Posts tagged Inclusion works
Will + Peter [Adaptive Sports Connection]
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Will and Peter keep busy by participating in many different activities!  A few years ago, they found out about the Adaptive Sports Connection in Powell, OH which provides adaptive technology to help empower anyone with physical and cognitive challenges through sports and therapeutic outdoor recreation!  The mission of the Adaptive Sports Connection is to help people with challenges stay healthy and happy by focusing on their ABILITIES. 

While at Children’s Hospital for one of Will’s appointments, they have met many other families who help encourage and provide resources to each other.  One of the resources that Will and Peter learned about was the Adaptive Sports Connection program.  Will and Peter try to regularly go to the kayaking, water skiing and downhill skiing programs.  Will’s favorite is the skiing--- he loves speed!  Each time Will goes, the instructors and volunteers try new ways of adapting the equipment to make Will’s experience as enjoyable as possible. 

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Once the custom pieces of adaptive equipment are added to the kayak, Peter and the instructors load Will into his tailored kayak, get different pieces of foam to strategically add around his body to ensure he is able to sit upright and get his paddles ready!  Once it’s his turn to load into the water, a float with wheels is loaded under his kayak and he is wheeled down to the water’s edge.  His kayak has a set of outrigger floats on the back to help prevent him from tipping it over.

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Each time Will goes out kayaking, he has his father Peter, as well as a volunteer (Christina) and the instructor (David).  As a group they work diligently to learn how Will kayaks and what can help him have a better experience.  Each time he goes out, he builds his stamina and is able to kayak longer than the last time!  Once he gets tired, he can either paddle himself back in or his volunteer can tether their kayak to his and paddle him back in. 

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If you are interested in participating in one of the great programs offered by the Adaptive Sports Connection, please go onto their website to learn how to get involved!  https://adaptivesportsconnection.org/

The Power of PLAY

As Jacob hops from one piece of equipment to another at Harmony Playground, it can be hard to imagine that just a short time ago he was needing a lot of assistance navigating stairs, uneven surfaces and new surroundings.

Jacob and his family have been utilizing the PLAY Project through Early Intervention and Help Me Grow at Knox DD.  The PLAY Project is an autism intervention program that helps young children who are suspected to have autism or have an autism diagnosis reach their full potential through play.  The PLAY consultants meet the families and children where they are developmentally and help them learn how to interact with each other in meaningful ways.  The PLAY Project helps coach the families and care givers to learn how to have playful interactions with their child.  Parents implement different techniques through the week and meet with the PLAY consultants regularly to gauge what is working and not working to help build the confidence and relationships in the home. When you do what the child likes to do, the child will love being with you, interacting with you and building you relationships stronger.

Jacob and his family have been working with our PLAY consultant Kae and they have seen extraordinary progress from Jacob as he learns how to better navigate his world. Jacobs’s mom Amy stated that she has learned so much about interacting with him in a way that is beneficial for him and meets him where he is developmentally. While going through this program as a family, they have observed that he has started engaging in his surroundings more and he has noticed more of what’s happening around him rather than just living in his own little bubble.  While we were at Harmony Playground there was a tractor mowing grass, and he noticed it and was fascinated watching it!  This is something he wouldn’t have noticed before. 

Jacob was building his confidence throughout the PLAY session at the playground.  He started his visit with crawling around on the different pieces of equipment to learn how they all worked and by the end of our visit he was running, navigating the equipment like a pro and he dared to get onto the “Drop Zone!”

If you are interested in learning more about the PLAY project, please visit their website at: https://www.playproject.org/statewide-p-l-y-training-ohio/ or contact Brenda Coffman, Early Intervention Director at bcoffman@knoxdd.com

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Lego Club: Farm Animals

On March 28th, we had another great turnout for Lego Club: Farm Animals. It’s always such a pleasure to watch how everyone works together to create such amazing creations!

Lego Club: Sandwiches, Burgers, Subs & More!

We love getting to watch creativity and imagination take over as people come together to build amazing creations at Lego Club. On 3/14 we had a great turn out and had some pretty stellar pieces made! The theme was “Sandwiches, Burgers, Subs & More!” (a theme that was submitted by a kiddo!! Great thinking!) and the pieces that were created were extraordinary!

If you have a great idea for a theme, feel free to email it to Brody Boggs (bboggs@knoxdd.com) and he’ll try to add it to the calendar!

Lego Club: Out of this World Spaceships!

Thank you to everyone who came out to Lego Club at MVNU on 1/31! We had another great turnout and families enjoyed creating fun ‘out of this world’ Lego Creations!

