Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fitness Center Update

In May, the Fitness Center at Ontario ARC opened its doors to staff and participants as a part of the agency's OWN It! wellness initiative.  In the eight weeks since opening, over 130 ARC staff have completed orientation training to be able to utilize the facility.

The Fitness Center, which includes a private shower/bathroom, features equipment focused on resistance training and cardio training.  The space has been designed to be fully wheel-chair accessible.

The state-of-the-art reservation and appointment system located in the Fitness Center
Currently, the space has averaged about 60 reservation blocks per week.  The reservations are kept on the web-based appointment and check-in application that can be found right as you walk in the door to the center.  To date, over a dozen direct-support professional staff have been trained as "Fitness Coaches" to allow greater opportunity for participants to safely access the exercise equipment in the Fitness Center.

Over a dozen direct-support professional staff have been trained as "Fitness Coaches" 

The OWN It! wellness initiative is a pivotal cornerstone of the agency, and the Fitness Center is an exciting part of the plan.  Look for more fitness initiatives through the Fitness Center in the coming months!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Promoting Wellness One Fruit or Vegetable At A Time

Ontario ARC's Pathways program has created a unique wellness opportunity for the food offerings at Ontario ARC.  Each month, participants from the program choose a seasonal fruit or vegetable to research and develop a flyer to promote the health benefits of incorporating fresh produce into a diet.  The chosen fruit or vegetable is also featured in the Sully's monthly menu to highlight different ways to use the produce while promoting a healthy diet at the agency.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Please Join Us As Ontario ARC Celebrates 60 Years!

More than anything else people with intellectual and developmental disabilities want to show they have value, and celebrate their achievements just like you and me.  At Ontario ARC, we take pride in celebrating accomplishments of both our remarkable staff and the amazing individuals we support.

The environment at Ontario ARC starts with actions and attitudes of the people we employ.  Staff who think first about what they can do, rather than about their disability; staff who use "people first" language to show respect, and not identify a person by their disability.  It is this respectful and humble culture that empowers the individuals we support to succeed.

As we enter our 60th year of providing supports to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, I am proud to say that the quality of services we provide remains strong and the innovative, proactive spirit that makes Ontario ARC unique is thriving.

On June 7th, we will be hosting an agency-wide open house and celebration.  Please join us and help us celebrate the past, present and future at Ontario ARC.

Enjoy the day,
Ann Scheetz

To RSVP for the 60th Anniversary Celebration & Open House, please contact us via email at mpost@ontarioarc.org by May 28th.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Hank!

Tales for Tails offers a unique opportunity for students who participate in Ontario ARC's Active Academy after school programs in Canandaigua and Victor to read with volunteer dogs from the Pet ConnectionsTM program.  The bonds formed between the students and  dogs help encourage growth in reading and social skills, and offer a fun atmosphere for learning!

We recently had the opportunity to celebrate a birthday with volunteer team Kathy & Hank.   Happy Birthday Hank!  Thank you for letting us celebrate with you!

Monday, March 24, 2014

New York Bird Dog Series helps send children to Camp!

Starting in 2011, the New York Bird Dog Series has donated $10,000 to the Autism Center at Ontario ARC.  The donation is used to help send children at Ontario ARC to a Summer Day Camp at 4H Camp Bristol Hills in Bristol, New York.

The Autism Center partners with 4H Camp Bristol Hills to bring the summer camp experience to children with autism and other developmental disabilities.  The collaboration gives children with special needs the support and opportunity to create lasting memories and build new friendships, with trained staff from Ontario ARC on-site.

Thank you New York Bird Dog Series for your continued support of this great opportunity!

Tom and Julie Glynn join Diane Van Derwater, clinical services manager
and Ann Scheetz, executive director at Ontario ARC

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Pathways Happy Tails Donation!

Throughout the year, members of the Pathways program at Ontario ARC purchase items to donate to the local animal shelter, Happy Tails in Canandaigua.
Members of the donation team at Pathways!
Members of the Pathways program raise the money, purchase the items and deliver the items to Happy Tails.  To raise the money for the donated items, people supported by the Pathways program work very hard to create various items,  including several upcycled items that they are incredibly proud to sell to support this cause.  It's a great way to give back to the local community and visit some of our favorite animals at the same time!  To learn more about the Happy Tails animal shelter, visit their website.

