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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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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 a.m. and 3 p.m., 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 online. The opportunity to be in a supported worksite is determined by current availability, and is not guaranteed.

Contact

Amy Fair
Community Employment Team Leader
(913) 826-2223

Debra Bartholomew
Community Employment Team Leader
(913) 826-2282

Retirement Services

Active Agers

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.

The retirement program is open to individuals who are over the age of 55 who are receiving services from JCDS. The retirement program is structured so participants can maintain integration in the community while benefiting from therapeutic intervention and daily on-site leisure, health and wellness, and educational activities.

The JCDS retirement program is divided into three groups:

The Sage group does primarily in-house activities that are provided along with a daily activity around Johnson County, such as volunteering with a food pantry.

The Active Agers group enjoy a range of daily activities such as sporting events, plays, and music therapy.

Dementia Supports includes individuals with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Dementia Supports are provided in service areas where lighting, activities, sounds, and decorations are more conducive for success for a person with those conditions. DSPs receive specialized training in order to give the highest quality of care. Staff is offered training on compassion fatigue, coping with grief, and other issues that may arise from this specialized line of work.

Activities

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 animal 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
  • Johnson County Library
  • Shawnee Gardens
  • Homestead
  • Growing Futures (Head Start)
  • Yearly “Adopt-a-Senior” Christmas Project
  • DaVita Dialysis

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.

 

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH logo

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, which is 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, please visit the CDDO online. Anyone interested in being in this program must complete an application and assessment process. Not everyone who applies is guaranteed entry.

Meet Matt

Project SEARCH intern Isaac Rankin created this profile video of Matthew Gammil, who is also a Project SEARCH intern. Isaac is interning at the Johnson County Public Information Office and Matthew is interning at the Johnson County CDDO office.

Learn More

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 a member of our team:

Amy Fair
Community Employment Team Leader
(913) 826-2223

To contact a specific Project SEARCH site, see the information below:

Embassy Suites Site:

Chris Donner
Project SEARCH Lead Instructor
(913) 826-2293

Bernadette Russ-Cohen
Project SEARCH Skills Trainer
(913) 826-2254

Alexandra Shaw
​Project SEARCH Skills Trainer
(913) 826-2314

County Administration Building Site:

Forrest Austin
Project SEARCH Lead Instructor
(913) 826-2278

Tina Howard
Project SEARCH Skills Trainer
(913) 826-2368

Papercrete Works

Papercrete Works logo

Papercrete Works is a program of Johnson county Developmental Supports that creates community integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. People served can earn an hourly wage while learning new job skills and working toward achieving their goals in employment. 

Papercrete is a mixture of cement, water and recycled paper. The crew of individuals served and staff work together to pour it into molds to create unique products. Proceeds from the sales go back into the program.

Our Mission

Papercrete Works supports people with IDD by providing paid on the job skills training as a stepping stone to integrated competitive employment. We promote independence, provide choice driven supports and advocate alongside people to work in our community. 

Our Products

Our employees create and sell several different products in the outdoor furnishing, home décor and gift item categories.

If you're interested in purchasing items, check out the photo album below. All items will be parking lot pickups from 6000 Lamar Ave. in Mission, KS. Please contact Micah Wickstrom for purchasing.

Current papercrete Inventory 10% off sale!

Our Promise

With Papercrete Works, you can have confidence that you are purchasing a unique and well-crafted product made by many hands. You will also know that your purchase is helping provide community employment for people with an intellectual or developmental disability, helping them lead more independent lives. 

Our Partners

Our program continues to thrive with the support from our community and our volunteers. Thank you.

Geiger LogoGW logoKansas Dept. of Commerce Logo

Volunteer

Papercrete offers unique volunteer opportunities for those who would like to get involved. To learn more about you can contribute please contact Melissa Reeves.

Note: Due to COVID-19, the volunteer program is currently suspended.

Contact

For more information about this program, please contact Micah Wickstrom.

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 that 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.

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. Check out our Facebook photo album!

 

 

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 participate in any of the services or programs that are available at JCDS, one must first be determined eligible under CDDO guidelines. Visit the CDDO online 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.

Contact

Amy Fair
Community Employment Team Leader
(913) 826-2223

Meet Olga

Olga was part of our Project SEARCH internship class of 2016-2017 who got a full-time job before she graduated. Check out her story:

You can see more employment success stories on our YouTube channel.

 

Work Enrichment Services

Emerging Artists

Emerging Artist Ryan

The JCDS Emerging Artists Program consists of adult artists with IDD who are passionate and driven to create artwork. The artist’s work in studio located in a public venue at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center.

While acrylic painting is the most-used medium in studio, there are also artists using watercolor, colored pencil, fiber arts, ceramics, woodworking, and sculpture.

The artists have the opportunity to show and sell their artwork at their studio, local art shows, galleries, and participate in marketing their work through their social media accounts, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr. Sales from the artwork go directly to the artists.

The Emerging Artists are in varying stages of the artistic development and most have been creating artwork as soon as they could hold a pencil.

Besides making money in an industry not typically open for people with IDD, many artists have had the door opened to equal citizenship, personal growth, communication, self-expression, self-advocacy, and self-esteem from the art program. The artists get seen as adult artists not as their disability.

Purchase Artwork

The Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center
8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park
Monday - Friday 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cash, check, and charge accepted.

Connect With Us

Follow us on Facebook to get information about upcoming shows and to learn more about the artists.

Check out our Flickr album to see the fantastic work created by the Emerging Artists:

Emerging Artists

People who are good a fit for the JCDS Emerging Artists program:

  • An artist who creates original artwork
  • Self-motivated/directed
  • HCBS funding or private pay

Contact

Contact us to learn more about participating in Emerging Artists.

Cary Odell
913-826-2226
Program Coordinator 

Kristen Devlin
Art Specialist

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.

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.

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 develops 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.

If you have questions about the Community Employment process, email Amy Fair or call her at 913-826-2340.

Check out our "Working Wednesday" features to see profiles of individuals who found work through our community employment programs:

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