Training for the Direct Support Professionals supporting persons with disabilities is moving from the classroom to the Internet. Kathy Olson oversees the statewide implementation of the College of Direct Support (CDS) and reports that over 40,000 lessons have been completed by more than 3,000 Kansas learners. Forty-three foster parents and eight self-advocates now use the College of Direct Support along with staff from 105 service providers, five case management providers and others. (data as of January
The College of Direct Support includes 23 online courses covering essential topics in providing support ranging from Safety and Maltreatment to Functional Assessment and Employment. The e-learning curriculum is available to qualifying Kansans without cost and can be accessed from most any computer, anywhere, at any time, making quality training available throughout the state.
The College of Direct Support has been developed by national experts and is managed by the University of Minnesota. Dr. Olson, of the KUCDD, serves on the CDS national board of directors and has coordinated statewide implementation through a grant from the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services since 2007.