Inclusion Connections, Inc
15738 W. 148th Ter.
Olathe KS 66062
Learning job skills making/selling dog treats
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (913) 839-8735
Mission Statement

Our mission is to strengthen the lives of individuals with disabilities by creating inclusive opportunities for community involvement, access to meaningful employment, and options for independent living.

Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Debbie Horn
Board Chair Jonathan Twidwell
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cornerstone Wealth Management
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2013
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement

Our mission is to strengthen the lives of individuals with disabilities by creating inclusive opportunities for community involvement, access to meaningful employment, and options for independent living.

Background Statement
Youth with disabilities can face a bleak future with nowhere to go and nothing to do, particularly after exiting high school. No social life outside of activities with their parents or day services. Our Executive Director has a history of school and community advocacy as a board member and community group leader. This experience, coupled with a true passion for kids leading lives filled with encouragement, hope, friendships and jobs, led to the formation of Inclusion Connections nonprofit in May 2013. Inclusion Connection wants to transform its community one person, one business at a time through advocacy, education, activities and conversation. We want to bring to light the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities, and work together to improve their lives. It's our intention to bring about real and lasting change in the hearts and minds of our community.
Impact Statement
2016 Accomplishments: 
 
  • Grew membership to 125+ members aged 13-25 with developmental disabilities in Johnson and Clay Counties. 
  • Created a truly inclusive organization by recruiting/training more than 350 local middle and high school aged students to participate in all classes, activities and events as Peer Mentors. 
  • Offered 1,400+ hours of inclusive classes and activities plus Summer Camps in Olathe, KS and Liberty, MO. 
  • Held 3rd annual fundraiser, FashionAbility, featuring our members and peers walking the runway. 
  • Launched EmployAbility, a jobs training and employment program.
  • Implemented PawsAbilities, a social enterprise addressing the hands-on job skill needs of clients. Post-graduate Interns bake, package, market and distribute dog treats, learning translatable skills. Other age clients also participate in this program.
 
Goals for 2017:
 
  • Improve and expand programs, offering 2,00+ hours of inclusive activities, classes and events including Summer Camps in Olathe, KS and Liberty, MO
  • Continue to recruit and train middle and high school students to volunteer with us as Peer Mentors, as well as adult volunteers as teachers and for supervision. 
  • Expand Healthy Living Program with more opportunities to address the healthy lifestyle needs of clients.
  • Strengthen our Board of Directors. 
  • Continue to form partnerships with local businesses, organizations and community members to strengthen our nonprofit, spread our mission, and better serve our members and peers.
Needs Statement
  • Funding for operations including help with rent and utilities, resources for paid staff and board development.
  • Technology including laptops/Ipads, copier, fax/scanner, and other equipment.
  • Kitchen equipment for Employment training program. 
  • Adult volunteers.
  • Van for transportation for members.
  • Volunteers with IT, Social Media and Wordpress experience.
Service Categories
Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers
Youth Development Programs
Down Syndrome
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
MO - Clay County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
My son Matthew, now 19, has Down syndrome. As he has grown up, he has had to watch his brother’s active social life – friends calling, participating on school teams, hanging out for fun. Too often, when his brother leaves for an event, Matthew says, “Why not me?” Those are the words that have driven me through the years to advocate for the value of all individuals, working with the schools and my community.
 
Inclusion Connections is my true passion, an organization that exists to touch lives, change hearts. It’s all about possibilities and opportunities, and we are hard at work building a program which includes activities, classes and workshops which will improve the lives of our members. Our organization is unique in that all activities include members with developmental disabilities AND volunteer peer mentors. This model breaks down barriers and allows real friendships to be formed. Successes come day by day: welcoming a new teen to our group, forming a partnership with a local business, receiving funds from a generous benefactor.
 
Daily challenges keep me busy, including addressing the needs of our members, talking to the business community about our organization, planning and carrying out activities, classes and events – there are never enough hours in the day! Measures of our success include increasing community support, attracting more peer mentors (watching them become true friends to our members) and adult volunteers to support our programming, and feedback from our membership. We are hard at work now on our employment program, which meets the critical needs of job preparedness for our members.  Without jobs, the likeliness of living independently with supports is diminished.
Programs
Description

Community Connections Program encompasses an impressive year-round selection (2,000+ hours) of classes, activities and events for more than 140 teens and young adults with disabilities. We have recruited/trained 350+ middle and high school students as volunteer peer mentors who serve as encouragers and positive role models. Our established program addresses the special needs of our clients members with: Healthy Living (e.g. Hy-Vee and K-State Extension cooking and nutrition classes, Olathe YMCA for exercise classes, weekly Tae Kwon Do lessons and competitive team at KAT, adapted dance, zumba, and yoga classes, fitness days at local parks, group counseling, and life skills classes), CreateAbility (acting classes, theater in partnership with Martin City Melodrama Company, art classes and visits to local theaters), EmployAbility (employment training classes plus hands-on job skills through social enterprise PawsAbilities in which clients make, package, market and distribute dog treats and toys), and Summer Camps in Olathe and Liberty. 

