The Jackson County Developmental Achievement Center (previously Day Activity Center) was organized in 1968 through the efforts of the Lakefield Jaycees, ARC and numerous interested parents. The DAC opened its doors in the fall of 1968 to serve eight individuals (previously named participants in 1968, clients until 1995, then consumers), both children and adults, and employed two staff members. During its early years the DAC served all age ranges to include preschool, school age, and adult individuals. Legislation was later enacted requiring school districts to assume responsibility for children with disabilities. At this time, the DAC maintained a homebound program for children age infant through age three and continued to serve adults within the facility. The homebound program was discontinued in December of 1988 when it became the responsibility of the school. Homebound services continued for adults until 1989.
Adult programming centered on training in domestic/self-help skills, vocational skills, leisure time skills, and emphasized on community integration to include supported work in the community. Development of gross and fine motor skills, language skills, social and self-help sills were components of the early intervention infant program. Present day (2011), the DAC focuses on community integration, social and emotional support, and occupational opportunities including center-based and community-based employment.
The DAC changed its’ name from Day Activity Center to Developmental Achievement Center on October 17, 1977. During 1986 the DAC provided day programming for twelve in-house individuals, one homebound infant, and one homebound adult. Three staff members were employed in addition to the Director with two homebound teachers serving the homebound population. The home bound positions were part time one or two days per week. Current day (2011) the DAC provides services for 21 individuals and employs 6 staff and 1 Director/QMRP. The Director is held accountable by a Board of Directors (currently 7 community members). Of the 6 staff, one is a Job Coach Lead which provides supervision of the remaining 5 staff on the work floor. This staff also completes office duties including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and Payroll. The remaining 5 staff are Job Coaches and work both within the DAC and out on community employment crews.
From September 1968 to July 1990 the DAC program and office were in rented space at 412 Broadway, St. Joseph Parish elementary school in Lakefield, MN. In 1990 the DAC moved from rented space at St. Joseph Parish to a building at 304 2 Avenue North in Lakefield, MN. On July 5, 1994 additional space was purchased at 220 Main Street. Later in 1994, the DAC Treasure Chest opened its’ doors to the public at the Main Street location. The Treasure Chest is a store owned and operated by the DAC, which specializes in the sale of new or used clothing and miscellaneous items. The 2 Avenue and Main Street site are connected as one site. An additional garage was built for the DAC vehicle and was completed later in the summer of 1994. On September 1, 2004 the DAC began renting space at 226 Main Street and soon thereafter opened a Satellite Location for additional space for individuals to work. At this time they also began renting space at 302 2 Avenue North and moved the Administrative Offices to this location. In April of 2009, the DAC Treasure Chest was moved from 220 Main Street to the 226 Main Street Location as it was thought to be a bigger and better location for the store.