI Nutrition Program

 March 2019

Nutrition Program

SLI has created a new nutrition program with the goal to educate clients and staff on nutritional components of their current food choices, how to replace with healthier choices, simple cooking skills, portion sizes and more.

Through the nutrition program, participants are doing a cookbook with 75 simple recipes that cover the five basic diets commonly prescribed. It will include a diabetic diet, low-sodium diet, low-fat diet, gluten-free diet and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The program will also incorporate fitness activities such as walking at the mall, going to the lake, walking in their neighborhoods, dancing and other active outings clients enjoy.

The program started with a visit to every home during meal time to involve clients with cooking their own foods. There will also be upcoming classes on the weekend for Independent Living clients to provide them with the opportunity to learn the same concepts and give everyone a chance to learn how to live a healthy life!

 

CIP Fun!

February 2019

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SLI clients had a fun month full of activities that were learning experiences and allowed clients to be a part of the community! The Community Integration Program visited the Topeka and Shawnee County Library and really enjoyed the art gallery. The clients had a great time cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs during the playoffs with a party during the game!

KDOT Grant Received

 January 2019

KDOT Vans
 
 
Through the Kansas Department of Transportation federal program funding, SLI was awarded the KDOT 5310 Financial Assistance Transportation Program and the KDOT 5339 Bus Facilities Program to replace four transit lift vehicles with new ones. The need for replacement transit vehicles was due to the cost of repair to aging vehicles with high mileage. The newer models have safer lift systems and are more efficient for SLI clients. 
 
Also, SLI received a grant for vehicle security cameras which will be a tool to ensure clients and employees are safe during transports. The camera improves visibility to protect assets, reduce liability, maximize operational efficiency and, most importantly, enhance safety. The cameras incorporate innovative features such as wireless downloading, real-time remote viewing, GPS mapping, and recording technology to further enhance safety. 
 

 

Quilts from the Heart

 

Carolyn and Paula

Handmade Quilt Donation
 
SLI clients were the recipients of 19 twin-size quilts donated by the loving heart of Carolyn Kuhn and the caring hands of six talented women.  Carolyn donated two carloads of quilting material after she was diagnosed with ALS to her friends to use for a good cause.  Paula Harbert suggested making quilts for the SLI clients and received assistance in the project from her friends Peggy Hanna, Maureen Hensler, Colleen Janssen, Katty McGivern and Becky Phanensteil.  
 
These quilts are a treasure to our clients and we thank Carolyn and her friends in making this possible for our clients to enjoy for years to come.   

 

SLI Christmas

 

Client Christmas
 
Thirty-nine SLI clients celebrated Christmas thanks to generous individuals from the Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association, Civitan Club of Topeka and Stormont Vail Health Wound Center. These groups provided the clients with items from their Christmas lists and a holiday celebration that they would not have received otherwise. All had a great time and were very thankful for the gifts they received!

 

Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade

 

Kansas Avenue Parade
 
SLI clients participated in the Miracle on Kansas Avenue Parade on November 24. They rode in a custom-made sleigh spreading holiday cheer to all of the parade spectators. Thank you to Cathy Holmes and the Festival of Trees committee for putting together the float for the clients to ride in and help promote the Festival of Trees!

 

Festival of Trees

 FOT Ribbon

The 2018 Festival of Trees has wrapped up and SLI clients had fun participating in many aspects of the event! The event started with the SLI Holiday Ball and turning on the lights live on WIBW. A big thanks to the Civitan Club of Topeka for providing chili and cookies for the clients at the Holiday Ball. SLI ladies had a great time attending Tinsel & Treasures and dancing the night away. The client's favorite tree award was chosen by SLI clients. Also, SLI clients enjoyed the Festival of Trees pancake feed on Saturday that was provided by the Knights of Columbus. It was a great time for SLI clients to be a part of the Festival of Trees and get into the holiday spirit!

 

Beating the Heat

SLI client beating the heat

The Community Integration Program is beating the heat this summer and enjoying fun at the pool! This is just one of the many activities clients enjoy in the community each week.

Ladies Day Out

Ladies Day Out

Community Integration Program had a fun ladies day out where they enjoyed ice cream and fun time at Lake Shawnee.

Police Car Karaoke

SLI had the pleasure of having Topeka Law Enforcement Officer Lamont Jackson, husband of Lisa Jackson, President/CEO of SLI, speak to SLI’s growing younger generation who are more active in the community and gave them the opportunity to ask questions about community safety. Now we have the privilege of seeing Officer Jackson share even more of his talents through Police Car Karaoke. Listen to the video below to hear his amazing voice!

Police Car Karaoke: The Series - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqTriT-KOsk

Couch donated to SLI

Couch donated to SLI

Thank you to the donor who donated a couch and chair for one of our SLI homes. The clients will enjoy relaxing in them!  SLI is always looking for furniture, household items, or anything that can be used in our 21 homes. Think of SLI when you are looking to donate items!

