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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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Department News

Ways to monitor the 2017 legislative session

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

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

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.” 

Live performance by two internationally-acclaimed operatic tenors will help out some Friends

Two Metropolitan Opera National Council Award Winners are coming to Kansas City to raise their voices for Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports (Friends of JCDS.) Internationally-acclaimed operatic tenors Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner will perform at “Celebrate with Friends” on Thursday, September 22.

“Celebrate with Friends” is an evening of food, music and fund raising to support individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities served by Johnson County Developmental Supports. It takes place on September 22 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Camelot Ballroom (6635 W. 151st Street, Overland Park.) 

“This event is a great opportunity to recognize the donors, volunteers and other supporters whose generosity makes lives better for people in our community with disabilities,” says Janel Bowers, development director, Friends of JCDS. “The funds we will raise at this event pay for very specific things for the people we serve such as affordable barrier-free housing, crisis funding or necessities like dental treatments that aren’t covered by other funding sources.”

“Celebrate with Friends” event

Thursday, September 22
Camelot Ballroom (6635 W. 151st Street, Overland Park.)
6 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction
6:45 p.m. dinner, entertainment, awards and live auction
Tickets and more information: www.friendsofjcds.com/events

About Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner

Metropolitan Opera National Council Award winners Gulley/Granner (tenors Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner) have established themselves as top independent classical artists, gaining momentum in the national and international opera world singing principal roles across the United States and into the European Union. The two gents developed a strong, gregarious kinship through touring as the classical crossover artists, The American Tenors a Sony Masterworks group. Their beautiful world-class voices coupled with great humor and eye for great visual production delight fans and is quickly gaining them more opportunities to shine around the globe.

About Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports

Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports (Friends of JCDS) is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable, barrier-free housing options and emergency, crisis funding for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) who are served by Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS). JCDS is the agency of the Johnson County government that facilitates career and personal development for Johnson County residents with intellectual and development disabilities. The mission of Friends of JCDS, founded in 1990, is to enhance the lives of people with ID/DD by supporting JCDS people and programs when additional resources are needed. Through Friends, JCDS has been able to expand its base of support to meet widening funding gaps in many critical areas. Friends funding benefits more than 400 individuals each year through its many projects and activities, reaching beyond the adult clients served each day at JCDS. For more information, visit: www.friendsofjcds.com

Grant funding will help hundreds of Johnson County individuals with disabilities secure competitive employment

After being awarded a combined more than $2 million in grant funding, Johnson County Developmental Supports and Johnson County Mental Health will be able to help secure competitive employment for a goal of 320 individuals served by either agency over the next five years. Both agencies have received an End-Dependence Grant from the Kansas Rehabilitation Services division of the Kansas Department for Children and Family Services.

Both JCDS and JCMH will use these grants to improve competitive employment outcomes for Johnson County individuals with disabilities. The target population will be adults served by JCDS or JCMH and require Supported Employment Services to obtain and maintain employment.

The JCDS grant provides 100 percent funding for four employment specialist positions and the grant for JCMH provides 100 percent funding for two full-time vocational counselors, one part-time vocational counselor and one part-time peer support specialist.

“Nationally, unemployment for adults with severe mental illness is estimated at more than 85 percent,” says Tim DeWeese, executive director, Johnson County Mental Health. “Our Vocational Services team receives daily requests from our clients who want to work in the community. We are thrilled this grant will allow us to help an additional 200 clients find work.”

“The End-Dependence grant will allow JCDS to expand our Progressive Employment model which creates temporary-to-permanent work experiences that break down barriers to employment for some of the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities we serve,” said Chad VonAhnen, executive director, Johnson County Developmental Supports. “We strongly encourage our clients to consider working in the community to increase their level of dependence and self-sufficiency, and are thankful for this grant that will help us with our mission.”

The Kansas Department for Children and Family Services announced this program October, 2014. The goal of the $25 million investment for the state of Kansas is to help 2,000 Kansans secure community employment.