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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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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 more than 70 Johnson County providers.

Department News

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Join us for virtual interviews for direct support professionals on Oct. 26!
October 14, 2021

Johnson County Developmental Supports will host  virtual job interviews 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 26 for jobseekers interested in joining our team as direct support professionals.

Prior to attending the virtual interview, jobseekers should:


In addition to a $500 sign-on bonus, the starting pay for a DSP employed with Johnson County Government is $15.40 an hour. Employees receive access to a competitive wage structure, wellness offerings, a comprehensive benefits package, and tuition reimbursement.

DSPs play a crucial role in supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their quest to live and work in the community, rather than in institutional settings.

Depending on where they work, DSPs perform a multitude of tasks, including personal care, job coaching, appropriate medical/physical care, behavioral guidance, skills teaching, help with household tasks and so much more.

JCDS is currently hiring for evening, overnight and weekend shifts in the residential program.

Savannah Frye wins 2021 Outstanding DSP of the Year Award
July 19, 2021

Savannah FryeJCDS direct support professional Savannah Frye has been named the 2021 Outstanding DSP of the Year from InterHab! InterHab is the Kansas state association for IDD service providers.

She was nominated by fellow DSP Bridget Brennan, who wrote:

"Savannah Frye is the glue that holds the house and staff together. We joke that without her the house would fall apart, but, she has such a hand on everything happening and can anticipate needs and problem solve before anything becomes an issue... Some days are harder than others and she rolls with the punches, both literally and figuratively, but she also takes such pride and joy in everything she does. The job of a DSP is not easy but Savannah advocates, cheers on and has helped the ladies live the most independent, happy, and fulfilling life possible. The relationship she has with the families brings them trust and relief. Her devotion to the people we support is inspirational and makes me try harder to “be like Savannah."

The winners will be formally recognized at the InterHab Power Up! Conference on Friday, Oct. 15 in an awards ceremony held at the Hyatt in Wichita, KS.

Congrats, Savannah!

JCDS welcomes new CFO
June 25, 2021

Chris LinnaneChris Linnane is joining our team as the new CFO, replacing Tim Arnold who retired this month after more than 30 years.

Chris is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He served as a Naval Flight Officer aboard the EA-6B Prowler, the U.S. military’s radar jamming aircraft. He deployed twice to the Arabian Gulf in support Operation Southern Watch and once to Kosovo during Operation Allied Force. After leaving the service, Chris completed his MBA at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. He has held financial and operational management positions at Mattel, StandardAero, Fast Point Games and National Seminars Training. For the past six years, Chris has owned and operated Linnane Consulting, a practice dedicated to helping small and mid-sized companies with their financial management. Chris lives in northeast Johnson County with his wife, Jeannine. They are the proud parents of Jack and Aisling. When not busy being a dad, Chris plays ice hockey, rides bicycles and dabbles in the kitchen.

His first day with the agency will be June 28, 2021.

Project SEARCH classes recognized at graduation ceremony
June 8, 2021

On June 4, Johnson County Developmental Supports and Johnson County Community College held a graduation ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 JCDS Project SEARCH classes!

Project SEARCH is an education and employment program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are interested in community employment. In the program, interns spend nine months working at a host business site. They complete three unpaid internship rotations designed to teach them marketable, transferable work skills.

Due to COVID-19, the class of 2020 did not get a traditional graduating ceremony last year, so this year the ceremony was combined so both classes could walk across the stage and be fully recognized for all their hard work. Even with the hardship brought on by the pandemic, the Johnson County Government Project SEARCH class of 2020 was able to achieve a 70% employment outcome award!

This program will be entering its eighth year with the class of 2022 starting this fall.

We want to thank our program partners, RideKC Freedom, Workforce Partnership KC, and a special thank you to Johnson County Community College Continuing Education for hosting and presenting graduates with Continuing Education Certificates for completing the program.

Congratulations to all the graduates!

2020 Project SEARCH Graduates:

  • Michaela Barry
  • Alexander Gaulke
  • Charity Pennington
  • Roy Hunter Bell
  • Cassandra Kamps
  • Devin Seeger
  • Sean Berrigan
  • Noah Krueger
  • Casi Valadez
  • Jennifer Crabtree
  • Arian Mohammadi

2021 Project SEARCH Graduates:

  • Nikolas Espinoza
  • Rachel Mast
  • Todd Weber
  • Sarah Hamilton
  • Arsha Merchant
  • Rachel Ann Zink
  • Christopher Shawn Larkins


National Disability Provider Association Names Mindi Nelson the 2021 Kansas DSP of the Year 
June 3, 2021

Mindi NelsonRecognition honors excellence in workforce providing long-term supports and services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

This morning, the American Network of Community Options and Resources announced that Mindi Nelson, a Direct Support Professional at Johnson County Developmental Supports, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Kansas DSP of the Year award. Nelson joins 49 other recipients of ANCOR’s 2021 Direct Support Professional of the Year awards, chosen from a field of 350 outstanding nominees.

“Mindi has been a dedicated member of our team for 18 years and this recognition is rightly deserved,” said JCDS Executive Director Chad VonAhnen. “In the past year, our organization has had to adapt to ensure the safety of people served and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Mindi played a vital role in supporting the agency. As one of our activity and volunteer coordinators, she worked tirelessly to ensure the individuals in service remained active, engaged and safe. We are so proud of her and grateful she chooses to serve Johnson County.”

Since 2007, ANCOR’s annual DSP of the Year awards recognize outstanding professionals who deliver long-term supports and services to people with IDD. The awards celebrate the important role DSPs play in ensuring individuals with IDD are included and empowered in the community, and raise awareness about a direct support workforce in crisis. Inadequate investments in this essential workforce have led to turnover rates in excess of 40 percent and vacancy rates that average 18 to 20 percent nationally.

“ANCOR and our Diamond Partner, Relias, co-present the DSP of the Year awards program each year precisely because of people like Mindi Nelson. Her commitment to ensuring the inclusion of people supported by JCDS enriches not only the lives of those individuals, but the broader Johnson County community at large. Without committed direct support professionals like Mindi and all of this year’s outstanding award recipients, people with IDD would have severely limited opportunities to be part of the community,” said ANCOR chief executive officer Barbara Merrill.

Heidi Mansir, president of the ANCOR Board of Directors and executive director for Uplift, Inc., in Gardiner, Maine, stated, “ANCOR presents the [Direct Support Professional of the Year Awards] annually precisely because of the important but often unrecognized work DSPs are doing to support people with disabilities to be included in the community. We are immensely proud of Mindi Nelson for the work they’re doing in their community. Mindi truly exemplifies excellence in the profession.”

The 2021 DSP of the Year awards will be presented in a virtual ceremony on Monday, June 14. Members of the press interested in viewing the awards presentation should contact Sean Luechtefeld, Senior Director of Communications for ANCOR, at [email protected] or 571-207-9108.


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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 10/26/2021 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 11/30/2021 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 05/24/2022 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 06/28/2022 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting