Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Spotlight on Sinergia's Up-Living Program

The UpLiving program is a subset of Sinergia's Day Habilitation program (DayHab). Technically it is called Supplemental Habilitation because it takes place mostly in the afternoon, in the hours after DayHab stops providing services. For admission to this program we canvassed 12 individuals with disabilities who were not enrolled in any type of day program, were not working a job and who had rarely ventured out into the community. We asked them what their interests were and how we might assist them in becoming more positively involved in those activities. We received responses such as getting a GED, becoming more involved in their church, enjoying more of the activities that NYC had to offer, becoming more computer literate, and getting healthier through exercise and diet. This program has had great success and we have seen individuals who rarely ventured out into the community increase their visibility tremendously and really increase their involvement in their stated interest.

Bonnie Gardner (above left, with Wilson in Governor's Island) is an UpLiving direct support professional who has been with the program since its inception in 2009. She has been part of the reason that we have seen so much success. Below she describes some of the participants she has worked with.

"Rowan Cahill (above) loves being in the Up-Living Program. His primary area of concentration is studying for his GED. He works very hard on this goal and it shows as he is improving at an impressive rate, particularly in the areas of reading and comprehension. Rowan is also becoming more adept at handling his finances online, learning the ins and outs of Facebook and navigating other forms of electronic communication. Rowan loves trains and collects them as a hobby. His breadth of knowledge in this area is rather impressive. Whether he is in the library learning about trains or visiting places like the Transit Museum, it is all very inspiring to Rowan. It is also Rowan's wish to start creating his own trains as a hobby in order to exhibit and sell in future Sinergia art shows. Rowan is also making terrific strides in the area of socialization and communication, showing more faith in many areas of his life."

"Frank (above) on the other hand, enjoys creating art on the computer and will work diligently on a piece for hours. He is a prolific artist and has created an impressive body of work. In addition, Frank sold many of his art pieces and is hoping to expand to t-shirt and coffee mug design. Frank also loves learning about other artists -- from urban street artists to old masters like Leonardo DaVinci, which he is adept at interpreting. Frank is flourishing in the area of socialization and communication as well. He thoroughly enjoys his forays out in the community, particularly if they are art related."

"Life is full of beginnings and endings" my mother once said. So it is with some sadness that Wilson Sanchez (above) has left the Up-Living Program. However, he successfully acheived one of his goals and has found employment. Congratulations Wilson, well done!"

"A special nod goes out to Anton McIntyre (above). Still relatively new to the Up-Living program, he is flourishing and doing great!"

See more photos in our Facebook Photo Album.

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