New Sign Increases Access
If you’ve driven by ADEC lately, you may have noticed we are cleaning up our trees and foliage. A new sign is scheduled to be installed in the next month. The sign that exists today has been there since we moved to this campus in 1974, it’s served us well, but like some of the trees around it, it’s started to fall apart.
We are taking this opportunity to put in a new sign, one with our current logo and some modern enhancements. Having an LED screen and back lighting will make our campus more accessible for visitors. Our clients’ families and drivers will be able to easily spot the turn and everyone can make use of timely information such as date, time and upcoming events.
As construction begins, we hope you’ll notice our efforts to open up our campus to our community, and stop in to say hello. We’d love to tell you more about our mission.
Day Service Renovations Lead to More Choices
Walking into an ADEC day service facility is always a unique experience. Friendly greetings and high fives fill the air around you as people come up to welcome you and tell you about what they’re doing at any given moment.
If you happen to walk in during vocation time (10 – 11 daily!), you get the rare treat of seeing what ADEC clients have been working on and how it comes together. Many clients will happily demonstrate their skills and tell you exactly why they picked that particular project.
Since ADEC’s Bristol Day Service serves the most clients, it has always felt welcoming, but a little crowded. During morning news and exercise time, the main room would be standing room only for visitors as everyone sang and danced together. But now, there is not only more space, but more options.
After three months of renovations, Bristol Day feels like a different place. When you walk in now, bright orange paint greets you from the back wall, giving the building a warmer feel. That back wall stands where a classroom used to be. It’s now a second large open meeting space.
Instead of having just one large group activity offered at a time, every client is presented with a choice – in keeping with ADEC’s mission to provide choice and possibility for every person served. In the mornings, multiple exercises are offered. In the afternoons, clients may choose between sing-along time or BINGO, drum group or spa day, group games or board, and so it goes. If they want to participate in more than one activity, they are welcome to bounce between the two. Everything comes back to their choice. And staff are already seeing a difference.
“We have a lot more opportunity for client choice,” Don Wierenga, Director of Adult Habilitation and Assistive Technology, explained. “With different choices and different environments, [disruptive] behaviors have gone down.“
A small conference room now runs alongside the new large group space. You can journey from there to a brand new art studio taking up what used to be vehicle maintenance space. The professional art studios allows for painting and ceramics to occur next to each other, increasing client engagement with diverse activities.
“Every time we give clients proper space and equipment, they are able to be more independent and more productive,” Don said. “With these changes, you can tell we’re moving forward as an agency. People can tell and get excited, and then they start doing more.”
With the new additions in Bristol, service capacity has increased. While they used to be capped at 72 clients, they can now serve 90. A few longtime ADEC Industries clients are now taking advantage of this opening to make a shift into retirement or new vocational goals. Some have even come to take tours and spend a day visiting to see how they like it.
One gentleman had such a great time, he wanted to start immediately, paperwork notwithstanding. His program manager talked it over with and explained the wait, but he checked in frequently until he could make the move.
“Traditionally, day services cover academic curriculum, teaching domestic stuff,” Don said. “But we’ve found if you can engage someone in an interest, pretty much everyone has a vocational passion. But it’s much easier if you can walk into an environment set up for vocational work.”
If you or a loved one are interested in enrolling in ADEC day services, please contact Don Wierenga at [email protected] or 574-848-2447.
Article by Whitney Craig | Communications Specialist
Photos by Rod Tackett | Communications Specialist