Message From The President And CEO
March is intellectual & developmental disabilities month. Let’s advocate & celebrate the services & supports that exist for people with intellectual disabilities to ensure that they continue. Therefore, it’s time to educate our legislators on the needs of people as well as the needs of families. Supporting people with intellectual & developmental disabilities has been WCI’s mission for over 40 years, “empowering people with intellectual disabilities to lead a rich & meaningful life at home, at work & in their communities.”
Individuals & staff will be attending The ARC of Massachusetts Legislative Reception at the State House on March 9th, 10:30am to 12 noon, in Great Hall to educate & inform our legislators of the continued needs of the most vulnerable citizens in the state. Please Join Us!
Over the next few months the House & soon the Senate will be voting on the FY’17 Budget for the Department of Developmental Disabilities. It’s important to preserve what we have worked so hard to achieve. Some of our existing Residential, Employment & Day & Turning 22 funding is in jeopardy. We need your help to not only preserve the existing funding, but also urge legislators to provide new funding for Family Support & Autism.
Please Take Action today! Thank you!
Revolve Clothing Fundraiser For WCI
Last year the shop, Revolve Clothing, a women’s clothing store, in Belmont & Lexington, held a fundraiser for a three-month period
for WCI, in their Cushing Square Belmont store, which included the sale of WCI’s Art Initiative items, such as jewelry, scarves & paintings and general store clothing items. We are so grateful for the support from Lisa Castagno, owner. As a result, we received a check for $1600 which goes to supporting the various needs of the Individuals in our programs. Please go online & connect to revolveclothing.com.
Thank you, Lisa! We look forward to another fundraiser in 2016.
Family/Guardian Educational Forums
WCI is excited to expand the communication between staff, administration, family members, guardians and individuals.
We would like to offer a few Educational Forums, led by experts in the field, throughout the year to enlighten and inform all those involved with our Individuals. Additionally, there will be an opportunity to talk and interact afterwards.
Please click here and choose the Forums that you would be interested in attending. Also, space has been provided for you to suggest other Forum topics.
The Forums will be held in the WCI Main Conference room at 135 Beaver Street, Waltham. Please answer what day and time(s) work best for you.
We look forward to your response.
WCI Office Space Expansion & Renovations
As you already are aware from our prior articles in this ENewsletter, WCI has expanded its office space at its Main Office on Beaver Street to accommodate our IT Department & Residential Operations. Phase 1 is completed so feel free to visit & see the new space! Phase 2 will begin soon. It’s projected for on or around March 15th, but we will keep you informed. Please be aware that during this phase that our main entrance will be closed for around 2 weeks. The door down on the right side of 135 Beaver Street will become our new entrance temporarily until the renovations are completed. WCI is creating a reception area up front in our office space to welcome our visitors & to maintain security of our office space. Remember that Human Resources has also temporarily relocated near the Business Office. More information will follow.
Nature Connection At Life Skills
The Nature Connection Program was started as part of the 2012 Mission in Action Grant provided by WCI’s Board Development/Fundraising, Mission In Action Sub-Committee and has been an ongoing part of the Life Skills Day Habilitation Program’s curriculum ever since. The program offers a total sensory experience for the Individuals in the program. Each visit from the Nature Connection program exposes the Individuals to animals, plants, herbs, and seasonal nature elements, such as sand, wood, or ice. It lets them experience these elements utilizing their sense of smell, touch, sound, and even taste. The Individuals are given a 1:1 time with the Instructors and are given a chance to hold and interact with the various visitors. In the past, these visitors have included bunnies, owls, crows, lizards, turtles, snakes, dogs, and crickets, to name a few. Up to 12 Individuals are able to participate in each session. The program has been adapted to those Individuals who are Blind, Deaf Blind, Deaf, or Hard of Hearing. Having the Nature Connection Program in the building is the highlight of the day for both the Individuals and our staff.
During Nature Connection programs, participants become more inquisitive, sociable, enthusiastic, and comfortable and enjoy the interactions with the NC staff be it conversational or accepting hand over hand touch to explore. One key element is Nature Connection’s high ratio of staff/trained volunteers to participants. The engagement of multiple Nature Connection staff/volunteers, in one-on-one interactions, provides an exceptional level of hands-on learning and connection. Nature Connection’s staff and volunteers develop relationships with participants over time – cultivating trust, respect, compassion, and learning.
Also remember to check out the all new wearewci.org and our Social Media feeds! Please like, share, and subscribe to our feeds to keep up to date on WCI and community events, interesting articles and videos, and updates on political happenings that affect the lives of our Individuals and their families!