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Join KAN

Our Goal

To create a community of families in the Kennett Square region collaborating to create healthy, meaningful, connected, and independent lives for young adults with IDD by sharing resources like staff, training, community connections, and other resources

Click the boxes below to learn more about the activities and resources we are putting in place for KAN.  Follow these links to learning more about Working at KAN or about the young adults and their families who we hope will Join the KAN Family.   

Healthy, meaningful, connected, and independent lives 

Health and recreation

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Community Engagement 

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Independence

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Connection with others

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Healthy, meaningful, connected, and independent lives

Sharing resources

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Staffing

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Training 

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Community Connections

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Other resources

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Our Goals

1. To ensure 35-50 hours a week of direct support for Margot, and help support others like her

Margot is a young woman with IDD transitioning into adult life who LOVES the outdoors and giving back to her community. Read more about working with Margot here. 

2. To develop work, volunteer, and recreation programs for Margot and others 

We aim to do this in collaboration with local businesses and non-profits, while leveraging partnerships with agencies at the county, state, and national level. Read more about the programs we hope to build in Kennett here  

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If you love the outdoors, you will love working with Margot!

Check out Our Story to learn about Margot's many outdoor adventures

If you like to bike, you will love being part of the KAN family!

We are especially interested in hiring at least one candidate who will like to bike for work.  We have acquired a unique electric pedicab from Denmark (see right) to transport Margot within Kennett, as part of her work and volunteer activities.  We hope that this will include the delivery of food and books to shut-ins in need, as part of our work with the Kennett Library and Kennett Area Community Services. 

We also like to bike for fun, and are open to candidates who would like to include a half-day hiking and/or biking adventure once a week. Whether pulled in her special trailer on an e-bike or regular bike, or on her adapted electric tandem, Margot enjoys exploring local paths. Hover over Paths, Trails and Routes on Kennett Outdoors  Margot has done every one of these paths.... and more! 

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If you like to walk in nature, you will love being part of the KAN family!

We are seeking candidates who enjoy taking walks - especially walks in nature.  Margot enjoys taking 1-2 hours to complete a 1-2 mile hike on a wide range of local paths and trails once or twice a week, all year round.  As part of our work on Kennett Outdoors described in detail below, Margot will continue these hikes. She will help us to map our trails for use by others with physical and developmental disabilities across our county of Chester and neighboring New Castle County in Delaware.   

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If you like to ski, you will love working with Margot!

We ski several times per year, either day trips to local hills (like Camelback) or on 4-5 day trips to other east coast resorts (like Killington, Gore, and Mont Tremblant).  For 2-3 hours a day, you help Margot and Peter ski together, by helping to carry her snow slider on and off the lift or gondola. Once that is done, you have another 3-4 hours to ski on your own.  See a video of Peter and Margot skiing here.  We are happy to help other family begin to explore other fun winter activities.

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Help develop innovative 

programs in Kennett

We are very excited by the partnerships we are creating to promote work, volunteering, recreation, and community connections here in Kennett.  Here are just a couple of examples.

Help to include people with IDD in environmental stewardship

We co-authored inclusion guidelines for the Land Trust Alliance, the pre-eminent organization responsible for training and accrediting land conservancies in the US.  We are now meeting with land conservancies across the US to describe how people like Margot can volunteer to help improve our ecosystem.

Here in Kennett, Margot has already begun to help by preparing to convert lawns to meadows, and control weeds around newly planted trees within riparian corridors.  Join us as we work with local parks and preserves to identify new opportunities, and document their success.  As a member of our team, you would participate in developing and testing new techniques with Margot and others.

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Help people with IDD hike trails for health and adventure

Drawing on our own background in evidence-based intervention, we have been developing guidelines to help caregivers, educators, and adult service providers to identify the many different barriers that people with IDD might face when seeking to hike natural trails, and strategies for helping to overcome these.

We have also been partnering with national experts in accessible trail design to create new ways to rate trail accessibility. As a member of our team, you would walk with Margot and rate trails across the county to help others interested in hiking know which trails fit their interests and abilities.

