One year ago, the Deaf & Disabilities Ministry at Catholic Charities KC-SJ sponsored an online showing of the film None of Us Want to Stand Still. This film opens with the words, “In the midst of a national conversation about the quality of healthcare, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are left out.” The film explores the challenge of improving healthcare for individuals in this important community and possible solutions. At the end of the showing, the online discussion was so lively that a small group continued to meet to brainstorm solutions for our region.

This group grew into a special committee. Through ongoing, monthly meetings, this committee realized that there are many valuable and effective resources around healthcare for adults with special needs, but the resources needed to be better coordinated and connected. The committee began to plan a “THINK TANK” as a set of community conversations around this vision.

So, on November 6th, the first community conversation entitled WE CARE AND CONNECT was held. The event was exciting, encouraging, inspiring, and radiated with a sense of community. From Missouri, Kansas and even Iowa, a diverse gathering of over 40 individuals convened.  Present were direct service providers, doctors, nurses, self-advocates, family members of individuals with special needs, educators, concerned friends, and community service providers. Facilitated by Rosina Hendrickson and Sister Charlotte White, the group identified problems, brainstormed solutions, and collected resources.

At the end of the gathering, the group sang This Little Light of Mine (some of the committee members ended up being musicians!).  Everyone sang with hope and gratitude for all they had shared.

If you are interested in being part of this ongoing effort, please contact Lisa Wagner-Carollo, Deaf and Disabilities Ministries Coordinator, at

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