For four decades, GoodLife has joined forces with KU in a shared mission to improve care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). This partnership with the University of Kansas, rooted in a dedication to bettering lives, has been instrumental in shaping our approach to care.
A Legacy of Expertise
Founded by passionate advocates, James Sherman and Jan Sheldon, who were also KU faculty members, GoodLife was born from a shared commitment to improve best practices in care settings and provide home and community-based support for those with disabilities. Today, this enduring partnership continues to thrive.
A Dynamic Collaboration
KU’s Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences, renowned for its excellence in applied behavior analysis, plays a pivotal role in our development of next-generation service models. Their faculty, postdoctoral professionals, and students contribute vital research, consultation, training, and evaluation services, propelling GoodLife’s mission forward. This partnership allows GoodLife to develop and test cutting-edge services and models so that we are always on the path of continuous improvement.
Observation Leading to Innovation
At the heart of our partnership lies situational observation, which has led to meaningful and practical solutions. Dr. Claudia Dozier, a Professor and Co-Director of the Edna A. Hill Child Development Center at the University of Kansas, stands as a linchpin in this groundbreaking work. She consults with GoodLife and guides students in studying improved approaches to working with adults with disabilities.
Transformative Training: Healthy Behavioral Practices
Dr. Dozier’s expertise in assessment and intervention for severe behavior disorders became a cornerstone of our collaboration. Together, with Dr. Dozier and our Chief Clinical Officer, Dr. Nicole Kanaman, we developed Healthy Behavioral Practices, a training program equipping staff with skills for positive interactions, de-escalation, providing choices, and reinforcing appropriate behavior.
“We spent a year and a half training staff in Healthy Behavioral Practices, and began to see such great results that over time GoodLife implemented this system into its mandatory new staff training,” says Dr. Dozer. “What’s exciting is that we’ve presented our data and package at national and international conferences, and there’s a lot of interest in a simple-to-teach, simple-to-implement training program that ultimately improves an individual’s quality of life.”
A Cycle of Influence
The GoodLife/KU partnership has yielded nationally acclaimed service models, including GoodLife’s Neighborhood Network, the Family Teaching Model, Professional Family Teaching Model (also known as our Shared Living model), and more. This collaboration not only benefits residents and staff but also offers KU students a unique, hands-on experience. “Through this partnership, my students receive one-of-a-kind training that both enriches their educational experience and equips them to truly make an impact on how we care for individuals with disabilities,” shares Dr. Dozer proudly.
Enriching Lives Together
Our partnership with the University of Kansas has been a continuous pursuit of tools to enhance the lives of individuals with disabilities and barriers to independence. Dr. Dozier and her students remain dedicated to refining our systems and supporting staff. Additionally, KU’s Performance Management Laboratory, previously led by Dr. Florence DiGennaro Reed, focuses on optimizing staff performance to elevate service quality.
Join Our Journey
Curious about how we’re providing personalized, supported, and affordable care? Let’s talk! We’re eager to share more about our ongoing initiatives and the impact we’re making in the lives of individuals with disabilities.