AC360/Life After School Program
Using Therapeutic Recreation (TR), Abilities Centre (AC) and Abilities Centre Ottawa (ACO) staff worked with Youth with Disabilities (YwD) in school, youth leaders/mentors from mainstream classes & Special Education teachers, E.A.’s and professional staff in Ottawa to augment & enhance the existing school curriculum. Based on discussions with teachers, AC and ACO staff used TR functional assessments to identify student goals & develop art, sports/fitness, life skills & social recreation classes to build confidence, competence, connections in community, & coping strategies. TR activities provided a unique way of learning for teachers & students as they were focused on outcomes that directly tied to goals identified by the students.
Tying TR applications directly to the skills needed for employment better equipped students for the Experiential Learning opportunities that were provided with different employers across the City of Ottawa. TR staff and Job Coaches worked 1:1 with students who identified an interest and were eligible to move forward with obtaining work experience placements to look at on-the-job skills and interviewing preparation.
This program supported building skills & competencies needed to build independence, employment opportunities and overall positive outcomes for YwD: Resilience is not only a crucial workplace skill but it is essential to build resiliency early in life to deal with transitions throughout life. Building community connections early through employment, volunteer work, & community participation is integral for youth to discover their interests & passions. Using a strength-based model, the TR & EL activities directly impacted resiliency skills & factors that made the greatest difference in addressing graduation & employment challenges facing individuals today such as:
- Development of soft skills that directly impact resiliency
- Build confidence, motivation & willingness to learn
- Support transition plan for career goals & expectations
- Work experience & basic job skills through experiential learnings
- Strong relationships & connections to community, including employers
ACO Golf Tournament
Golf Tournaments have been an opportunity for the Abilities Centre Ottawa to help raise fund towards the development towards a community centre but more important to raise awareness within our community about the vision and mission of the Abilities Centre Ottawa.
The ACO Facility
The centerpiece of Ottawa's Abilities Centre will be the Field House.