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This philosophy has such a unique meaning and purpose in everyone’s life!

gentle teaching has taught me-trent

Gentle Teaching has genuinely transformed the person I am today, but most importantly, the person I am continuously working to be. Gentle Teaching has not only showed me a fundamentally different way of approaching life here at COR, but it has allowed me to approach my everyday life differently. Through my training, through the conversations, and through my supportive role here at COR, I have been exposed to the importance of empathy. Gentle Teaching has indisputably opened my eyes to the ability to understand why people react in the ways they do, why people feel the way they do, and furthermore, gives me the skills towards painting a picture of their reality to embody who they indeed are. This philosophy has such a unique meaning and purpose in everyone’s life, and I believe that is the pure beauty in it. For me, I have grasped raising Gentle Teaching as a way of living, not only for myself, but so that I can positively make my mark on each person I encounter. Gentle Teaching has embedded in me the importance to take on every day with the hopes of lifting others up through collaboratively and patiently working together. Applying Gentle Teaching to my everyday life has been a transformation I could have never imagined when I began here at COR. I have learned to value each person for who they are genuinely, but more importantly, to live a life of empowering each other. I have always been a team-oriented person. With the addition of this philosophy, they want for the empowerment of everyone around me, they strive to build everyone’s confidence with their own identity, and their meaning is amplified.

Trent,

COR Family Memberthis philosophy has meaning in it

 

Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture

Throughout my years of experience with COR (which started in October of 2015) there has been several challenging situations!

This culture of being genuine and gentle is maintained by being patient

However, this did not discourage me! Genuine care is the key to my consistent ability to support those in need.  Being genuine and gentle is maintained by being patient, forgiving and optimistic! Not getting caught up with the little things and assuring to leave at the end of the day on a positive note. COR allowed me and others to make a difference on a daily basis, and that is the long term goal. Making a difference every day allows me to come the following day demonstrating positivity and genuine care. “Be kind to one another”- Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen has been a television host that I follow and watch religiously; she reminds us to be gentle, kind and mild-mannered to each other. Every home deserves this attitude, and the individuals I support really need a gentle environment. This is a culture that will affect the world in a positive way. Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture within the team of individuals I serve.

Jason,

COR Family Member

Smiling, caring and listening is all a part of creating this gentle culture within the team of individuals I serve

‘I love the freedom to move and the feeling of the outdoors!’

Employment means something different to every person. Some folks enjoy the social aspects of a job where the people make the work tolerable. Some prefer a role where they can put their head down and get things done for 8 hours a day and then go home to resume life the way they truly want. For Trent employment is all of these things. For Trent, employment adds variety.

When asked about what the perfect job for Trent would be he replied, ‘For me it would be the perfect mix of things. I don’t just like one job over another. I like to have time at home to chill out, and I also like to meet new people at work. If I had to choose I would say I’d be a mechanic in the afternoons and then relax by the water and skateboard all night!’ As Trent is a self-proclaimed ‘night owl’ evenings are made for leisure and relaxation.When I am skating I can let go, be myself, and let my worries drift away

Over the course of our conversation it became quite evident that Trent’s heart belongs to skateboarding in the summertime. When asked about his passion Trent stated, ‘I love the freedom to move and the feeling of the outdoors! When I am skating I can let go, be myself, and let my worries drift away!’ Trent also talked at length about his desire to keep up his skills and dedicate as much time as possible to practicing which is truly admirable when working toward any goal!

Finally, when asked about what he spends all his extra cash on, Trent lit up and said, ‘with my money I want to save enough to treat my family to things like Pats games or trips. I also want to make some upgrades to my skateboard like to the wheels and axels. New bearings would be sweet too!’

In getting to know Trent it has been my greatest pleasure to learn about his value to any work place. He loves to belong to team and is a dedicated partner to be able to count on. He values his work life balance and is never afraid to share in conversation-especially if it’s about the great outdoors or thrashing during the summer. He is adaptable, polite, and an all-around unique guy!

Thank you Trent for sharing your passions with me!

 

Ben Morris,

COR Family Member

 

Gentle Teaching has inspired me!

