Meet the Kids – Ripley!

Ripley was born with arthrogryposis. This condition occurs in utero and causes the joints to not form completely. In Ripley’s case, her knees, hips, and ankles are malformed and lack any muscle strength. Her shoulders also are effected and her fingers are fused. Ripley is wheelchair bound, nonverbal, and has a developmental delay. She is unable to perform basic daily tasks to care for herself. She is a very joyful little girl.

Ripley has currently outgrown a lot of her equipment that she uses for her daily needs. One of those items is her bath chair. Her current chair is too small and no longer supports her properly. A new bath chair with help us care for her and bathe her more easily. The features this chair offers will help support her back and head for proper care and comfort, as well as being high enough to move her in and out of the shower more easily as she has become too big for her parents to lift without assistance.

If you, like Variety, believe every kid should be social, be active, and belong – please donate today – www.VarietyKC.org/donate

Thank you for joining our #inclusionrevolution

Meet the Kids – Xavier!

Xavier is diagnosed with Autsim, ADHD- combined type, Apraxia of speech, receptive-expressive language disorder.

Xavier is a very smart and loving 4 year old with autism. Xavier loves to go to the park with his cousins and go to the aquarium for short times. He is such a water child that we are looking into swim classes for him. When my son was diagnosed with autism I begun fighting for his voice until he found his own. It was been a long 2 years of trying to find the right services, schools, and therapy for him. we are finally starting to see some progress with his communication ( nonverbal) recently. A speech device would greatly help him become more independent and hopefully decrease some behaviors that come with not being able to express himself to others.

If you, like Variety, believe every kid should be social, be active, and belong – please donate today – www.VarietyKC.org/donate

Thank you for joining our #inclusionrevolution

Meet the Kids – Everett!

Everett is diagnosed with a rare chromosomal difference, Trisomy 4p, which is accompanied by global developmental delays, epilepsy, hypotonia, microcephaly, and malformations in the brain, inner ear, airways, and kidneys.

Everett is a sweet and curious toddler! He loves spending time with his family, big trucks, and stars. We began to explore the possibility of Everett having a unique genetic structure when he continued to miss developmental milestones throughout the first year of his life.  We transitioned Everett to individual care in our home, which allowed us to focus on integrating his therapies into his day.

As Everett approaches the age of 2, he continues to amaze us with his progress. It takes so much work and dedication for Everett to develop new skills, and he now crawls and stands with assistance! Everett receives individual and group therapies at Britain Development Center and is learning how to engage and socialize with his new friends. Everett’s all time favorite activity is being outdoors. Everett’s independent mobility is limited and he grows tired easily in his gait trainer. Having an AmTryke would offer Everett the freedom to explore when playing outside while learning new skills. Everett’s amazing therapy team has been using a trike to travel between rooms during individual therapies – he gets so excited, he doesn’t want to get off the trike to do his therapies!

If you, like Variety, believe every kid should be social, be active, and belong – please donate today – www.VarietyKC.org/donate

Thank you for joining our #inclusionrevolution

Variety KC’s goal is to highlight the innovative inclusive efforts of the new KCI Terminal, which in turn will put Kansas City at the forefront of our global inclusion revolution. We feel that these efforts will help encourage other cities to follow our lead and continue the movement of inclusivity which is long overdue. To ensure this happens, the efforts must be sustainable, and the message constantly refreshed. We understand it is not enough to simply showcase the efforts during the building or launch of the terminal, there must be an ongoing marketing effort to ensure usage and recognition of the space.

The special needs population represents one in four Kansas Citians, or specifically, 26% of our community.  Unfortunately, this population is hidden because they live every single day in a world not built for them.  And the general public, sadly, does not recognize this population until it personally affects them.  It is Variety KC’s mission to change this and bring this population front and center, and we do believe that the times are changing.  By designating elements to remove barriers, and encourage engagement, the special needs population will become more and more involved and finally “seen.”

Variety KC is so proud of the new KCI Terminal! It is the ultimate effort in a city that is becoming more and more inclusive. Our role and goal in this effort is to ensure the spaces are sustainable and that information gets in front of the targeted audience not only today, but in the years and decades ahead.

Variety KC would like to be the liaison to share the efforts of our great city. We are the right partner because we represent all disabilities, including Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome – in fact, all cognitive or physical disabilities.

Variety KC will  to create a video using Variety KC Kids to showcase all the inclusive efforts of the new terminal when completed. This video would be made available to KCI for its efforts, promoted on Variety KC for local interest, and  made available to Variety chapters around the nation (and globe) to inform potential visitors to KC. This can be expanded, and blogs updated as users experience the area and submit testimonials and photos. And with our media partners and relationships, we know that we can get this word out, highlighting the great work that Kansas City and the KCI Terminal is doing.  Everything from printing boarding passes to waiting in lines at the baggage carousel. Children with special needs, and even adults who are anxious about flying for the first time, benefit from seeing the space and processes that travel involves. A video showing all the inclusive steps KCI has taken will serve as a familiarization process known to benefit children with special needs. An additional benefit can be seen through economic inclusion. Families who haven’t flown, are less likely to encourage future generations to fly. The fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator.

In addition to the Maddox Simulator Room and Molly Sensory Room, Variety is committed to promoting the Accessible Parking, Universal Changing Stations, both inside and outside, the Security Area.

On an ongoing basis, Variety will also provide links and information to Customer Service for the following:

 

  • People can arrange tours of the sensory/ simulator rooms.

