COF Training Services, Inc. operates Day Program Services at two different locations. One site is located at 1516 Davis Road in Ottawa, Kansas and the other site is located at 1615 Sixth street in Burlington, Kansas. Approximately 185 people who are intellectually/developmentally disabled participate in COF’s Day Program Services.
We Are a Not-For-Profit Organization
COF, which stands for Coffey & Osage & Franklin counties is the only not-for-profit organization that provides Day Program Services in the three county catchment area. Not-for-profit status is an important distinctive designation that should be taken into consideration when one is deciding which day program to choose.
Form Follows Function
COF’s day services programs have historically centered on traditional sheltered workshop settings in which manufacturing types of jobs subcontracted from other manufacturing plants have been the primary focus. COF recognizes the need, though, to expand the service options it provides to people who participate in its day program services. Not every person who is intellectually/developmentally disabled wants to engage in manufacturing types of jobs.
Not only does everybody who attends a day program not want to perform manufacturing types of jobs, but some people, depending on their capabilities, are simply not capable of performing manufacturing work. As we are transitioning our day program services in keeping with national trends of offering a variety of different options, our goal at COF is to ensure that every individual is meaningfully and actively engaged from the time that they arrive at their day services location until the time they leave.
COF subscribes to the adage that “formfollows function.” The primary function of any day services program for people who are intellectually/developmentally disabled is to actively engage the people being served in meaningful activities. The “form” of COF’s day program services adheres to the true concept of person centered planning (PCP). The services the person wants and needs are designed around the person being served. The person being served is not required or forced to conform to the function of a traditional sheltered workshop.
We Strive for Active, Meaningful Engagement
When visiting and touring any day service program, watch and observe whether the only activity option available is manufacturing type of work, or whether a variety of work and non-work related options are offered throughout the day. COF strives to keep the persons receiving services actively and meaningfully engaged. If you see people idly sitting around doing little, if anything, and if you observe listless, indifferent staff who are not actively engaging with and interacting with the people they are paid to serve, you may want to choose a different day services program.
You should not hesitate to ask what a typical day at a day services site is like from beginning to end. You should be comfortable in asking if the day program actively seeks other forms of paid work opportunities in addition to subcontracted manufacturing forms of paid work. With the tremendous loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States it is undoubtedly a good indicator if you see manufacturing types of jobs when you are touring, but you should ask whether or not there is enough to keep everyone fully engaged all day and every day. You should not hesitate to ask what, if anything, is done when there is not enough subcontracted manufacturing to keep everybody fully occupied.
The value of every day of living granted to each of us is no less valuable to a person who is intellectually/developmentally disabled. No one, regardless of his or her level of functioning, should be subjected to the day-to-day monotony and drudgery that one too frequently encounters when visiting a typical, stodgy, old-fashioned ”sheltered workshop.”
We Embrace Change
Paid work through subcontracted manufacturing type of work in a sheltered workshop setting is indeed a viable and suitable option for many individuals, and to that end COF has every intention of continuing to vigorously pursue those types of work opportunities. However, we are with equal vigor pursuing paid work options that are not bound to the confines of the form of the sheltered workshop building. Outside contract building cleaning; car washing; restaurant work; and outside employment opportunities are among the many options we are pursuing. We are also seeking to provide a wide variety of viable non-work options and activities to which people participating in day program services can anticipate each and every day. COF renders all due regard to the value of each particular individual who chooses our day services by making every effort to ensure they are actively engaged. At COF we appreciate the concept of competition and power of choice that drives competitive market forces. We do not want to take for granted the choice any individual made when they chose us to provide their day services.
We Control Our Future
Now that we’ve told you what to look for when choosing a day services program, we invite you to come and see how we are progressing in successfully transitioning the way we deliver our day program services. We believe that our commitment to adapt to these evolving trends in the field of developmental disabilities coincides with our impetus to Control Our Future.
Find out more about the types of day services we offer: