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Wichita, Kansas
 
 
 

Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact Veronica Triana of Wichita BE$T Coalition of South Central Kansas, Kansas WORKS at [email protected] or Judy Stengel at jstengel[email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact Yalonda Dennis at [email protected].

 
Disability Initiative Workgroup Members

Both CPRF and Inter Faith Ministries have developed AmeriCorps teams (CPRF-5 members; Inter Faith Ministries-3 members) that are training on The Kansas Benefit Bank software to provide benefit screening/application services and VITA tax assistance services to reach a goal of 500 tax returns for taxpayers with disabilities completed by these two nonprofits in the Wichita Disability Initiative (WDI). The additon of 8 VITA-certified and disability-competent AmeriCorps members will significantly expand the services provided by the WDI and the Wichita BE$T Coalition.  One AmeriCorps member who is Deaf is VITA certified and will be preparing returns for Deaf individuals in the Wichita area in addition to other Deaf people around the country in the DeafTax VITA Initiative.  AmeriCorps members will also be available as needed to staff the mobile van sponsored by the Wichita BE$T Coalition through an IRS VITA Matching Grant to the United Way of the Plains. This mobile van serves most of the disability organization customers/taxpayers outside of CPRF and IFM.  With respect to asset development, the WDI includes the Consumer Credit Counseling Service that assists taxpayers with credit issues; the South Central Kansas Low Income Taxpayer Clinic that assists taxpayers with IRS legal issues; and representatives of the WDI (Robert Hull) and the BE$T Coalition (Colleen O'Callaghan, the United Way VITA Coordinator) participate in the Kansas Partners in Asset Development (KPAD).

For 2010, KPAD  has set two advocacy priorities: (a) streamlining the Kansas IDA program to garner more individuals interested in the 50% tax credit for contributing matching funds, and (b) funding a $1.2 million enhancement of the (currently unappropriated) Kansas Department of Education Teachers Professional Development Fund, to enable K-12 teachers to receive training to provide financial literacy education to meet the new (2008) Kansas educational assessment standards. Funding will come from a $1.00 surcharge legislated on all tax refund anticipation loans (RALs), payday loans, and auto-title loans--those typically provided by fringe financial institutions involved in predatory lending practices.