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Seven Pillars of the Mission Project

Overcoming Barriers Facing People with IDD

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Life in Community

Development Disabilities Does Not Mean a Cloistered Life

  • Participants live in apartment communities of their choosing.

  • Opportunity to self direct; making decisions with autonomy.

  • Freedom and access afforded by a walkable community.

  • Volunteer activities - both by and for participants.

  • Collaboration with JCCC Clear Program, Sylvester Powell Community Center, Down Syndrome Innovations, Rockhurst Occupational Therapy Department, Kansas Center on Autism Research and Training

  • Community Education

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Inclusive Employment

  • Less than one third of working age individuals with IDD hold jobs. All Mission Project participants maintain jobs, and many have held the same job for a number of years.  

  • Our transportation group gets our participants to and from jobs on time every day. 

  • Job coaching and skills development part of our program activities.


Translational Coaching

Autonomous Adults with Support as Needed

  • Staff focus on advancing social skills, conflict resolution, impulse control, self advocacy and self expression. 

  • Individualized goal setting and accountability, problem solving and increasing self confidence to make good decisions.

  • Safety practices and drills.

  • Creating a failure free environment.

  • Building human capital. 

  • Mentorship by graduate students.

  • PCA Support. 

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Family Partnership

Families Matter in the Mission Project

  • Families support all the participants through natural relationships.

  • Families support each other through monthly family meetings and informal connections.

  • Families volunteer over 5,000 hours each year to the Mission Project.

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The Social Self

Friendships foster self confidence and improve life skills

  • Individuals with IDD can be isolated in some residential settings. 

  • Friendships grow from shared interests and experiences in a variety of clubs, where Mission Project participants direct the gatherings.

  • Coaching on building reciprocal friendships.

  • Conversation trios. 

  • Informal gatherings.


Healthy Choices

Facing mental and physical health risks head on.

  • IDD individuals at greater risk for cardiovascular disease, sensory deficits, falls/mobility issues, depression, anxiety and Alzheimers. 

  • Integration of healthy activities in a social context SUCH AS the Walking Club and the Garden Club.

  • Individualized support for fitness and exercise.

  • Nutrition classes.

  • Fitness training. 

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Lifelong Learning

Classes, conversations, experiences...

  • Learning takes many forms.  Watching birds at a feeder.  Canoeing on a quiet lake.

  • Experiential learning taps into hidden interests and abilities in drama and art classes, the history club, the world dining club, the magic and travel clubs.  Our participants learn to use technology to better manage their lives. 

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