Program Budget $232,000.00
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  • Youth with and without disabilities will be motivated to be engaged in inclusive activities and classes

Long-Term Success
  • Youth with disabilities will have access to health-related classes and activities which offer tools to attain and maintain good health

  • Youth with disabilities will obtain satisfying employment

  • Youth with disabilities will be able to live independently with supports

  • Community will become more inclusive

Program Success Monitored By Program success is monitored through tracking numbers of members and peers participating in classes and activities, and also through surveys of members, peers, families and instructors. Individual programs also have their own outcomes which are measured and evaluated.
Examples of Program Success

Our families report that before attending IC activities, their kids had no friends. One mom told us that for 10 years her son received no phone calls, but now he gets 2 calls a month from peers calling to do something together. Parents also report their kids display increased communication skills, have become more outgoing and social, and interactions with family members improve. They find their kids also get in better shape by participating in this program! Peer mentor volunteers report becoming more aware of the needs of kids with disabilities and enjoy learning and using leadership skills. They also tell us they have great satisfaction from volunteering at IC. Community awareness of the needs of people with disabilities has been greatly enhanced by seeing IC kids and peers together, attending local restaurants, movies and other venues.

 

Description

Inclusion Connections believes that providing access to exercise opportunities and classes to learn about healthy nutrition is essential to the long-term health of our clients with developmental disabilities. Since day one we have offered classes and activities which focus on healthy eating, exercise, and life skills to prepare for the transition to independent living. We continue to offer year-round opportunities: Cooking classes at Hy-Vee (nutrition and preparation of healthy foods are emphasized), Olathe YMCA (strengthening and exercise classes, social opportunities), Tae Kwon Do at KAT (team and individual classes, focuses on healthy bodies and discipline), specially adapted dance, zumba and yoga classes at our Activity Center, and visits to local parks for sports-related activities during Summer Camp. We also have a Speed Stacking Team, which has participated in local and national tournaments with great success. Speed stacking benefits eye-hand coordination and emphasizes teamwork and discipline. We recently implemented a Group Counseling class which addresses the mental health and relationship needs for our clients who are in a transitional age. 

Program Budget $72,174.00
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  • Youth will be motivated to be engaged in inclusive healthy lifestyle activities and classes 

Long-Term Success
  • Youth with and without disabilities will learn the importance of nutrition and healthy lifestyles

  • Youth with and without disabilities will improve overall health and well-being

Program Success Monitored By
Program success is monitored by tracking the number of members and peers participating in each class, and the number and type of each class offered. Members, families, peers, and instructors are surveyed for opinions and personal successes. In 2017 we are implementing an expansion of Healthy Living Program which will include measurement and evaluation of the following outcomes:

1. Participants increase daily steps to 10,000, 5 times per week

2. Participants increase knowledge of personal health data, nutrition and exercise facts 

3. 50% of participants will reach a goal BMI of less than or equal to 25 

Examples of Program Success

Statistics show that individuals with developmental disabilities are faced with a myriad of health challenges (slower metabolisms, greater incidence of overweight/obesity and diabetes, lower muscle strength, levels of motor development and cardiovascular fitness, higher risk of Alzheimer's Disease, etc.). Our Healthy Living program is addressing the problem in concrete ways. Families report that members have gone from doing little exercise and eating unhealthy foods, to making better choices on a daily basis. Having the opportunity to exercise and be active with friends is a much more appealing option than doing things alone. Our members and peers report enjoying the selection of activities offered by Inclusion Connections, and our classes fill up quickly. Overall well-being is enhanced through this program as well. In 2017 we are expanding the program, offering more opportunities for exercise and health-related classes, plus implementing a better system for measuring and evaluating outcomes.

