We began operation on January 15, 1997 as “The Hutch Center,” part of the Topeka Independent Living Resource Center (TILRC). We became a separate entity June 16, 1998 and were named Prairie Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. or (PILR). In 1997, there were 6 full-time and 1 part-time staff.
Over the years, the staff has increased, and we now have three offices (Pratt, Dodge City and Hutchinson), and serve consumers across 15 counties: Harvey, McPherson, Reno, Pratt, Kingman, Harper, Barber, Kiowa, Clark, Stafford, Edwards, Ness, Hodgeman, Comanche, and Ford.
In 2000 the center established a fee-for-service contract with Kansas Rehabilitation Services (KRS) to provide services such as Braille literacy, computer training, and independent living skills training to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
Because we are aware of the barriers to integrated competitive employment faced by job seekers with disabilities, a payment for performance contract was established in 2003 with KRS to provide highly individualized job development, placement, and follow-up services.
Today, we celebrate our 25th anniversary with a new name, Beyond Barriers, but we provide the same incredible, life-changing services we have for the past quarter century.
Beyond Barriers is proud to celebrate 25 years of service and advocacy, and to continue to play a vital role in the network of Independent Living Services in Kansas.