 

Help a Horse Day at B & C Equine Rescue

Help a Horse Day at B & C Equine Rescue.

Independent Living clients enjoyed the Help a Horse Day at B & C Equine Rescue. They were able to ride and see all of the horses at the rescue center.

 

Severe Weather Presentation by Jeremy Goodwin of WIBW

Severe weather presentation by Jeremy Goodwin of WIBW

Thank you WIBW Jeremy Goodwin for talking to our SLI clients about severe weather safety, storm chasing, meteorology and more.  They had fun hearing you talk and share all your stories and experiences!

 

Westar Energy crew builds Festival of Trees storage loft

Westar Energy crew builds Festival of Trees storage loft

Thank you Westar Energy crew for building a loft in our Festival of Trees storage. We are excited about all of the extra space it has created!  Westar Energy also presented SLI with a sponsorship check for the Festival of Trees. Thank you Westar for being such a great partner to SLI!

 

SLI Annual Awards

The SLI Annual Awards recognizes staff and clients every year who have excelled throughout the year. Do you know someone who deserves recognition and exemplifies the SLI mission?

Nominate Deserving SLI Staff & Clients for an SLI Award!

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Arab Shrine Circus

Circus1SLI clients enjoyed the annual Arab Shrine Circus on February 17 at the Kansas Expocentre.

Circus2Various performers and circus animals set the stage for a wonderful show that was appreciated by all clients who attended.

They even had the opportunity to get some light up toys to enjoy!

Staying Warm!

Staying warmStaying warm with all of the cold weather, SLI clients have come up with creative activities they can do inside. One of the activities that has been popular is putting together puzzles!

Check out the awesome swan puzzle in the photo just finished by clients and staff after working on it for a couple of weeks.

SLI Community Involvement

SLI Community Involvement

In SLI's Community Integration Program, forty clients volunteer over 800 hours per month for Meals on Wheels, Helping Hands Humane Society, Lets Help, Manor Care, and many other life-changing organizations.  These non-profit organizations work to improve the lives of their own clients, animals, and citizens of the city of Topeka. 

SLI’s clients benefit as well when they learn new life skills and ways to work through daily difficulties in their own lives.

Volunteering at different organization is the ideal way to incorporate such delightful individuals to be a part of the community.

Wendy's "Giving Back" Campaign

Wendys Giving Back Campaign

The Legacy Restaurant Group chose SLI as the charity for their 9th Annual Wendy's "Giving Back" at Christmas Campaign. Kirk Williams and Jill Lincoln, owners, presented SLI with a check for $6,000! This generous gift will help in the areas of transportation, medical, housing, and food needs. Thank you Kirk & Jill and everyone who supported the campaign and SLI's mission!

SLI Holiday Party

SLI Holiday Party

The 2016 SLI Christmas Party was a great evening for 43 SLI clients who wouldn't have celebrated the holiday without the support of Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association and the Civitan Club of Topeka.

The Rolling Meadows neighborhood received donations from the residents and grants through Thrivent Financial to purchase gifts. The clients enjoyed hor d'oeuvres, drinks, cookies and Santa, who handed out the presents.

Thanks to Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association, Civitan Club of Topeka, City Councilman Tony Emerson and his wife Allison, and Community Police Officers Officer Morgan Bracken and Officer Clinton Eubanks for attending the party and supporting SLI.

SLI Awarded Three-Year CARF Accreditation

SLI Awarded Three Year CARF Accreditation

CARF International announced that SLI has been accredited for a period of three years for its Community Integration, Community Housing and Governance programs.

This accreditation decision represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows the organization’s substantial conformance to the CARF standards.  An organization receiving a Three-Year Accreditation has put itself though a rigorous peer review process.  It has demonstrated to a team of surveyors during an on-site visit its commitment to offering programs and services that are measurable, accountable, and of the highest quality. 

SLI is a nonprofit organization with offices at 3401 SW Harrison in Topeka.  It has been providing intellectual disabilities services in the Topeka area since 1971.

CARF is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body whose mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process and continuous improvement services that center on enhancing the lives of the persons served.  Founded in 1966 as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and now known as CARF International, the accrediting body establishes consumer-focused standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and services.  For more information about the accreditation process, please visit the CARF website at www.carf.org.

SLI’s clients benefit as well when they learn new life skills and ways to work through daily difficulties in their own lives.

Volunteering at different organization is the ideal way to incorporate such delightful individuals to be a part of the community.

Hockey Tickets a great gift for clients

Hockey Tickets a great gift for clients

Last weekend's Roadrunner's game was a thrilling adventure for Gabriel, one of our amazing persons served! His mother, Courtney, noted that, “It was a WONDERFUL game! Gabriel won a Star Wars basket during the silent auction. He was a happy clam!” Thank you to Jim Garrison and the RoadRunners who made this event possible for our persons served!

 

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