The Nerdery - Overnight Website Challenge

Twin Cities 2015, May 2-3

Options Inc.

Picture this, long, thick, orange shag carpet, bell-bottom jeans, and a steaming fondue pot full of cheese. The 70’s were a far-out and groovy time period for some. For individuals with disabilities, it was a time period of uncertainty. Mental institutions were still running rampant and went mostly unchecked. For parents of adults with disabilities they were left with a very difficult decision. After graduating high school what were they to do with their children? Would they send them to an institution or was there a better solution? In 1979, a group of concerned parents got together and formed Options Inc. Options Inc. is dedicated to empowering and supporting adults with disabilities in living and working in the mainstream of community life. From serving nine individuals in a church basement we have grown to a 40,000 square-feet facility that supports over 250 individuals. We help support individuals for life after high school. For some, this means working in the community and for others it means developing and maintaining daily living skills. To sum up the story of the hundreds of individuals who have attended Options Inc. over the years is impossible, but I hope this gives you a little idea of who we are and what we do.

What new functionality we are looking for

Our website should serve as a hub for the community and our business. It should be a location where people can go to learn about our individuals, their stories, and our mission. It should also give people a place to interact and list community events. The newly designed website would also have to be a place where our business partners could go for information about upcoming holidays and program information. It should serve the needs of our individuals, community members, our current business partners, and perspective business partners. If the new website had a secure location where our employees could log in to find program information about our individuals, their schedules, attendance, and fill out program forms it would also make us more efficient. The website should be easy to navigate for everyone, look professional, clean, and work across every platform.

How the new functionality will help

One of the core principles that Options Inc. was founded on was to empower individuals. A redesigned website would empower our individuals in unprecedented ways. Individuals that we support could share their stories with the world through post and video testimonials. Options Inc. also relies heavily on the support we receive from the community. A website redesign could allow individuals that we serve to connect with members of their community in new ways and give them a place to interact.

How our organization will use the technology

Who will use the technology

17 Messages from Supporters

2015-03-12 18:06:52 UTC
Pastor Jane

Options has served our church with weekly cleaning services for many years. We appreciate the clients and staff and support their quest to win nerdery services!

2015-03-06 20:40:26 UTC
Lauri Lindquist Heaven Scent Cleaning Inc.

I've been doing business with Options for over 10 years.
I can't say enough about their programs, the quality of their workers, and especially the dedication of their job coaches. If you ever want to know more about how wonderful
theire program has been for me and my commercial cleaning company please feel free to call me. (612)839-6522.

2015-03-06 19:00:39 UTC
Joy Nadeau, Executive Director of Sherburne County Area United Way

Options, Inc. has been a member agency of ours for numerous years. We continue to fund them because we believe in their mission and we know the great impact they have in our communities. The funding that we help them with goes towards employment for people with disabilities. If it weren't for Options, Inc. and their local services, the people in our area with disabilities would not find that purpose and independence that employment can bring them. Our community is proud to be able to employ these consumers.

A visit to Options,Inc. is an education in understanding, caring, inclusion, and positivity. For this agency to have a website that would furnish them with all their dreams above, it would only increase the community awareness and enhance the support of these consumers at a time when funding from government sources is decreasing.

I ask you to please consider Options, Inc. for your website challenge as "challenge" is an everyday occurrence for people with disabilities.

2015-03-07 00:00:06 UTC
Jennifer Haberman, Division Manager of Comprehensive Services Inc.

Comprehensive Services Inc. is a residential Adult Foster Care Provider who has had the privilege of a close working relationship with Options Inc. for nearly 20 years. Options Inc. provides unique and innovative work opportunities for all of our individuals at Comprehensive Services regardless of the level of functioning. Options is a constant, positive and forward thinking resource in their daily life.
Individuals working at Options Inc. have a purpose, responsibility and the pride of being gainfully employed and isn't that what we all strive for?
For Options Inc., to win this challenge would allow them to further reach out to the immediate and surrounding communities to familiarize the communities about who they are , who they serve and why it would be a benefit to employ persons with disabilities or to consider providing in center work to Options Inc.
Thank you for your consideration!

