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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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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 27, 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 jocogov.org/coronavirus. Don’t hesitate 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 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.”

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.


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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