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4to40 Transit Travel Training featured on Global News Regina

Regina program helps those with disabilities transition from Paratransit to city buses

Transit Travel Training

For people with disabilities, getting around the city can be daunting. But a unique program launched last year is making a difference in helping those individuals gain freedom and independence.

The Travel Training Program started as a pilot project in 2018 and is a partnership between the city, the University of Regina and Creative Options Regina.

Independence is one of the greatest things that’s come from this program,” said Ben Morris, creative director with Creative Options Regina. “It’s helped people get out there easily and as much as they want to.

“The first person who went through with us in its trial year was actually able to find gainful employment, based on the fact that they had learned to use conventional transit.”

“You had to book [Paratransit] in advance, and sometimes, if you wanted a trip the day of, you weren’t guaranteed a trip,” Pagan said.

But that all changed last year, when the pair made the jump to city transit after graduating from the program.

“We’ve been able to get around the whole city, basically,” Paige said. “Some places that we’ve never been before; other places we are going constantly because it’s our favourite hangout place. It’s just a sense of freedom where we don’t have to rely on Paratransit all the time.”

When it comes to making the switch, it comes down to fear for many. But thanks to transit travel trainers like Dylan Morin, who also went through the program, that fear quickly goes away.

“I’ve seen growth in a lot of people and hopefully it gets the demand off of Paratransit and more on regular transit,” Morin said. “It gives you the freedom and the chance to go wherever you want, whenever you want with hands-on training.”

So far, Morris is calling the program a success, saying the demand is increasing with two people currently on the waiting list.

“We’ve had quite a few asks to come out and speak to different organizations around the city, and every time we are there, we are getting questions about accessing the program,” Morris said.

For Pagan and Paige, the program means new opportunities and a new sense of confidence.

“You can’t live in fear,” Pagan said. “How do you know if you don’t try? I’ve learned that since I moved out, I always try new things and this is one of the best thing that’s ever happened to me.”

View the article on the Global News Regina website.

 

Gentle Teaching has helped me understand the importance of presence in a world that idealizes busyness.

Five years ago, I began supporting with COR and was introduced to Gentle Teaching for the first time. Unfortunately, I had to move from Regina soon after, so was only able to support for a few months. However, Gentle Teaching has stuck with me ever since. Since returning to COR in September, my understanding and knowledge of Gentle Teaching has expanded greatly. Gentle Teaching, particularly the tools and pillars of Gentle Teaching, have greatly impacted the person I am today, as well as the person I strive to be. Since my introduction to Gentle Teaching, I have used the tools (words, hands eyes and presence) as well as the pillars (engaged, safe, loved/valued and loving) of Gentle Teaching to improve the professional, social and therapeutic relationships in my life. I strive to create relationships with all people in my life that are supportive, strength-based and built on the foundation of gentleness.

One of the tools that I find incredibly important is presence. It is also the tool I find myself needing to work on most frequency. Being a student, supporting at COR, and maintaining social relationships is very hectic and I often find myself incredibly busy and overwhelmed. I often feel as if I am being pulled in many directions, and my mind is often focused on the next thing I need to do (support, exams, deadlines, volunteer, birthday parties, etc.). Gentle Teaching has helped me understand the importance of presence in a world that idealizes busyness. Since being re-introduced to the tools of Gentle Teaching, I have allowed myself time to put down the phone, relax my mind and really be attentive and conscientious of what I am presented with in the moment. I have noticed the impact this has had on my life, especially in clinical practice with school. As nursing students, we have a lot to think about and learn during clinical placements in hospitals and in the community. Whether it is researching medications, implementing care plans, learning new assessment skills, implementing techniques for the first time or trying to find the right questions to ask, this experience can be crazy and overwhelming. When I remind myself of the tools of Gentle Teaching and the importance of being present, I am able to take a step back and focus on the moment. I am able to take the time to focus on the most important part of the experience, the patient. By doing this I am able to then use the other tools of Gentle Teaching (words, hands, eyes) to support the apprehensive, reassure the nervous, listen to those with stories to tell and see the patient as a whole person. I believe this makes me a better student, and I know it will make me a better nurse, and a nurse I strive to be.