Items that were donated to Happy Tails

Happy to see the animals!

Getting ready for the tour!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

OWN It! in 2014

Over the past several months, we have been preparing for the roll out of our expanded wellness initiative for our staff and the individuals we support.  OWN It! is about empowering people to make changes in their daily lives to enhance their overall quality of life.

Ontario ARC has recently created a full time Wellness Coordinator position, to serve as an agency wide resource person and lead this new initiative.  The Wellness Coordinator, along with our Physical Therapist and Aging Services Manager, have researched fitness equipment which will offer the greatest range of workout options and be accessible to everyone we support.

We are excited to announce that the grand opening of our new Fitness Center, based at our Main Facility, is just a few weeks away!  A well-rounded selection of equipment will meet the needs of all of our staff the and individuals we support.  Our state-of-the-art equipment can be used either standing or seated.  We will offer instructional sessions in the Fitness Center so everyone has confidence using the equipment and taking the next steps towards improved health.

We welcome any fitness volunteers from the community to share their talents, whether they offer a one-time exercise or dance class, or help out an hour or two per week, to offer exercise guidance, develop work out routines, or just offer encouragement!  

- Brenda Estey, Senior Associate Executive Director, Ontario ARC

Friday, February 21, 2014

Creative Expressions Open House

Christin Lersch, art specialist, is ready to answer questions!
On Friday, February 14 our Creative Expressions team hosted an Open House at the main facility to showcase the Creative Expressions program at Ontario ARC.  Our staff and volunteers joined in on the fun, and even participated in some of the activities!  Check out some of the pictures from the event! For more information on the Creative Expressions program at Ontario ARC, visit our website or read the blog post on Creative Expressions written by day services manager, Michelle Jungermann!
Plants from our green house
Bell choir performance
Breezing through the agility course

Pet Connections volunteers before the dog dance!
Art work on display

Stay tuned for more pictures and information on the great things happening at Ontario ARC!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Values = Strength

Every day, employees at Ontario ARC are focused on our core values: Integrity, Respect, Teamwork, Quality, Commitment, Person-Centered, Quality of Life.  As I look back on 2013, I believe we have grown stronger as an agency because of this strategy and in 2014 this strategy will not be different; Values = Strength!

This past year we added new and innovative services to meet the needs of our growing community.  For families who have children with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, we introduced programs like Feel the Beat and Ryuu.  We increased our community partnerships to encourage greater opportunities for people in our Community Experience and Employment programs.  Our College Experience program had four graduates!

One of our newest programs, Project SEARCH, was a huge success.  To culminate the year, the individuals in the program presented at an international conference and four have gained employment!  I am excited to say that the plan for Year Two includes an expanded program. 

In residential, four individuals made life changing decisions to move into the community with the support of caring staff and families.  We are on the cusp of new changes in our residential program, putting a greater focus on the community and working on the specialization of our homes in the coming year.

As an agency we faced a challenging year as we saw significant uncertainties in funding at the state level.  I am proud to say throughout it all, our staff never missed a beat!  They continued to provide quality services on a daily basis and kept the best interest of the people we support first and foremost.  I have no doubt that in 2014 Ontario ARC will continue to be strong as an organization because of our dedicated staff and the values they uphold.

Enjoy the day!
Ann Scheetz
Executive Director, Ontario ARC

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creative Expressions at Ontario ARC

Our Creative Expressions Team has been busy!  In December we were able to enhance our annual board dinner by having our Creative Expressions group involved with making the centerpieces, displaying artwork, and our bell choir performed!  We will also have an art show at the upcoming Spelling Bee for Literacy Volunteers.

Our Art and Music program has been combining to create large masterpieces on canvas….look for them to be displayed throughout the agency soon!

The Horticulture program had a very successful wreath and centerpiece sale this holiday season.  Now we are is busy getting our brand new, state of the art, hydroponics system up and running.  We are looking forward to a bountiful growing season again this year!

Michelle Jungermann, Director, Day Services at Ontario ARC