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26 Issues

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Life Unlimited – Unlimited Possibilties


Life Unlimited’s mission is to support people with developmental disabilities as they experience life with unlimited possibilities. It is the largest service provider for adults with disabilities in the metropolitan area. Life Unlimited was formed by the merger of three previously independent organizations: Immacolata Manor, Concerned Care, and Open Options, (which was once known as Open Options UCP, following a merger with United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City). The programs that Life Unlimited offers include Community Living, which offers housing in a variety of residential settings. Clients receive services that include personal care, money management, transportation, and medication administration. For clients and their families who prefer independent living at home, there is the Community Support Options program. This focuses on individualized skill development, community integration, and personal assistant services. The Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program uses the science of behavior, along with sessions with caregivers and behavioral analysts, to foster positive change through data-based decision making. In the Day Services program, which is known as “My Day,” a participant’s day might include volunteering at a soup kitchen, social skills development, or exercising at the local community center. The organization’s support staff works to help each individual to make their goals and outcomes a reality. More than 500 clients participate each year in the Community Therapeutic Recreation program. There are a variety of activities, including bowling, attending classes in subjects such as cooking and fitness, responding to music therapy, or volunteering, all with the goals of promoting physical well-being, social skills development, and community integration.

A wheelchair-accessible bathroom in a Life Unlimited residence


Rose participated in bowling at a Therapeutic Recreation program.

Life Unlimited also has an Employment Services program. It provides individualized employment services, including job skills training, placement and coaching, to help individuals find and maintain meaningful jobs in their community. The organization is committed to the idea that everyone has talents and abilities that can make an impact through employment. Katie, a 24-year-old client with Down syndrome, was able to attain a job as a dining room attendant, thanks to her own determination coupled with the involvement of an employment specialist. For the first four weeks of Katie’s work, the employment specialist accompanied her to every shift, developing systems that would improve her abilities to handle her responsibilities, and ensuring that her manager and co-workers were aware of ways to enhance their communications with Katie, making it easier for them to provide training and feedback to her directly. Once that process was completed, the employment specialist continued meeting with Katie, but only twice per month. Katie’s story highlights the goals of Life Unlimited: she has achieved success in her chosen endeavor. This is a source of satisfaction to her and to those close to her.

Brian with Rebecca Hall (Photo credit: David Riffel)


Deb at the thrift shop

“By my son Conrad’s first birthday, we knew that something wasn’t normal, and he was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. With the help of so many incredible people and great organizations, my son is reaching his full potential. As a dad, one of my biggest fears is the unknown of how his disability will impact his adulthood. There are numerous organizations focused on babies and kids but I was in search of an organization that also helped adults. This is what drew me to Open Options (now Life Unlimited).  After researching Open Options for several months, I reached out for an introductory meeting. Within minutes of the initial meeting, I could sense Open Options’ passion and drive to serve those with disabilities.”

– Brian Mall, board member

“Finding My Day was a miracle for us! The program enhanced Holly’s social development and enabled both my husband and me to go to work knowing that she was in very good hands! (After Holly was deemed too medically fragile to return to her former day program,) Holly’s case manager helped us find the My Day program which was only six miles from where we lived. We met with a team of support staff including the director of My Day, Julie Turley, and the Life Unlimited nurse. After meeting Holly and talking about her needs, it was decided that the My Day program would be a suitable place for Holly to spend her weekdays while I and her stepfather were working. This was a real blessing for us. Michael and I were more at ease with the staff at My Day and Holly sure took a liking to her main care provider, Kathy Cooper. Kathy was very attentive to Holly, talking to her and making her laugh often. Holly’s favorite activities included watching NASCAR races, Judge Judy, Thomas the Train, and Star Trek Voyager.”

– Ginger and Michael French

Also featured in the May 13, 2023 issue of The Independent.


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