2015-03-07 15:14:24 UTC
A Grateful Parent

My daughter has attended Options, Inc. for over two years. Options has provided opportunities which have allowed my daughter's work skills to grow. She has had the opportunity to participate in state and regional self advocacy training and seminars. She is part of a group of individuals that attends Disability Day at the Capital and meets with our local legislators to discuss issues which directly affect her ability to work and live in the community. Options has partnered with many businesses in the community which not only allows indivuiduals to learn different job skills they also have the opportunity to learn about themselves and what type of work they enjoy. Options business partnerships continue to grow because of their excellent reputation, the quality of the work, the professional staff and the overall positive experience.
The staff and job coaches are superior. Options staff retention is amazing. The majority of their staff has been with the company for years, many over 10. These people are committed and caring.
I am grateful my child has the opportunity to be in a place where she is valued and respected. She is given support to learn skills and grow to empower her to live and work in the community of her choice.

2015-03-07 17:51:10 UTC
Paul Niederkorn, Sr Director of Operations, Medline Industries

We have enjoyed an excellent partnership with Options, Inc. to help support our distribution operations in Rogers, MN.

Options provides excellent team coaches and team members to support our business of shipping healthcare products to hospitals, surgery centers and doctors offices everyday, on-time, as needed for critical patient needs.

The best part of the Options team is they have become part of our team and we share in the successes and the work required to meet our customer's healthcare needs every day.

I highly recommend Options, Inc. for your website challenge because everyday I have the pleasure of working with poeple with disabilities that accept those challenges and exceed our expectations.

2015-03-09 11:40:54 UTC
Bill Younga

Options has been an outstanding business partner. Both the employees and clients are a pleasure to know and work with!

2015-03-09 13:56:57 UTC
Dan Feigum

I have been doing business with Options for over year 11 years, and they are awesome to work with. they maintain a top level of quality workmanship

2015-03-09 14:08:16 UTC

It would be a blessing for Options, Inc. to win the Website Challenge. A non-profit organization, such as Options, Inc. does so much good for their Consumers and is such a necessary part of their community. When donations are down, it is hard for non-profits to fund updates to their website. It is necessary to keep up with technology so they can keep their Mission easily accessible and user-friendly to the general public.

I also highly recommend Options, Inc. for the Website Challenge.

2015-03-10 02:28:47 UTC

Options has changed my life for the better. It would be so great to see us go above and far to accomplish something. Options is a place that means so much to the clients and the staff. No one really knows what happens behind closed doors, but with victory in this challenge they will be blinded by the good. The last 2 and a half years have been pure joy to me. Now I wanna spring the word out to anyone.

2015-03-10 14:53:34 UTC
Kristin V.

I have had the opportunity to work with Options' staff and their clients, a.k.a. "employees." Options has transformed the lives of people with intellectual disabilities allowing them to make a difference in personally and professionally in their communities. Option's has helped prepare them to work on their own in the community and as a result many are able to live on their own. Without Options, most would not have been able to accomplish this.

When visiting their office, the staff and the "employees" truly show that they love their work. The "employees" greet every visitor with a polite hello and smile. They are always eager to show what they are learning and the tasks they are performing in the work area. It is not only work for them, they are also creating friendships with other "employees." Both the work skills and social relationships help set them up to be top-notch community members when they graduate from Options.

I can say that not only is Options changing lives, but they are also changing their communities. It is always an honor to work with or visit Options. Please consider them for this project as they deserve another platform to help continue their work of transforming lives.

