When: November 5, 2015 2-3pm
Where: Saskatchewan Science Centre Theatre
Mark Wafer is the owner of six Tim Hortons franchises in Ontario. Over the past 20 years, Mark and his wife Valerie have hired 118 people with disabilities and currently employ 46 people with disabilities from a work force of 250.
Mark believes there is a clear business case for inclusive employment.
Well 4to40 is at it again! This time it was the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce writing about the impact the program is having at the University.
To download the Saskatchewan Chamber Newsletter, click here –> Jan 2015 Edition
In celebrating our fifth anniversary, COR’s Board of Director’s and Management Team took time to reflect on our efforts to forge out meaningful opportunities for people experiencing disability in Regina, SK. If you have ever wondered what COR’s Vision, Mission and Values Statements are, look no further!
COR will foster a culture of gentleness by nurturing authentic relationships, embracing diversity and supporting people to live the life they choose.
COR develops innovative support that facilitates opportunities for personally meaningful growth and interdependent relationships where people feel safe and valued.
- COR will provide support in accordance with the contractual obligations of its funders within the framework of Gentle Teaching and Person Centeredness.
- Support through COR is tailored to reflect the individuality of people.
- COR is a culture of continuous learning that puts people’s dignity and respect as its foundational principle.
- COR respects the value and individuality of all people.
- COR values interdependence and recognizes the strengths of all.
- COR values the opportunity of full participation for every citizen.
- COR fosters a culture of ongoing reflection and continuous learning.
- COR respects the autonomy of every individual.
- COR seeks to empower individuals to live the life they choose.
- To develop and facilitate flexible, personalized supports for individuals experiencing disability.
- To support an individual regardless of their abilities when appropriate resources are available.
- To ensure support is designed to meet what matters most to the individuals we serve.
- To collaborate with an individual’s personal and professional network to promote success.
- To welcome, encourage and support the involvement of families and personal networks in the lives of the individuals and all aspects of the organization.
- To develop partnerships with community organizations who share a common vision.
- To maintain a fiscally responsible organization.
When joining the team at Creative Options Regina (COR) I had no idea what I was getting involved in.
Everything I knew about COR consisted of knowing I would be working with individuals with intellectual disabilities, that I would be there to help improve their quality of life and to help these individuals through their day as a support person. After six months at COR I have realized that this kind of work goes well beyond what I initially believed I would be getting into. As stated by COR itself, we as support workers follow two ideals: “first, giving each person a sense of feeling safe and loved with their caregivers as companions, and second, helping individuals to express love to others, both in the COR community and in the greater community.”
COR is not like any other job that I have had in the past.
Working other jobs, such as retail or customer service, I was able to distance myself as an individual after I left work; with COR this is not the case. The individuals I support in COR have taken on a role in my life, as well as I have theirs. When I am not supporting the individuals I am usually with, I often find myself wondering what they are doing that day, how their day is going and even missing spending time with them. This kind of relationship goes far beyond that of a working relationship. It becomes a friendship. As with any kind of friend you want to see them lead a good life, make good choices, and improve as an individual; these are all qualities closely related to the ideals followed by Gentle Teaching.
It is because of the friendship I have developed with the individuals I support that I believe I maintain a culture of gentleness. I treat the individuals I support the same way I would treat anyone in my life; with patience, tolerance, compassion and happiness. I am able to joke around and have fun with the individuals I support the same way I interact with my friends outside of COR. This is a special relationship that helps us create a healthy environment for these individuals to thrive and grow. Being able to view the individuals within COR in this light is what makes us different from other organizations that use physical restraints, consequences, and the use of reward and punishment for behavioural interventions. If we used these traditional practices it would hamper the kind of friendship that develops over time with the practice of Gentle Teaching and I would not be a capable support person or friend to the individuals I spend time with. It is because of the Gentle Teaching philosophy that I have come to love my time with COR and look forward to the time I spend with the people I support.
Kelly, COR Support
Each year in the Queen City, COR facilitates meaningful summer opportunities intended to explore our beautiful Regina and surrounding area. Participants are challenged to participate in new recreational and leisure activities along side friends and supports.
From June to August, COR’s Summer Adventure activities include: kayaking, sailing, hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, camping, nature trekking, Geo Caching, urban BBQ’s, outdoor sports, exploring urban and provincial parks, festivals and celebrations to name a few.
Participation is open to COR individuals, supports, family and friends.
Feeling up to the challenge? You can download COR’s Summer Adventure Program guide here.
— James Vickaryous (@JamesVickaryous) July 29, 2014
— James Vickaryous (@JamesVickaryous) July 30, 2014
— James Vickaryous (@JamesVickaryous) July 11, 2014
— James Vickaryous (@JamesVickaryous) July 11, 2014
For people being supported by services it is not person-centred planning that matters as much as the pervasive presence of person-centred thinking.
If people who use services are to have positive control over their lives, if they are to have self-directed lives within their own communities then those who are around the person, especially those who do the day to day work, need to have person centred thinking skills. Only a small percentage of people need to know how to write good person centred plans, but everyone involved needs to have good skills in person centred thinking; in the value based skills that underlie the planning.
In an effort to strengthen the person centred thinking skills of our supports and leadership team, COR has partnered with HSA Canada to further mentor our organization in deepening our person-centred culture. With this unique partnership, Julie Malette (HSA Canada) is mentoring both COR, and our partner SAI (Saskatoon), to establish provincial trainers/mentors in Person Centered Thinking Skills. Together we are striving for Person Centred change!