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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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Holiday Art Sale

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 receives accreditation from international accreditation service CQL
October 22, 2019

Johnson County Developmental Supports is proud to announce that we have received the three-year Basic Assurances® Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. JCDS had been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities for more than 30 years. JCDS is the largest provider of intellectual and developmental disabilities services in Johnson County.

“As a continuously improving organization, we made the decision to pursue accreditation with CQL to help our agency focus on the individual outcomes for the people we support,” said JCDS Executive Director Chad VonAhnen. “This partnership will offer resources to support our organization as we continue to excel in providing exceptional services to people with IDD.”

Founded in 1969, CQL is an international accreditation, training, certification, research and consultation service. The accreditation process included a robust self-assessment and a weeklong onsite visit where CQL representatives met with staff and individuals served. They also visited various offsite locations around the county to view residential services and community employment.

“CQL’s mission and vision align with ours, so we’re able to collaborate in providing choice-driven supports and advocating alongside the people we serve,” said JCDS Director of Quality and Engagement Ann Dorsey who spearheaded the agency’s transition to CQL. “We’re excited to grow as an agency and are confident our new partnership will be a great benefit to staff and the people we serve.”

Holiday Art Sale returns Dec. 4, 2019
October 29, 2019

Holiday Art SaleHoliday ArtThe Johnson County Developmental Supports Holiday Art Sale is an annual event that features work from artists in two JCDS programs: Emerging Artists and Papercrete Works. From 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2019, shoppers can visit the dance studio at Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, located at 8788 Metcalf Ave. in Overland Park to pick up one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays!

JCDS is an agency within Johnson County that serves residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Emerging Artists and Papercrete Works are two programs within the agency that give individuals served a creative outlet and a way to earn an income from their work.

The artists who work with Emerging Artists have built a reputation for their talent and beautiful art pieces. Additionally, the Papercrete Works program is a social enterprise that is recognized countywide for its innovation and quality products. 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 products for sale. 

PapercreteYou can find items from both programs for sale throughout the year separately, but this sale is one of the few times a year you can check out collections from both programs together.

This event will have a complete sampling of all the art mediums from Emerging Artists, such as ice and indigo-dyed hoodies and socks, silk scarves, acrylic paintings, wood carved bowls, pottery, original art cards and photography. You can also pick up letter boards, planters, picture holders and more from Papercrete Works. Many items can be customized. Custom orders of Papercrete Works products will be ready by the holidays!

Prices vary, and there is something for everyone. In addition to the items for sale, there will be a scratch and dent area. Most of the artists will be there along with giveaways, cookies, punch, coffee and holiday music. Kick start your holiday shopping with the JCDS Holiday Art Sale! Follow this event on Facebook.

BOCC proclaim October National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October 11, 2019

The Johnson County Board of Commissioners issued a proclamation on Oct. 3, 2019 proclaiming October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

As JCDS has grown through the years, the focus of supports has moved significantly toward employment first. The unemployment rate in the U.S. for people with disabilities is twice the rate of those without a disability.

JCDS employment services include End-Dependence Kansas, which is a five-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education; Project SEARCH, which is a national internship program facilitated through the agency; and traditional employment, which is provided through Vocational Rehabilitation services from the Kansas Department of Children and Families. There are additional supported employment opportunities, such as through Papercrete Works, Emerging Artists, onsite work services and supported community employment. Learn more.

Shelly May, Amy Fair and Casey Olinger were there to accept the proclamation. Check it out below:

BOCC recognizes Papercrete Works
September 24, 2019

BOCC RecognitionA county program called Papercrete Works that provides community employment opportunities for people with disabilities, along with the county team who manages the program, received recognition from the Board of County Commissioners today.

Papercrete Works is a program of Johnson County Developmental Supports, a Johnson County Government agency that supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Individuals served and staff work together to create papercrete (a mixture of recycled paper, water and cement) and mold it into products they then decorate and sell. Twelve individuals are part of this daily operation and earn income.

“Learning the skills it takes to be independent, earning your own wages, creating your own pieces…I know there is a lot of pride that goes into their work,” said Micah Wickstrom, Papercrete Works coordinator, who won a Leadership in Action award earlier this year for her work with this program.

To learn more about this program, we invite you to watch this video.


Click image to enlarge.

Note: The article is courtesy of the Johnson County PIO.

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.


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Upcoming Events

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

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Fri, 11/22/2019 - 9:30am

Developmental Supports Board Retreat

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 9:00am

Holiday Art Sale

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

Developmental Supports Governing Board

Tue, 02/25/2020 - 5:30pm

Developmental Supports Governing Board