Lego Club: Captivating Castles

On January 16th, over 60 people joined us and built their very own Castle Creations! Everyone had a great time— especially those who won door prizes!

Thank you everyone for joining us and to MVNU for hosting us! Stay tuned for our next Lego Club event in a couple of weeks!

It's a Wonderful Life [Orange Barrel Productions]
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Knox County is an amazing place to live. We have such great supports, opportunities and a wonderful community of people. Orange Barrel Productions has been so inclusive to some people that are in our program and have included them in this year’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” performance.

You can catch Joe, Devine, Paul and David give exemplary performances at any of their upcoming shows. The show is scheduled for November 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 & 17. All shows begin at 7PM and tickets are $10.

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Summerfest 2018

For the past five years the Knox County Board of Developmental Disabilities has thrown our annual "Summerfest" to celebrate summer, sun and have fun!  Each year carries a different theme and activities- this year we celebrated with many different organizations across our county!  We love being able to partner and collaborate with so many amazing organizations to help with inclusion and break down barriers for the people and families in our program!

It was wonderful watching everyone interact with the various booths set up from community partners and having conversations by asking unique and thoughtful questions to all of the first responders that came to support our event!  Thank you to everyone who helped make last week so successful!

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Striving for Sensory Inclusion
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ICAN2 (Involvement, Community, Advocacy and Networking Too) is a group of Self-Advocates from Knox County who are dedicated to promoting inclusion and improving accessibility for all.  Last year they learned about the Akron Zoo and how they were the second zoo in the United States to create a Sensory Inclusive environment for all patrons that come to their zoo.  Akron Zoo partnered with KultureCity to improve their ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory processing needs. Their objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for ALL guests regardless of age and ability including those with sensory processing needs. 

In April 2018 ICAN2 met with Elena Bell, who works with the Akron Zoo so she could help the group understand how they implemented this program into their zoo.  She explained that all of the staff at the zoo are trained in recognizing what a "melt down" looks like and understanding what sensory sensitive means, what it can look like and the different needs people may have.  They provide Sensory Bags at no cost to anyone who comes to the zoo.  The bags include noise cancelling headphones, fidget toys, sunglasses and a cue card to help them express their wants and needs.  There are guest comfort stations that individuals or families can use to help calm down and get away from the crowds.  There are quiet zones and headphone zones throughout the entire zoo.  On Akron Zoo's website, they have a Social Story that people can view prior to coming so they know what to expect before they arrive.

In June the self advocates were able to go to the Akron Zoo to see the new program!  Many people noticed how easy it was to find the "headphone zones" and "quiet zones" so they knew what was coming.  They also appreciated the fidget toys so they could have something to occupy their hands while waiting to view an exhibit.

ICAN2 is hoping that the Columbus Zoo will take note of this wonderful program and implement it in their zoo!  If you would like to see this become a reality  for Columbus, Eleana Bell recommended that patrons should write down the different things Akron Zoo does on the Columbus Zoo's comment cards when you visit and give them Elena's contact information:

Elena Bell Marketing & Group Sales Manager, email: embell@akronzoo.org, Phone: 330-375-2550, ext. 7251

Education In Action 2018

For the past 8 years, the Knox County Board of DD has collaborated with ESC Parent Mentor Program to host the "Education In Action" Awards banquet for all of the county schools.  This ceremony gives all teachers across Knox County an opportunity to nominate and honor any student in their classroom.  Teachers nominated 40 students across the county for their hard work in Academics, Arts, Athletics, Community Service, Employment, Extracurricular Activity and Independent Living Skills. 

Awards were given to:

Knox County Career Center- Dakota Welch

Centerburg- Colton Love, Deacon Goulter, Caila Scmitz

East Knox- Dakota Wooden, Freddy Evans, Jonathan Cisco, Alivia Elliott

Fredericktown- Mikail Diagne, Tripp Gray, Carter Hempfield, Hadlee Miller

Mount Vernon- Alexa Hartshorn, Jacob Rivers, Sabrina Dannes, Isabella Carpenter

Clear Fork- Student is recognized under Knox Educational Service Center Group Awards

Knox Educational Service Center- Corey Woods, Savannah Carpenter, Keyon Atkinson, Alexis Darr, Ronnie Andrews, Gage Johnson, Spencer Jones, Austin Martin, Carolyn Parrish, Wayne Rittenhouse, Haven Shelton, Jackson Slater, Dustin Starmer, Vinnie Wilson, Faith Bowers, Madison Flack, Robert Simpson-Rine

Group Awards- Elijah Clark, Cody Hanna, Tyler Morris, Robbie Pyott, Katie Sharp, Will Smith, Grant Yoder

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