When Dreams Meet Opportunity

Meet Austin.

Through years of getting to know Austin, we at COR have become increasingly aware of his passion for recycling. It’s no secret that when you see his engaging smile around our studio, cruising the neighbourhood or cleaning up many communities, that he will have some form of recycling with him. As Austin has grown into the man he is today, his innate care for plastic waste has followed closely beside him. He has made great efforts to transform this passion into filling a very serious gap in this city: the proper way to recycle. As we dug deeper into this issue, Austin helped us to realize just how much he knows about proper disposal of waste and how far we still need to go. This gap in knowledge is just one thing that Austin is actively bringing awareness to. What we admire about Austin, though, is his inspiration to do more than just talk the talk.

We teamed up with him in his quest to rid this city of improper recycling due to the lack of recycling literacy there is. Though this is an overwhelmingly large feat, we believe Austin has the drive and fire in his soul to do it. Every dream must begin with an idea, so we combined our hearts, and our minds and got to work.

This summer, Austin, Chelsi and a few others at COR created an easy-to-follow informative household video based on the city’s guidelines for proper recycling. Together, we then took to the streets of Regina, knocking on doors and setting up appointments to share this message and begin filling this gap. Austin is laying his own foundation for a bright future based on his vision for a cleaner city and a cleaner world.

It’s people like Austin that truly change the world. By not settling for good enough or turning a blind eye to important issues, Austin has turned his passion into a much needed resource for our city.

Austin, you inspire us to believe that we all have the ability to make positive impacts on the environment and in the lives of others around us. Thank you for being you.

 

Never TMI website promotes accessible and comprehensive sexuality education for people with disabilities

February 13th, 2019, Saskatoon — Saskatoon Sexual Health, Creative Options Regina, and Inclusion Saskatchewan are pleased to announce a new companion website for our modern and innovative sexual wellness initiative Tell It Like It Is! just in time for Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Week 2019.

Tell It Like It Is!  is a revolutionary program—It is sex-positive, inclusive, and comprehensive; the purpose is to assist diverse learners in making life choices that promote optimal health and wellness in all dimensions of life. Using a compassionate approach, each module offers various learning opportunities through topics such as: communication skills; hygiene; online safety; developing goals and dreams; building healthy relationships; as well as sexual health education on topics such as STBBIs. Evidence indicates that people with intellectual disabilities do not receive adequate health information and education. “It has been our experience that when health education like Tell It Like It Is! is provided participants experience positive outcomes such as identifying healthy relationships, having the capacity to make informed decisions, and have fewer vulnerabilities to abuse.” Michael Lavis, Executive Director of Creative Options Regina.

This project reaches further than the individuals who participate in the programming, as it aims to support caregivers, educators, healthcare professionals, and the disability services sector by sharing information about existing resources and supports related to sexual health and well-being. The demand for this one-of-a-kind program continues to grow, with interest from all over Canada and North America. To increase access to the project, the Instructor’s Manual is available at no cost online at our new website www.nevertmi.ca. The website was created in collaboration with Strategy Lab (Regina), and will continue to grow as a resource hub for sexual health and wellness education for diverse learners.

The goal with this project is to develop a community of individuals and organizations that will respect, value and celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of people with intellectual disabilities and their collective lived experiences. “We are all entitled to loving, fulfilling, and healthy relationships— Tell It Like It Is! promotes an environment where there’s never too much information, and participants are encouraged to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and gain vital life skills” said Heather Hale, Executive Director, Saskatoon Sexual Health.

To learn more about Tell It Like It Is, we invite the community to join us at an upcoming Community Collaboration and Learning Opportunity in Saskatoon on March 15, 2019: Sexual Health Education and People with Developmental Disabilities.

 

Website: www.nevertmi.ca

Further Information:

United Nations Population Fund: Young Persons with Disabilities: Global Study on Ending Gender-Based Violence, and Realising Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

 

Royal Roads University article on innovation features COR

“These solution-seekers want to tackle problems head on. This is not your traditional way of doing business.”

When you’ve got a big question with no clear answer, it’s time to innovate.

That’s what drew Glenda Tarnowski to Royal Roads Graduate Certificate in Corporate Social Innovation program.

As the director of professional practice for the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta (CLPNA), Tarnowski provides leadership support to licenced practical nurses (LPNs) in the delivery of safe, patient-centered care.

As the healthcare landscape changes and an aging population increases, so does the need for specialized and responsive healthcare.

She, along with the leadership team at CLPNA asked themselves, “How do we best prepare LPNs to meet the care needs of the changing demographic?”

Social innovation was made for questions like these, says Colleen McCormick, who teaches in the graduate certificate program and brings the principles and practices of social innovation alive as director of Connected Communities BC in the Ministry of Citizens’ Services.

“Social innovation is about co-creating solutions with the people who are living the problems,” she says. “Bringing diverse people and sectors together to radically collaborate on addressing a complex issue at the systems level is what makes the field of social innovation so fascinating to study and play in.”

McCormick says social innovators are driven by social impact, so they don’t care much for “Band-Aid” fixes.

“These solution-seekers want to tackle problems head on. This is not your traditional way of doing business.”

The six-month program is offered through Professional and Continuing Studies and is designed for those looking to incorporate social concerns and solutions into the very fabric of their organizations—whether in government, business or the non-profit sector.

