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Happy February! Please consider adding a comment here or on our Facebook page in response to the questions at the bottom of this post.


In January, we worked on start-of-year preparations. Many of our friends made vision boards of things we’d like to focus on this year. We then moved onto creating an emergency information cheat sheet. The goal for this was to create independence for our clients on all levels. For those using a speaking device, we are working on adding in emergency information so that in the event a caregiver wasn’t available, they could successfully communicate any needs they would have. For those who are already more independent, we created a “cheat sheet” so that they could use it to fill out forms like job applications or answer questions at a doctor’s office.






Mid-January, coinciding with the change in semester, we made a few schedule changes to better meet the needs of our clients. The transition has been incredibly smooth and so beneficial to both staff and clients.


February afternoon clients have moved into banking and budgeting to help them plan for life on their own. They are also working on identifying the different types of relationships we have in our lives (family, coworkers, romantic, friends, etc) using Disney/Pixar shorts and discussions. Our morning clients have themed weeks that include short videos learning about the themes, crafts, and games.





OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

This month’s shout out is to Kaukauna Coffee and Tea. Our clients went in January, and the staff was so accommodating and patient as we practiced polite interaction in a new setting. We will definitely be going again, and soon. Stop in and say thanks for us (we recommend getting a coffee too).


DID YOU KNOW? WHAT SHOULD WE KNOW?

This month, we are asking for your feedback. The Inclusion staff has been considering the expansion of our social media presence to push the idea of an inclusive community to a larger audience. One of our ideas is to demonstrate what to–or not to–do when interacting with an individual with disabilities.


For example, one of our clients told us he hates dealing with customers at his workplace because, instead of treating him like any other individual, they comment on how well he can do his job with only one hand. Bringing awareness to the idea that they’d like to be treated like everyone else rather than highlighting their abilities or disabilities is such an important message to create a welcoming community around our clients.


We plan on getting more feedback from our clients, but we would love your input as well. When interacting with your loved one, what things would you like people in the community to do more? What things would you like people to do less?


Enjoy sharing some productive feedback as much as one of our members enjoys watching the new bubble tube he helped fill!




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Yet another month flew by and now we cannot believe 2024 is here (by the time the blog is posted)!


We spent this month preparing for the end of the year. Both the morning and the afternoon crews wrote Christmas cards and letters, wrote out envelopes and mailed them, frosted Christmas cookies, and decorated the tree. We also assembled simmer pot treats for parents and for local businesses. As always, we continue working on socializing, cooking, cleaning, and playing games as well. We finished with a Christmas party complete with ax throwing for first dibs on festive socks, more cookie decorating, and watching a movie. 



Mid-December we welcomed Brittany onto our staff. We wish Kay all the best at her new job.



 

OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

Have you heard about CASA of the Fox Cities? It is a program to pair an advocate with each child entering the welfare system. Earlier this month, Bryanna and Shannon partnered with the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce to assemble kits for advocates spending time with their kids. They are always looking for donations and advocates. 


DID YOU KNOW?

Many of the clients at Inclusion love helping us cook. Measuring using measuring cups and measuring spoons might be the most sought-after job, so we have also added a jobs box where they can measure rice to their heart’s content. You could do this with cotton balls or Cheerios if the idea of rice is too daunting. If they don’t get the measuring job, many clients then volunteer for cutting. We’ve been slowly adding to our adaptive tools to assist with this, including this adaptive tool to help cut things that tend to roll. This one and this one both allow the individuals to cut one-handed. If you aren’t ready to do knives yet, there are safety versions, or you could do a chopper. We highly recommend cooking with your family members at home to continue practicing these life skills. Have a lot of fun, and don’t be afraid to get a little messy!




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Honestly, we aren’t sure where November went. Routines are continuing well for both morning and afternoon clients. The morning crew now has a morning meeting where we discuss basic emotions, talk about our favorite things in fun polls, fun facts, and work on our calendar skills. We then move into crafts, individual activities based on the client’s needs, games, all while promoting positive social interaction. They are alway so willing to help out around the center too, shredding papers, taking out garbage, putting up/taking down decorations, washing dishes, sweeping, and occasionally preparing lunch for our afternoon crew. Our favorite games this month include Cootie, Yeti in My Spaghetti, Chutes and Ladders, Memory, and Sorry. 


In the afternoon, Bryanna is working with some of the groups on understanding time and schedules, as well as money skills related to budgeting. Kaila is finishing up reading and writing emails, and will be moving into addressing envelopes and reading calendars next. Kay and Toni are continuing to work on members' individual goals, independent living skills, primarily in the area of cooking, cleaning, and social skills like playing games and appropriate conversational skills. One group is even learning to sew and cross-stitch with Kay! Our favorite games lately have been Cootie, Yeti in My Spaghetti, LCR, Uno, Memory, Trouble, and Skip bo. We wrapped the month with a Thanksgiving party filled with laughs during our minute to win it games. We are very Thankful for our members who fill our days with with joy.





OUT AND ABOUT IN THE COMMUNITY

This month, we want to send a shout out to our FABULOUS neighbors. Ashley at Luxe + Lennox, everyone at Wisconsin Farm and Home Realty Group, and Zak at V2 Adventure Products have been the best neighbors we could ask for. From bringing treats in for holidays to stopping in to say hello, they take every opportunity to interact with and forge positive relationships with the clients and staff. Please help us support these businesses.


DID YOU KNOW?

We wanted to share a new app we found recently that we enjoy. Let Me Talk is a free app. It is similar to Proloquo2go, to be used as a communication tool. You can also add your own images and words to personalize it.








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