About Dreams Work

Our History

Dreams Work is the result of the efforts of the families of seven young adults with severe/multiple physical and mental disabilities wanting to make sure their children continued to grow after graduation.


There weren't a lot of options past special education at age 21. These families were faced with limited options, so they created a new unique day service program. The first meeting of these parents was in November 1999. Incorporation occurred in early 2000. Recognition as a 501c3 not for profit organization was obtained from the IRS in mid-2000. The Policies and Procedures Manual was prepared. We received our license from the State of Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services and affiliated with Johnson County Developmental Disabilities Organization to serve clients in the Johnson County, Kansas area. On December 3, 2001, Dreams Work, Inc. opened its doors and welcomed its first two clients.

Today, we serve 12 clients. In the startup years, Susan Jarsulic served as President and oversaw the development of Dreams Work. She put in numerous hours to research and obtain grants to make this dream a reality. Mary O'Connor became the first director and worked over the next six years to develop this program into the quality program it is today.



We have a dedicated on-site director to assist staff and clients during each day. Each of our staff members is committed to our Clients' safety, care, dignity and quality of life. The team behind Dreams Work, Inc. consists of parents and professionals in the field of disabilities who believe strongly that young adults with severe/multiple disabilities must maintain their physical and mental well-being: that opportunities for social, recreational, and educational activities should be accessible to everyone and that with hard work and perseverance, a dream can come true.


Continuing Education for Staff

The state of Kansas requires training on Abuse and Neglect, Individual Rights, and privacy. We also do instruction on infection control, safety, and following participants' individual person-centered plans.

Person Centered Plans

Each individual in our program has a Person Centered Plan developed by their case manager, family, and support system, to reflect their likes, dislikes, their strengths and abilities. Every year during their birthday month, this plan is revised. It can be changed also any time during the year to reflect changes that need to be made. This gives staff guidelines of what to do for the participant and sets goals for the upcoming year.

Board of Directors

We are guided by a Board of Directors.

Our Board of Directors includes the following:

  • Susan Jarsulic, Founder, Board President
  • Rob Frerking, Treasurer
  • Cindy Applebaugh, Secretary
  • Roxanne Hidaka
The Board meets quarterly and more often if a need arises.

Staff and Hiring Requirements

Staff Background Checks are done on all employees. The State of Kansas requires a criminal background check with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) for all employees. The State of Kansas also requires background checks be submitted to the Child Abuse Central Registry and the Adult Protective Services Registry for the state of Kansas. One final check is done with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to see if an employee has been banned from ever working in the healthcare field in Kansas.

Dreams Work, Inc. also does a Missouri state background check due to our physical location being near the state of Missouri. Nurses must provide proof of their current license and go through health care credential background check with the state. Many of our staff have worked as para-professionals in special education in public schools or have been care providers at residential homes for developmental disabled.

Dreams Work, Inc. is fortunate to have experienced and dedicated staff that enjoy taking the participants out into the community or assisting with various activities when we stay inside.



Our goal is to provide an unparalleled daily-experience for your loved one! Please contact us with any questions, comments, or concerns at 913.541.9026, Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:30pm.



Dreams Work began in 2000 and was incorporated by the state of Kansas in 2000. It received its 501c3 not for profit organization from the Internal Revenue Service mid-2000.

State Licensing

We are licensed by the Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services (KDADS).

Local Affiliations

We are affiliated with the Johnson County Developmental Disabilities Organization to serve clients in Johnson County.

Our Clients

Our Clients are intellectually and developmentally disabled and also have some type of physical impairment. It is a requirement that participants utilize the resources provided to them through their school district through the age of 21 years.

Application Process

After May of their 21st year, Dreams Work, Inc. would be an option for Day Services. Participants must be qualified for funding through Kansas Medicaid Assistance Program Home and Community Based Service Waiver or be able to private pay for services. All of our participants have a case manager who has assisted them in applying for services. There is a multiple-year waiting list for funding, so it is important to contact your local Community Developmental Disability Organization for assistance in applying. There are a variety of Day Services in Johnson County. It is important to make a choice that best fits the needs of the individual. Our participants are often non-verbal, and require some assistance with eating. We are able to provide tube feeding for participants who cannot eat by mouth. The majority of our participants cannot walk or need assistance to ambulate. Our staff is trained in repositioning and lifting and personal hygiene issues.

