ACCEPTS, Inc provides alternative communication training to youth and adults with autism and related disabilities. There are two programs in which the grant will support: 1) a Weekly Social Skills Typing Group and 2) The Scholarship and Supervision program. The Social Skills Training Group will meet 1 hour a week for 8 weeks, and allow communicators the opportunity to type with one another. In addition, it will provide an opportunity for Facilitators and Coaches-in-training to work with new communicators in a structured, supervised environment. During the social skills group, facilitators will gain knowledge to apply in facilitating current communicators. The scholarship program offers families the opportunity to receive discount coaching from coaches-in-training who are supervised by an accredited trainer.
CampAbility is an educational and recreational summer services program for elementary-aged children with Autism and other intellectual/developmental/physical disabilities, provided in a fun and safe environment. We also offer summer camp sessions to the siblings. By doing this, we hope to help alleviate the burden on parents by keeping their children in one location, provide comfort to the camper with special needs by having someone familiar nearby, and include the sibling(s) by offering them companionship with other siblings who walk in their shoes.
Angelwood’s Career Development and Education Center is a dual focused program providing Employment Services and Adult Day Training. Angelwood offers employment services through the Florida Department of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation and through the Agency for Persons with Disabilities via referrals.
Supported Employment- This program targets persons who need added structure and support to achieve and maintain competitive employment in their community. Supported Employment Coaches work with each individual with all aspects of finding, applying for, obtaining, and retaining a job. This includes necessary social, independent, and work skills they will need on the job. They are also assisted with creating a resume as well as taught important skills such as proper work attire, hygiene, etiquette. Once a job is obtained, the Supported Employment Coach is there to help with any area of need, such as: training, work place problems, and help with co-worker and supervisor communication, etc.
Adult Day Training (ADT) – Our adult day program provides supervision and training for adults with cognitive or physical limitations to learn work related skills and to experience the joy and rewards of productivity while also enabling them to earn money. The curriculum builds on work-related skills that translate into the business world. The goal is that the program participants are provided a variety of ways to develop skills that will help them gain greater independence in hopes of one day finding a job in the mainstream workplace. Participants learn important skills such as stocking inventory, counting money, shredding office papers, and learn cleaning and maintenance tasks. In addition, they also produce original works of art, handmade soaps, scarves, beaded jewelry, and note cards. Items may be purchased at area craft shows, gift stores and other venues. One special addition to our arts-based program is The Bells of Angelwood, a hand bell choir that preforms in the community and has recently partnered with Brooks Rehabilitation and Jacksonville University for a community concert.
The grant will be applied to the after school program summer camp and some equipment purchased will be shared with The Arc of the St. Johns Community Campus. The program will provided the individuals with meaningful summertime activities. The staff will use peer-reviewed strategies to enable students with behavioral issues associated with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities(I/DD) to be work towards building skills with the aim of reintroduction to a classroom environment with peers of similar ages and interests, and to have meaningful access to the community in the form of recreational activities, civic responsibilities, and social interests.
BASCA's request is to fund a portion of our Community Inclusion program. We provide various low, no-cost, outings during the year. However, we believe it is important for individuals with differences to occasionally participate in broader community enrichment activities.
To provide free or minimal cost equine-assisted and other recreational activities for contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of persons with Autism and their families. Individuals will participate in either adaptive riding sessions or ground activities on an on-going basis with the aid of side walkers and/or horse handlers. There will also be recreational ranch events where larger groups will be able to socialize i.e. BBQ, barnyard yoga etc.
BridgeHaven Summer Camp Program will provide enrichment experiences utilizing technology and communication for individuals affected by autism. Our campers will be able to participate in thematic summer camp programs with a low staff/camper ratio enabling us to provide physical, emotional, and therapeutic support for each camper. We are a unique camp/school that utilizes typing as a viable means of communication for nonverbal individuals with autism. Summer camp is the opportunity for typers across Jacksonville to come together and participate. We are the only facility that offers typing and support for individuals who use this means of communication. If for some reason, we cannot have camp on our campus due to COVID 19, we would use the grant to pay our teachers to offer private sessions with each camper. They would be able to provide the same thematic activities and enrichment in their individual sessions with our students, as well as even offering some virtual opportunities.