Gentle Teaching has inspired me to not only become a better support, but a better person, future educator, friend and family member. Gentle Teaching is not something I do when at work, but rather a lifestyle change to improve the way I live my life with the hope to influence those around me. It is important for me to build meaningful relationships that will last a lifetime with the people I support. Gentle Teaching has taught me the importance of valuing someone regardless of any mistake or negative behavior they might display. Gentle teaching has also taught me the importance of unconditional love — this can be shown in many forms, such as getting involved in the individuals lives, learning their likes and dislikes, sticking with them through hard times and providing reassurance we will get through this together.

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am today by guiding me away from your typical caregiver role into a support who plays a more meaningful role in a person’s life. I am inspired to be a better person than I was yesterday and who I will be tomorrow.

I am inspired to be a better person than I was yesterday

Brooklyn,

COR Family Member

 

Gentle Teaching has taught me that relationship building is so important when helping people.

Gentle teaching has changed the way I have relationships in my personal and professional life

Prior to supporting at COR, I hadn’t heard of the term Gentle Teaching; however, it is the main reason that I wanted to support at COR. Growing up, I knew I wanted to help people, but there is so much more to just helping people. Gentle Teaching has taught me that relationship building is so important when helping people. I have learned that there are many factors that make up building a positive relationship. That is where the four pillars of Gentle Teaching come in. One must first feel safe. When someone feels safe with another person they can open up and create the basis of a strong relationship. I use this with the individuals that I support and with the people in my everyday life. This is a skill I have learned, that I will use in my future practice as a Social Worker, when starting new relationships with my clients. The next pillar is to feel loved. Every person wants to feel loved, valued, and respected. I want the people that I support and work with to feel loved, valued, and respected by me. The next pillar in Gentle Teaching is loving. I love this pillar, as it lets people know that it is okay to show others that you love and care for them. I used this everyday in my personal life and when I’m supporting by letting others give me hugs, high-fives, etc. Everyone desires human connection, and I believe it is so important to make sure people who want human connection, get that. The last pillar is engaged. I think this one is very important. Healthy relationships are ones that have good communication and engagement. I have learned from COR and my studies to have branching conversations with others. This means to not just listen to someone, but to actively listen by making eye contact, asking questions about what the other person is telling you, and being present the entire time. I use these skills with my friends, family, and partner when they are talking to me. I also use these skills when I am supporting, so that the individuals feel heard, valued, and respected. I hope to also use this skill in my future social work career, as I hope to be a counselor one day, and being engaged during a counseling session is very important. I also love that Gentle Teaching doesn’t use the reward/punishment way of altering behavior. By using the four pillars of Gentle Teaching, I hope that the people I support now and, in the future, will change and grow with me, by going at the pace that each individual needs. Gentle Teaching has changed the way I have relationships in my personal and professional life.

using the four pillars of gentle teaching

Amelia,

COR Family Member

 

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.

 

Regina Leader-Post: Celebrating the Value of Every Person

On December 3rd, 2019, COR was featured in the Regina Leader-Post in celebration of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

Read the article below:

To view online, visit: https://www.pressreader.com/canada/regina-leader-post/20191203/282175062982247

Proceeds from 2019 India Night donated to 4to40

 

Read the story on the UofR website: https://www.uregina.ca/external/communications/feature-stories/current/2019/11-07.html

 

 

A Dream Come True

Inclusive employment opportunities are ideal for everyone. There are emerging prospective employees who get the opportunity to work as equals alongside amazing employers within our progressive city. However, we are not always as aware of the unsung heroes working tirelessly in the background. The journey these champions embark on can sometimes be long and filled with twists, turns, struggles and triumphs. They don’t wear capes, but they relentlessly work towards what is best for the people closest to them. These champions are the families!

The following is a testimonial from Jarred’s family sharing their perspective on his journey.

                                               A DREAM COME TRUE

“As a family, we have always wished for Jarred to have the opportunity to be employed earning a decent wage. As parents, we pursued inclusive work placements for Jarred, but we were never successful in accessing employment for him. Jarred also wanted to live in his own home. It was a very happy day in March of 2015 when he was able to move into his own condo with a roommate that was supported by Creative Options Regina. Jarred wanted everything that his sister was experiencing.

