Fast Facts and Notable Accomplishments
The mission of CLASS is to assist individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities to learn, grow, and aspire to achieve their potential. CLASS believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to live a rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful life, and that having a developmental disability does not diminish the desire or right to pursue this dream, it simply makes the journey more challenging.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, the only out-of-home services available to persons with intellectual or other developmental disabilities in Southeast Kansas were as residents at the Parsons State Hospital and Training Center, nursing homes, or in the public schools if the individual had a mild disability. No services were available for preschool-aged children or adults who resided in their communities. Parents, advocates, and other interested citizens saw a need to provide services for persons with intellectual or other developmental disabilities, including early intervention programs for young children, and an appropriate public school education for all children.
In 1975, CLASS was founded as a private, nonprofit Kansas corporation by parents and advocates to provide services for Southeast Kansans with intellectual or other developmental disabilities. CLASS has a long history of successfully providing quality services for persons with intellectual or other developmental disabilities. CLASS has demonstrated its competence and dependability through the provision of a wide range of innovative service options in Cherokee, Crawford, Labette, and Montgomery counties.
Our services help individuals create a lifestyle where they are included and accepted in their communities, have opportunities to live where they choose, have a job, and participate in social and leisure activities. CLASS measures the quality of our services not only by your satisfaction with our services, but by the positive changes in the lives we touch. CLASS is one of the most respected, informed, knowledgeable, and proactive community service providers in the State of Kansas.
CLASS continuously strives to surpass our own accomplishments and earn recognition as a valued community leader and the most trusted disability service resource for persons with disabilities, their families, and the community.
Visit our Services page to learn more about the services offered by CLASS.
History & Service Standards
- CLASS is a community developmental disability service provider licensed by the State of Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).
- CLASS’ 12-member volunteer Board of Directors represents the organization’s four-county service area and establishes values and policies, oversees provision of services, and shapes the future of the organization.
- CLASS adheres to high standards of ethical conduct and holds itself accountable to the individuals we serve, the public, and funding and regulatory organizations.
- CLASS provides opportunities for persons with intellectual or other developmental disabilities to maximize their potential, and achieve community inclusion and acceptance.
- CLASS is dedicated to assisting individuals, families/guardians, communities, and affiliated community disability service providers in designing and implementing solutions to close service gaps.
- CLASS is dedicated to advocating for individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities to have the rights afforded to all citizens and to be included and accepted in all aspects of community life.
- Year Founded: 1975
- President/CEO: Scott Thompson
- Number of Employees (approx.): 231
- Number of Persons Served (past year): 383