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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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JCDS self advocates at Topeka statehouse for Push Day 2017

Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS) is the agency of Johnson County government that facilitates career and personal development for Johnson County residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The agency regularly serves more than 500 people each day through a broad array of community-based programs and supports.

Designated as Johnson County's Community Developmental Disabilities Organization (CDDO), JCDS also offers a single point of entry for those seeking DD services, determines eligibility for services, and coordinates a network of over 90 Johnson County providers.

Department News

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JCDS employee wins national award
April 4, 2017

Forrest Austin, a Direct Support Professional with Johnson County Developmental Supports, received the 2017 National Direct Support Professional of the Year award from The American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR gives this award annually for exemplary work in furthering community inclusion for people living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities. Judges look at nominees’ success in helping people with disabilities build social networks, participate in the community and advocate for themselves.

Austin has worked as a Direct Support Professional for nine years, four of them with JCDS. Part of his work involves serving as a Project SEARCH employment coach, and he has supported more than a dozen individuals with intellectual disabilities in their efforts to secure and maintain employment.

"When we have people get full-time jobs for $15 an hour who have an intellectual disability, we feel like we are breaking ground," said Austin. "I want that to become the rule and not the exception for the people we serve."

"We rely on DSPs and our staff to create solutions and figure out ways to provide opportunities for our people to be part of the community,” said Chad VonAhnen, executive director, Johnson County Developmental Supports. “Forrest does that every day. He keeps his focus on our clients’ abilities, providing them with choice-driven supports and advocating alongside of them to live and work in the community."

Since 2007, ANCOR has honored exceptional DSPs with the Direct Support Professional of the Year award. The association chose Austin from 245 nominees. ANCOR also named state recipients of the DSP Recognition Award in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Moldova.

"It is a great honor to be recognized in the midst of all this, and I see it as recognition not only for my personal contributions, but to the quality services provided here in the state of Kansas and in Johnson County," said Austin. 

New program hopes to help nearly 100 people find jobs in the community
February 15, 2017

Johnson County Developmental Supports hopes to help nearly 100 people with an intellectual or developmental disability find a competitive job in the community over the next five years. This lofty but achievable goal is due to JCDS receiving a $1.2 million grant called “End Dependence.” The Kansas Rehabilitation Services division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families awarded JCDS the grant, and the funding will go towards serving 120 people in a progressive employment, or internship-model program, with the goal of securing competitive employment for 80 percent of participants.

The community employment team at JCDS is seeking both business and individuals to participate in the End Dependence program.

For businesses

All Kansas City employers are invited to get in touch with JCDS to find out about being an End Dependence host site. JCDS will work with businesses such as hospitals, hotels, retail establishments, industrial settings, warehouses to set up temporary internships lasting at least four weeks. Individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability can gain some work experience, learning a job’s specific skills and requirements as well as some of the softer skills necessary to work in the community. Interns’ wages will be paid by Vocational Rehab.

For more information, please contact Andrea Bishop at 913-826-2217 or Andrea.Bishop@jocogov.org

For individuals

JCDS is looking for people over 18 who have been deemed eligible for I/DD services by the Johnson County Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO.) Ideally, participants should have no prior work experience, or have worked but have experienced some challenges with community employment.

For more information, please contact Kim Perry at 913-826-2340 or Kim.Perry@jocogov.org.

This video provides some examples of successful local job placements for people with I/DD in several different industries.

 

Ways to monitor the 2017 legislative session
January 5, 2017

The 2017 Kansas legislative session officially begins at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 9. There are a variety of ways to monitor what's happening in Topeka. The information below pertains specifically to following issues involving the intellectual and developmental disability system. 

The Kansas Legislature web site has a host of information including calendars, legislator contact information and committee assignments, and links to live audio broadcasts. You can also track bills online.

The Senate standing committees you may want to watch are Ways and Means, and Public Health and Welfare. On the House side, Appropriations, Social Services Budget and Health & Human Services are ones to monitor. 

An important joint committee to watch is the Robert G. (Bob) Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight.

The Kansas State Library has a toll-free legislative hotline with reference librarians available to answer legislative questions. The phone number is 1-800-432-3924 or you can text questions to 785-256-0733 (charges may apply.)

News outlets are another information resource and below are direct links to statehouse or politics sections for news outlets we monitor.

Kansas City Star
Kansas News Service (formerly KHI News Service, now a part of KCUR)
Topeka Capital-Journal
Wichita Eagle

Finally, if you are a Twitter user, many tweets about happenings at the statehouse include the hashtag #ksleg so that's a good one to search. You can also follow legislators, as well as journalists who cover the statehouse.

JCDS sends out regular e-mails with legislative and policy updates. To join this email list, please send an email to jody.hanson@jocogov.org

 

Check out the latest news about Project SEARCH
December 22, 2016

Our Project SEARCH program has grown this year! The 2016-2017 interns have finished their first rotation and their first newsletter. We invite you to click here and take a look!

Johnson County response to Sec. Tim Keck
October 27, 2016

Today the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners endorsed this response to Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck’s editorial in the Wichita Eagle entitled “Kansas safety net for disabled strong and improving.” 

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Upcoming Events

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November 28, 2017 | 5:30 pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting