The Importance of Community Opportunities for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Community

 

Opengate affords individuals a variety of opportunities to engage in activities within their communities. Through our Day Habilitation program and regular outings Opengate encourages individuals to be fully integrated into their communities.

Assisting individuals within their home community helps to expand public awareness of their unique abilities. Each individual is encouraged to strive for their potential and achieve their positive personal outcomes through community involvement.

Opengate’s Day Hab is a weekday program which serves residents from family homes, and homes operated by Opengate and other New York State-based providers. Currently there are approximately 80 participants.

Not only do we offer prevocational opportunities through our programs, but we also offer social interactions and inclusion within community events and activities. Each person shares interests which coincide with their skill levels and goals resulting in a positive learning experience.

The Without Walls (WOW) program is another form of Day Habilitation but differs from site-based programs because the individuals are out-and-about in the community during the entire day from 9am to 3pm.

Keeping small groups of 5 allows the individuals to form bonds with each other as they consistently participate in activities together along with regular staff members assigned to the groups.

Along with community based events with our WOW Program, physical fitness plays an important part of the planned activities and include bowling, classes at Planet Fitness, nature walks and bike riding.

Promoting individual participation in the community has several advantages such as positive behavioral support, communication, and volunteerism. Our groups regularly volunteer at a local Goodwill store where they organize merchandise and clean the store.

In addition to engaging in fun, educational, and physical activities, community involvement teaches social skills and decision making, as well as vocational and scholastic development for those who are working towards those goals.

Furthermore, local communities offer diverse opportunities especially important to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to interact with others in a setting outside the home nurturing a sense of self esteem and inclusion.

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