Our Participants

Many of the participants at Dreams Work have significant physical challenges. Most of our participants are in wheelchairs, which makes positioning and transferring them an important part of our day. We like to get everyone out of their chairs at least once a day to sit in a bean bag, recliner, or to lay down. Two to three times a week, when weather allows, we like to get everyone out on field trips.



Dreams Work has a variety of funding sources that ensure our clients receive the best possible care.


Public Funding

While Kansas Medicaid does fund client attendance at Dreams Work, Inc., those monies barely cover the cost of staff.

Private Support

We believe it is important to actually ENRICH the lives of our clients. Private support helps make this possible. Donations from individuals, churches, and corporations help fund music, art, and recreational activities. There are lots of ways you can help. Contact Dreams Work today to find how how you can start helping others tomorrow.


Grants are occasionally available for charitable organizations whose goal is to invest dollars in community efforts that will help curb the increasing problem of individuals in our society who are dependent on the charitable support of others. The director applies for available grant funds as they are available. Examples of grants we've successfully applied for in the past are: QuikTrip, Ewing M. Kauffman Funds, American Legion Child Welfare Foundation, and local Knights of Columbus organizations.

Allocation and Disbursement of Funds

The Board of Directors examines request for expenses and allocates funds in the best way possible, in an effort to serve as many as possible in a high quality manner.



Many of our individuals are in wheelchairs. Our goal is to try and maintain what physical capability they have.



We operate on a 1-2 client to 1 staff ratio. Many of our individuals are in wheelchairs. When we go out on field trips, we have a 1:1 ratio.

Gross Motor Activities

We do gross motor activities, such as playing with the parachute, adaptive bowling, walking and exercise programs for those who can actively participate.

Range of Motion

Gentle range of motion can be done with our clients as well as stretching. Fine motor skill activities such as arts and crafts and tactile activities encourage coordination.

Music Therapy

Music therapy is one of our most important therapies. A belly dancer, Zaina Ali, also comes to work with middle-eastern music, drums, and movement. Participants are draped in colorful costumes and play instruments. Other weekly music activities include Guitarist David Smart providing us with a variety of music from classical to classic rock. (Visit his website at: SmartFrets.) Ms. Grace and her son James involve staff with adaptive instruments, sheet music and a variety of vocals. And last, but not least, we have Brother John Anderson come once a month on Fridays to help us get Funky with his R&B and soul music!!!

Pet Therapy

Pet therapy is a favorite. We visit Petland and PetSmart frequently and volunteers bring animals for our clients to interact with.

Massage Therapy

Audra Erk, a certified massage therapist visits every Wednesday and as an optional activity participants can have a massage.

Field Trips

Community based outings is a priority for our program, attending events and movies, as well as shopping, museums, parks, OP Arboretum, Farmers Markets. Our goal is for every person to go on a minimum of one trip per week.


We are fortunate to have a van that can carry up to 5 wheelchairs at one time, plus staff. We are fundraising at present for a new larger van to carry all clients, staff and provide worry-free outings.


Nutrition is important and we assist everyone with eating lunch. Participants bring their lunch and we prepare them in our kitchen. Staff assists everyone with eating, including those that have to be tube fed. Snacks and drinks are offered throughout the day. We have weekly cooking activities ranging from snacks to full lunches, providing additional sensory as well as nutritional benefits.

Adam Chittum

Director of Administration

Director of Admin Adam

Adam joined the Dreams Work family in May of 2016 as our Director of Administration. He has a background in early childhood and special education and has been working with people with disabilities for over 25 years.

Adam and his wife of 13 years love to travel, hang out with friends & family, and their cat, Hank.

Michelle Solivan


Program Director Michelle

Michelle has been instrumental in making Dreams Work the best day service! She was recently promoted to Director in charge of the daily operation.

There is never a dull moment with her in charge. Whether it’s going shopping at IKEA, having our own Olympic competitions, getting massages, karaoke sing-a-longs, or birthday parties - Michelle knows how to have fun and our Clients love her!

A Parent's Testimony

Dreamswork Client

Our daughter has attended day services at Dreams Work. She truly enjoys all of the various activities that are available on the days she is there.

Their approach to each client is very individual, and very caring. Our daughter greatly benefits from being with other young people to stay active and socialize.

Thanks for all that you do to keep Dreams Work going!

A Dreams Work Family

© Copyright 2019 Dreams Work, Inc.