Recently Variety received this note from Kya’s mom and we wanted to share it with you.
“Kya does not let her diagnosis define her. She makes choice in what foods she eats, what clothes she wants to wear and what activities she wants to participate in. Kya has participated in Job Olympics, she participated in the shredding program. Kya uses a communication device, Nova Chat, to communicate her basic wants and needs. She uses this device both at home and at school. Kya loves to spend time with her family. Kya loves going to the lake with her family, shopping with her mom, or watching her favorite TV’s shows while at home. Before Covid-19, Kya was attending Gardner High School. Despite having cerebral palsy and encephalopathy, Kya is a very happy individual and has a great laugh! Kya attends Nexus Church with her family. Kya also enjoys participating in swim therapy once a week. Kya would love to be the owner of a chill out chair so that she relax with her family without restraints that come with sitting in a wheelchair after a long day of participating in activities or school.”
As you can see, Kya has a very active and involved life, but she lives that life primarily in her wheelchair. In fact, she spends so much time in the chair that she develops sores. Moving to the floor can relieve some of the pressure points, but she gets rug burns from moving around on the floor. What she really needs is a reprieve, a place to feel comfortable. That’s where a Chill Out chair comes in. These chairs are comfortable and supportive, without the use of straps or harnesses. A Chill Out chair provides a safe place for Kya to relax and that’s exactly what Variety KC partners want for her! Think about your own life and how frequently you move around to get more comfortable – doesn’t everyone deserve that option? Help us to make Kya safe and comfy – donate today at www.VarietyKC.org/donate
Let’s All Play!
We’re attaching an Inclusive Playground Guide for you to use if planning a playground, inclusive outdoor/indoor play area or other community gathering space. We’ve compiled this information while building seven inclusive playgrounds, the Variety KC Zoo’s exploration play area, multiple ball fields, sensory areas, and various inclusive additions to facilities around the Kansas City area.
During our journey to make this the most inclusive community possible, we discovered that what builders, playground vendors, and designers told us was “inclusive” – wasn’t. And, that the greatest source for inclusive needs comes from the kids and parents themselves. That’s what we’ve compiled here, a little “tips sheet” to help you to design the most inclusive initiative possible – a place for all kids and all families to gather.
If you have any questions, we are here to help – good luck with your projects, we look forward to seeing them!
Inclusive Playground Guide – Download.
Liam is an amazing kiddo! His condition, Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, has created a number of challenges for Liam. One of those challenges is safely maintaining a comfortable position. In the past, Variety KC was able to help Liam by providing a “Tomato Chair.” These chairs are designed by therapists and engineers – creating a comfortable way to position Liam….and because of it, he has been doing great things! He has some movement in his hands and legs, and is now able to communicate visually.
Like all kids, Liam is growing. He has outgrown his old chair and needs help with a new one in order to continue participating and engaging from a safe position. Variety KC was there for Liam then and is there for him now! Sometimes a mobility need is something as basic as helping a child sit up correctly….that may seem like second nature to you, but for some Variety Kids, it’s next to impossible. Let’s make the seemingly impossible POSSIBLE for all Variety Kids. Donate today at VarietyKC.org/donate/
Join our #inclusionrevolution !!! Thank you!
Axton is just about the coolest guy you will ever meet.
When he was just six months old, Axton aspirated at the babysitter’s. This caused an anoxic brain injury, with cortical vision impairment and epilepsy. None of this stops Axton, he’s just is a silly five-year-old guy that loves swinging, swimming, music and hanging out with his family. He has very little purposeful movement, but works hard to communicate – he is a social guy that likes to participate with his peers. If you see him just say “hi” and introduce yourself. It’s okay to ask questions and learn about him!
Axton is non-verbal and uses a wheelchair to get around. That’s not always easy. He lives with his two moms, Sherry and Rachel, a younger brother and baby sister. The family shares a ranch style home in south Kansas City, but this home has its challenges. His wheelchair does not fit in the bathroom upstairs so he has to brush his teeth in the hallway. He cannot roll up to the sink to wash his hands and his shower chair takes up the whole shower making it impossible to move in and out (not zero entry.) The family has a half finished basement that has a large bathroom that could be modified for him, but what he needs is a chair lift and elevator to get him downstairs safely. Right now, if there is a tornado siren, Acton has be be carried to the basement and can’t bring his wheelchair. A lift would allow him to go downstairs safely and it would maximize the use of the lower level. Right now, the family doesn’t use the lower level because it excludes Axton. (He is on the Sarah Lopez waiver, but the yearly max is $7500.00 per equipment and home modifications.)
Axton’s parents wish for him is for him to be included in all aspects of his life. While Axton may not be able to roll up to a sink and wash his hands independently he should still have the opportunity to be like all other kids and wash his hands with assistance, brush his teeth at the sink rather than in the hallway. This equipment would allow the family to make a playroom in the basement and Axton could play with his siblings. r. This equipment would allow Axton to be more independent!
Axton has a great personality and enjoys being silly, he uses his eyes to communicate and is learning to use an eye-gaze communication device.He gives great cuddles, and likes swinging and playing in the backyard with his siblings and the family dogs. The family enjoys going in the community to the zoo, out to brunch, parks and festivals. Axton and his brother play beep kickball and love being on a team together. In short, they have very full lives – but the comfort and safety of this new equipment would improve the quality of his life at home.
Variety KC loves hearing about his vibrant life and wants to make sure he has the ability to access the lower level of his home safely. He will get his lift thanks to generous Variety KC donors – use it in good health Axton! Help us to make sure that all kids have the safety equipment then need – donate today at varietykc.org/donate #inclusionrevolution!