Michael Lavis is the executive director for Creative Options Regina (COR), a non-profit organization that provides supports for adults and youth experiencing disability. He registered for the program to help him identify blind spots within the organization.

“The program is helping us better understand what drives innovation and to dissect and build a strong, healthy vibrant organization that has value for stakeholders,” he says.

Lavis says COR realized the benefit of focusing not only on the people who access supports, but also on caregivers. He says COR knows a strong, vibrant care team is key to providing exceptional care.

“We intentionally shifted our focus and looked at who all of our stakeholders are and what we’re doing to nurture those relationships,” he says. “The program is really helping us frame that.”

Assoc. Prof. Robert Mittelman, one of the program designers, says organizations are increasingly looking to build social needs into their business models.

“Corporate social innovation is about looking forward. It’s about using an intervention to address a social issue, whether it’s a new product, service or a change to how your organization operates,” Mittelman says. “It’s about putting that social issue at the centre of your business strategy.”

The blended program includes three applied courses that introduce participants to the foundations of corporate social innovation, design thinking and the principles of measurement and scale.

“Students go back to their organizations the next day, after a new module is released, and build change right from the start of the program,” Mittelman says.

 

August 28, 2018

By: Lisa Weighton

Click here to view the article on the RRU website.

What’s Your Why?

We’re happy to announce we’re embarking upon an exciting journey with our friends at TREEO.

We need to hear from you!

In the Spring of 2018, our board of directors and leadership team will dive into some Strategic Planning sessions to guide our work into 2020.

This exciting work includes a review of our current Vision, Mission and Values. What will drive these planning sessions is understanding, describing and reaffirming our purpose. This includes COR’s overall purpose but more importantly, the purpose of those who make COR great – you. Our talented employees.

Through a series of fun activities and teambuilding events, we’ll be examining the concept of purpose.

To better understand your purpose, we’ve formed a partnership with our friends at TREEO. Who’s TREEO, you ask? Well, some of you had the opportunity to work with this local organization a few months ago, when they facilitated a series of teambuilding events and innovation incubator activities. They pride themselves on providing an authentic, human experience, and empowering the organizations within our community that make a difference. Most importantly, they’re thrilled to walk alongside us on this journey.

You’re probably wondering – what do we mean by “purpose”?

You wake up every morning, come to work, and do what you do best for those we serve. But why? The answer to this question can be different for everyone, and it reflects the importance you attach to the work you do. It gives what you do meaning, and taps into your idealistic motivations. To get at your purpose, we’ll be examining a single, powerful question: What‘s Your Why?

Click Here to watch our video and to learn more about purpose, and why it’s important to COR to understand yours. A big thanks to our friend and local musician, Prairie Mountain Man, for providing the soundtrack!

Let’s get started!

COR & Treeo

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.

 

Michael Lavis,

Executive Director

 

Vulnerabilities of Caregivers – John J. McGee

“Although our vulnerabilities and the external threats to our wellbeing are in many ways nothing compared to those of the persons whom we serve, it is important that we recognize our own before dealing further with the vulnerabilities of those whom we serve.

We are all vulnerable to breakdowns in our personal values. Sometimes these can be due to how we feel and what we are experiencing within ourselves; at other times we can be part of a system that makes it harder for us to respond to our shared values. If a caregiver is afraid of being hurt, he/she then becomes more likely to use restraint to control violent behaviors. Or, if a caregiver is depressed, then it is extremely hard to bring joy to others. If we are being beaten and de-valued at home, it is hard to bring non-violence into someone else’s home.

John J. McGee’s “Mending Broken Hearts” CPLS Newsletter

Many of our vulnerabilities are worsened by lack of adequate training and hands-on supervision. Some caregivers are quite isolated and seldom have the opportunity to discuss their problems and search for new responses to challenging situations. It is critical that caregivers recognize their weaknesses and find ways to overcome them. Community leaders need to listen to caregivers and find ways to offer support and encouragement.

Caregivers need to find their own self-worth from themselves, talking frequently, sharing their anxieties, and pointing out their goodness. Our own worth has to be generated from within ourselves. We need to form strong communities.

The question of burnout seems to be always present. Some caregivers give up and attribute their burnout to poor supervision, working in violent settings, receiving little guidance, or low pay. Since we are not only teaching feelings of companionship, but also a sense of community, it is important for caregivers to look at themselves, question their reality, and search for ways for themselves to feel safer, more engaged, and more valued. The first step in this is to step back and examine those things that make us vulnerable.

Let us take a moment to reflect on these aspects of our lives — recognizing these will help us understand better the needs of those whom we serve.”

 

~Excerpt from John J. McGee’s “Mending Broken Hearts” — CPLS Newsletter.

 

Comic Book Club Brings Laughs and Lifeskills

COR, in partnership with Inclusion Regina and the Next Chapter Book Club is hosting a weekly Comic Book Club at Comic Readers Downtown!

Recently featured in the SARC Spring Update, Ben Morris, Comic Book Club Facilitator, had this to say:

“Comic Book Club has been a breath of fresh air. Not only do we get to reacquaint ourselves with our favorite characters and stories old and new, but we get to share them with like-minded friends in a fun and creative environment. Whether we’re reading, story-telling, or just taking out an hour of the day to let loose and laugh, The Club is where it’s at!”

For more information, contact Ben: ben@creativeoptionsregina.ca