This lively event brings together survivors and supporters to honor journeys and achievements in the fight against breast cancer. Get your wine glass and glamour tote when you arrive. Then set off for a leisurely tour of education booths, participating restaurants and retailers. Enjoy wine and food samples, product giveaways and amazing prize raffles including a $500 Short Pump Town Center gift card. Meet breast health experts, schedule your mammogram, and celebrate with live entertainment, a special guest appearance, and a grand illumination ceremony.
On Saturday, August 29, 2015, the Greater Richmond ARC will officially open the 2.4 acre ARCpark, the first entirely handicap-accessible, all-inclusive recreation area in central Virginia. Specifically designed for individuals with and without disabilities to enjoy outdoor recreational activities together, the park has three state-of-the-art playgrounds, including one for all ages. The ARCpark borders the organization’s 3600 Saunders Avenue headquarters on Richmond’s north side, and the free event from noon to 3 p.m. is open to the public.
“Families have told us they need and want a park that has activities and equipment for individuals both with and without intellectual and physical abilities – a park that offers therapeutic value, is safe, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages,” said John Walker, president and CEO of the Greater Richmond ARC, an organization providing services for persons with special needs for decades. “They want their loved ones to exercise, play and learn alongside everyone else.”
The ARCpark was designed based on feedback from ARC’s clients, their families and caregivers, occupational and physical therapists and special educators, and current research regarding the needs of people with developmental disabilities. Its diversity of components include a family restroom with an adult-sized changing table; charging stations for electric wheelchairs; a tree house with a ramp to the top wide enough for walkers and other adaptive equipment; play and fitness equipment for persons of all ages and abilities, including a glider that can accommodate a wheelchair; and safety surfaces throughout the park.
One of the ARCpark’s most innovative features is a custom-built sensory wall with a kaleidoscope panel, fossil and animal reliefs, and talk tubes to foster touch, hearing, vision, and fine motor skills – particularly beneficial for people with autism and sensory processing disorders. Some components were selected because they are stimulating, while others because they are calming, educational, or therapeutic.
The ARCpark is also landscaped to provide plenty of shade, with misting stations and shade structures throughout to help visitors keep cool, especially important for those with heat sensitivities.
“We no longer want families with loved ones who have physical or intellectual disabilities to remain on the sidelines when it comes to having fun and getting fit,’’ Walker added. “The ARCpark will fully accommodate people who have disabilities and will welcome those who do not. Everyone–young or old, able or disabled– will have the opportunity to play and exercise alongside one another. The ARCpark has something for everybody.””
The landmark all-inclusive park is being funded by a combination of private donations and community grants and hailed for its innovative approach.
“I have not found one park in or around Richmond like the one (ARC) is planning,” said Vicki Beatty, whose son Davis was born with a genetic anomaly in 1995. Explaining it has been a “journey of perseverance to overcome barriers,” Beatty says these can sometimes be physical, and “other times, they have to do with others’ perceptions and attitudes. Either way, Davis misses out when he is not given the chance to naturally interact with others on a level playing field.”
For families like the Beattys, the ARCpark will be a welcome destination. “The team here at ARC has developed a park with an incredible attention to detail for families, whether or not one of their members has a disability,” said Walker.
About the Greater Richmond ARC
The Greater Richmond ARC provides a variety of innovative services and programs designed to meet the needs of clients and their families. Services span the lifecycle and assist people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to live happy, successful and meaningful lives. Core areas of service include: Infant & Child Development Services; After School & Day Support Services; ARC Employment Services; and Camp Baker Services, a full service respite and camp facility. For more information, please visit www.RichmondARC.org.
Lynnhaven Academy Moves to New Location in the Museum District to Accommodate Rapid Growth and Expand Programs
Lynnhaven Academy (Lynnhaven) announced today that the school will be moving on August 1, 2015 to 304 North Sheppard Street, Richmond, Virginia, the former location of St. Benedictine High School.
Lynnhaven is a college preparatory academy for boys and girls in grades 3 through 12 and features a unique experiential learning environment. Lynnhaven specializes in individualized education programs tailored for each student’s needs and strengths and programs that promote critical thinking and academ- ic achievement.
Lynnhaven has doubled its student population each year since it was founded in 2012. Due to this growth, Lynnhaven will be moving into the space at 304 North Sheppard Street to facilitate the expansion of its day school, after school, and summer camp programs. Lynnhaven will occupy 10,000 square feet of this facility and will share the gym and cafeteria with the other facility occupant, Richmond Prep, an independent Christian school offering services to children in grades PK – 6.
“The leadership, faculty, staff and families of Lynnhaven are thrilled to make this move to the former St. Benedictine High School space” said Johnathan Harris, founder and Headmaster. “I am also especially thankful to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond for allowing Lynnhaven to occupy this wonderful facility. I feel confident that this move will allow us to continue our growth and strengthen our commitment to pre- paring students for success in college. Our aim is to challenge them to become exemplary citizens of a changing global society. We’ll be very close to museums, parks and cultural organizations, which will allow us to grow our experiential learning, student volunteer, and athletic programs.”
For more information about Lynnhaven Academy, call 804.782.2300 or visit www.LynnhavenAcade- my.org.
Our good friends at Feld Entertainment, Inc. have given us tickets to giveaway for Disney On Ice coming to Richmond Coliseum September 10-13. If you would like to go, we have 3 sets of 4 to offer for the 9/10 show . Plus discounts on tickets and for parking.
