Open Options was incorporated in December 1977 with a focus of providing residential services to adults with developmental disabilities. The organization began its operation with a seven-bed group home in Kansas City, Missouri in the fall of 1979, and added three more homes by 1985. A range of support was provided to the adults living in these homes. A major expansion took place in 1987 with the addition of a ten-bed home serving individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS). This home marked the beginning of a specialized statewide program for individuals with a diagnosis of Prader-Willi Syndrome.
Open Options supported the important shift in residential services for people with disabilities as “Individualized Supported Living” became the preferred funding model in Missouri in 1990. Supported Living separates services from facilities, limits households to three persons served, and establishes customized staffing supports for people living in a home of their choice. Beginning in 1990, Open Options assisted many persons served living in group home with moving from houses with seven to eleven people into apartments with one or two roommates. These smaller settings allow for more individualized, person-centered supports and represent a positive philosophical shift away from larger group living environments.
In 1992 the mission of Open Options was expanded to include services to people whose capacity for independent living is challenged by illness or age, as well as disability. This brought the addition of the SeniorLink program that provides assessment, referral, coordination and follow-up of a cadre of senior services to help people remain independent in their homes. This program presently serves over 80 senior citizens in Clay County, Missouri.
On January 1, 1998, Open Options, Inc. and United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City completed a legal merger. In February, 2000, the organization registered with the Secretary of State to “do business as” United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Kansas City.
In January 2015, the organization rebranded as “Open Options UCP” for an interim period of time before permanently returning to the Open Options name in December 2015. At this time, the organization discontinued our affiliation with the UCP national organization, believing the Open Options name best reflects the diversity of the people we serve.