Community Access Services history:
Established in 1989, Community Access Services (CAS) began supporting Oregonians with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD), in residential, employment, and day support activities. The CAS mission is “to respect and support all individuals to live a healthy and fulfilled life in their homes, communities, and workplaces.”
CAS was created in response to the housing and support needs of individuals who were leaving Oregon’s state institution, the Fairview Training Center. From 1989 to 1999, CAS built capacity to support 40 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, establishing and sustaining eight group homes in Columbia, Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah Counties. Each program was individualized to meet the needs of those in the home. Several homes were medically specialized, staffed with licensed nurses, three with nurse managers. CAS also developed day support activity services in three locations; two in Columbia County and one in Clackamas County.
During this time, CAS also built and sustained supports for several individuals who live in their own apartments, through its Supported Living services. CAS professionals provide periodic, individualized, non-intrusive supports to individuals in this program, supporting them in maintaining their independence in their home and workplace.
In 2007, in response to additional community needs, CAS opened a ninth group home, specially adapted to individuals with complex support needs and based in northern Columbia County. In 2012, we began our 10th home to meet the needs of Clackamas County residents with intensive medical supports; some aging out of children’s services and others who transitioned out of nursing care homes back into the community. CAS added the 11th home in 2013, in Multnomah County. Today, CAS serves 55 individuals in group homes and 10 in supported living.
CAS is highly regarded by the state, counties, fellow providers, community members, advocates, and, most importantly, by those it supports and its staff. CAS leadership, and all its care and support professionals work diligently and thoughtfully to provide services that are truly individualized, “fun,” and community based. With several employment placements organically developed over the years by CAS professionals with established ties to their local communities, the agency grew inspired to focus on further improving its employment service capacity, through a dedicated Supported Employment Department. Initiated in early 2014, and now supporting 35 individuals, the Supported Employment department focuses on Discovery, Job Development, and Retention Supports.
CAS is also committed to making improvements to its Day Support Activity and employment path offerings, upping the ante on quality and variety, and has been expanding into new, more comfortable/versatile spaces in Clatskanie, St. Helen’s, and in Milwaukie. The focus is further promoting vocational skill building and paid work opportunities, as well as enhanced interaction and engagement with community and county opportunities for recreation, independent skill building, relaxation, and socialization. Additionally, CAS has given its Clatskanie Thrift Shop, now called “Back on the Rack” a new look, name and feel, which has increased business and employment opportunities. CAS currently serves 58 individuals in day support activity services.
In November 2014, CAS established an In-Home Supports department to offer services to adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities who live in their own homes or a family member’s home; a growing trend in the field. In November of 2015, we started serving children with IDD, an exciting entree into children’s services. The In-Home Supports program serves approximately 40 adults and six children.
In addition to providing person-centered services to individuals with IDD, CAS is dedicated to offering their 230+ employees with opportunities for career development and advancement. This positive staff work culture, further supported by a solid, committed, creative leadership team, begets quality in CAS’ service and supports; critical to the organization’s commitment to quality and diversity/customization in service offerings. Proud of its established, individualized, person-centered foundation, CAS is excited about the potential that the evolution of services to individuals with Developmental Disabilities will bring, and are honored to be a part of it.