Developing Potential Inc. (DPI) was recently awarded a $10,000 grant from the Hall Family Foundation to replace its aging and disjointed telecommunications system with a modern, unified system. This project will enhance DPI's ability to deliver services to individuals with developmental disabilities in Jackson County, MO, and will result in enhanced health and safety for individuals served.

A new telecommunications system will enhance the effectiveness of all these programs, and will improve health and safety for individuals participating at each of DPI's three locations. The new system will include state-of-the-art features such as forwarding calls to cell phones, transcribing voice mails to emails sent to the voice mail recipient, and many others. Most importantly, the new system will connect all three DPI locations into one communications platform, allowing staff members at one location to easily reach staff members at any of the other three locations. This is especially important for the individuals DPI serves, as these individuals frequently have considerable health challenges in addition to their developmental disabilities. DPI's full-time nurse spends time at each of DPI's three locations, and staff must have reliable communication with her and each other. A new system would provide that reliable connection, resulting in safer and more efficient services.

DPI's current telecommunication system is almost ten years old. As DPI has grown during the last decade and added new service locations, telecommunication systems were added incrementally as opposed to replacing the system with equipment that provided seamless communication across all service sites. The current system does not take advantage of technological efficiencies that are now a basic part of business-based communication systems such as remote communication, call forwarding to a cell phone, system diagnostics, call accounting, unified voice messaging, and seamless connection of multiple sites. For example, the Lee's Summit site system does not support voicemail. Among the many advantages of the new system will be the unification of all three DPI locations on one platform, allowing them to communicate more efficiently by using features such as an intercom across all three facilities, direct dialing employee extensions, and making conference calls with individuals from all locations. It will also allow calls to be transferred seamlessly between facilities, view employee availability status throughout the organization, record incoming calls, transcribe voicemail to emails, and send recorded calls to any computer for long-term storage and review.

Developing Potential Inc.'s (DPI) was founded in 1993 to provide services to adults with developmental disabilities. DPI provides services at three locations in Jackson County. The organization began with one location in Kansas City, Missouri, serving eight individuals. The demand for DPI's services grew quickly, and in 2002, DPI opened a second facility in Independence, MO.  At the end of 2011, the Kansas City and Independence locations were serving 50 and 68 individuals, respectively. In 2012, DPI opened a facility in Lee's Summit, MO.  DPI currently serves 144 adults with developmental disabilities at these three sites, all in Jackson County, Missouri. While there are other agencies in Jackson County that offer day services for adults with developmental disabilities, DPI's high level of program planning, attention to individualized services, and ability to serve individuals with complex medical needs set it apart from other area providers.

DPI serves adults with developmental disabilities, helping them achieve higher levels of independence and dignity. DPI has three program areas: Day Habilitation, Community Integration, and Customized Employment. All three program areas support DPI's mission to provide day habilitation services to adults with developmental disabilities and support individuals with special needs to reach their potential and achieve a dignified adult lifestyle.