Gentle Teaching has greatly impacted the person I am today, as well as the person I aim to be. It has helped guide me in creating compassionate and gentle relationships with those around me. It has also helped me give myself permission to be gentle with myself. I am incredibly grateful that COR has introduced me to the pillars and tools of Gentle Teaching, and I know I will take them with me through the rest of my life.

Gentle Teaching has greatly impacted the person I am today

Lindsay,

COR Family Member

Adopting Gentle Teaching is a unique process for everyone because it becomes a natural element within us

adopting gentle teachingThe person I aspire to continue to be:
Gentle teaching was given to me as an analogy in the form of a hat. A hat is worn during the day, you can choose what hat you wear, or you can avoid the hat that day altogether, but at the end of the day, you hang that hat up. Gentle Teaching cannot operate with authenticity and genuineness if you hang up this philosophy at the end of your support time or when you interact with others. Adopting Gentle Teaching is a unique process for everyone because it becomes a natural element within us at different points, serving different purposes. It has transformed the person that I continue to be each day by allowing me to find positivity in any situation and seek the optimism required to solve problems.

It has shown me that all growth initially depends on identifying necessary change within ourselves to accommodate others first. However, the power of relationship capacity building allows us to progress from giving people what they desire (showing that with us, they are safe and loved), into compromising and then into natural win-win outcomes, which is one of the most meaningful feelings of growth and connection. Keeping Gentle Teaching within my character has taken me to new heights as an individual. It directly impacts the service I provide through COR and simultaneously teaching me the value of being present in the lives of loved ones. It has taught me the importance of my presence and how to project my energy in a loving, safe and welcoming way to those I communicate with.

gentle teaching has taught me-sawyer quote

A large portion of communication is non-verbal and based on body language, facial expression and our eyes/hands as tools to deliver a safe, never-violent message. Non-violence requires an understanding of what the other person perceives as violent – not what we view as violence. Gentle Teaching has taught me perseverance by seeing setbacks, failures, relapses and struggles as necessary stepping-stones to success and achievement together.

For example, diet and physical exercise are seen as a daunting, uncomfortable experience to most, yet it is essential for a healthy, balanced life. From the beginning of serving individuals within COR, this concept has been no exception. The setbacks, lack of motivation, struggles to engage in healthy dietary choices and adopting health-balanced lifestyles have all been very prevalent. The persistence and patience acquired through this philosophy, however, has disallowed me to give up on people in their process of change. Slowly but surely, we make incremental gains in change, transforming into habits and a valued component of our time spent together. This is only possible through relationship building due to three distinct reasons: they will see that we aren’t going to leave their lives or give up on them, no matter what we go through, we go through it together and lastly, our persistence is received as the care to see their quality of life improve.

Gentle Teaching has taught me the importance of expanding relationships as the core of providing meaning in others lives -it will never be what we do or say that is remembered, but how we make others feel through the time spent together. Treating the janitor of a building in the same fashion we treat the owner of that same building is who I will continue to be and strive to empower others to be as well.

Sawyer,

COR Family Member

 

Our presence can change the way a situation can unfold

As I embark further into my nursing career, I am truly thankful for the philosophy that COR has ingrained within me and my practice when it comes to helping others. During my last rotation, I assumed I would not learn anything new because I was placed in a community Mental Health setting. To my surprise, I learnt a lot about myself and how I care for others based on the philosophy that I have been practicing throughout my years supporting with COR. It really opened my eyes to how ingrained Gentle Teaching was in my blood.

There were many difficult moments that occurred during my time in this Mental Health community setting, but because of my experience with COR, I was able to approach each difficult situation with an open mind and open arms. My instructor was the first to point out how my face did not necessarily express the fear and anxiety that I should be feeling in moments such as this as a third year nursing student. I explained to her that from my previous experience, there is an underlying reason for such behaviour and that our presence can change the way a situation can unfold.

