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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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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

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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.

JCDS welcomes new Director of Day and Employment Services
March 9, 2021

AngelineJCDS is excited to welcome Angeline Anderson as the new Director of Day and Employment Services. Angeline began her career in developmental disabilities as a direct support professional at Big Lakes Developmental Center. She was soon promoted to a lead residential position with that organization. After graduation, Angeline went to work for Starkey where she was Residential Services Manager and then later assumed the Director of Case Management Services position. After a number of years at Starkey, Angeline left to take on the role of Associate Director at Mosaic in Winfield and most recently worked on the Program Integrity and Compliance team at the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services. Angeline is a graduate of Kansas State University where she studied economics.

Mike Hughes joins the JCDS Governing Board
November 18, 2020

Mike Hughes PhotoPlease join us in welcoming the newest member of the JCDS Governing Board, Mike Hughes!

Mike is a telecom professional with a Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Master of Business Administration from Rockhurst University. He has been in the telecommunications industry for the majority of his career, including over 20 years with Sprint. He is currently managing large projects for Zayo Group, a privately held company headquartered in Boulder, Colorado that provides communications infrastructure services.

Growing up next door to neighbors who had a child with intellectual and developmental disabilities sparked a passion in Mike to get involved with the IDD community. He has been involved with JCDS for many years and served on the Friends of JCDS Board for nine years, including three as Board Chairman. Mike is excited to be joining the JCDS Governing Board and looks forward to continuing to serve and advocate for people with disabilities in Johnson County.

We’re glad to have Mike join our team, and we know his experience and passion will be an asset to JCDS and the people we serve.

Learn more about the JCDS Governing Board.

Aderonke Oyetunji joins the JCDS Governing Board
October 6, 2020

We want to welcome the newest member of the JCDS Governing Board, Aderonke Oyetunji!

Kiki is a physician with an MBA and a Behavioral Specialist Certification in Applied Behavioral Analysis. She is currently a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Fellow through the Kansas University Medical Center.

Her interest in the IDD field stems from her personal experience navigating the system with her son who was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child. That experience helped her better understand social determinants that impact access to comprehensive and continuous care and the resources available to aid access to affordable care and services for people with disabilities. Now, Kiki is determined to make an impact for people with disabilities within Johnson County.

Her passion for this work is evident, and we are fortunate she is willing to serve on our governing board. Learn more about the JCDS governing board.

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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 08/24/2021 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 09/28/2021 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

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