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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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Community Employment

Community Employment is exactly what it sounds like: being employed in a community job. This could be anything from stocking goods in a retail setting, to working in an office or warehouse.

Often times people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are interested in working at a job in the community, but they may feel unsure about what types of jobs they may be successful at. In addition, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities may feel they lack the job skills or experience needed to secure a job. They may struggle with completing the application, interview and orientation processes of employment. If you feel like this describes you or a loved one, going through a Community Employment program may be the answer for you!

JCDS can be chosen as a provider of employment supports through Vocational Rehabilitation if the job seeker is CDDO eligible. Like other community employment programs, we will provide you with an employment specialist. An employment specialist will help with job applications, job readiness skills, and interviews. After a job seeker has been hired by a community business, the employment specialist will assist with the orientation and training needs of the position. The employment specialist will remain involved while the new employee developes the skills necessary to be successful in their position. As the new employee gains independence, the employment specialist will gradually leave the new employee to work on their own.

If you are interested in Community Employment, and would like to receive employment services from JCDS, the first step is to be CDDO eligible. If you have not already gone through the CDDO eligibility process, visit the CDDO page here.

Afterwards, to receive employment services you must apply at Vocational Rehabilitation. You can visit them at their website and download the application at http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/RS/Pages/Employment-Services.aspx

If you have questions about the Community Employment process, contact Kim Perry via phone at 913-826-2340 or e-mail at kim.perry@jocogov.org.

Community Services

Community Service Banner

Community Services provides opportunities for individuals who have chosen to donate their time, energy, and creativity to engage and make connections by volunteering in their communities. Our engagement in the community benefits the people and organizations we connect with. Examples of organizations we interact with are: skilled care facilities, senior centers, hospice, elementary schools, churches, hospitals, meals on wheels, and we’re always open to new opportunities.

Through a variety of person centered activities, our program participants are empowered to strive for greater independence and personal growth. The overwhelmingly positive response we receive from the community is a huge part of how the program opens doors for those we support and lets people in the community see what we have to offer.

Looking at individuals strengths with a person centered approach our program also offers individuals served the opportunity to participate in a variety of community life experiences. This side of our program has an emphasis of assisting individuals served in understanding and practicing their communication skills and participating in health and wellness activities within their communities.

Document Destruction

Johnson County Developmental Supports offers confidential shredding in our Document Destruction program.  Our Assistive Technology Department developed adaptive equipment for those with physical limitations to complete the job and earn a paycheck.  In addition, participants also complete important assembly, packaging, and other subcontract tasks at the Elmore Center. 

Our Direct Supports Professionals provide ongoing training in quality control, work ethics, social interaction skills, safety, and a variety of job tasks all in preparation for the individuals to work in our community.

Emerging Artists

The JCDS Emerging Artists Program exists to develop the skills of Emerging Artists so that they may reach their full potential and receive income through the sale of their art. It provides an opportunity for this group to build meaningful relationships with professional artists in settings that are typical for those who are part of the local art community. The Emerging Artists are in varying stages of their artistic development and have all expressed a strong passion and enthusiasm for creating art. It has been a joy to witness the personal growth that has occurred, particularly in the areas of self-expression, communication and self-esteem. Creating art has also provided an opportunity to earn money in an industry that is not typically an option for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

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emerging artists

art piece 1

art piece 2

art piece 3

End-Dependence Kansas

Update on the End-Dependence Grant program

Work is underway on the End-Dependence Kansas program, which is an effort by JCDS to work with 120 people in a progressive employment/internship model over a five year period. The Kansas Rehabilitation Services division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families awarded JCDS a $1.2 million grant for this program, and the end goal is to secure competitive employment for 80 percent of participants.

The JCDS End-Dependence Kansas team, which currently consists of two full time Employment Specialists and a full time Business Account Manager, began receiving referrals at the beginning of the year and has been busy implementing this exciting new program! Job seekers utilizing this program have been participating in company tours, informational interviews and job shadowing. Several individuals are preparing to begin short term work experiences at local places of business. The continuum of placement and job readiness training options offered by this initiative are geared toward developing transferable skills and build upon areas of strengths and interests in order to find the best opportunities for successful, competitive employment.