Jarred completed high school at Dr. Martin LeBoldus High School in 2002, where he had various work experience opportunities through his high school and the Saskatchewan Abilities Council. He was employed at the Cosmopolitan Learning Centre Satellite Program for almost fifteen years and received a small paycheque each month. Through this opportuity, he became skilled in doing various cleaning jobs at businesses in the community, mostly when they were closed. While working at the Satellite Program, he also attended Campus For All at the University of Regina. Jarred really enjoyed attending his University classes and convocated in 2012. It was the highlight of his workweek when he could attend classes as he flourished in the inclusive university community.

Jarred was aware that some of his workmates from the Satellite Program were getting new employment. He would often come home from work and tell us he wanted a new job — his Supervisor would phone me and ask if Jarred was getting new employment because he would tell her he was getting a new job. Many times he would ask to have a day off. We knew Jarred needed a change! Creative Options Regina was also aware that Jarred wanted a change. With our connection to Creative Options Regina and the Campus for All program, we were put in touch with Donna Flaman-Johnson from the 4to40 initiative. Donna found an employment opportunity for Jarred with Ranch Ehrlo Early Learning Centres. The position was to do cleaning in five elementary classrooms for three hours each day and he would stay at one school all week and then rotate to the other schools each week. He would be paid minimum wage, which seemed like a perfect fit. Jarred had to update his resume and go through an interview process (which he was nervous about), and as were we. We did some practice interviews to get him ready. He did very well, and we were so proud of him. Our DREAM CAME TRUE on May 6, 2019, when Jarred started his new job. He completed his three month probation in August, and he is now a very happy young man in his new work environment.

A sincere thank you to Jarred’s family, as well as many others that put their trust in us and their children to live a life they want to live. Without the support of families, the growing inclusiveness in our communities wouldn’t be where it is today.

Ben & Sawyer

 

A Journey Through Inclusive Employment

Lucas Faye, alongside his family and Peco Nagai (Educational Facilitator at Campus For All), are actively defining what inclusive employment means to him, as well as working towards a vision for what it can be for everyone.

Lucas is currently a 4th year student at the University of Regina with assistance from Campus for All — an Inclusive Post-Secondary Education initiative for adults experiencing intellectual disability. Lucas is enrolled in courses that interest him, spreading positivity, love, and a contagious smile to the many people he meets on campus. One thing you might not know about Lucas is that he is also employed as a Teaching Assistant with the Center for Student Accessibility. He is also an employee of Special Olympics Saskatchewan. Students supported by Campus for All attend classes, participate in campus activities, create relationships, prepare for employment, and enjoy the same opportunities as their post-secondary peers. 

As we focus on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we reached out to Lucas, his family, and Peco to share their perspectives on inclusive employment. Together, our conversation focused on how important inclusion has been for Lucas and the culture of Campus for All. Peco shared her profound connection to her position as an immigrant who experienced many barriers to inclusion in a country she now calls home. She began her journey as a Student Advisor for the English as a Second Language program. More than twenty years later, Peco’s involvement [since 2016] in Campus For All has lead to the opportunity to meet, learn from, and grow beside Lucas. Peco identified her hopes for what people can achieve for themselves. 

“You must expect that people have their own goals for their lives, and that’s the number one focus, rather than putting our own expectations on students because students need to be respected as the people they are. . . I like to see people become proud of themselves and enjoy their lives fully, regardless of disability. They’re entitled to that.”

Peco also highlighted the importance of finding meaning within the work that we do while encouraging us to understand that finding meaning within a job is completely unique to every single person.

“Every job has meaning because it’s important for the team. If a job provides meaning to you, then it is a meaningful job” 

We asked Peco: How can we better promote and encourage inclusive employment?

Peco provided insight on understanding the positive impact that individuality can offer to a workplace and our communities.

“The number one thing is giving people a chance, as well as not to be afraid. These people are not fragile, they are strong, they are adults and they are our equals that come to work. Don’t be overly protective. Work together from your heart, because sometimes we close our kindness and simply saying ‘that’s okay, you don’t have to do this’ is not being kind. Have the mindset that you CAN do it, think about how you can do it. . .Or better yet, let’s think together.”