Our presence-Shelby, COR Family Member

She was curious to where this knowledge had come from, and how I managed to create such an inviting space for someone who was experiencing such emotional trauma. I explained to her the philosophy of Gentle Teaching and how it can completely change our interactions with people who are struggling. She was very curious, and was eager to learn more about our philosophy. For the remainder of my clinical rotation, she encouraged me to mentor some of my fellow classmates on how important it is to be able to change our approach to yield a more positive relationship with those who we are caring for. The idea of person-centred care closely aligns with the nursing philosophy of patient-centred care which makes this transition into nursing very inviting for myself.

This is only one example of how Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am, or aspire to be. I am looking forward to see how Gentle Teaching will influence the rest of my nursing career, and how I can educate others on person-centred care.

 

Shelby,

COR Family Member

Proud to be a 2019 Top Employer!

Preparing employees for tomorrow is what makes this year’s ‘Saskatchewan’s Top Employers’ stand out from the crowd

 

REGINA, Feb. 13, 2019 /CNW/ – A lot of employers talk about the need to train employees to make sure they have the skills needed to create the products that will be in demand tomorrow. But only a few leading employers have put these words into action. That’s the message from this year’s Saskatchewan’s Top Employers, announced today by the organizers of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project at Mediacorp Canada Inc.

Saskatchewan is unique in Canada in having a significant public-sector component to its economy combined with relatively modest levels of immigration,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “For employers, this makes it even more important to ensure their existing employees have the skills needed to succeed in tomorrow’s economy. More than in other parts of Canada, Saskatchewan employers have a significant incentive to develop the skills of their existing workforce.”

“We see Saskatchewan employers taking a greater role in preparing their employees for tomorrow’s skills,” adds Kristina Leung, Senior Editor at the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project.  “With softer prices for many of Saskatchewan’s primary commodities, more organizations are realizing they have to move up the value chain to compete internationally.  The best way to do this is with employees who have the skills needed to create products and services that the world needs.”

Here are some of the notable initiatives that the editors recognized this year:

  • Regina-based ISM Canada, a subsidiary of IBM Canada Ltd., operates a company-wide program called ‘Think 40’ that strongly encourages employees to complete a minimum of 40 hours professional development each year.
  • Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corp. encourages ongoing employee development through full tuition subsidies for training courses, whether or not the course is related to an employee’s current position.
  • Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies builds on its role as an educator by promoting employee skills development through in-house courses and subsidies (to $1,500) to obtain various professional certifications.
  • Saskatoon Police Service reaches out to the next generation through a dedicated summer jobs program for Aboriginal students, as well as a special outreach program to youth who are newcomers to Canada and interested in a career in policing.
  • Synergy Credit Union in Lloydminster encourages a culture of learning with tuition subsidies for courses that help employees improve their skills, plus cash bonuses (to $1,800) on the completion of particular training programs.

Now in its 14th year, Saskatchewan’s Top Employers is a special designation that recognizes Saskatchewan employers that lead their industries in offering exceptional places to work. Employers throughout Saskatchewan were evaluated by the editors at Canada’s Top 100 Employers using the same criteria as the national competition: (1) Physical Workplace; (2) Work Atmosphere & Social; (3) Health, Financial & Family Benefits; (4) Vacation & Time Off; (5) Employee Communications; (6) Performance Management; (7) Training & Skills Development; and (8) Community Involvement. Employers are compared to other organizations in their field to determine which offer the most progressive and forward-thinking programs. The annual competition is open to any employer with its head office in Saskatchewan; employers of any size may apply, whether private or public sector.

