In 1969, Elim began serving adults who have developmental disabilities to meet the needs of graduating Elim students. These graduates had limited job opportunities or access to programs to further their skill development. Each day over 200 men and women from area residential locations (whether living with family or in a group home) come to work and learn at a level that fits their skills, abilities, and interests.
Providing opportunities to interact with people in the community is an important aspect of Elim’s Adult Services. Individuals are offered opportunities to participate in their community through various training venues, such as shopping, restaurant etiquette, recreation, leisure, cultural enrichment activities, and through volunteering at local non-profit agencies.
The focus of our services is to assist individuals to experience lives of significance. In identifying services and activities, we strive to find purposeful activities that engage meaningful relationships. We have found that in serving others our adults experience a sense of meaning and purpose.
Adults receive training in vocational skills and behaviors through on site community outreach projects and skill training opportunities, volunteering in their communities, and community job placement.
Each individual is assigned a highly trained Case Manager or Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QDSP) who is responsible for the coordination, development, and implementation of a person-centered implementation plan in cooperation with the individual service provider. The Case Manager serves as liaison with families, residential providers, and Individual Service Coordinators to create and implement a service plan that addresses the unique choices, preferences and needs of the person served.
LIFE SKILLS TRAINING
Promoting independence in one’s self care and community are necessary to experience more personal freedom, choice, and esteem. Based on the needs of the individual an array of training opportunities exist such as functional academics, homemaking, personal care, health and safety, finances, computer usage, and community awareness.
Technology has created many opportunities for individuals who experience barriers to increased independence. A variety of low and high tech devices are utilized to encourage one’s autonomy. Simple devices are offered to encourage increased independence such as counting jigs for work or specialized utensils for eating. High tech opportunities include the use of computers for enhancing speech, improving math and reading skills, and greater access to the community through the social media.
COMMUNITY LIFE INTEGRATION
Establishing relationships and engaging people in our community are high priorities for the adults we serve. To meet their great desire to make new friends and be able to help others, we provide numerous opportunities to engage individuals in our community through volunteering in the community, enjoying recreational activities such as parks, museums, and theaters, shopping and dining, mission trips, and holding jobs in the community. We also encourage others to come to our agency and partner with our adults in assembling HOPE Packs of food, military care packs, and school supplies for people in need in the inner city and internationally.
Access to one’s community and services is a critical component of services. Lack of transportation continues to create significant barriers to individuals we serve. Families may choose from a variety of transportation options that include: taking a PACE vehicle, family members transporting to and from services, or our premier door to door transportation. Eligibility is determined by the transportation manager and director of Adult Services. Families are invited to choose the option that best meets their needs and budget. During service hours individual’s are provided transportation so that they may participate in community life.
Enriching one’s social skills enhances one’s ability to meet new people and develop friendships. The ability to resolve conflict and restore relationships is also vital in building and maintaining relationships. In addition one needs to be able to protect one’s self from abuse and exploitation. A variety of social skill, self advocacy, and character development activities are provided to promote one’s social acceptance and competence.
RECREATION & LEISURE
Developing interests in activities outside of work are important elements to a meaningful life. Individuals are offered a wide variety of on site or community recreational and leisure activities. Classes are developed that expose individuals to new hobbies and interests that may enrich their lives.
SENSORY INTEGRATION EXPERIENCE
Perception of our world derives from our senses of touch, smell, taste, sound, and touch. The ability to grasp the understanding of cause and effect is essential in operating functionally in one’s environment. Activities are provided that engage the five senses to enrich one’s understanding of his or her environment and recognize one’s influence in his or her environment.
HEALTH & FITNESS
Maintaining one’s physical health is essential to a good quality of life. Adult Services offers a variety of opportunities to enhance one’s health. Exercise equipment and circuit training is provided that address the physical abilities of adults served. Fitness classes also utilize a variety of exercise videos that also adapt exercises to one’s abilities. Other groups participate in staff lead exercise activities that are geared to the needs and abilities of the individual’s served. In addition classes are offered on nutrition, hygiene and grooming.
Clear communication is essential in making one’s needs known and developing relationships with one another. Individual’s with barriers to communication experience great challenges in his or her life. A variety of forms of augmentative communication are utilized to enhance an individuals ability to communicate. Based on the unique needs of the individuals augmentative forms utilized may include simple picture schedules, low tech speaking devices, or complex computer systems.
Developmental Training provides a vast array of skill training in areas of vocational, daily living, social, communication, community and sensory integration.
DEVELOPMENTAL TRAINING III (ORLAND CAMPUS)
Individuals who have mild cognitive and physical impairments are provided services that focus greater attention to enhancing one’s vocational skill development. Opportunities in vocational training include on site community outreach projects, volunteering in one’s community, classes that provide specific skill training in a variety of occupations such as housekeeping, grounds keeping, entrepreneurial pursuits, and competitive job placement. Additional activities and classes include fitness, nutrition, computer usage, social skills, character development, community awareness, functional academics, daily living skills, current events, recreation and leisure, and mission trips to foreign countries.
DEVELOPMENTAL TRAINING II
Individuals who have moderate to low mild cognitive impairments and individuals with dual diagnosis (mental illness) are provided skill training opportunities in vocational, daily living, social skills, communication, functional academics, recreation and leisure, and community integration. Activities are designed around small groups of shared abilities and interests. Individual choice and input into the services provided are encouraged.
DEVELOPMENTAL TRAINING I
DT I offers services to individuals with low moderate to severe cognitive impairments. Many individuals in this program receive training and supports to enhance one’s communication skills. Training also includes personal care, functional academics, daily life and vocational skills, social skills, recreation and leisure opportunities, and community integration.
Individuals who have severe and profound physical and/or cognitive impairments are provided an environment where services are focused on providing quality services for one’s personal care, such as toileting, dressing, and eating. In addition the program provides, individualized activities based on one’s needs and abilities, sensory and community integration.
As individuals who have developmental disabilities age, they have the additional challenge of facing disorders that come with aging. Some individuals who have disabilities experience aging disorders as early as their mid forties. The Seniors program has been developed to assist individuals with these dual challenges maintain their autonomy and quality of life. Activities encourage the maintenance of one’s physical health and mobility, memory, social network, pursuit of one’s personal hobbies and interests. Participation is individualized so that one may be engaged to the level on his or her level of stamina.
ACTS – Autism Comprehensive Training Services
Individuals who have a primary diagnosis of autism often require specialized training with a focus on communication, coping, and social skills. Through structured teaching and visual supports adults are encouraged to develop increased independence and social engagement. Skill training is individualized and includes vocational, daily life, communication, social skills, and community integration.