2015-03-10 18:52:24 UTC

While I have never been to Options, I do have a friend who works there. She is always so positive and excited about her job and it never seems like work to me when she talks about it. They do great things for people with disabilities-not only work related, but also having fun in the community. Their clients work at many different places throughout Big Lake, Becker, Monticello, areas. They also do a lot of fun activities-movies, going to museums in the cities, shopping and eating out. It is amazing to hear about what they do.

Please give them this opportunity to enhance their website.

Thank you!!

2015-03-11 00:24:17 UTC

The staff and the clients at Options are very deserving of winning the website makeover! Options is such a blessing for the community and provides a much needed place of employment, learning and socialization for its employees/clients. It's a place where they not only come to work, but come to be around their friends. They work hard and have a passion and pride for their work. The Options staff is fabulous; you can tell they love their jobs and consider their clients part of their extended family. Options is an amazing place and deserves recognition in the community. A place to post events and information would be a very valuable tool for their clients to be able to access as well.

2015-03-10 20:47:38 UTC
Alisyn S.

I have had the great fortune to work at Options for about two years now. I have to say when I started working at Options I knew very little about the scope of the company and what they did. I applied out of college to gain work experience in a field related to my degree. I never could have imagined the experience I have had over the last two years.

I was so unsure my first day working at Options, reading all kinds of paperwork and policies and thinking "How am I going to do this for clients, when I just learned how to do life on my own?" My second day working with the clients face to face I was hooked and my question turned into "How can I not do this?"

Every day I have the privilege to work with adults who are so excited about life and the people they care about. I am lucky enough to work with clients who want to work hard and learn as much as they can through their daily work and activities. I get to know individuals personally and encourage them throughout their day. I would like to say I am always encouraging but as we all know life gets rough sometimes and when I have a hard day I have seen individuals give me love and encouragement back. It is so rewarding to know that I make a difference, even a little and even if I never know how.

What has been such a life changer to me is all the individuals I get to work with and have worked with in the past two years and I can not imagine a world where I don't get a chance to be apart of their lives and them be apart of mine. Every person I have had the opportunity to work with has been a blessing and reminder that there is always hope for a bright future and that aiming high means winning big. I know this company's heart is reflected in the heart of every individual we serve and if given the opportunity to have a website that allows more awareness, independence, growth and encouragement I know Options would take the opportunity and run far with it.

2015-03-13 01:28:12 UTC
Caren S.

I have been involved with Special Olympics for many years and in all those years Options has been instrumental in our program. Many of their clients are involved in our program and Options has always been a huge supporter with transportation, storage of equipment, attending and volunteering for sports practice/events. Options is always so willing to help out in any way they can. Their staff is professional and caring and go above and beyond for their clients and families.
Options has given so much to the community - they are so deserving to win this makeover.

2015-03-18 19:20:34 UTC

Options Inc. provides excellent support to its consumers and partner agencies. Those who receive services from Options are encouraged to reach their highest potential whether that be at a community job or in center. In addition, Options readily encourages individuals to become self-advocates and remain active in their community. Please consider Options when deciding on the recipient of the website update. They are well deserving of it!

2015-03-23 16:08:03 UTC
Tony Velishek and Dan Carlson, Apollos Insurnace Agency Division of North Risk Partners

Our independent insurance office has had an affiliation with Options Inc. since the mid 1980's, when it was housed in one of our local churches and handling a dozen clients with special needs in a day program. We have watched in awe of their growth in size, facilities and innovative programs for their current client population that exceeds 240. From that small space at Saron Lutheran Church in 1985, the Options clients now enjoy their own 15,000 square foot building with work space, recreational areas, as well as learning, training and senior centers.

Even more impressive is the integration of their clients providing meaningful work in our local workforce. Observers see their clients, their staff and their vehicles everywhere. It is a tribute to the leadership and the staff at Options to witness the development of the center at Options that has become a beacon of excellence in it's field.

It has been our pleasure to be associated with their facility, management and staff for almost three decades.

Our Mission

Options Inc.'s mission is to empower and support adults with disabilities in living and working in the mainstream of community life.