Founded in 1992, Mediacorp Canada Inc. is the nation’s largest publisher of employment periodicals. Since 1999, the Toronto-based publisher has managed the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project, which includes 18 regional and special-interest editorial competitions that reach over 13 million Canadians annually through a variety of magazine and newspaper partners. Mediacorp also operates Eluta.ca, the largest Canadian job search engine, which includes editorial reviews from the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project and is now used by almost 8 million users in Canada each year. Mediacorp also organizes the Top Employer Summit, Canada’s largest annual conference for senior-level HR professionals.

The full list of Saskatchewan’s Top Employers for 2019 is attached. This year’s winners were announced today in a special magazine published in the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon StarPhoenix. Detailed reasons for selection, with dozens of additional stories and photos, were released this morning and are accessible via the competition homepage.

Saskatchewan’s Top Employers
2019 Winners

3sHealth / Health Shared Services Saskatchewan, Regina
Access Communications Co-operative Ltd., Regina
ClearTech Industries Inc., Saskatoon
Cornerstone Credit Union Financial Group Limited, Yorkton
Creative Options Regina, Inc., Regina
Group Medical Services / GMS Insurance Inc., Regina
Harvard Developments Inc., Regina
Information Services Corporation / ISC, Regina
ISM Canada, Regina
K+S Potash Canada GP, Saskatoon
Pattison Agriculture Limited, Swift Current
Ranch Ehrlo Society, Regina
Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission, Regina
Saskatchewan Blue Cross, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association, Regina
Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation / SCIC, Melville
Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority / SIGA, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies / SIIT, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Research Council / SRC, Saskatoon
Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board, Regina
Saskatoon Police Service, Saskatoon
Saskatoon, City of, Saskatoon
SaskPower, Regina
SaskTel, Regina
Solvera Solutions, Regina
Southeast College, Weyburn
Synergy Credit Union Ltd., Lloydminster
University of Regina, Regina

SOURCE Mediacorp Canada Inc.

For further information: Anthony Meehan, Publisher, 416-964-6069 x1464

Thank You Mr. Mikes!

Regina charities get a hand from Mr. Mikes

Regina, SK, Canada / 620 CKRM The Source | Country Music, News, Sports in Sask

Two local charities will be receiving $500 each thanks to the Mr Mikes Steakhouse “Deeds Well Done” program.

Organizations were nominated by costumers between November and December last year.

General Manager of the Grasslands Ryan Pylatuk said the winning charities were then based on the impact they have on the community and willingness to help the most vulnerable.

“Family Service Regina was chosen. They work with seniors, adults, children and pregnant and parenting teens to help strengthen individuals and families by creating safe, inclusive and vibrant communities,” he said.

For the location on the east, Plyatuk said Creative Options was selected.

The restaurant chain further noted this provides them the chance to recognize and give back to those who contribute towards making the community a better place.

https://www.620ckrm.com/2019/01/20/201425/

 

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Meet Mitchell Anderson.

Have you ever worked on a project that you’re so proud of you want to share it with everyone? Mitchell has! In fact, ever since the travel training program began he has been thinking about and working on ways to help lift it to new heights. In his own words Mitchell stated, “This program is for everyone. We could all use it. It’s great for the environment and it helps people believe in themselves and their abilities.”

Mitchell’s involvement in this collaborative initiative (Campus for All, COR and City of Regina) as a travel trainer has been inspiring people of all ages and abilities to strive for greater independence. When asked what he has enjoyed most about the program he stated that, “after doing it for the past few months, it’s been great to learn from people and hear about other people’s lives and experiences with using the bus. It’s also been pretty neat learning about how to adapt my language to help others understand and learn about how the bus helps people in wheelchairs. It would be great to learn about how the graduates are doing; what they liked and what they struggle with.”

AMI tv feature: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

Being well spoken and accommodating is only one of the many talents this trainer possesses. He manages to hold down a second job with the Conexus Arts Centre in the evenings and is an active idea-man. He enjoys science music and one day would like to write his own book. Eventually his goal is to become a teacher’s assistant. He is always on the lookout for new ways to promote the travel training program to new audiences and is never happy with ‘just because.’

