Working With People in a Culture of Gentleness: May 20-21, 2014

Working with people, a gentle teaching practicum-Creative Options Regina

Working With People in a Culture of Gentleness is a  two day training designed for direct care-givers and supervisors.  It teaches the basics of providing positive supports and the important role of a gentle caregiver.

COR’s partnership with the Center for Positive Living Supports (CPLS) has proven to have a tremendous impact on our organization! With only two organizations in Saskatchewan rooted in a culture of gentleness, the center has been instrumental in supporting the development of our caregiver training programs and leadership development initiatives; all of which serve to enhance the knowledge and skill set of our caregivers, subsequently improving the quality of life of individuals served.

Saskatchewan is currently in the midst of great change! With our Premier’s commitment to make Saskatchewan the best place for people to live in Canada with a disability, and with the planned closure of the provincial institution in 2016, we are collaborating with our provincial government to further expand and deepen this culture of gentleness across Saskatchewan; we are truly grateful for the support of the Center for Positive Living Supports for their commitment to collaboration and support in cultivating a culture of gentleness in a region far from the state of Michigan.

On May 20-21st, COR will be welcoming Deirdre Mercer, Senior Training Consultant, CPLS to Regina. Deirdre is a licensed social worker with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education from Central Michigan University. She loves the opportunity to spread a Culture of Gentleness and uses the lessons learned at MORC to teach others.  Her motto is, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting their battle too.”

2014 Campus For All Year End Showcase

Yearend Showcase-happy happy!On April 29th, 2014 at the University of Regina, Campus For All held its year end showcase featuring 12 students, one of which is graduating from the Campus For All program.

“Just like most University students, every now and then I’d get a complaint from a student that they had too much work to do! So I knew they were learning a lot .”  – Vianne Timmons (president of the University). She gave a lovely address to reiterate how important the Campus For All program is to the University of Regina.

And of course a showcase wouldn’t be a showcase without punch and cake! (we heard very good feedback on the cake)

The yearend showcase is to show the world what these amazing students have done over the past year. Attendance seems to be growing. There wasn’t an empty chair in the room when the formal part of the afternoon proceeded. After the formal program the attention was turned to the students where they had the opportunity to show off their year projects to all who attended.

If you were wondering where in the University on that Tuesday afternoon were the most smiles and joy being shared, I would have said at the Campus For All showcase.

We’re incredibly excited to announce a brand new partnership focused on inclusive employment with Campus For All, the University of Regina Career Centre, Sasktel, Strategy Lab, and Creative Options Regina. The world head quarters for this new project is www.4to40.ca. Stay in touch for more details in the coming weeks.

If you want to listen to more about the year end show case here is the CBC Morning Edition interview.

 

A Night at the Ritz…aka BeerBros

Sleepless in Seattle Award-COR

The “Sleepless in Seattle” Award

In Saskatchewan the month of April is often the most anticipated month of the year: the snow finally begins to melt and spring slowly makes its appearance. People everywhere just seem a little bit happier. Unfortunately, this year Mother Nature didn’t get the memo and the cold just kept on coming.  So in lieu of spring’s arrival the fine people at Creative Options Regina chose to throw an Employee Appreciation Night, to lighten the winter blues.

In collaboration with the Gentle Teaching Symposium that was taking place in the city, a handful of us at COR set out to create a party atmosphere: bringing together both employees and guests to enjoy a few drinks, good food and great conversations. During the evening there was a buzz throughout the room—conversations were flying, laughter was boisterous: the energy was undeniable.

As part of a volunteer group of employees self-titled as the “Fun Club”, we set out to assist in planning social event’s within COR, for its employees and the individuals we serve. With our guests present there was no better time than to honor some of our own with employee awards. Not wanting our awards to be simply be accepted and then disposed of as soon as the winners walked into the front door of their homes: we thought that we would add some spunk and creativity of our own to the mix. In order to make things fair, we sent out the five categories and requested that fellow employees nominate those whom they thought deserving of the award. The categories, descriptions and victors are as follows:

    1. The Mother Hen Award was to be awarded to a person who gave freely of themselves to not only the supported individual, but also others around them. This person was to encompass a spirit of selflessness. The winner of this award went to Elaine Godon: a sweetheart through and through.
    2.  The Mentorship Award was awarded to Krystel Eddy for investing her time and energy into the lives of other supports, with the intent of building a stronger support system within COR.
    3. Kelsey Tiechrob walked away with the Swiss Army Knife Award. Over the course of his time with COR, Kelsey has dazzled his onlookers with his ability to be a multi-functional team player: being adaptable to new situations while being able to support almost anyone.
    4. The Sunnyside Up Award, was to be given to a person who exhibited a continuous spirit of optimism. When it came down to deciding a winner, the judges were unanimous, Ryan Robinson was the man! With his ‘perma-smile’ always locked and loaded, the choice was easy.
    5. The Gentle Giant Award was endowed to Matt Chin for exuding a spirit of gentle teaching: not only in his work life, but also in his personal life. 

And then there was one! A surprise award for Michael Lavis: to acknowledge all of his hard work and contribution to the organization as well as give a little praise, where praise is due. The award that Michael received was entitled, ‘The Sleepless in Seattle Award’: for getting the most done (and being successful at it) on the least amount of sleep. Did I mention that along with a small token of appreciation, came personalised tacky yet tasteful trophies? Embellished with ‘gold plated’, one of a kind figurines they were the envy of the ball.

The night was fun and with a great turnout of supports and guests it left everyone in anticipation for the next COR social gathering. If you want to join the ‘Fun Club’ pre-approved applications can be found by contacting Michael Lavis at michael@creativeoptionsregina.ca 

Ben, COR Support

 

Citizen’s Consultation Team

Government is committed to making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada for persons with disabilities to live. Together with the disability community and all Saskatchewan citizens, the Province is developing a comprehensive disability strategy to make this a reality.

The Strategy will focus on the priority areas specified in the Plan for Growth: housing; transportation; employment; education; support for community inclusion; and support for caregivers. Other priorities may be identified during the consultation process.

A fifteen member Citizen Consultation Team (CCT), appointed by the Minister of Social Services, has been tasked with leading the public forums that will start April 28th, 2014 in Swift Current and will continue across the province throughout the month of May 2014.

The public forums are an opportunity for you and/or your organization to: identify issues specific to your experience with disability; share your ideas on how to improve programs, services and opportunities for people who experience disability; and, give your perspective on other potential pieces of the Strategy, such as the common understanding of disability and the vision, values and principles.

Ensure that you and your members get involved in the discussion!

 

For more information on the Saskatchewan Disability Strategy, click here.

Finding Value in My Day: May 7th, 2014

Cara Milne- person centred planning

This practical workshop will begin by learning about the power of creating valued roles for children or adults with disabilities. Those attending will leave with a better understanding of how to improve the quality of someone’s day, based on building genuine relationships and roles, rather than only supporting them in activities.

This workshop will also examine ways in which people with disabilities can increase their involvement within their own homes and the surrounding neighborhoods. Cara will give some first steps in how to support people with disabilities to lead inclusive and value filled lives. 

Who is Cara Milne? Cara is the owner of M-Powered Planning Ltd, a Calgary business that promotes positive and valuable roles for people with disabilities. The variety of workshops and seminars encourage staff and families to see the strengths of their existing services, and simple strategies that create positive changes in the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities. Cara’s positive and energetic approach supports both common sense and sustainable change.

Out-care the Competition: how to compete in a changing world

The Gentle Teaching Symposium was held in Regina in April 2014. On the Thursday afternoon of the symposium, Jeph Maystruck from Regina’s Strategy Lab led the workshop “Out-care The Competition: how to compete in a changing world”.

Here are the slides from the workshop:

Read more

2014 CASE National Supported Employment Conference

CASE Conference 2014

The Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE) is hosting their annual conference this June in Regina. This years theme is “Workplace Diversity, The Big Picture – The CASE Continues”.

If you want to learn more about the National Supported Employment Conference click here.

Gentle Teaching Symposium

Gentle-Teaching-Symposium

Gentle Teaching Symposium
Date: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Time: 7-9pm
Venue: Research & Innovation Centre, Lecture Theatre 119 (University of Regina)   

This community event, hosted by Dr. Jim Daschuk & UofR students enrolled in Health Studies 301, will bring together COR Supports, families and community stakeholders to hear stories of how Gentle Teaching philosophy and practice is influencing people’s lives across Canada.

Welcome To COR!

COR You ChooseIn an effort to support our government’s goal to make Saskatchewan the best place for people with disabilities to live, COR continues to develop personalized supports for our provinces most marginalized citizens, while collaborating with community partners to forge out new opportunities for our sector at large.

COR strives to be on the cutting edge of our sector in exploring growth and development opportunities for individuals supported, while too offering a unique work environment for our employees. By investing in professional development and enhanced training opportunities, COR’s aim is to develop a cadre of knowledgeable and deeply skilled mentors committed to the vision of our dear friend John: a systematic change toward a culture of gentleness.

Thank you to all the fellow community organizations, local businesses, community members and the Ministry of Social Services, Community Living Service Delivery for their continued support in allowing us to develop unique opportunities personalized to the people we serve; we are truly blessed to be in a community that recognizes the need for compassion in serving those most marginalized. A special thank you to all the families, support personnel, board members and individuals of COR for making each and every day truly special – you all continue to be our source of inspiration!

Michael Lavis,
Executive Director, COR