Both Lucas and Peco reflected on the meaningful work within his role. Shredding important confidential documents, folding T-shirts for the Student Success Centre, and maintaining the integrity of the computers in the office are among some of the key duties he fulfills. Peco also shared an important story regarding Lucas’ character advancement and how it has impacted her as a person.

“We planned a big celebration – a big event welcoming about sixty people and Lucas planned everything from menus, to budget, invitations, the master of ceremonies, the clean-up and setup and everything involved. I was amazed at how much Lucas could do. . . I realized that we need to have higher expectations of these students. I explained, he learned, and he did it. So I had to learn to trust him. . . Lucas surprised so many people. We invited office workers, managers, directors — all were just surprised. This made the Centre of Student Accessibility realize they wanted Lucas as a casual employee – so thank you, Lucas.”

While Peco discussed how much professional development has occurred within Lucas, she also realized that as an employer, trusting in his abilities supported his natural growth. Peco identified how her trust evolved into counting on Lucas in his role.

“Strength will build up more and more, so please don’t count on the first appearance of people. It’s about the opportunity we provide for people. . . Being part of a team, we realize how much we rely on the good work that Lucas provides to the team and the only thing we expect is him being himself. . . four years ago when Lucas came, he was my first student. I never would have thought that Lucas would be here right now.”

A strong support system plays an important role in the success of any student or employee. Lucas’ family worked together with Peco in order to support the successes and failures that Lucas has experienced along the way. As an inclusive employer, a connection with families is a key factor for the development and success of the employee.

“Lucas’ parents trusted me, they did not see me as a person that pushed too much by bringing him to that overworked zone. They also supported me and we communicated very closely about the work we wanted him to do, the challenges and stresses in order to work towards a better outcome next time. . . Family support is very big.”

Lucas added to the conversation by sharing his own perception of the role he fulfils at Campus for All. He identified his achievements in event organization and utilization of computer programs, which landed among his most meaningful duties.

“I make student lists for people’s classes like time, location, e-mail addresses. . . data entry into Excel, Powerpoint and Word”

Given Lucas’ exuberant character, we were interested in asking him a few questions about what makes him so awesome. We asked Lucas what he loves to do in his spare time.

“Music, listening on my iPod: Abba, Barenaked Ladies, all kinds of stuff. If I had a million dollars is my favourite!”

And once asked how much he would share with us if he had a million dollars, Lucas jokingly responded “I’d give a thousand to each of you guys.” We also asked Lucas what his dream job is. If he could be anything in the world, what would he be?

“I’d like to be a bus driver, the city bus. . .I usually take the bus. . .I’ve helped Robbie, Taylor and Amelia too. I can do that, I can show people how to ride the bus”

When posed with the question of how he likes to spend his hard earned money, Lucas stated:

“I usually save it, I’m not much of a spender. I save up for games and eventually would save up to go to Los Angeles to go on Disney rides.”

We also asked Lucas if he would recommend that people become part of Campus for All. 

“I recommend people work for Campus for All. I enjoy working here.”

Allen, Lucas’ father, shared the family’s insight on how opportunity has opened up for his son. The inclusiveness they have experienced together has largely shaped the man Lucas is.

“Now he has even gained employment right in the University to help him get further trained for his employment and life ahead. This is all so important. He has just started this job, but I know that they will be so inclusive and open to him. So, as you can see, Lucas has been very fortunate to have had great opportunities over the past.”

Allen expressed the family’s deep gratitude for the roles that so many have had in Lucas’ life over the years. He also shared his perception of Campus for All and the message it sends for a more inclusive society.

“Not only does it give a chance for a much better life for students with better job opportunities, self-sufficiency and a more blossoming interest in life and education. It also helps regular students learn to accept, understand and integrate those with an intellectual disability in their own lives. I hope and pray that this program can always continue and expand so much further and help so many more people.”

Lucas, thank you for being YOU. You are defining what employment truly means for you. You actively show us what opportunity, trust and empowerment can offer for inclusiveness within our communities. Way to go, Lucas!