Is Your Nebraska Community Inclusive of Individuals with I/DD?
At Hands of Heartland, we don’t just strive to meet the medical and service needs of the people we work with. We also make community inclusion for persons with disabilities a top priority. You cannot underestimate just how beneficial these efforts are for the the people we support and the community as a whole.
What is Meant by Community Inclusion
What we mean by community inclusion is that people with disabilities feel as if they are a part of the broader community in their town or city. Being on your own can be isolating, and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities can experience these feelings of loneliness and isolation as well.
That is why we don’t just offer the supports that people with disabilities need. We do everything that we can to go above and beyond, ensuring that they can become a larger part of their local communities.
Community Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities
We foster community inclusion simply by holding events and creating programs that include other people in our community. Often, a person with intellectual or developmental disabilities can feel as if they are separated from the rest of their community, almost as if they live a parallel existence that never allows them to take part in their community as a whole. At Hands of Heartland, some of our programs are designed to assist individuals in becoming part of their community. Let’s look at some examples.
Create-ables: At our Create-ables events, people we support work along with other members of the community to create new works of art. It’s beneficial for everyone involved and gives individuals a chance to feel like they belong. This is a key part of our broader initiative to build an “Inclusive Community for Creativity.”
Our Woodworking Shop: We also partner with a fully functional woodshop. This gives people we support a chance to learn more skills and fosters their creative talents. Members of the public can also come to woodworking events and work alongside individuals to design and build something new.
Supported Employment: A job can give you a sense of purpose and feelings of accomplishment at the end of a long day. That’s why part of our community inclusion efforts also includes supported employment. Our vocational coaches work with the people we support who want gainful employment to identify potential employment options. We then match people with jobs where they can excel.
This gives the people we support the chance to learn new skills and become more independent. A job can help boost a person’s confidence and provide opportunities for socialization. Most importantly, they are being included and interacting with other members of their community.
If you want to get involved yourself, sign up for our newsletter and learn more about upcoming events. By participating in our woodworking shop or Create-ables programs, you’re helping with our community inclusion efforts. If you’re a business owner or manager in the area and you want to learn more about our supported employment efforts, visit the Hands of Heartland website to learn more about what we do and how you can help.