Who Are We?
posted February 5, 2019
Who are we?
When faced with this question, any of us can answer in many different ways. Are we talking in the existential sense of the question? Do we mean the individuals who make up the organization? The Team Members? The Customers? The Founders? The Partners? The Collaborators? Or do we just mean the basic, most simple interpretation: Who is Support Innovations?
In this, the inaugural, post, we are going to answer the simple interpretation. In subsequent posts over the next few weeks, we will dive a little deeper into those “existential” meanings and questions. We will highlight our Teams and Team Members; show the remarkable uniqueness that is each of our three Centres; share the unbelievable incredibility of our Customers and their accomplishments; and impart some of the “wisdom” that comes with more than 20 years in this world from both the business side and the personal side.
So, who are we? Support Innovations, Inc. is a Day Habilitation Provider in the St Louis, MO area. What is Day Habilitation (Day Hab, for short)?
Well, the State of Missouri defines Day Hab like this:
Goal of Day Habilitation:
· Assisting the individual to acquire, improve and retain the self-help, socialization and adaptive skills necessary to reside successfully in the community.
· Day Habilitation is not intended to be solely a facility-based service, but must also take place on a regular basis in the community and in real-world situations.
· This service does not provide basic child care (a.k.a. “baby sitting”).
Skills targeted for development include (but aren’t limited to):
· Proper behavior in public settings,
· Getting along with others
· Resolving conflicts
· Getting your needs met
· Using the public services available to everyone, such as post office, library,
· Recognition and use of money
· Proper clothing attire for the time and setting (1)
Well, THAT’s a mouthful! The long and the short of that means that a typical Day Hab Service Provider should be providing training and opportunities for individuals with disabilities to prepare them to be independent, as much as they are capable, in the community with others who do not have disabilities. This also means that the Provider will do this by offering “real world situations” on a regular basis. This means that practicing skills is okay, but only if the practice is followed up with an actual application of the skill. So we can “play store” as long as we also GO to the store and assist the individual with making a purchase.
But what does this mean for Support Innovations? Well, we are NOT your typical Day Hab. First, we don’t practice simulated exercises. Let’s take the store example: How did you learn how to make a purchase at the store? You watched your parent make purchases for years. So long that you were sure you knew exactly what you were doing. You knew that if something was $1.99, you needed $2 to buy it. Then you got to the counter that first time and the cashier told you that it was $2.06. But you only had $2! Or maybe you had that extra dime and you paid…did you know when to hand the money to her? or that you needed to wait for him to give you your change? Your mom reminded you, didn’t she? Simulating a purchase in the Centre wouldn’t give that same experience. And not all simulated exercises generalize to real life activities. Some people simulate a cross country run on a treadmill but still can’t run a marathon on the street or in certain weathers.
Support Innovations uses our exclusive Projects Model to provide support, training, and opportunities for growth to each of our customers, individually.
Our service is made up of 8 Projects:
Project:Art— art for art’s sake, only those truly interested in completing quality artwork take part in the Project; artwork may consist of painting, mosaics, drawing, multimedia approaches, vocal or instrumental music, dance, photography, etc.,
Project:Green—all things good to the earth; recycling, upcycling, and Terracycling; gardens and plants,
Project:Technology—working with anything involving technology and computers; working on keyboard and typing games, mouse skills games, internet searches, journaling, free typing, newsletters,
Project:WellBeing—encompasses all things mind and body; exercise to videos, walking or other exercise in the surrounding communities and neighborhoods; unique and individual workout plans; cooking and designing nutritious meals; yoga; meditation,
Project:EmployMe—identifying Customers who are on a career track and then assisting those customers in gaining the necessary hard and soft skills to obtain competitive employment,
Project:Golden—for ages 55+, Older Customers might need a little extra structured “down time” or activities directed to people of those ages; exercise groups catering to older adults,
Project:Flex—allows some flexibility in scheduling to assist families or residential staff with scheduling daily activities or occasional appointments and still allowing the Customer to receive all of his or her allotted service time,
Project:GiveBack—gives the opportunity to each customer to volunteer both in their community and in their Centre in supporting the charities, nonprofits, and causes of their choosing; provides valuable work experience; gives each of us a sense of purpose.
We have an ever-evolving list of partners like Stray Paws Rescue, Peregrine Society, Phoenix Rising, and TEAM Food Pantry….just to name a few. And every day we are looking for more ways we can support our Customers in giving back to their community. We work on everything from making hats or blankets to producing homemade cards to fantastic artwork to be shared with nursing home residents to making paper to recycling crayons to making dog treats and cat toys and so much more.
We also have a fantastic collaboration with the Living Arts Studio and customers who choose to do so, have the opportunity to spend time there each week, supported by our Teams, as a part of our existing service.
So that’s the start of “who we are.” We hope that you will come back and visit us next week when we answer the question, “What do we really do?”