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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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JCDS self advocates at Topeka statehouse for Push Day 2017

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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JCDS Project SEARCH team honored at national conference
August 20, 2019

Project SEARCH TeamThe JCDS Project SEARCH team was recently honored at the 13th Annual Project SEARCH Conference in Anaheim, CA! Our program received the 100% award for the placement rate at the Embassy Suites site and the 80-89% award for the placement rate at the Johnson County Administration site for the 2017-2018 session.

“We were very proud to be recognized at the annual Project SEARCH conference,” said Amy Fair, Community Employment Team Leader for JCDS. "This program has helped to open the door to employment for dozens of people served by JCDS so they can lead more independent lives. Our staff has worked hard to see an overall success rate of 80% in the program, and we are thrilled to be honored on a national stage.”

Project SEARCH is an international 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 was implemented in JCDS in August 2014.

Through the program, 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.

Congratulations to the JCDS Project SEARCH staff and participants, and thank you for all of your hard work!

Project SEARCH is just one of many employment programs available for individuals served by JCDS. Additional opportunities include End-Dependence Kansas, Community Employment, Emerging Artists and Papercrete Works.

 

Click photo to enlarge. Photo credit: Project SEARCH.

Election Office and JCDS team up for National Disability Voter Registration Week
July 23, 2019

Nathan Carter from Election Office speaking at Self-Advocacy Group

Election Office and JCDS team up for National Disability Voter Registration Week

In honor of National Disability Voter Registration Week, Nathan Carter from the Johnson County Election Office joined the Johnson County Developmental Supports Self-Advocacy Group meeting to lead a discussion on the importance of registering to vote and participating in elections. The Election Office has previously teamed up with JCDS to help individuals register to vote and will provide additional opportunities at this meeting.

He talked about the importance of voting, accessibility at the polls, early voting, mail-in ballots, and more. He then helped anyone who needed it with voter registration, updating information, and questions. It was great to see so many people already registered and excited to vote in the upcoming election.

The Self-Advocacy Group is a team of individuals served by JCDS who are passionate about advocating for themselves and people with disabilities through civic and political action, personal development and community connections.

See more photos on our Facebook page.

First JCDS Wheelchair and Walker Wash Event is a success
August 1, 2019

 

First JCDS Wheelchair and Walker Wash Event is a success

JCDS held its first Wheelchair and Walker Wash Event on July 17, 2019 at the Elmore Center. Thanks to awesome volunteers from The Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center; the Marriott Kansas City in Overland Park; the City of Merriam; and Farmers Insurance Company, we were able to wash 46 wheelchairs, walkers, and lifts! Check out the video above to learn more about this fantastic event!

Congratulations Project SEARCH graduates!
July 23, 2019

Project SEARCH Graduation 2019

Congratulations Project SEARCH graduates!

The fifth year of Project SEARCH is in the books! Twelve interns recently graduated from this program, which is facilitated each year by Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS). Friends and family attended the ceremony on June 1 at Johnson County Community College. Photos from the event are below.

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. Interns 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, from 16 to 40 hours per week in a competitive, integrated setting earning prevailing wage or higher. In the first year, 100% of Project SEARCH graduates secured a job.

"The Project SEARCH graduation is a time to celebrate the hard work of the men and women who have committed their time, effort and talents to this program during the past nine months," said Melissa Reeves, Community Relations Manager for JCDS. "Seeing county staff, elected officials, families, and community partners all come together to usher these graduates into the next stage of their professional development is a joy to experience. We look forward to this event each year, and we are so proud of this graduating class."

Tyler Smith, a Project SEARCH graduate from the first class (2014/2015), served as keynote speaker. He talked about being independent; he has a job and a car, and the day before the graduation had moved into his own apartment. Other speakers were Johnson County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Ed Eilert, JCDS Board Chairman Dale Chaffin, and Rhonda Case, owner of the Sunflower Cafe in Olathe who utilizes Project SEARCH interns and employs a graduate from the program.

Article and photos courtesy of Johnson County PIO

BOCC proclaim April as National Autism Awareness Month in JoCo!
July 23, 2019

Autism Awareness Month Proclamation

BOCC proclaim April as National Autism Awareness Month in JoCo!

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners presented a proclamation on April 18 in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Project SEARCH​ graduate Benjamin Wetzel was there with JCDS Executive Director Chad VonAhnen, Deputy Director Shelly May, and Community Employment Specialist Angela Walsh-Fisher to accept the proclamation.

Ben gave a great speech, talking about his job at Sunflower Health Plan​ and how much he enjoys it. He is one of the many Project SEARCH success stories, and we are so proud of the amazing work he has done! 

FYI: Project SEARCH Assessment Day​ is coming up soon (May 3), so if you or someone you know would be interested in participating in this fantastic program, be sure to get your application materials in by April 26! Learn more.

Click photo to enlarge.

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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 08/27/2019 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Tue, 10/22/2019 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Tue, 11/19/2019 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board