Community engagement

  • Speech student and participant singing karaoke

    Student Involvement

    Many departments across campus bring their students for a multitude of learning opportunities at our Skill Building program and Senior Day Services.

  • Seniors in cardio drumming class

    Meaningful Activities

    Our staff implement a program of activities that require thoughtful planning to foster engagement in social activities, health and wellness, memory and cognition and the arts.

  • A group of consumers delivering meals on wheels

    Community Engagement

    Providing high quality supports and services to help participants volunteer in their community through our skill building program.

  • Student staff bakes a cake with an elderly male

    Peace of Mind

    Our adult day program provides a safe and friendly environment with stimulating cognitive and social activities for older adults living with memory loss and/or physical challenges.

Our Programs

Programs for Individuals with Disabilities

Our programs for individuals with disabilities include Community Connections Skill Building, Case Management and Community Living Services

Programs for Seniors

We are committed to offering programs that enrich lives as people age. Our programs for the aging population include In-home Care Services and Senior Day Services

Commitment to Community

For over 40 years, the Center for Disability Services and Adult Wellness Programs have been providing programs and services for people with disabilities and elders in our community. Today, the center is a multi-service agency that helps over 250 individuals annually in Kalamazoo County. The center operates as a community service under the College of Health and Human Services and provides WMU students with an opportunity for innovative learning and discovery in the field of disabilities/the aging population through internships, field experiences, volunteering and employment.

Our performance

  • $710K+ paid out in one year for student wages

  • 286 individuals served in 2023

  • 20 year history of serving seniors through community-based adult day programming

  • 87 intern and practicum students from WMU in 2023

Meet our Student Staff

  • Photo of Frederick, student staff

    Frederick

    "My experience at CDS has been instrumental in my professional growth, despite initially seeming unrelated to my data science studies. It has taught me empathy, patience, and the ability to adapt to diverse needs and challenges. These skills are not only crucial in my current role but also transferable to any future career path I choose. I've used my analytical skills to identify patterns in behavior, track progress over time, and make data-driven decisions to enhance the quality of care."

    Apply today

  • Photo of Abby, CDS Staff

    Abby

    "I never expected CDS to become my second family. When I first accepted this position, I had no idea that CDS would become such an impactful part of my life. I wake up every morning with pure excitement and gratitude that I get to go to work that day. CDS has exceeded my expectations beyond words."

    More about Skill Building

  • Lauren Layman - student staff

    Lauren

    “It is such an amazing place to work, from the environment of the building, the dynamic of the staff and most importantly the amazing energy the consumers offer.”

    Learn more about employment

News

  • WMU Giving Day is April 17, 2024

    Your contribution can help fund scholarships for participants, support innovative services, and provide resources that directly benefit our community.

    More about Giving Day

  • Wild Wheels

    CDS consumers selling "Wild Wheels" at upcoming Art Hop

    Consumers from the Skill Building program will be at the March 1st through the 3rd Art Hop selling "Wild Wheels," enhancement covers for wheelchair users.

    Watch Fox 17 news story

  • Photo of outdoor space and pergola

    Senior Day Services granted funds for new outdoor space

    Thanks to the financial support of Kalamazoo County, Senior Day Services was granted funds for an enriched outdoor space.

    Read more

  • image of annual report

    2022-23 Annual Report and Performance Report

    The 2022-23 Annual Report and Performance Report is ready to view.

    Read Report

  • A volunteer puts carrots in a bag

    Participants volunteer at Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes

    One of the many volunteer placements that CDS Skill Building participants provide community service is Kalamazoo Loaves & Fishes.

    Read article

  • Speech student assists a participant

    Speech students work with Senior Day Services guests

    Each semester, Allison Mezo, Aphasia Communication Enhancement Speech Clinician at the Western Michigan University Unified Clinics assigns four speech-language pathology students to provide communication support at WMU's Senior Day Services.

    Learn more

  • Consumers participate in United Sound

    Western students break down barriers through music with United Sound

    United Sound, a WMU student organization, partners with the WMU Center for Disability Services to offer peer mentorship for young adults with disabilities who want to play an instrument.

    Discover United Sound

Our Commitment to Diversity

Commitment to Diversity

The Western Michigan University College of Health and Human Services is committed to the idea of a diverse college as an important educational value. The College fosters an environment which reflects and celebrates diversity, encourages inclusion, embraces healthy interdependence and pledges a learning community free of discrimination and harassment.  

The Center for Disability Services and Adult Wellness Programs, as a member of the College of Health and Human Services at Western Michigan University, shares a commitment to enhance and maintain cultural competency and diversity in our programs, the community and university settings.

Apply today

Video of CDS/Adult Wellness Programs Student Staff Testimonial

The Center for Disability Services is hiring students and community members to work as Direct Support Professionals to assist individuals with disabilities and the aging population. If you are a student studying in a health-related field, employment at the Center for Disability Services and WMU Adult Wellness Programs could count as valuable contact hours in certain disciplines. Starting pay is $16.10 per hour.

 Apply today

Ways to make a difference

  • $1,500 sponsors one week of meals for participants of WMU Senior Day Services

  • $500 provides a year of art supplies for consumers to sell artwork in the community

  • $250 sponsors six weeks of transportation for participants to and from our day programs

Consumer Handbook