Advocacy group giving phones to people with disabilities who can’t access the internet

Mid-South

TOPEKA, Kan. (NewsNation Now) — An advocacy group in Kansas is helping people with disabilities stay in touch with loved ones during the pandemic.

The Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities has launched a program providing 50 smartphones to those who don’t have access to the internet.

Steve Gieber, the group’s executive director, told NewsNation affiliate KSNT-TV, about 13,000 Kansas residents could be eligible for a phone and up to a year of prepaid service.

“They were some of the first people that’d lose their jobs and now they’re being isolated and then of course, a lot of times with isolation comes abuse, neglect, exploitation, those types of things,” Gieber said. “If we don’t help our citizens stay connected and connected with others, then people are really at risk of some bad things happening.”

The group said if the need is greater than they thought, they will look for more funding opportunities in order to get more people connected.

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