Our Employment Specialists have begun working closely with individuals who are seeking integrated employment to help them match their skills and interests with opportunities in the community. This program provides flexible and creative options to engage with local employers and experience real working environments in order to make informed choices about job opportunities.

A unique aspect of this employment approach is the focus on partnerships with local businesses and employers. Our Business Account Manager works directly with employers to stay on top of hiring trends and staffing needs so the team can help prepare job seekers to meet current demands. By developing relationships with employers, our Business Account Manager ensures that the individuals participating in End-Dependence Kansas with JCDS are able to explore employment options specifically targeted to their own skill level and interests as well as the employer’s needs. Through these partnerships our Business Account Manager has already secured opportunities for individuals to practice and develop transferable skills that will help them achieve their goal of competitive employment.

If you are interested in learning more about this program please check out this flyer

For overall questions about the program, please contact Kim Perry, EDK program manager, at 913.826.2340. You can also contact Amy Fair (Business Account Manager) at 913-826-2223 or Jessa Molina (employment specialist) at 913-826-2359.

Getting Started

JCDS promotes the values of “Employment First” with a focus on integrated, community-based employment for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to earn at or above the minimum wage as the first option. If competitive integrated employment is not an immediate goal or inaccessible in the short-term, JCDS offers a variety of on-site and community-based employment and community volunteer service options for individuals with all levels of support needs. For retired citizens, and for those impacted by significant health-related conditions, JCDS provides a variety of meaningful day activities.

To particpate in any of the services or programs that are available at JCDS, one must first be determined eligible under CDDO guidelines. Visit here to learn more about this process. Every service listed in JCDS service pages and every private provider for developmental services in our area require CDDO eligibility to participate.

After determining eligibility, you will meet with the CDDO to select service providers. All the services described on these web pages are provided and managed by JCDS, and you will need to select JCDS as a Day and Employment service provider to participate in them. In addition, not all services listed may be currently accepting new participants. JCDS services are but one of many options: there are many other private entities in our area that provide day and employment services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. You can find a list of other local day and employment service providers on the CDDO webpage. 

On-Site Work Services

JCDS has been proudly serving the Kansas City Metro area for over 40 years, providing a highly reliable resource helping businesses with production solutions and contract needs. Not only has this been beneficial to businesses, it provides viable job training and skill development for our workforce, with the goal becoming more self-sustaining and inclusive into the community.

Our on-site workforce is experienced in assembly, heat-sealing, material handling, packaging, labeling and collating. For every large scale job, JCDS breaks down the process into many small parts. This ensures thats there is a way for every person to be productive with their current skillset. This also allows the ability to set goals for improvement in each person, to help them each be as vocationally ready as possible. Each person receives a paycheck based on their productivity; there are some tasks that we employ at minimum wage.

Community Readiness Group

Also known as CRG, this program provides extra training for individuals who have the goal of securing competitive employment in the community. In addition to working as a team to figure out how they are going to handle their daily workload, CRG team members work on softer skills needed in the workplace such as filling out timecards, participating in team meetings and more. We invite you to learn more about this team in this video that the CRG created and also this Facebook photo album

 

 

 

Papercrete Works

Papercrete Works logo

Papercrete Works is a social enterprise program created by JCDS employees and clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Papercrete is a mixture of cement, water and recycled paper. The crew of clients and staff work together to pour it into molds to create products for sale such as picture frames, planters and decorative bowls. JCDS clients who participate in the program earn an hourly wage for mixing and pouring the papercrete, shredding newspaper to go into the mixture, finishing the products and working at art shows and events where the product is sold. Proceeds from the sales go back into the program.

Photos of papercrete

The program received a grant from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission. This funding allowed JCDS to house the Papercrete Works studio at the InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park for six months. 

As part of this grant, Papercrete Works is piloting the fabrication of park benches and has a commitment with Johnson County Park and Recreation District to install six benches in parks by the end of 2017.

 

Project SEARCH

Please click here for details about our Fall 2017 informational open house.

