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Started by Families for Families

Disability Supports of the Great Plains began serving people with intellectual disabilities in 1996, founded by a board comprised exclusively of parents. Four founding families decided to explore a model of care for their children. They wanted their loved ones to receive tailored, personal care. This approach was very different than what was considered normal at the time, when community services were based on old ideas and infrastructure.

These parents’ passion for creating a higher standard of care became the foundation for the new organization. The dream of someday serving 50 clients was soon realized, and the organization grew beyond what the founders could have ever imagined.

Today, Disability Supports’ success, impact and continued personal commitment is a direct result of an administration and staff completely focused on meeting the needs of those they serve with a focus on individual attention, higher professional standards and innovative care.

“A parent-driven board of directors has an emotional investment in the clients and, therefore, a stronger foundation as a not-for-profit service provider.”  — Bertie Herrs, founding family member

Founding Board Members 

Jerry Michaud
Shannon Michaud
Bud Zarnowski
Marge Zarnowski
Sheree Leppke
Evelyn Birkhead
Keith Birkhead

Memorial Garden

Family means everything to Disability Supports. So to honor the passing of people who have supported our agency, as well as those who have passed on while in our care, we’ve created the beautiful Memorial Garden in McPherson.

The area features a meticulously landscaped lawn and garden, dotted by large, limestone monuments. Attached to the stones are brass plates, each highlighting one individual’s name.

At the center of the garden is a metal sculpture designed by The Clayworks, David Olson‚ and constructed by skilled craftsmen in Hutchinson. David said he designed the sculpture to convey the spirit of support that is central to the organization.