Collage Day School’s Learning Enrichment Achievement Program (LEAP) is a program designed to optimize instruction during the school day for students with differing abilities in the domains of curriculum and learning, social/emotional, communication, and independent functioning. Students receive instruction from a teacher(s) trained in various modalities and learning methods to ensure the needs of each student are met. Students work with the teacher and support staff to create a prescriptive schedule allowing students to progress with individual learning, social emotional, communication, and independent functioning goals. Weekly progress monitoring is provided to ensure that students are on track to achieve all of their goals.
One signature agency program at Daniel Memorial is Daniel Academy, our specialized elementary private school (K-7) dedicated to providing intensive academic and behavioral for children who have been diagnosed with emotional, learning, intellectual and developmental disabilities across a wide spectrum, including autism. The 43 students enrolled at Daniel Academy are the very children who have fallen through the cracks in the public education system because their needs have not been met at critical developmental junctures.
The school exists because studies show that the farther that disabled and/or economically disadvantaged children fall below their peers during elementary and middle school, the more likely that they will drop out of school by age 16, thus limiting their options to transition to independence as adults. Daniel Academy seeks to improve the outcomes for these children through enhancements such as mindfulness yoga, art, music, and social skills development. Many children receive on-site mental health services. The school has fully integrated the evidence-based “Trust-Based Relational Intervention” model to establish strong bonds between school personnel and the children.
The purpose for this grant request is to fund weekly yoga classes for all children during the 2020-2021 school year. While the Florida Department of Education scholarships provide sufficient funds for core services, such as academic instruction and facility management, grant funds are needed for critical enhancements that are known to make significant impact of the student body. We know from the literature and from prior experience that children that are exposed to yoga and mindfulness, especially those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, experience a reduction of pain, anxiety, aggression, obsessive behaviors, and self-stimulatory activities. While their strength and flexibility also improves, the most important benefit is the improved ability to regulate emotions (thus decreasing stress and anxiety). Subsequently, they are able better able to establish the strong peer, family and other adult bonds that are critical for normal childhood development.
Growing Together will once again use our summer funds for field trips for our students. We will take one field trip per week as an entire school, and will also take our oldest students out on one community outing per week. Community outings will consist of trips to Publix, Walmart, Chick Fil A, and the laundromat. Field trips for everyone will include some fun and some fun-educational locations such as Velocity/Fit Flight, Cummer Museum, MOSH, O2B Kids and more!
10-week summer program. Funds will help provide learning in a fun environment while promoting age-appropriate social skills. Each week we will provide participants with an awesome fun summer experience. We will utilize community resources and volunteers to enhance the experience.
Families report better behavior, improved social skills, and a drive to want to achieve more. Participants in the activities get to experience summer fun activities many children take for granted, as well as continue to work on academics. They explore new activities and begin to ignite passions for recreational fun that carries over into the rest of the year. This kindled passion in these students leads to students gaining independence and thus less dependency on families and the State of Florida for support. We help each student discover their gifts and talents and develop them into job and living skills.
We are also working on a Service Bear Project to provide weighted stuffed bears to assist with behavioral needs at home, assist with bed-time issues as well as providing support when a family is out in the community.
Camp Hope is a summer camp enrichment program tailored for children and youth ages 3-22 with special needs, including developmental, intellectual, physical, and social/emotional challenges. Siblings and peers without special needs are welcome. A camp session operates Monday-Friday from 7:30 am-5:30 pm and includes field trips, sports, arts and crafts, and academic and social skills development. Because it is based on Hope Haven’s campus, families can add the benefit of therapy to a child’s day, including speech, OT, PT, counseling, or applied behavior therapy.
Hope Therapy provides Healing with the Help of the Horse for special needs children with a wide variety of diagnoses, including autism, developmental delays, Down Syndrome and more. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have developed a specialized teletherapy program to keep our patients moving forward in their therapy goals. Thus far we have experienced a high rate of success and patient satisfaction, and plan to continue teletherapy and some in-home visits as long as necessary.