Description

CreateAbility, our arts and theater program, offers a variety of classes and activities throughout the year. Members and peers explore individual creativity through painting, mosaics, drawing, dancing and hip-hop classes, and our popular theater program. We continue our partnership with Martin City Melodrama & Vaudeville Company, a 30-year old professional theater company, which offers us a seasoned director as well as access to costumes and sets, and contract with excellent art teachers and dance instructors. This past year we added acting classes with two trained instructors who are passionate about working with young people with disabilities. Communication skills improve, required teamwork improves social skills, and performing in front of live audiences is a wonderful way to receive affirmation and feel included. Visits to Starlight Theatre performances are the highlight of the summer for many of our youth. The more well-rounded and engaged our kids become, the better off our entire community will be.

Program Budget $26,315.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  • Youth will be motivated to be engaged in performing arts experiences.

  • Youth will improve skills in the arts.

  • Youth will develop better social skills/teamwork.

Long-Term Success
  • Youth will find the joy and happiness experienced by experiencing and participating in the arts

Program Success Monitored By Participation levels by members and peers in art and theater classes are tracked. Members, peers and instructors are surveyed for feedback.
Examples of Program Success

Our theater program connects our members to their community by offering the opportunity to act with community members without disabilities. These are invaluable experiences, both for our clients and for community members who become more aware of the needs of those with disabilities. Even with their communication challenges, our members look forward to performing in front of a live audience. Confidence is boosted by receiving the positive feedback from the audience. We continue to offer two live performances in front of the public each year, which is a highlight for our clients as well as their families. Clients and peers look forward to CreateAbility classes which allow them to explore their creativity, relax, receive positive feedback, work together with others, and feel connected. Classes fill quickly and we continue to widen the variety of types of classes offered.

Description

EmployAbility is an employment readiness/preparation and skills training program for our members with developmental disabilities. Classes are offered which teach the "soft skills" needed in finding a job (interviewing skills, the application process/resume building, basic computer skills, general job requirements such as manners, hygiene and promptness, transportation issues, money management and interpersonal social skills). Last year we launched an enterprise, PawsAbilities, giving our clients hands-on job skill training in a dog treat/toy business. This enterprise is especially needed for our post-graduate clients, who otherwise would have no hope for employment or independent living. Jobs paying a livable wage are needed to make the prospect of independent living with supports a reality. 

Our curriculum of employment enablers includes: interviewing skills, the application process/resume building, basic computer skills, general job requirements such as manners, hygiene and promptness, transportation issues, money management and interpersonal social skills. We evaluate members for specific job skills, leading to local employment placement, self-employment or micro-business opportunities. We are in the process of creating a small dog treat business which will employ several of our members.

Program Budget $97,467.00
Category Employment, General/Other Job Training & Employment
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success
  • Youth will improve employment readiness skills 

  • Youth will obtain hands-on job skills which can translate to community jobs 

Long-Term Success
  • Youth will obtain satisfying employment

  • Youth with disabilities will be able to live independently with supports

Program Success Monitored By Class participation is tracked. Surveys are given to members and instructors. Employment readiness skills are evaluated using classroom tests.
Examples of Program Success

Members participating in employment classes show more confidence in daily activities, and become encouraged that obtaining a job is a real possibility! Pre-employment skills are learned at an individual pace, and members are encouraged to express desires of types of jobs they might enjoy. Families report that their kids are excited about learning skills that will help them find jobs – everybody wants to be useful! With the prospect of having gainful employment, the independent living that our members desire also becomes a real possibility. Last year we launched an enterprise called PawsAbilities in which our clients make, package, market and distribute dog treats and toys. Several of our post-graduate clients work at PawsAbilities daily as interns. Clients are learning business skills, including handling cash and credit card transactions and running a storefront which is open to the public. We also have a project which is teaching clients how to sew. In Summer 2017 we will have a Job Coaching pilot project to kickstart a program which will match clients' interests and skills to jobs in our community.

Description
Programming at Inclusion Connections goes year-round, offering access to classes and activities to teens and young adults with developmental disabilities and teen volunteers. Summer Camp is extremely popular, and in 2016 we offered 8 weeks in Olathe and 4 weeks in Liberty. We continue our Healthy Living, CreateAbility and EmployAbility programming during this time, but also offer many more opportunities to socialize, get outdoors, create and maintain friendships, and get out into the community. Young people with and without disabilities enjoy visiting different local parks, taking trips into the community to enjoy different venues, and participating in fun and educational opportunities such as visual arts, theater and acting classes, job skills classes, karaoke, adapted exercise classes, healthy snack prep, life skills, etc. We offer a couple evening activities per week, including our popular Friday Night Social Club. Camp is also very important to our families, who need and deserve respite time to renew and recharge. 
Program Budget $34,477.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served People/Families with People of Developmental Disabilities, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success

  • Improving the emotional and physical health of our clients and connect them to their community

 

Long-Term Success

  • Youth with disabilities will have access to life-enhancing opportunities to make friends, improve health, attain job skills, and be engaged in their community

 

Program Success Monitored By

We monitor the success of Camp by tracking the number of hours of activities and classes offered, the numbers of members and peers attending camp, and through an end of Summer survey to members/families, peers and teachers.