 

  • Sensory Kits available for free at Customer Service

 

  • Maps of the Universal Changing Stations, designated Quiet Spaces, Meditation rooms, private changing areas and more.
  • Information on Pet relief areas for Service Dogs. If it is discovered that transportation through the terminal is needed, Variety KC would fund an Inclusive Cart. Additional note:  When traveling with guide dogs and wheelchairs, it is necessary to contact airline personnel in advance. Having a marked, adapted, and designated space to get through security would make it easier on families and TSA.

 

  • Accessible bus in all parking lots

 

  • Accessible transportation information for travelers needing taxis, shuttles, uber, etc.

 

Variety KC will help complete the above tasks by using our Family Play Area and interactive selfie station to promote ALL inclusive efforts in the Terminal.  The QR Code will allow visitors to review all the benefits that are offered at the KCI Terminal.  In addition, Variety KC will promote the efforts with an on-going marketing campaign, which will include traditional media, social media, email marketing, digital marketing, and more.

Variety KC serves and targets the community who will be using and needing these services. We are the recognized leader of KC’s #inclusionrevolution, and we are proud and excited to demonstrate what our city can do!

Variety KC is the obvious liaison for inclusive messaging based on our expertise on the subject, as well as the successes we have showcased throughout the entire city over the many years we have been pushing our global inclusion revolution.  Variety KC serves and targets the community who will not only be using these services but needs these services.  It is a vital necessity to these one in four Kansas Citians. We are the recognized leader of KC’s #inclusionrevolution, and we are proud and excited to demonstrate what our city can do!  We will not stop until every child, and adult, can be active, be social, and belong, and we need YOU to help make this possible.

 

 

 

 

At Variety KC, we know that kids with special needs have no seasonal needs. The population we serve didn’t need less during the pandemic, and in fact they needed more! As a result, last year or so was an extra busy one for Variety and our #inclusionrevolution. Here are a few of the highlights:

 

  • We launched the KC Inclusion Revolution, an initiative to help businesses understand the importance of including all kids in our community. If you would like a Variety representative to come talk to your business or help you to launch inclusive efforts, just contact us at VarietyKC@gmail.com. Let’s build a stronger community by involving the entire community!

 

  • WyCo: Plans are in place for Legends Stadium and their drive to offer a more inclusive experience including a Variety KC all inclusive playground, sensory kits, accessible parking signs and more. The plans are attached!

 

  • Northland: Another nationwide first! Variety KC is partnering with Sporting KC at the new northland sports complex to create the first Power Soccer Field Outdoors AND Variety KC inclusive playground in the same complex. Power Soccer is traditionally played in power wheelchairs and always indoors on a gym floor or basketball court. What Variety KC is building is an outdoor field – one less “difference” between traditional and adaptive play. That’s true inclusion. The complex is amazing, check it out at www.VARIETYKC.org/project/powersoccer

 

  • Variety KC Sensory Kits are gaining ground. This year we added Wonderscope Children’s Museum (where we built an inclusive treehouse), Children’s Mercy Hospital, Starlight Theatre, B&B Theatres nationwide,Arrowhead Stadium for KC Chiefs and – we outfitted 300 area police patrol cars with sensory kits to help them to better serve our communities.

 

  • What better way to introduce travelers to our inclusive city than through the Variety KC Inclusive Play Zone at the New KCI International Airport.  (Opening Spring 2023) This area allows kids to decompress before getting on a flight, and after arriving at KCI. Parents today are far more likely to travel with kids, making it a comfortable experience for everyone will result in a better flight for all. After all, doesn’t every child deserve to travel and explore?

Variety KC partnered with Starlight Theatre to make sure they were equipped with inclusive tools to reopen and include all people of all abilities in the arts! https://youtu.be/nizBa4RZwKY

 

  • One of the most impactful ways to reach a large audience and introduce our  “hidden population” is through film. The New Variety KC Documentary will do just that!

 

  • We hit this one out of the park! As Variety started to build inclusive play areas, we installed communication boards to help all kids communicate with each other, their caregivers, and friends-in-the-making. We discovered that Sign Language Boards engaged even more kids and encouraged them to “talk” with one another. To date we have 20 KCMO Parks equipped with these boards – come try them out!

 

This year we were honored to be recognized by the following:

  • Nonprofit Connect honored our marketing and branding efforts with a Silver Philly Award.
  • International Variety honored Randi Mahomes with the coveted International Variety Presidential Award.
  • And we are proud to announce we once again achieved the Top-Rated Non-profit Award.
  • The NWSL (the new women’s soccer league in KC) selected Variety KC as the first recipient of their community giving campaign.
  • The 15 and the Mahomies Foundation just announced that Variety KC is being honored with a third grant to help all kids Be Active, Be Social and Belong.

And this is just the start

Follow us on social media to see the KC Inclusion Revolution at work and read our blogs at www.varietykc.org for a closer look at individual children we impact through generous donors and volunteers. And contact us to join the #kcinclusionrevolution – because of people like you, our community is rapidly becoming known as the most inclusive community in the country.

 

 

 

 

 

Meet the Kids – Evelyn!

Jocelyn is on the autism spectrum and is non verbal. She is a beautiful, bright little girl who uses limited signing and pictures to communicate her wishes and desires. She gets very frustrated when she cannot get us to understand what she wants or express more complicated concepts.

We are hopeful that with her wonderful teams at ABA and speech therapy, and the help of a communication device, she will continue her progress her overall ability to communicate and possibly gain verbal language. I want to give her every opportunity to for her future.

If you, like Variety, believe every kid should be social, be active, and belong – please donate today – www.VarietyKC.org/donate

Thank you for joining our #inclusionrevolution