Our Mission & History
The following is a brief history of our more than nine-decades-old organization. Senator Arthur Capper's legacy of helping individuals with disabilities is indeed living on.
1920 - The Capper Fund established by Arthur Capper - United States Senator, former Kansas Governor, publisher, philanthropist and devoted advocate of children with special needs.
1934 - Conversion of the informal Capper Fund to The Capper Foundation for Crippled Children, a non-profit Kansas Corporation.
1947 - The Capper Foundation for Crippled Children becomes the area's first comprehensive rehabilitation facility with the donation of property from the closing of the Topeka Orphan's Home.
1951 - Arthur Capper dies and leaves assets to purchase Topeka campus at 3500 SW 10th Avenue.
1959 - New facilities built to expand programs and therapy services. Academic classrooms for USD 501 kindergarten through high school ages were provided as a special purpose school.
1961 – Residential facilities are added.
1970 - Adult work center established.
1971 - Infant Program added to include early intervention services.
1985 - Gift of warm water pool made.
1986 - Outreach Program established.
1993 – Children’s residential program closed / Assistive Technology program grows / Professional & Family Training program formalized.
1995 – Corporate name changed to The Capper Foundation, retaining non-profit status.
1996 – Academic classrooms transitioned back into USD 501 schools / John K. Knoll Mobility Bank established to loan durable medical equipment / Three-year “Building Abilities” Capital Campaign begins.
1997 - Center for Assistive Technology in Kansas City, Missouri acquired from United Cerebral Palsy.
1999 – Capital Campaign success celebrated. Major renovation and expansion of facility.
2005 – Affiliation partnership with national organization, Capper Foundation, yet remains a separate Kansas Corporation. Name changed to Capper Foundation Capper Foundation, adding service territory of 101 of the 105 counties in Kansas.
2008 – Changed name to Capper Foundation.
2010 – Capper Foundation celebrates 90 Years of Building Abilities.
2012 - Individual Support Systems, Inc. of Topeka merged with Capper, expanding adult services.
2014 - Creative Community Living of Southcentral Kansas merged with Capper, expanding geographic reach and adult services.
2016 - Celebrated 95 years of Building Abilities with a birthday party on July 14th to honor Arthur Capper on his 151st birthday. On the same day, Arthur Capper honored with downtown statue dedication in the 700 block of Kansas Avenue. Adopted the national Capper Foundation marketing brand, changing name to Capper Foundation, yet maintaining own governing Board of Trustees and remaining a Kansas corporation, separate from the national organization. Independent with self-guided strategic plan, solely responsible for operating funding and operating budget
2018 – Awarded Charity Navigator’s highest 4 STAR RATING for transparency, accountability and trustworthiness, sixth consecutive time.
2019 – Returned to Capper Foundation, Inc., our corporately registered name. Rebranded organization to reflect health and growth of the organization in serving all counties in Kansas.