Examples of Program Success

Our families continue to be very appreciative of what IC is doing for their children. Parents tell us IC has helped their kids become more physically active, and that they actually enjoy trying new foods with us. They are encouraged that their kids are learning skills that will lead to meaningful jobs that will lead to the independent living which is so desired. A primary goal of our organization which Summer Camp helps meet is to connect individuals with developmental disabilities to their community. By including teens without disabilities in all facets of camp, our members are able to connect with peers their own age and can form meaningful friendships which then carry on into the school year. We make several trips to local venues during camp for meals and activities, and this serves the purpose of getting our kids Out and Into the Community which is so important. Another goal is to help create inclusive communities – and we believe IC is helping facilitate that into becoming a reality. The more our community members and businesses see our kids and are involved with them, the better off our communities will be!

CEO Comments
 
 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Debbie Horn
Term Start May 2013
Email deb@ICkc.org
Compensation $0 - $50,000
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 2
Volunteers 350
Paid Contractors 10
Retention Rate 100%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Awards
Award/RecognitionOrganizationYear
Accessible Community AwardCity of Olathe2014
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
Board Chair
Board Chair Jonathan Twidwell
Company Affiliation Cornerstone Wealth Management
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2020
Email jtwidwell@ckcwealth.com
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mrs. Sarah Clayton Welcome Home Real Estate
Mr. Rod Crawford Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits
Mr. Stefan Freeman Aratana Therapeutics
Ms. Margy King Great Western Bank
Mr. Chris Lengquist Ad Astra Realty
Mr. Tony Long Long Real Estate
Mrs. Shelly McVay William Jewell College
Mrs. Stefanie Sparks Retired Teacher
Ms. Halie Strickler Person with a Developmental Disability
Mr. Jonathan Twidwell Cornerstone Wealth Management
Mrs. Kelly Weyer Reece & Nichols
Mrs. Kathy Winegar Garwin Electric
Mrs. Debbie Yost Parent of Member
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 7
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 2
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
CEO Comments

The first time I met our founder and Executive Director, Debbie Horn, I knew I wanted to be part of this organization. Debbie was so passionate about the organization and the work they were accomplishing. While I am excited about all areas that Inclusion Connections helps its members with, I am even more enthusiastic about our EmployAbility and PawsAbilities Programs. Our mission is to strengthen the lives of our members through Inclusion. Work is where most of us spend the majority of our daily lives, and we create many of our relationships while at work. Additionally, our careers give us added purpose. This is why I believe our EmployAbility Program where we help members find, apply for, get, and keep employment is so important. We even took it a step further with our PawsAbilities Program where our members utilize the job skills we teach in EmployAbility to make and distribute dog treats and toys in the community. You can instantly see the positive impact our EmployAbility and PawsAbilities Programs have on our members. - Jonathan Twidwell, Board of Directors President

Financials
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2017
Projected Revenue $233,351
Projected Expenses $232,743
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990-EZ.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$98,807$58,133$23,879
Administration Expense$19,909$21,671$16,961
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.101.091.63
Program Expense/Total Expenses83%73%58%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$60,079$41,846$32,306
Current Assets$58,784$40,486$30,719
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$0
Current Liabilities$10,492$3,548$1,118
Total Net Assets$49,587$38,298$31,188
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities5.6011.4127.48
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountFirst Downs for Down Syndrome $10,000First Downs for Down Syndrome $10,000 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountGreater Kansas City Community Foundation $10,000Greater Kansas City Foundation for Individuals with Disabilities $10,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountIndividual Donor $10,000Individual Donor $5,110 --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name Inclusion Connections, Inc
Address 15738 W. 148th Ter.
Olathe, KS 66062
Primary Phone (913) 839-8735
Contact Email info@ickc.org
CEO/Executive Director Debbie Horn
Board Chair Jonathan Twidwell
Board Chair Company Affiliation Cornerstone Wealth Management
Year of Incorporation 2013