Options Unlimited started providing Supported Employment services to Bullitt County residents in February 1985 as a program of Seven Counties Services. In March of 1987, Options was incorporated as an independent non-profit agency and an affiliate of Seven Counties Services. Contractual arrangements were also established with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to broaden the array of services offered to persons with disabilities.
In November 1987 the Adult Day Program was added to broaden the services capabilities. This program focuses on developing the independent living skills of the clients by participating in community-based events. Community events are accessed daily in small groups. Supported Employment services are available to all the participants in the Day Program. In 1992, this program moved to the Hillview Community Center where it operated for 9 years before moving to Options’ building on Castlerock Drive. In July 1995, Options obtained a grant to convert the day program to a more individually based program that increases the involvement of each individual in his/her community through employment and or volunteer experiences.
A third program was added in 1990 through a Projects with Industry grant. The “Imagine Tea Rooms” was established to provide on-site training and employment to a wide range of disabled people in a restaurant setting. This project received support from the Bingham Foundation who funded the purchase of the building that was used for the restaurant and administrative offices. This program was discontinued in February of 1994 due to lack of business. The grant was also discontinued at that time and the building was sold in June of 1995.
Over the years, Options has expanded by providing services in Bullitt, Shelby and Jefferson County. Options’ administrative and supported employment staff moved to the Hadley Building on Buckman Street in Shepherdsville in July 1994. An office was opened on Main Street in Shelbyville in May of 1996 and another office on Main Street in Taylorsville in July, 1998. Both the Shelby County office and Taylorsville office is now closed. Options still provides employment services in the Shelby County area.
Options Unlimited has been instrumental in the development of a United Way chapter in Bullitt County in 2000. The United Way provides a resource for the discussion and implementation of programs that address service needs in the county. The need for a county wide effort to raise funds for human service organizations had been apparent for many years.
In January 2001, Options passed more milestones in the development of services. Our Day Program and Supported Employment staff moved into our current main office building at 205 Castlerock Drive. This provided further sharing of resources between the programs and allowed more efficient use of staff. The Nicholas X. Simon Activity Building was completed in April, 2001. Later in this year, we became a vendor for Medicaid services.
In 2002, a new program to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community in supported employment was initiated. This program is unique to this region and remains active. Many of these individuals have secondary disabilities that pose additional challenges to employment. With the help of skilled staff many of these individuals are now working in the community.
In 2006, Options hired a full-time financial bookkeeper to handle all accounting in house.
In 2008, Options became a provider for people on the Michelle P. Waiver (Medicaid) and also started providing case management services (this is no longer an active service currently) to individuals on both the Michelle P. and the SCL waiver.
In 2011, Options began a partnership with the Best Buy Distribution Center in the Cedar Grove business district.
In 2012, Options began a partnership with UPS to assist in their initiative to hire individuals with disabilities to their Worldport workforce. In January of 2014, Options and UPS developed a training center on-site to continue to promote the hiring of individuals with disabilities at UPS.
Since its incorporation, Options has broadened its services to include a wide range of people with disabilities. We remain committed to expanding these services as resources allow to improve the lives of people with disabilities.
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