Special Needs

Josh Ruoff
Lead Consultant
Special Needs Ministry

Josh became the Lead Consultant for the Special Needs Ministry in August of 2021. Josh graduated from Washburn University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in social work. He then finished his Master’s degree in social work in 2019 also from Washburn University. He began his professional career working in home health for the elderly as a mental health case manager at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown providing mental health resources and emotional support for individuals who were isolated in their homes. He also was able to lead a small group for men, providing them opportunities to socialize.

Josh’s passion for assisting individuals with special needs comes from his own personal experiences. He was born with spina bifida causing paralysis in both legs below the knee, requiring him to use a wheelchair. He has been fortunate enough to remain totally independent. He has participated in boy scouts where he achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in 2016. He has participated in adaptive sports and has also participated as a camper and a staff member at camps for individuals with spina bifida. Josh has participated in numerous church activities including World Youth Day, the National Catholic Youth Conference, Steubenville, Teens Encounter Christ and Catholic Heart Work Camp.

Josh is a firm believer that individuals with disabilities were created by God to show how He can do marvelous deeds through ALL his creation. Josh will work to make the Special Needs Ministry a place where everyone is welcome and everyone will be allowed to share their God given gifts, and bring glory to His kingdom to the best of their ability.

You can reach Josh by phone at 913.647.3054 or by email at jruoff@archkck.org


Parish Advocates for People with Special Needs

Parish Advocates for People with Special Needs serve as a liaison between people with special needs and the parish, and between the parish and the Archdiocesan Office for Special Needs Ministry.  The parish advocate maybe an individual or the chairperson of a parish special needs committee. 

The goal of the parish advocacy program is for parishioners with special needs to fully participate in the life of their church community.  The parish advocate assists the parish in meeting the spiritual, social and faith formation needs of its members with special needs.  The advocate acts on behalf of parishioners with special needs to ensure that all are invited to share in the life of the parish, serving as the channel through which parishioners with special needs and other members of the parish discover each other.

Top three responsibilities of a Parish Advocate

  1.  Be a visible and approachable presence in the parish
  2. Listen
  3. Be aware of current resources

Adapted for the Office of Special Needs Ministry for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas from “Administering A Parent Advocacy Program” in Opening Doors. The National Catholic Partnership on Disability, Washington D.C., 1990.


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