The Learning Centre is a non-profit organization committed to enhancing the quality of life for adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities through person-centred planning. There is a focus on providing support to enhance the achievement of personal goals and to increase involvement in areas of interest to the individuals we serve. Participants who attend the Learning Centre have diverse needs and are provided with the care and support that they require.
The centre provides a wide range of program opportunities such as volunteerism, recreation, leisure, educational opportunities, community inclusion and awareness. The Learning Centre is equipped with wheelchair accessible vans that help to increase participant inclusion into their community. Work programs also take place both in-centre and out of the centre and are developed to provide skills training and to fit with the participant's personal goals.
Here are a few examples of the programs we provide and their benefits to the participants:
Laughter Yoga is an exercise program that is provided to participants. Laughter Yoga triggers healthy physical changes in the body and strengthens the immune system, boosts energy, diminishes pain, and protects the body from the damaging effects of stress.
Reading Clubs are used as a great method of socialization. In this program, peers gather together to listen to the latest novel or short story. The centre has a partnership with the Community Outreach program at the Public Library which supplies an ongoing variety of reading material.
Music Therapy is a therapeutic relationship to facilitate contact, interaction, self-awareness, self-expression, communication and personal development. Participants have the opportunity to enhance their lives with the help of a trained Music Therapist. By using musical elements, the Music Therapist helps to promote and restore mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Recreation and exercise programs are achieved in a variety of forms depending on participants' interests. This could include swimming, stretches, dancing, polkarama, bowling and other recreational activities. Participants enjoy outings to city parks, museums, going to different events taking place in the community and more. Some other recreational activities include playing board games, physical games, crafts and movies.
Baking Programs allow for participants to learn baking skills and to get involved in the baking process from start to finish. It allows for those individuals who may not regularly get involved in the kitchen to come together to enjoy the experience.
Educational Opportunities incorporate the vast realm of knowledge that is available to the participants. The Centre's Resource Library contains a variety of educational material which is used to provide learning opportunities to the participants on all kinds of topics. The topics range from relationship and friendship building to physical fitness, earth and animal education, and cultural differences.
Men's Club allows for participants to join their fellow male peers to take part in activities and interests of the male population. The gentlemen enjoy getting together to watch action packed movies or to go over the latest sports news.
The Ladies Club allows for female peers within the centre to get involved in activities that interest the female population. The ladies enjoy spa days and getting their hair and make-up done. You can also find the group watching a "chick flick" or going over the latest fashion magazines and trends.
Snoezelen is described as a controlled multi-sensory environment for people with autism or developed disabilities. It consists of placing the person in a soothing and stimulating environment, called the "Snoezelen Room". Ideally, Snoezelen therapy can provide a multi-sensory experience or single sensory focus, simply by adapting the lighting, atmosphere, sounds, and textures to the specific need of the individual at the time of use.
The Learning Centre houses a Snoezelen Room that promotes relaxation to the participants with gentle stimulation of the primary senses using audio and visual elements. In this therapy, participants experience self-control, autonomous discovery and exploration. This overcomes inhibitions, enhances self-esteem and reduces tension. In this atmosphere, participants who are overactive can be calmed and those who are inactive become interested.
Pictured Above: Rope Lights, Bubble Tube, and the Leaf Chair in the Snoezelen Room
Therapy Pool and Adaptive Exercise Area
The Therapy Pool area was developed to easily provide the benefits of being in water to those individuals utilizing wheelchairs. The pools are kept at a warm temperature so that they are more comfortable and therapeutic for participants. This area is equipped with a full track and lift system, allowing individuals utilizing wheelchairs to be lowered directly into the pools. The therapy pools help participants to stretch out and supports range of motion as well as overall wellness.
Along with the therapy pools, the centre also has an adaptive exercise area that participants can utilize to maintain their health. Adaptive exercise can increase quality of life and provides an outlet for physical energy which can help participants cope with stress and anxiety.