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Developmental Supports

Mark D. Elmore Center

10501 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS 66219

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Department News

JCDS participating in county's second annual Reverse Job Fair

On Tuesday, April 25, local businesses will have the opportunity to tap into a pool of qualified job applicants interested in securing employment. Several Johnson County departments including Human Resources, Johnson County Mental Health, Johnson County Department of Corrections and Johnson County Developmental Supports will host the county’s second Reverse Job Fair.

Unlike a typical job fair where job applicants browse information tables hosted by employers, at the Reverse Job Fair, clients receiving employment coaching or support services from Johnson County will showcase themselves. Approximately 30 job candidates will each have a table with information about his/her skills, experience and interests. Employers can meet with applicants, accept resumes, and even hold on-site interviews. The 2016 Reverse Job Fair attracted organizations including Ikea, Garmin, FedEx and the City of Lenexa.

Event details:
Tuesday, April 25
2 – 4 pm.
Johnson County Administrative Building, Lower Level, Room 200
111 S. Cherry Street, Olathe
For more information, contact Aubree Casper at 913-826-4069

Feel free to download our event flyer.

2016-2017 Project SEARCH rotation newsletter available

The 2016-2017 Project SEARCH class continues to achieve success...including two interns starting permanent jobs before even finishing their internships. Read all about it in this newsletter, put together by the interns themselves.

JCDS employee wins national award

Forrest Austin, a Direct Support Professional with Johnson County Developmental Supports, received the 2017 National Direct Support Professional of the Year award from The American Network of Community Options and Resources. ANCOR gives this award annually for exemplary work in furthering community inclusion for people living with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities. Judges look at nominees’ success in helping people with disabilities build social networks, participate in the community and advocate for themselves.

Austin has worked as a Direct Support Professional for nine years, four of them with JCDS. Part of his work involves serving as a Project SEARCH employment coach, and he has supported more than a dozen individuals with intellectual disabilities in their efforts to secure and maintain employment.

"When we have people get full-time jobs for $15 an hour who have an intellectual disability, we feel like we are breaking ground," said Austin. "I want that to become the rule and not the exception for the people we serve."

"We rely on DSPs and our staff to create solutions and figure out ways to provide opportunities for our people to be part of the community,” said Chad VonAhnen, executive director, Johnson County Developmental Supports. “Forrest does that every day. He keeps his focus on our clients’ abilities, providing them with choice-driven supports and advocating alongside of them to live and work in the community."

Since 2007, ANCOR has honored exceptional DSPs with the Direct Support Professional of the Year award. The association chose Austin from 245 nominees. ANCOR also named state recipients of the DSP Recognition Award in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Moldova.

"It is a great honor to be recognized in the midst of all this, and I see it as recognition not only for my personal contributions, but to the quality services provided here in the state of Kansas and in Johnson County," said Austin. 

New program hopes to help nearly 100 people find jobs in the community

Johnson County Developmental Supports hopes to help nearly 100 people with an intellectual or developmental disability find a competitive job in the community over the next five years. This lofty but achievable goal is due to JCDS receiving a $1.2 million grant called “End Dependence.” The Kansas Rehabilitation Services division of the Kansas Department for Children and Families awarded JCDS the grant, and the funding will go towards serving 120 people in a progressive employment, or internship-model program, with the goal of securing competitive employment for 80 percent of participants.

The community employment team at JCDS is seeking both business and individuals to participate in the End Dependence program.

For businesses

All Kansas City employers are invited to get in touch with JCDS to find out about being an End Dependence host site. JCDS will work with businesses such as hospitals, hotels, retail establishments, industrial settings, warehouses to set up temporary internships lasting at least four weeks. Individuals with an intellectual or developmental disability can gain some work experience, learning a job’s specific skills and requirements as well as some of the softer skills necessary to work in the community. Interns’ wages will be paid by Vocational Rehab.

For more information, please contact Andrea Bishop at 913-826-2217 or Andrea.Bishop@jocogov.org

For individuals

JCDS is looking for people over 18 who have been deemed eligible for I/DD services by the Johnson County Community Developmental Disability Organization (CDDO.) Ideally, participants should have no prior work experience, or have worked but have experienced some challenges with community employment.

For more information, please contact Kim Perry at 913-826-2340 or Kim.Perry@jocogov.org.

This video provides some examples of successful local job placements for people with I/DD in several different industries.

 

Ways to monitor the 2017 legislative session

The 2017 Kansas legislative session officially begins at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 9. There are a variety of ways to monitor what's happening in Topeka. The information below pertains specifically to following issues involving the intellectual and developmental disability system. 

The Kansas Legislature web site has a host of information including calendars, legislator contact information and committee assignments, and links to live audio broadcasts. You can also track bills online.

The Senate standing committees you may want to watch are Ways and Means, and Public Health and Welfare. On the House side, Appropriations, Social Services Budget and Health & Human Services are ones to monitor. 

An important joint committee to watch is the Robert G. (Bob) Bethell Joint Committee on Home and Community Based Services and KanCare Oversight.

The Kansas State Library has a toll-free legislative hotline with reference librarians available to answer legislative questions. The phone number is 1-800-432-3924 or you can text questions to 785-256-0733 (charges may apply.)

News outlets are another information resource and below are direct links to statehouse or politics sections for news outlets we monitor.

Kansas City Star
Kansas News Service (formerly KHI News Service, now a part of KCUR)
Topeka Capital-Journal
Wichita Eagle

Finally, if you are a Twitter user, many tweets about happenings at the statehouse include the hashtag #ksleg so that's a good one to search. You can also follow legislators, as well as journalists who cover the statehouse.