This has resulted in the Fresh Air Self Care for All initiative, recently launched in partnership with Chester County.  We are disseminating our model through a program of training and support, while also promoting the development of more accessible trail options. As a member of our team, you would have opportunities to coach others in learning to hike

Help people with IDD feed families struggling with food-insecurity 

Our hub is licensed as a limited food establishment, allowing us to assemble shelf-stable foods for sale and distribution.  We have begun by breaking down large bags of rice for our local food cupboard (Kennett Area Community Services) into one pound bags - like those delivered here by Margot. This could save KACS hundreds if not thousands of dollars per year.

We also assemble a healthy, quickly cooked oatmeal packets for recently homeless families, and hope to expand to offer other options.  As a member of our team, you would help us test the equipment and techniques needed to help Margot and others participate in this important work.

Help to grow programs for fun and fitness at the YMCA

Over the past year, we have worked with our local YMCA to identify how the Y and its programs can become more accessible and inclusive.  This resulted in a monthly respite recreation program - parents of those with IDD enjoy 2 hours out in Kennett, while Y staff and volunteers help their children move and connect with others through sports, dance, song, and crafts.  We were recently awarded a grant to expand this program, making it more accessible to under-served families.  As a member of our team, you would help to run respite recreation nights and develop new ideas. 

Make this happen at our new hub on historic East Linden St. in Kennett 

To help support futures planning for Margot and others, we have acquired several houses in downtown Kennett.  We have dedicated a small 140 year-old house as a hub for Margot.  This provides Margot a quiet place to relax and support her self-care needs, and includes space to complete other volunteer tasks  (like re-packaging rice) .  We are eager to discuss how other Kennett families with young adults like Margot might become involved in KAN's volunteer programs, and take advantage of the hub

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Sounds too good to be true?  Look at our track record of delivering new programs 

Over a 25 year career, Dr. Peter Doehring has led school-, hospital-, and university-based programs serving thousands of children with autism, and training hundreds of education and healthcare professionals in the process (see left) .  He has received more than $5M in grant funding, and sales of his books and chapters have exceeded 70,000... read more here

Peter has now shifted into independent research and advocacy on behalf of Margot and others like her. Last year, he led a campaign that resulted in new legislation to provide an additional year of public school to children like Margot, representing a $50 million investment in special education. In 2023 alone, he is scheduled to present at least 8 papers at national and international  conferences on research, policy, and programs related to IDD and autism. He is eager to involve others in this work.

Contact us to learn more about the benefits of joining our KAN family 

We offer competitive salaries and an exceptionally stimulating and supportive work environment. We are looking for persons available to start full-time on August 28th.  The ideal candidates have some availability any time Tuesday to Thursday 8AM to 2:30 PM before August 4th to shadow her current school staff.  

Teacher / Community Services Coordinator: We want to talk with you if you are a teacher, behavior analyst, or other service professional who has been responsible for teaching new skills using behavioral techniques and who: 

  • Has experience working with people with Autism or IDD in school, residential, or adult settings

  • Can demonstrate good initiative and teamwork

  • Wants to work closely with others in our community eager to help people with IDD

  • Is tired of being buried under endless paperwork, participating in countless meetings, and completing pointless trainings

  • Is interested in helping to do research, write grants, and develop and deliver training.

We are especially interested in candidates who have certified as special education teachers or behavior analysts, but are open to other candidates. We are aiming to fill this position full-time, but would consider options. ​

Direct Support Professional: We also want to talk with you if you have experience working with people with Autism or IDD in a direct support position in school, residential, or adult settings, and are interested in working closely with parents and other team members.   We are looking for individuals interested in committing at least 2 days per week for direct support.  Though we are ultimately seeking the equivalent of a full-time position to support Margot, we also recognize that it can be difficult to provide 1:1 support to the same person all week long.  For those interested in full-time work, we are prepared to coordinate with other families in the region seeking support. 

We know what it takes to prevent burnout.  Unlike many other settings, we build in the time needed to plan lessons and prepare materials.  We provide training and coaching.  And we will support you in developing new programs and partnerships. 

Feel free to email us for more information.

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