Arrowhead West, Inc., (AWI) is a not for profit organization which serves children ages birth to three and adults over the age of eighteen with developmental disabilities. Common developmental disabilities are mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, head injury and multiple physical disabilities. We also serve young children who have substantial developmental delays or specific cognitive or acquired conditions which could result in developmental disabilities if our services were not provided.

The Beginning

Arrowhead West, Inc., evolved from the efforts of the Dodge City Area Council for Retarded Children which originally served Ford, Gray and Hodgeman counties. By 1976, with the acquisition of the Edwards County Training Center and the expressed interest of other counties, the need for a new provider organization became apparent. Thus, Arrowhead West was incorporated in November 1976, and began serving Edwards, Clark, Kiowa and Comanche counties in addition to the original three.

Preschool and adult vocational programs were provided. Residential services were established in 1979 with the opening of two group homes. In 1980 AWI received national accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities and has continued to maintain its accreditation to date. In 1982 Ness County joined the AWI service system and Meade County joined in 1986.

By 1986 new programs in Supported Living and Supported Employment were started. In 1989, Sedgwick, Barber, Harper, Kingman and Pratt counties were added to the service area with the merger of two other agencies. In 1996 AWI constructed a new building for their Child Services Program in Dodge City. In 1998, the Western Kansas Division Office was opened in Dodge City. The building houses offices and the Adult Life Skills Program.

AWI Today

Today, AWI operates vocational centers at four sites, dozens of community integrated employment sites, 45 residential sites and home-based child services.

From its humble beginning of serving five individuals, AWI today serves over 1000 children and adults with mental and physical disabilities.