Some of the feedback Mitchell has been getting from the project after the first nine months into its pilot year has been very positive. He said that, “some of the people have been telling me that they like the fact that they can go out and do it on their own. This was inspiring to hear.” He went on to explain, “If people only knew how easy it was to get around, public transit would be used by everyone.”

Looking back on the last nine months it’s hard to imagine this program being as successful without the hard work of Mitchell. He is extremely humble when it comes to his strengths but when asked to elaborate on what his future holds he said, “Well something that people don’t know about me is that I like to travel. I like to talk about my trip to Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Someday I’d like to go back; maybe even with my girlfriend!

Thank you Mitchell for teaching Regina’s finest about the program. It takes strong advocates like you to truly bring these things to life!

 

Watch Mitchell on AMI tv: Accessible Transit Training in Regina

For more information, visit: www.4to40.ca

 

Ben Morris,

Director of Storytelling

 

COR featured on AMI: Our Community

In August 2018, COR was featured in a documentary that aired to a national audience highlighting our approach to services. A special thank you to the AMI team and Halter Media for capturing our story so beautifully! We are very appreciative.

To learn more: https://www.ami.ca/category/our-community/media/creative-options-regina

People experiencing disability often don’t have the same options afforded to them as everyone else. Through personalized support services and the Gentle Teaching philosophy, Creative Options Regina aims to change that.

I have seen tremendous transformations in the people I support

I, Jusinda, have had the opportunity to work with people who each have their own unique abilities. I have been able to become creative in a variety of different ways to create a barrier free environment for the individuals I support. The training I received — Gentle Teaching and application has given me the tools to give value to relationships. I have come to have more compassion for individuals that have been in the system for most of their lives. It can be very complex; respect is not complex. Since I have been able to apply the skills I have acquired at COR I’ve come to realize our time and attention are our most valuable resources as people. So when we choose to focus our time and attention on people, and with that compassion, beautiful things can grow.

its what i look up to

I have seen tremendous transformations in the people I support at COR with Gentle Teaching tools I have utilized. I have had the ability to learn from mistakes and grow through relationships. I have learned that relationships are not easy in this context, but I have chosen to give my time and attention to the individuals that I serve because I genuinely care about their progress and passions. I truly pride myself in being a part of the COR family, because COR is not your typical 9-5 job, as a support worker my job has taught me to be patient in the process of growth, and that growth is ongoing. The individuals I support at COR are my equals, my friends and the level of passion I see in them are what I look up to. They have shown me more about myself than I ever imagined. Gentle Teaching is effective and in line with my values about the approach taken when having a working relationship with individuals with varying abilities.

 

Jusinda

COR Family Member

Supporting at COR has made me approach life at a slower pace and truly take in my surroundings

Gentle Teaching has transformed the person I am and aspire to be by making me more personally aware of who I am and who I want to be. Through my time at COR I have truly learnt the meaning of empathy, as opposed to sympathy. It is easy to be sympathetic towards someone and just coat situations with nice words so everyone is happy; it’s another to understand why someone feels that way and put yourself in their position to see the entire picture from their perspective.

she’s with COR, and COR is family

Supporting at COR has made me approach life at a slower pace and truly take in my surroundings and understand complex situations. It has allowed me to view problems from all perspectives to get a grasp on what the next step should be without making a rash, quick decision. We live in such a fast-paced society and sometimes forget to sit back and take it all in. The people I support have taught me how important friendships are and how valuable a good friend is. These relationships that have evolved over the years have truly become more than a “client” and “worker” relationship; I consider these people my family which is one of my favorite perks of being a support worker at COR. One of the girls I support said it best when she was standing up for another COR individual by saying, “she’s with COR, and COR is family.” This small, and relatively simple quote truly warmed my heart and sums up my time with this wonderful organization. My time at COR has truly allowed me to appreciate the little things in life like what a true friendship is.

 

-Shelby B.

My time at COR