Horses For Hope ~ In partnership with Ronald McDonald House, Hope Therapy also visits hospitalized children facing life threatening illness and debilitating chronic conditions. The children are able to interact with our ponies, feeding and petting them for a bright spot in their otherwise challenging day. Each child receives a small plush toy pony in remembrance of the occasion, with a tag that reads, ‘good for one free pony ride at Hope Therapy’. Their smiles tell the story, as faces light up with anticipation and a goal is set for their future. The idea of a free pony ride and a toy to remind them rekindle hope, providing incentive to view the future in a more positive light.
Horseplay Therapy provides scholarships for children with disabilities who need financial assistance to participate in physical, occupational, and speech therapy on horseback to kids who otherwise could not participate.
During the summer, Indigo Art Therapy will be offering adaptive Art + Mindfulness Groups for individuals with autism. We will be providing separate groups for kids and teens, either virtually or in-person, depending on student needs and recommended public health practices.
The funding will provide students and their siblings the opportunity to experience a broad range of summer enrichment programs. In past years we have been gifted the opportunity to provide experiences including piano, therapeutic horseback riding, music & art groups, zoo trips, surfing experiences, dolphin interactions, and other community field trips. For most children on the autism spectrum, the abrupt change of a schedule that transitions from school to summer can be a challenge. To facilitate comfort in regards to this transition, JSA offers an intensive learning continuum along with a focus on physical activity and social fun" during the summer months. JSA gladly includes siblings of students with ASD into our summer program. This extension comes from our understanding of the financial and logistic difficulties parents with multiple children encounter during the summer months. Inclusion of our typical siblings is also important to build positive experiences and relationships with their ASD brother/sister.
The Crisis Negotiations Unit of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office supports the mission of the agency in serving and protecting in partnership with our community. In this mission the Unit encounters a wide variety of individuals in crisis for a number of reasons. The Unit spends much of its time studying a wide variety of psychological traits, communication strategies, and operating procedures; all with the goal of preserving the lives of individuals in crisis through verbal communication. As the team seeks to expand its knowledge-base, it is interested in learning more about the autism spectrum and how we can better communicate with persons on the autism spectrum in crisis. The funds granted will go directly toward obtaining training in these areas through a known provider with expertise in this field. It is the Team’s hope that this will enhance the ability to produce a favorable outcome during such an encounter. Through this effort, it is the Team’s objective to fulfill the Sheriff’s Core Values of “Always Improving”, “Community Focused”, and “Respect for Each Other”.
For our Intensive Summer Program The Jericho School would like to provide the opportunity for children with autism a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills once a week at We Rock The Spectrum, an all inclusive gym in Jacksonville, Florida.
Kids Connect Today is a social skills program for children, teens and young adults with autism. Kids Connect Today will use grant funds to provide scholarships to families who cannot afford our classes.
We are requesting funding for the cost to print memory books/yearbooks. Throughout the year, we capture many memories and the memory book/yearbook is something every student looks forward to at the end of the school year. The yearbook is not only a memory book but a communication tool for the students. Students who are non-verbal can communicate the school they are from, their teachers, friends and all the activities they were apart of throughout the school year.
Multi-sensory and physically engaging materials allow our learners to explore independently and with others, building personal confidence and building play and social skills with peers. The funds will be used to purchase materials and equipment that will aid in all students further developing and participating in social skills, play skills, and adaptive skills. Additionally, included are stepping stones for a mindfulness pathway to allow students to individualize and create a stepping stone. These steppingstones (concrete forms the students can decorate and imprint with their handprint) will create a pathway for the students to utilize outdoors. Students can use the mindfulness pathway for sensory breaks, self-regulation, and coping skills. Below are links to materials that aid in facilitating hands-on materials that are necessary for students to increase exposure to new resources. This grant would serve in excess of 25 students with Autism for the 2019-2020 School year.This grant would also serve other students with varying exceptionalities including, but not limited to: students with specific learning disabilities, reading disabilities, language impairments, Down’s syndrome, developmental disabilities, other health impairments, communication impairments, language impairments, ADHD and ADD.
