So it has been a long while. A lot of interesting things have happened since I’ve written something that wasn’t done it two minutes. Had another AMAZING summer at camp. 🙂 One of my all time favourites. Great staff, great lodgers, all around wonderful time.
I am now living in Timmins, Ontario. Ah. I’m going to school at Northern College and studying Educational Assistant (which is now actually Educational Support), Developmental Service Work and eventually Autism and Behavioural Science. This is great because it’s obviously something that I love and (not to sound conceded at all..) am pretty good at. The downfall is that I have been doing this for so long and have so much experience a lot of the things we are learning has just become common sense for me. This does put me ahead assignment wise but sometimes classes get pretty boring. But that’s okay, it just means that I have more time to make sure that my assignments are great.
I have found a wonderful Special Olympics Floor Hockey team that I am coaching (much different than the Giants but great all the same) and the swimming season starts tomorrow so I will be starting to coach SO swimming then. I miss my Tuesday nights and Saturday mornings very much though. Go Fergus Phantoms! Go Guelph Giants!
I’ve also found a very fun forest here. When I am not in class, working on assignments, on Skype with Laura or coaching SO, I am in the forest. I love it there.
And now to the point of this post. A lot of very interesting things have been happening in the Special Needs community over the past few months. I’m everyone on Facebook is getting tired of seeing my posts about them so I’m just going to do it here so that I don’t have to constantly bore people to death with what I find interesting. First, two very important things in our community have happened.
1. Community of Hearts: Community of Hearts is a program being run by some pretty amazing people, if I do say so myself. This is a program for young adults with Special Needs that encourages after High School learning and life skills. This is an essential program to our community. I cannot express to you the importance of this program. The government is closing day programs all over the province and people are being left without programming once they finish school at 21. There is literally nothing for these people. Community of Hearts is ESSENTIAL. Add them on Facebook, see what they’re all about. They hold social events, dances and stuff. You’re all welcome to come with me to them. It’s so important. This is an amazing program run by some amazing people. They applied for an Aviva Community Fund grant but didn’t make the first qualifying round, luckily, there is another one. So if you could all vote for Community of Hearts, everyday, it would be greatly appreciated. Once again, I cannot express the importance of this program.
Vote here (starting Monday): http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf14313?fb_action_ids=249450618510203&fb_action_types=avivacommunityfund%3Avote&fb_source=timeline_og&action_object_map=%7B%22249450618510203%22%3A469673973056047%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22249450618510203%22%3A%22avivacommunityfund%3Avote%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D
Add them on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/communityof.hearts?fref=ts
Watch a video to see some of the amazing stuff they do here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=c-Rgao3Ky3Y
2. The Power of Play- A barrier free playground. This is an EXTREMELY exciting project taking place right in Fergus. This is an accessible park in Fergus! HOW GOSH DARN EXCITING IS THAT!? I won’t go into too much detail but basically, it is another essential part of our community. I speak from my experiences of bringing the kids I work with to parks, Fergus’ parks are not built for people with different abilities (I usually just ended up bringing them to Nick’s Dragonfly Playground in Guelph, which you can read about here- https://adventuresofalix.wordpress.com/2012/01/06/nicks-dragonfly-playground/). They have also applied for an Aviva Community Fund grant but were more lucky and may have made it into the qualifying round (we won’t know until tomorrow)
Read more about the playground and vote again (if needed, starting Monday) here: http://www.avivacommunityfund.org/ideas/acf13678
Like them on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Power-of-Play-Fergus/295596937215071?fref=ts
There have been some interesting and in some cases, devastating funding cuts for people with different abilities across the province but I have to go to class so I will get into those later. But here are a couple interesting articles about them.
http://www.therecord.com/news/local/article/818814–families-with-autistic-children-often-look-beyond-government-funded-programs <– Lack of funding for children, some of the stats in here are ridiculous.
http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1268220–families-disability-funding-meet-the-parents-who-are-speaking-out <– SSAH funding completely cut after the age of 18. Beyond crazy.
http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1269213–disability-support-families-fear-ontario-s-funding-changes-leave-them-unable-to-cope#.UHcyYbofrXw.twitter <— SSAH funding is just blowing my mind.
More to come.
Namaste. (that’s a joke because I was in India this time last year.)