Johnson County project offers mentally, physically disabled a chance to work

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LENEXA, Kan. -- When you have mental and physical limitations, finding a job is much more difficult. At the Johnson County Developmental Supports, those individuals were sought out and offered a job.

One-by-one, important documents slid toward the shredder on Friday. Johnson County departments teamed up to provide jobs for the mentally and physically disabled. What used to be a small-scale job turned into a full-fledged assembly line with a conveyor belt.

"It's been a busy month. Today we're coming toward the end of it. I think everybody is ready to slow down a little bit," said Roger Stahlecker, a direct support professional.

A switch system was created for those with physical limitations. All they had to do was push a button and a rigged up power drill will push paper onto the conveyor belt.

This project provides 40 hours of employment for this entire month, almost five times more work than what is usually offered.

"We've shredded so far 21,000 pounds and shred 1,500 to 2,000 pounds a day," said John Van Gilder, another DSP.

The group will have successfully finished destroying almost 30,000 pounds of paper, a feat worth celebrating.

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