JCDS sends out regular e-mails with legislative and policy updates. To join this email list, please send an email to jody.hanson@jocogov.org

 

Check out the latest news about Project SEARCH

Our Project SEARCH program has grown this year! The 2016-2017 interns have finished their first rotation and their first newsletter. We invite you to click here and take a look!

Johnson County response to Sec. Tim Keck

Today the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners endorsed this response to Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services Secretary Tim Keck’s editorial in the Wichita Eagle entitled “Kansas safety net for disabled strong and improving.” 

Live performance by two internationally-acclaimed operatic tenors will help out some Friends

Two Metropolitan Opera National Council Award Winners are coming to Kansas City to raise their voices for Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports (Friends of JCDS.) Internationally-acclaimed operatic tenors Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner will perform at “Celebrate with Friends” on Thursday, September 22.

“Celebrate with Friends” is an evening of food, music and fund raising to support individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities served by Johnson County Developmental Supports. It takes place on September 22 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Camelot Ballroom (6635 W. 151st Street, Overland Park.) 

“This event is a great opportunity to recognize the donors, volunteers and other supporters whose generosity makes lives better for people in our community with disabilities,” says Janel Bowers, development director, Friends of JCDS. “The funds we will raise at this event pay for very specific things for the people we serve such as affordable barrier-free housing, crisis funding or necessities like dental treatments that aren’t covered by other funding sources.”

“Celebrate with Friends” event

Thursday, September 22
Camelot Ballroom (6635 W. 151st Street, Overland Park.)
6 p.m. cocktail reception and silent auction
6:45 p.m. dinner, entertainment, awards and live auction
Tickets and more information: www.friendsofjcds.com/events

About Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner

Metropolitan Opera National Council Award winners Gulley/Granner (tenors Ben Gulley and Nathan Granner) have established themselves as top independent classical artists, gaining momentum in the national and international opera world singing principal roles across the United States and into the European Union. The two gents developed a strong, gregarious kinship through touring as the classical crossover artists, The American Tenors a Sony Masterworks group. Their beautiful world-class voices coupled with great humor and eye for great visual production delight fans and is quickly gaining them more opportunities to shine around the globe.

About Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports

Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports (Friends of JCDS) is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable, barrier-free housing options and emergency, crisis funding for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) who are served by Johnson County Developmental Supports (JCDS). JCDS is the agency of the Johnson County government that facilitates career and personal development for Johnson County residents with intellectual and development disabilities. The mission of Friends of JCDS, founded in 1990, is to enhance the lives of people with ID/DD by supporting JCDS people and programs when additional resources are needed. Through Friends, JCDS has been able to expand its base of support to meet widening funding gaps in many critical areas. Friends funding benefits more than 400 individuals each year through its many projects and activities, reaching beyond the adult clients served each day at JCDS. For more information, visit: www.friendsofjcds.com

Grant funding will help hundreds of Johnson County individuals with disabilities secure competitive employment

After being awarded a combined more than $2 million in grant funding, Johnson County Developmental Supports and Johnson County Mental Health will be able to help secure competitive employment for a goal of 320 individuals served by either agency over the next five years. Both agencies have received an End-Dependence Grant from the Kansas Rehabilitation Services division of the Kansas Department for Children and Family Services.

Both JCDS and JCMH will use these grants to improve competitive employment outcomes for Johnson County individuals with disabilities. The target population will be adults served by JCDS or JCMH and require Supported Employment Services to obtain and maintain employment.

The JCDS grant provides 100 percent funding for four employment specialist positions and the grant for JCMH provides 100 percent funding for two full-time vocational counselors, one part-time vocational counselor and one part-time peer support specialist.

“Nationally, unemployment for adults with severe mental illness is estimated at more than 85 percent,” says Tim DeWeese, executive director, Johnson County Mental Health. “Our Vocational Services team receives daily requests from our clients who want to work in the community. We are thrilled this grant will allow us to help an additional 200 clients find work.”

“The End-Dependence grant will allow JCDS to expand our Progressive Employment model which creates temporary-to-permanent work experiences that break down barriers to employment for some of the individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities we serve,” said Chad VonAhnen, executive director, Johnson County Developmental Supports. “We strongly encourage our clients to consider working in the community to increase their level of dependence and self-sufficiency, and are thankful for this grant that will help us with our mission.”

The Kansas Department for Children and Family Services announced this program October, 2014. The goal of the $25 million investment for the state of Kansas is to help 2,000 Kansans secure community employment.

New CDDO director starts today

Beginning today, Shelly May is the director of the Community Developmental Disabilities Organization for Johnson County. May has worked in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities field for 27 years.

During her career, May has served multiple roles as a service provider, targeted case manager, volunteer guardian, state licensing and quality assurance coordinator, public policy liaison, grants manager, and disability advocate. Most recently, May was the Employment/Day Pathways Facilitator at LifeShare where she worked on increasing employment outcomes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

May was also the statewide coordinator for Project SEARCH in Kansas. Project SEARCH is a one-year, school-to-work program for young adults with IDD.

As the director of Johnson County’s CDDO, May will lead a team of 12 who are responsible for providing a single point of entry for people seeking IDD services and supports. These services include day supports, residential supports, respite overnight care and targeted case management.

“I have a passion for connecting individuals and families with community based services and supports, and am very excited to join the Johnson County CDDO, which does a tremendous job  of ensuring residents benefit from customer-driven quality services,” said May.

May replaces former Johnson County CDDO director Tim Wood, currently executive director of InterHab Inc., Kansas’ state association for IDD service and support providers.

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