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Public Advisory: Please take our population health survey ... | last updated: 04/08/2020 - 3:26pm | + read more

Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE) is asking Johnson County residents to complete a short survey in order to understand how many people in Johnson County have or do not have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). The survey will close at 10 a.m. on Friday, April 10.

Survey link - Population Health Survey



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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Mark D. Elmore Center Closed
March 24, 2020

Until further notice, the Mark D. Elmore Center will be closed to visitors. Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, all day services and supported worksites, including Project SEARCH, are suspended.

UPDATE: JCDS suspends supported worksites
March 18, 2020

Effective March 19, supported worksites, including Emerging Artists and Papercrete Works, are suspended until further notice. We are continuing to support integrated, competitive employment based on individual needs. This includes Project SEARCH.

Learn more about our response to COVID-19.

UPDATE: JCDS suspending day services at the Elmore Center
March 17, 2020

To lower the risk of exposure to COVID-19, we have made the decision to suspend day services at the Elmore Center and discourage all visitors effective March 18. This is in response to growing concern for the safety and wellbeing of staff and people served at JCDS and recommendations from public health officials and our medical staff. This action will remain in effect until further notice.

We are continuing operations for our employment programming outside the Elmore Center, including Papercrete Works and Emerging Artists.  JCDS staff are diligent in adhering to health and safety protocols as defined by these external business locations. 

Individuals and families are expected to follow public safety guidelines for social distancing and to limit interactions to meeting essential needs only. If this protocol is not followed, JCDS may not be able to continue provision of services. Visitors will not be allowed at JCDS service locations, including residential, except for special circumstances. However, families may take individuals to receive care at their home for an extended period if desired.

We believe these precautionary steps are in the best interest of our staff and the people we support, and we anticipate these will be temporary.

This information is subject to change ­and could change at any point due to the nature of the situation. Our JCDS Pandemic Response Team is meeting daily to address new developments in this rapidly changing event.

For more information, please visit https://jocogov.org/coronavirus. Johnson County Government has ­opened a hotline for the public to ask questions about COVID-19. The number is 913-715-2819. They will be taking calls from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For program specific questions, please contact Beth Johnson for information regarding Day Services and Sarah Schlitter for Residential Services.

You may also contact Deputy Director Shelly May with general questions about services.

JCDS response to COVID-19
April 6, 2020

At Johnson County Developmental Supports, we are working to ensure staff, residents and the people we serve continue to thrive as we navigate the changing nature of the current public health crisis. We are continuing to prioritize preventative measures such as social distancing, event rescheduling, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization processes at the Mark D. Elmore Center and in residential settings.

We are monitoring the news surrounding COVID-19 locally and nationwide, and remaining in consistent contact with county leadership, the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, Johnson County Department of Health and Environment and other relevant agencies as we take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of those we serve and our staff.

Until further notice, we will be making the following adjustments:

  • We are limiting visitors to the Elmore Center, and we’re asking anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19, traveled to a level 3 location, or anyone who doesn’t feel well to please refrain from visiting our facility.
  • Persons served with a fever or persistent cough will be sent home. Any visitors exhibiting these symptoms will not be admitted.
  • Out of precaution, nursing staff will begin checking temperatures of people we support entering the Elmore Center on Monday, March 16.
  • We are limiting community outings for the people we serve in order to avoid large gatherings and promote social distancing.
  • We are encouraging telecommunications as appropriate.
  • The volunteer program has been suspended. We will not be accepting new volunteers, nor will we be utilizing volunteers at this time.
  • If individuals receive residential support from JCDS and normally receive day services in a larger setting, such as the Elmore Center, they will be temporarily supported in their homes during the day.

We believe these precautionary steps are in the best interest of our staff and the people we support, and we anticipate these will be temporary.

This information is subject to change and could change at any point due to the nature of the situation. Our JCDS Pandemic Response Team is meeting daily to address new developments in this rapidly changing event.

For more information, please visit https://jocogov.org/coronavirus. Don’t hesistate to ask questions as you have them. For program specific questions, please contact Beth Johnson for information regarding Day Services and Sarah Schlitter for Residential Services. You may also contact Deputy Director Shelly May with general questions about services..

JCDS staff enjoy "Sound of Silence" Program
January 24, 2020

Sound of SilenceWhen you walk through the halls of Johnson County Developmental Supports, you may notice several staff members using American Sign Language. And now, thanks to a new program created by community employment specialists Vicki Besco and Tasha Markovich, the number of employees learning ASL is increasing.

The program kicked off last fall after JCDS leadership held a Shark Tank competition to cultivate innovative ideas from staff. Besco and Markovich pitched an internal ASL program and it was selected as one of the winning ideas. Sound of Silence is a 15-minute, weekly session where any staff member can learn ASL in a focused and supportive environment.

 "It's fun – no pressure. Just show up and start learning and have fun with it," said Besco.

The program is open to any Johnson County employee interested in learning, practicing or sharing ASL.

"Staff can take the time weekly to come and participate in learning sign language vocabulary and continue every week to build on that vocabulary," said Besco. "It's important because when people get excited to learn sign language, they take a six- or eight-week class and then it ends. This just continues, you get to keep getting excited about it every week."

JCDS serves many individuals who are deaf, non-verbal or partially deaf, so this program helps staff better communicate with the people they serve. Additionally, many people who use ASL need support strengthening their ASL skills. Community employment specialist Jeff Walker has attended Sound of Silence almost every week since it started in November.

"I just wanted to learn sign language as well – to be able to speak to other people and possibly teach other people I know," he said. "Just to be able to communicate with some of the individuals we serve – that's why I come." Walker's consistent attendance is an important part of learning the language.

"If you don't use sign language, you lose it," said Markovich. So far, staff who have decided to participate in this program return week after week and are excited to learn. Attendance hasn't waned after more than two months.

"I love language, and there's a few people who I pass and say hi to, but don't know how to speak to," said direct support professional Sarah Dean. "I wanted to engage with them more."

JCDS has many residential direct support professionals and because they work offsite, they are unable to attend Sound of Silence. To help them access this training, Besco and Markovich plan to start recording the sessions to put online.​

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Upcoming Events

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Tue, 04/21/2020 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 05/19/2020 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting

Tue, 06/23/2020 - 5:30pm

JCDS Governing Board Meeting