Since our inception over 35 years ago eitas’ role has been to fund needed services to citizens of Jackson County with developmental disabilities. Traditionally we see ourselves as the “funder of last resort”, covering the costs of services, facilities, and equipment that are not paid by other sources such as Medicaid, the Department of Mental Health, the Department of Health and Senior Services, or the First Steps program. By statute, we can only provide tax funds for services to citizens of Jackson County who are deemed eligible under the definition of developmental disability and in accordance with our own local policies. See Funding Policies and Procedures.
Annually each summer we accept applications for funding for the upcoming calendar year. Interested providers should visit our website in June for application instructions and our policies and procedures that cover funding. Funds can only be awarded to qualified organizations that are nationally accredited and/or licensed and certified by the state of Missouri in serving people with developmental disabilities.
In addition to local funding, we can provide direct services to eligible individuals for transportation and support coordination. Our entire organization advocates strongly for increased services and new supports for individuals with developmental disabilities and we are seen as a local and statewide leader in our efforts to support our citizens.
New 2019 Befriending Program
As a result of a Story Collection Project funded by eitas and executed by the UMKC Henry W. Bloch School of Management Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, new and innovative services have been identified as needs in Jackson County, Missouri. Developmental Disabilities Services of Jackson County -eitas Board of Directors approved funding for a pilot program that focuses on building relationships and community membership to combat loneliness and disconnection for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities living in Jackson County. This project is now known as the Befriending Program.
Befriending is the practice of pairing a volunteer and a person with I/DD based on shared interests for intentional friendship. Befriending intends to foster social inclusion by establishing new social connections, widening social networks, and building social skills for people with I/DD. Pairs typically go out to engage in a shared interest or activity for 2-3 hours twice a month and sometimes have weekly communication via text, phone calls, or email. The volunteer commitment is usually one (1) year. During this year, volunteers are focused on the relationship they are building with the person but also building the social capital of the person so that any transition at the end of the year can be seamless.
For more information about the Befriending Program and to fill out the application, please click here.