In 1977 MVACL opened a day program designed to meet the needs of the individuals we were serving in accommodations. A building was purchased at 19491 Opeongo Line as a central location for the day program. The day program had a segregated wood working shop, life skills and adult literacy components. There were a number of individuals living with their families who were looking for day activities at the time, and they started attending the program as well.
By the early 1990's it became apparent that the individuals attending the day program were no longer interested in wood working. Through a strategic planning process which included individuals, staff, families and community partners, a new format for delivery of day supports was developed. The program took on a more person centered focus and there was increased participation in community based activities. We continued to offer services to the original participants, as well as an increasing number of individuals who were leaving the school system and looking for an adult day program. The program continued to expand and there were still issues with segregation.
In 2001, a follow up review of our service delivery model initiated more changes. The number of participants in the day program had increased substantially and there were liability and safety issues. At this time, the day staff were working from a designated program location. Individuals living in homes supported by MVACL were expected to leave their homes early each morning and attend the day program to receive day support. A number of individuals supported by MVACL, including residents as well as others living in the community, were unhappy spending their days with such a large group of people confined to one program area. There were concerns that individuals were not involved in meaningful, individualized activities.
At the same time a growing number of individuals were becoming involved with the life planning process. The goals that emerged from many life plans suggested that the current Day Options program was not effectively providing for the needs of individuals it supported.
By 2003 MVACL had completely revamped its support model and changed to a "Small Team" approach. Individuals are now supported from their homes and each participates actively in a wide variety of activities tailored to each persons ability, wishes, dreams and needs. Individuals actively participate in meaningful tasks such as caring for their own homes, banking and laundry. Some people sing in community choirs, play horseshoes at the senior's centre or attend the local chapter of TOPS. Swimming lessons, and holidays to Disneyworld and the Dominican Republic have been made possible through small teams working closely with individuals. We continue to marvel on a daily basis at the accomplishments of those supported by the new "Small Teams".
19491 Opeongo Line
Barry's Bay, Ontario K0J 1B0
Phone: 613 756 3817
Fax: 613 756 0616
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