Founded in 1971 with an Eye to Help Children with Disabilities
In 1971, DDI Vantage was organized and registered as a 501 (c) (3) entity when a group of parents and professionals recognized that infants and toddlers with disabilities required and deserved specialized services that were not available in Utah. With a small grant, Athleen Godfrey RN and Garth Meyers MD organized a small program that provided early health and education intervention to children under three years of age. The number of children served by DDI in the first couple of years is unclear, but in 1973 it served 55 children.
In the beginning, DDI Vantage was housed in a small donated area below Primary Children’s Hospital (now Primary Children’s Medical Center). Soon after its organization, DDI Vantage received funding from the Division of Family Services to provide not only health and development services for children under three years but also preschool services for children between three and five years of age. DDI Vantage operated preschool programs for children with disabilities for years before the public school system was charged with those responsibilities.
1988 Brings Growth including Adult and Youth Services
In 1988, the birth-to-three component of the program was brought under the administration of the Utah Department of Health Baby Watch Early Intervention Program (BWEIP), and the Utah State Office of Education became the lead agency for the three-to-five preschool component. In that same year, DDI entered into a contract with BWEIP to provide Early Intervention (EI) services to all children in Salt Lake County under the age of three years, except for Jordan School District, which developed its own EI program. For a time, DDI also provided EI services in the Park City area of Wasatch County. It was also given the responsibility to provide EI services in Tooele County.
Also in 1988, DDI entered into a contract with the Division of Services for People with Disabilities (DSPD) to provide supported employment services to adults with disabilities, and with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to provide supported job-based training to adults with disabilities. Since 1988, the provision of adult services has grown beyond supported employment and supported job-based training to include supported living, personal budget assistance, respite care, chore services, homemaker services, and family support. In 2009, the name of the program was changed to Adult and Youth Services (AYS), to more accurately reflect the broader scope of services offered.
Adding Duchesne Services in 1997
In 1997, Duchesne School District opted out of its contract with BWEIP to provide EI services in Duchesne County, and BWEIP invited DDI Vantage to assume the contract. Services in Duchesne County were initially supervised remotely from Salt Lake City, but local facilities and leadership were in place by 2004.
Adding Early Head Start Services in 2004
In 2003, DDI Vantage wrote and submitted a grant application for 60 slots with the Office of Head Start. The grant was awarded and the DDI Vantage Early Head Start (EHS) program began services in January 2004. In 2006, DDI Vantage purchased and renovated a building located in Taylorsville, to be used by the EHS program. In 2009, an expansion grant grew the enrollment slots to 148, and additional facilities were opened in Salt Lake City and Tooele to accommodate the expansion of staff and services.
Adding Early Head Start Child Care in 2014
In 2014 DDI Vantage wrote a grant for EHS child care slots. This grant was awarded in January of 2015. This allowed us to create partnerships with six centers, and funded 66 slots, although many more children within the child care classrooms benefit from this grant.
New Executive Director
Jennifer Kelsey becomes the ninth Executive Director for DDI Vantage.
Reauthorization of IDEA Part C regulations
Supported employment program changes name to Adult and Youth Services (AYS)
AYS starts respite services
1374 people attend 2nd Family Fin Day at Wheeler Farm
AYS has served approximately 100 Clients
EHS has served approximately 1200 families
Early Intervention has served approximately 17000 children
Early intervention has provided approximately 60000 service visits
Family Fun Day brings in 1,100 people at Wheeler Farm.
EHS adds center-based collaborations with: ABC Great Beginnings Preschool, Murray Cricket Care, Granite Peaks Lifelong Learning Center
1000 early intervention children enrolled, 110 early intervention employees.
Supported employment adds Personal Budgeting Assistance (PBA)
EHS expansion grant increases number of children served to 148
Larry Faddis, Financial Consultant
EHS purchases the Taylorsville Building
Ralph Larsen, Third CPA
800 Early Intervention children enrolled, 90 Early Intervention employees
Supported Employment adds Supported Living services
Jessica Kranwinkle comes to work for DDIV. She graduated from the program in 1989.
EHS first center-based partnership is established with Granite School District serving teens in the Young Parent Program