Peace of Heart Farm is a 1 acre organic garden located within a residential group home for young adults with autism. Peace of Heart Farm has launched a Vocational Enrichment Program, an inclusion program for young adults affected by autism to engage with nondisabled peers in a community setting. The Vocational Enrichment Program teaches participants farm related vocational life skills such as seeding, transplanting, harvesting, and business practices pertaining to the farm. The participants work alongside peer volunteers to assist them in task completion, with the serene backdrop of nature and the mutually beneficial fostering of meaningful relationships. The Vocational Enrichment Program will expand their reach by partnering with local community farms for educationally infused field trips.
Peace of Heart Farm also offers a “Farm to Doorstep” Produce Delivery service, in which residents of the home assist in assembling and delivering produce to community members
Peace of Heart Home is requesting a grant for two specific summer programs: a) Gather Together: a twice monthly social group offered to community members affected by autism, and b) PohCAMP: a vocational, social, and health focused summer camp for residents and respite clients.
“Better Together” - Due to the recent global health crisis, social isolation has greatly impacted those who are medically fragile or have special needs such as autism. At Peace of Heart Home, we will offer a happy, healthy, and “socially distant friendly” environment for individuals with autism to have a home away from home. We will host a twice monthly social gathering for teens and young adults. The program will offer alternative communication conversations, socialization with peers, activities promoting motor skills development, and most importantly - FUN! Program offerings will include water activities, interactive games, video games, cooking/baking lessons, physical fitness, and social bonding.
“PohCAMP: Cultivating A Meaningful Purpose” The onsite summer camp will allow for meaningful and engaging activities for resident and respite clients. Activities will focus on acquisition of life tasks, increasing social/community opportunities, and building health and wellness from the inside out. The goal of CAMP aligns with the mission of PoH: To create a meaningFULL life for those affected by autism.
Our summer "HEALing Families" Groups will include social skills for teens on the autism spectrum, as well as a parent group. Therapists Katherine Lycke, LMFT and Janeen Herskovitz, LMHC will lead the groups. These are programs that have been running consistently for several years, but with the recent pandemic, we are prepared to take these online via Zoom, a platform we have been using during the past two months to see clients and groups in our practice. The groups will meet weekly for six consecutive weeks.
Reach Academy's S.T.E.A.Ming through Summer Program will be a 6-week summer program focusing on social skills and S.T.E.A.M. Each week, the camp will provide three hands-on video lessons with the teacher and one face to face outing per week. The summer program will provide social skills education with engaging and interactive S.T.E.A.M activities.
S.T.E.A.M is an acronym for science, technology, engineering, art, and math. We decided to begin a summer camp due to parent demand. Many families reached out with the need for a summer program due to summer camp closures caused by COVID-19.
Our students have been utilizing video chats during quarantine to maximize their at home virtual learning experience. This was a crucial component in making at home learning a success. Classroom parents commented on how the consistent, scheduled video chats were important in boosting their child's moral and mental health. During this crisis, our students are struggling to understand why we can't be together at school. Incorporating video chats and video lessons to each day have helped our students manage this difficult change.
Spring Fling is a dance for persons with Autism and their friends and families. This is the fifth year we have planned this dance. It is a quieter, more gentle gathering based on a beach, surf and Hawaiian theme. It is an opportunity for children, teens and young adults to gather with their friends and families for a dance. We provide beautiful decorations, snacks, drinks, music, photos and party favors for attenders.
Everyone deserves to thrive. That simple statement is at the heart of the mission of Spectrum Thrift Store, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide employment opportunities to teens and adults with autism and developmental delays. Since Spectrum’s highly qualified board and staff began retail operations at its store in St. Johns County, Florida in 2017, the organization has provided training and employment opportunities to over 100 individuals with special abilities. Ten have since been hired by other companies. Spectrum’s vision is to expand to operate a facility in each county in Florida, each one a thrift store and training site where 90% of employees are autistic or developmentally delayed. We are expanding our work at our recently opened second location. This expansion will enable us to train and/or employ 85 additional individuals with special abilities each year.