A special needs trust (SNT), sometimes referred to as a supplemental needs trust, is a legal vehicle enabling assets to be held on behalf of someone with disabilities, without affecting their eligibility for means-tested public benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income. Join the Autism Society Central VA on Friday evening, September 11th from 6:30pm-9:00pm for an informative Workshop and Resource Fair on this important topic. Elder Law Attorney, Paula Peaden, will share information on SNTs as well as the recently passed Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. Following Ms. Peaden’s presentation, Gail Henshaw, MBA, with Commonwealth Community Trust, will share information about pooled special needs trusts and why this type of SNT may be a worthwhile option when future planning for your loved one with a disability. Attendees will have an opportunity to visit a Resource Fair, featuring organizations that assist with Special Needs Financial Planning, 30 minutes prior to and 30 minutes after the workshop. Learn more and register at — https://www.eventbrite.com/e/special-needs-trusts-workshop-and-resource-fair-tickets-17751629602
Our newest addition to the site, we will see how it goes. A daily thought, place to share and be heard. If you have an idea for a better word of the day, let us know!
Today’s is Sunday’s Secret. It can be anything you want to share, my answer will be posted below too.
Let’s give this a try. A daily thought, you can think about it, or just reply with whatever comes to mind.. there is no right or wrong.
Today’s is a song or a line from a song that you are relating to today!
Have an idea of a better acronym for the day? Tell us!
I will post my reply every day.
I hope you all join me!
Back to School Boot Camp August 31st – September 4th, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
After a fun-filled summer, help your child smoothly transition back to school.
Join us for a week of social and academic activities.
Friendations offers social coaching for children from preschool (age 3) through 5th grade. Clients typically include children who struggle with social skills, peer interactions, conversation, appropriate behavior and emotional regulation.
What is social coaching? The easiest way to understand social coaching is to think of it as tutoring for social skills with additional support as the child practices the new skills. It would be like a math tutor who could teach the skills and then go to school to make sure your child does well on their test.
During social coaching, children receive support from a coach at whatever setting presents the greatest need. Common settings where we coach children include homes, preschool and child care centers, community locations and extra-curricular activities. Guided play dates are another method we use to coach children on appropriate social behaviors, peer interactions and conversation skills. Families are included in social coaching through session reviews, progress reports, trainings and coaching.
Clients work with a coach 1:1 to learn and practice skills before moving on to play dates and other social settings. Coaches working with children in preschools or other social settings will employ private pull out sessions to build up skills. Following an intake observation and assessment with the social worker, a program will be developed for each client based on family input and the needs identified during the assessment. Goals for children vary depending on the needs of the child but will be based on The 4 C’s: compliance with adults, conversations skills, control of self, and cooperation with peers.
Bon Secours Virginia Health System will recognize 25 Virginia high school seniors with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and/or intellectual disabilities for their completion of Project SEARCH, a national school-to-work program at four Bon Secours facilities across Central Virginia and in Portsmouth. Project SEARCH provides hands-on training to students with disabilities through internships at health care facilities and other businesses, with a goal of gaining employment upon completion. Bon Secours Virginia is the only Project SEARCH program also participating in clinical research.
Bon Secours Virginia’s four Project SEARCH sites are funded through a grant awarded to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Rehabilitation Research and Training Center from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Bon Secours’ Project SEARCH partners include local public education systems, VCU Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, and Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). The partners provide additional funding as well as support and services to the students in the program.
“Bon Secours has supported Project SEARCH for six years. We launched the program at St. Mary’s Hospital and have expanded it to include four of our hospitals statewide. We are honored to be part of Project SEARCH and to assist students as they achieve academic, interpersonal and professional success,” said Toni Ardabell, CEO, Bon Secours Richmond Health System. “I often hear from employees that their experiences with Project SEARCH students have changed employees’ lives, and in many cases, learning occurs for both the student and the employee.”
At celebration events held in June, Bon Secours will award diplomas to the students for completing nine-month Project SEARCH internships at St. Francis Medical Center in Midlothian on June 2, St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond on June 5, Maryview Medical Center in Portsmouth on June 9, and Memorial Regional Medical Center in Mechanicsville on June 10.
Also in June, Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center will receive the Employer of the Year Award from the Virginia Division on Career Development and Transition (VADCDT) at the “I’m Determined” Youth Summit in Harrisonburg. This award will be given to St. Francis in recognition of their commitment to hiring young adults with disabilities in Virginia.
“It is a pleasure to help these student interns with autism and intellectual disabilities develop the skills they will need to gain employment after graduation. We look forward to continuing the program and welcoming many more Project SEARCH interns to our Bon Secours facilities next year,” said Ardabell.
Through Project SEARCH, facilitated by a research team at Virginia Commonwealth University, students were assigned to a Bon Secours hospital in their county during their senior year of high school. Each student rotated throughout various departments in the hospital, completing three unpaid internships. Teachers, teaching assistants and job coaches provided them with direct instruction during the rotations, collaborating with hospital department supervisors. Working with hospital supervisors and staff, the students received hands-on skills training, including stocking supplies, filing, copying, assembling paperwork packets, making deliveries, cleaning, sanitizing equipment, turning over patient rooms, providing patient care and customer service and putting together supplies for the nursing units. Each student set a goal of gaining employment by the end of the school year.
The Bon Secours Project SEARCH sites have gained national and international attention. In 2014, a New Jersey Supreme Court justice visited the interns at St. Mary’s Hospital. The Project SEARCH sites at Bon Secours have also hosted visitors from Saudi Arabia, Washington state and the Virginia General Assembly Autism Subcommittee.
Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about one in 68 children have been identified with ASD, and it continues to be an important public health concern as challenges are placed on public school systems, families and communities.
Research studies at all four Bon Secours Project SEARCH sites, funded through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), have examined effective methods enabling students with ASD to successfully transition from high school graduation into successful employment.
With 25 students receiving diplomas in June, the health system has awarded diplomas to 102 students with autism and intellectual disabilities since 2009, with nearly 66 percent obtaining employment following graduation.