Summerside day program teaches people with disabilities new life skills

A new day program in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, gives adults with intellectual and physical disabilities the chance to learn new life skills.

The Real Us launched at the end of June. Clients learn things like resume building, budgeting, or crafts.

Eight people have signed up for the program already, people like Garrett Martin.

“What I really hope is that they will at least find me a job. That’s what I really hope,” he said.

“Not just the handicap”

Customers pay up to $ 50 per day to participate in the program. Amanda Birt is one of the founders.

Amanda Birt says it’s important to see people as more than their disabilities. (Sheehan Desjardins / CBC)

“We focus on the individual and not just the disability. We tend to… want to encourage anyone to do their best, to be themselves fundamentally and who they really want to be,” Birt said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s a mild disability, someone who just can’t read and needs help with their GED, or someone who needs help finding a job and write a CV. “

But the program is not limited to learning. Spencer Bradshaw said he made new friends and enjoyed spending time with them.

“It’s fun here… I can see everyone that’s here and draw,” Bradshaw said.

Chase Noye uses the program to work on his communication skills. Her mother Blye Perry says it kept her job. (Sheehan Desjardins / CBC)

Others, like Chase Noye, set to work on their communication skills. His mother Blye Perry praises the program. Without it, she said she could not have kept her job.

“It’s been really, really nice for him, that he actually wants to get up in the morning and go… it makes me really happy to see that he’s happy,” Perry said.

The program is located in the basement of the Central Street Christian Church in Summerside, where Robbie Sevilla is the pastor.

Garrett Martin is one of eight people enrolled in the program. (Sheehan Desjardins / CBC)

“Part of the church’s vision is to try to serve the community, serve others and understand how to use our facilities well,” Sevilla said.

“So when the Real Us came up and asked us ‘Is there a possibility that we can use the facility?’ It was almost at the right time because we were thinking about how to do it for the community. “

The organizers of the program say there are still places available.

About Ethel Nester

Ethel Nester

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