Senate President Stephen R. Morris, R-Hugoton, today announced the appointment of Ron Pasmore, Wichita, to serve on the Kansas Employment First Oversight Commission.
The Commission was created this year by the Kansas Legislature to oversee state programs and services supporting employment of Kansans with disabilities that are required to consider competitive and integrated employment as a first option.
Morris said of his selection, “I am extremely pleased Ron Pasmore has agreed to take on this responsibility. Ron’s knowledge and experience from his years of service with the Kansas Elks Training Center for the Handicapped (KETCH) will be of great benefit to the Commission.”
Pasmore brings more than 30 years of experience in working with individuals with disabilities. He has been on the KETCH staff since 1988, where he started as Director of Programs and Services, then asVice President of Programs and Services. He has been President and CEO of the organization since 1997. KETCH, supported by the Kansas Elks Association, was one of the early innovators in providing competitive employment for persons with disabilities.
In expressing interest in the appointment, Pasmore stated, “Persons with disabilities are best served if they can achieve lives that are more alike than different from their peers in the community. Employment is central to achieving a more independent lifestyle,” he continued, “and I have observed people with disabilities to become less reliant upon public support after becoming employed.”
Pasmore received his Bachelor of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from Wichita State. Before KETCH, Passmore served in various capacities with Rainbows United, Inc. (Wichita), Reach Preschool Developmental Center (Winfield), Winfield State Hospital and Training Center (Winfield), and Heartspring – formerly the Institute of Logopedics (Wichita).
Pasmore is an active member of a number of boards and associations including a past president of InterHab, the state’s developmental disability association; past chair of the Non Profit Chamber of Service of Sedgwick County, the Advisory Council for the Rehabilitation Department at Emporia State University, the Kansas Rehabilitation Services Advisory Council, First United Methodist Church In-Home Respite Care Program and the Wichita Public Schools Special Education Advisory Council.
The Commission consists of five members, each serving a three-year term. Four members must be persons with a disability or persons knowledgeable of disability issues who are not state employees. One each is appointed by the Speaker of the House, the House Minority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Senate President and one by the Governor. The Commission is authorized to meet four times a year and whenever the Chairperson calls a meeting. It is charged with establishing measurable goals and objectives for the State to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the Kansas Employment First Initiative Act.