Johnson County Project SEARCH is an education and employment program for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 18 years of age or older who are interested in community employment. Project SEARCH began in Ohio at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in 1996 and has developed into a successful international program. The state of Kansas began implementing Project SEARCH with its first high school model in 2010. Since then, Project SEARCH sites across the state have averaged a 72% success rate with securing employment for Project SEARCH interns. Johnson County Developmental Supports implemented the first adult model of the Project SEARCH program in Kansas in August of 2014. We experienced a 100% success rate in our first program year.

During Project SEARCH, Interns will spend nine months immersed in a host business site completing three unpaid internship rotations designed to teach them marketable, transferable work skills. The goal of the program is paid employment for each intern: defined as a minimum of 16 hours per week in a competitive, integrated setting earning prevailing wage or higher.

To be in Project SEARCH, you must be 18 years of age or older. You must also be CDDO eligible: to determine whether you or your family member is CDDO eligible visit the CDDO page by clicking here. Anyone interested in being in this program must complete an application and assessment process: not everyone who applies is guaranteed entry.

Project SEARCH logo

We hold open houses every year during the month of February to explain the Project SEARCH program and help you decide whether the program is the right fit for you. If you would like to be on the mailing list for our next open house, or if you would like more information about the Project SEARCH program in Johnson County please contact the program supervisor Kim Perry via phone at 913-826-2340 or e-mail at kim.perry@jocogov.org. To contact a specific Project SEARCH site, see the information below:

Embassy Suites Site:

Jo Duncan

Project SEARCH Instructor

913-636-1990

jo.duncan@jocogov.org

Bernadette Russ-Cohen

Project SEARCH Skills Trainer

913-826-2254

bernadette.russ-cohen@jocogov.org

Tina Howard

Project SEARCH Skills Trainer

913-826-2368

tina.howard@jocogov.org

County Administration Building Site:

Charmaine Elven

Project SEARCH Instructor

913-826-2650

charmaine.elven@jocogov.org

Forrest Austin

Project SEARCH Skills Trainer

913-826-2278

forrest.austin@jocogov.org

 

Retirement Services

Retirement Banner

Many older adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities prefer to participate in day activities that are typical of those that many seniors enjoy during their retirement years. JCDS retirement activity programs are structured to connect both the aging systems and disabilities networks in empowering older adults with disabilities to have full access to community services. Some of the activities focus on therapeutic intervention as well as involvement in normalized daily routines such as attending movies, memory retention activities, T-Bones baseball games, Rodeos, and music therapy. Opportunities to practice a range of motion and joint flexibility in gym exercise within the community for the purpose of slowing age-related losses in physical reserves in the context of a normal daily activity.

We participate in rehabilitative/habilitative leisure outing opportunities that promote community inclusion and allow individuals to contribute to community life through various volunteering sites and settings. These include programs and organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Stroke Foundation, Kids TLC, KU Pediatrics, Kansas City Hospice House, Library, Shawnee Gardens, Homestead, Growing Futures (Head Start), Yearly “Adopt-a-Senior” Christmas Project, DaVita Dialysis, United Methodist Church, and more. We also provide a Dementia “Room” where trained support professionals observe and assist individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s to understand their interests, capabilities, strengths, and needs. Staffs provide immediate and frequent verbal encouragement, build on skills and capabilities and use repetition to promote success and positive engagement. Leisure lifestyle education is also provided on a regular basis which promotes choices and self-determination and recognizes the human qualities that exist in all older adults with lifelong developmental challenges.

Supported Employment

Supported Employment Banner

JCDS has partnered with several community businesses to provide supported work crews to their business location. A supported work crew is a group of individuals that are eligible for CDDO services that act as a team to complete production work. The work crew is supervised both by the business itself, and by an on-site employment coach provided by JCDS. Work crew employees are paid minimum wage or higher. Most crews work between 9:00 and 3:00, but hours can vary.

Being part of a work crew is a good opportunity to get some hands on work experience in a business environment in a more supervised and structured way. This can be helpful for those who are interested in community employment, but want or need a more structured experience first.

To be in a supported worksite, you must be 18 years of age or older. You must also be CDDO eligible: to determine whether you or your family member is CDDO eligible and to start CDDO services visit the CDDO page by clicking here. The opportunity to be in a supported worksite is determined by current availability, and is not guaranteed.

For more information, contact Debra Bartholomew at 913-826-2282, or by e-mail at Debra.Bartholomew@jocogov.org.

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