Leslie Anderson stands over the shoulder of Max Lewis wearing a pink blouse amnd white cardigan. She has blonde hair. Max Lewis, right, sits in a power wheelchair wearing glasses and a red shirt. They both smile into the camera.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Max Lewis is a lawyer in Columbia. He is also quadriplegic and uses a program called Consumer Directed Services to hire in-home help with personal care. He sat down with Leslie Anderson, the director of policy and advocacy for Services for Independent Living.

U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill, who issued a rare joint news release a few days ago to declare, in effect, that they’re wild about Harry S. Truman and optimistic his statue will soon bump Blair’s.

Starting July 1, though, the state will only pay up to 60 percent of what it would cost to live in a nursing home. There are a very limited amount of waivers that would allow people to keep their full care, but these make up for a tiny fraction of the estimated 8,800 Missourians who need this kind of care. 

For the rest, these changes may mean getting fewer hours of assistance or ending up in a nursing home.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.  

Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, left, smiles into the camera. She is wearing a black and white shirt and black rimmed glasses. Rene Powell, right, smiles into the camera. She is wearing thinly-rimmed glasses and a tan coat.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

Columbia resident Rene Powell spoke with her friend Traci Wilson-Kleekamp about what life has been like with a disability. They also spoke about how life has changed for Rene as her disabilities have become more visible - as she started using a walker recently to assist with her mobility.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org.

Chuck and Drew Graham's mother served as their role model growing up in Louisiana, Missouri. She helped them face the road ahead after they became paraplegic and quadriplegic within a year and a half of each other in their teenage years.

Missouri Health Talks gathers Missourians’ stories of access to healthcare in their own words. You can view more conversations at missourihealthtalks.org

Mizzou Unity Coalition

Students at the University of Missouri are petitioning to create a disabilities studies program.

MU professors Anand Prahlad and Julie Passanante Elman have already begun creating the coursework for the program. If approved by administration, students who complete the program would earn a certificate which is similar to earning a minor in disability studies.

MU Disability Inclusion and ADA Compliance Manager Amber Cheek says the program is similar to the Multicultural Certificate that is already offered by the university.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

A new Missouri measure aims to help families financially support those with disabilities.

Hope Kirwan / KBIA


  Zane Volkman has been riding for as long as he can remember.

From the steer he would ride through his family’s pasture, to a donkey and finally to his grandpa’s horse, Volkman was already an experienced rider when he started training colts for a local rancher at age 12.

But an accident in the summer before his senior year of high school made it unclear if Volkman would be able to continue his career on a horse. While working at a livestock market in Kingdom City, Mo., a routine dismount caused Volkman to break his back and sustain three brain bleeds.


  Candidates for the Columbia City Council and School Board met today to discuss disability issues at a Forum at city hall.

Multiple Mid-Missouri disability services agencies hosted the forum to get the candidates talking about accessibility in the city. Community members submitted questions online, and the candidates discussed a range of issues, from playground accessibility, to inclusive hiring processes and expansion of the para transit system.

A union representing 13,000 workers who provide in-home care to the disabled says it hopes a decision by the Missouri Supreme Court can clear the way for negotiations with the state on a contract.

The Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear an appeal of a May ruling upholding a vote by the workers to be represented by the Missouri Home Care Union. The union says that clears the "last legal obstacle delaying negotiations" on its first contract.

The workers are paid by the state to help the disabled in their homes with daily tasks such as bathing and cleaning.