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Family Support Systems Report         Date: November 16th 2012 Course: Understanding-Communicating with                  F...
Variety Village Summary SheetAddress:3701 Danforth Ave. Scarborough, ON M1N 2G2Phone Number:(416) 699-7167Website: www.var...
Questions, Answers & Analysis.Visited/toured/interviewed with Mr. Bobby BonnerCo-ordinator of memberships / Field related ...
students that it relates to our practice as well. We were humbled to learn thatpeople with a disability are assessed at on...
subject. The fact that Variety Village takes the time and dedicates a wholedepartment on this as well shows how passionate...
for children to participate and have fun in. An example of that would be theChristmas party that is set to take place on D...
The group feels this is such a large facility and really can cater to all that wish tojoin. They have many spots available...
We are very happy to learn that the government supports this facilitythrough grants. We think they should provide even mor...
advance to book a pick up. If they are not there the bus will leave and most of thetime won’t attempt to knock on a door t...
Group ContractWe agree to attend all scheduled meetings to work on this project. If we cannotfor some reason make it to th...
Scheduled Dates of Meetings and Attendance    October 19th | Interview/Tour @ Variety Village | Both Present   October 28t...
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Variety village report

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Variety village report

  1. 1. Family Support Systems Report Date: November 16th 2012 Course: Understanding-Communicating with Families Course Code: ECEP 232 Section: 001 Professor: Sheila Group Members: Kristy Molnar and James Macartney
  2. 2. Variety Village Summary SheetAddress:3701 Danforth Ave. Scarborough, ON M1N 2G2Phone Number:(416) 699-7167Website: www.varietyvillage.caVisionOpportunities for people with disabilities.Philosophy/ MandateThrough our programs and services, Variety Village makes a profound difference in the spiritsand lives of people with disabilities and their families in the greater Toronto area and acrossOntario.For over 60 years our goal has been to improve the quality of life and integration into society ofall people, regardless of their abilities. By offering specialized programs and services, we createa level playing field without barriers, intimidation or other obstacles. Dedicated to people of allabilities, Variety Village is a great place to get fit and have fun.(Web: varietyvillage.ca –our philosophy)Services:2 Exercise rooms equipped with dual functions catering both able bodies and specializedequipment for persons with disabilitiesChild’s gym equipped with rock wall and exercise equipment2 full size basketball courtsFull size track with lanes for wheelchairs2 Swimming pools with functions that support those with disabilities1 Snoozilin roomPrograms for those with developmental disabilities
  3. 3. Questions, Answers & Analysis.Visited/toured/interviewed with Mr. Bobby BonnerCo-ordinator of memberships / Field related dutiesQ.1. Why do families/individuals choose to access support through this agency?A.” Variety village is the only accessible business catering to persons with adisability. There is a center in Whitby called it the Abilities Center but it does notoffer the same support that variety village can.”We were unaware that this facility is one of a kind. We assumed like many thatthere were a couple of places for those with disabilities to go for wellness andexercise. We have become even more passionate about this facility having nowknown that Variety Village performs these actions alone. They are very welcomingto all which is why many able bodies chose to use this facility for their exercisingpurposes aswell.Q. 2. What support is available through this agency?A.” Variety Village encourages independence but if a person with a disability is inneed of assistance there is a one on one program in place at no extra cost. Thereis no daycare on site. Parents or guardians with children may bring their child withthem and a trained staff member will also work one on one with the child in thechildren’s section of the gym. There are many helpful gadgets at variety villagethat help those with a disability fully participate in all activities available here atthe facility. We believe recreation is a right, not a privilege. People who have adisability are only assessed at 60% of their income. We also provide subsidy forthose with disabilities. There are after school programs as well as a programcalled l.i.n.k.s it supports those with developmental disabilities. We have summercamp programs for children with able bodies as well as those that have adisability.”We are amazed by all the programs and support Variety Village offers theirclients. We agree with their mentality to encourage independence. We feel as ECE
  4. 4. students that it relates to our practice as well. We were humbled to learn thatpeople with a disability are assessed at only 60% of their income and not the full100%. This is very fair due to the cost of caring for their disabilities. Examples ofthat would be wheel chairs, medication, aid/personal support workers,transportation on wheel trains, etc. L.i.n.k.s is a program that I (Kristy) got to takepart in for a day. It is a very rewarding experience for those with a developmentaldisability because they are able to learn tasks and help out around variety village.While I was there they cooked me and a couple of my classmates from schoolbreakfast and then served it to us. They then sat down with us and we talked. Ilearned a lot about mental handicaps that day and my pre conceived thoughts onthe subject were changed. They are very capable of many things and deservemore opportunities in society.Q.3. What is the process through which support to families is eventually taperedoff and how is that decide?A. “If a client leaves all we can offer them is an open door to come back wheneverthey wish, if they wish to. We are a recreational center more than anything anddo not offer support for at home besides information through pamphlets orstaff.”We understand that variety village is not an organization designed to help allaspects of a person with a disability. They specialize in recreational athletics for allwhich is a very important and key part to wellness for anyone.Q. 4. What community outreach – follow up is provided?“Well again we do not connect with the clients once they leave but we do a lot ofcommunity outreach in schools and organized fundraisers and public events. Wehave a department dedicated to outreach. I personally go to schools and take partin all the events to raise awareness. Our main goal is to educate the public andgive them knowledge about different disabilities.”We think that public awareness is needed. We gained a lot of knowledge in thethree hours we were at variety village. Most people within our society have noconnection to anyone with a disability so they are unknowledgeable on the
  5. 5. subject. The fact that Variety Village takes the time and dedicates a wholedepartment on this as well shows how passionate they are about those withdisabilities. We were told of some upcoming events and volunteer opportunitiesthat James is very excited to take part in.Q. 5 What is the process one goes through to become a member at this agency?A. A potential client will fill out some paper work and provide information on howthey will be paying for the services offered here that they wish to participate in.They are issued a card and asked to pose for a picture so that we can identify allour clients when they come in. All clients go through the same process.”As we waited for Mr. Bobby Bonner to be ready for our tour and interview we sawevery member walk past the front desk and scan their card. The person at thedesk was a person with a disability as well as another able bodied lady. They bothpersonally greeted each member as their names popped up on the screen. In oneincident the woman said the man’s picture was too old and he needed to updateit and someone quickly took his picture and he went about his business. We thinkthat this just adds to the very friendly and inviting atmosphere that variety villageprovides.Q. 6. Is there a difference financially between those who are able bodied andthose who have a disability?A.Yes. Because of the subsidy those with a disability pay less depending on theirdisability. Those who are able bodied pay full price.We think this is very fair. James goes to this gym sometimes as well but is not amember. He gets a day pass and is able to use the facility as he wishes for the day.Q. 7 What specific programs do you offer to children?A.“We have a children’s gym that has a small rock wall and lots of child sized gymequipment. This is called the kids zone. We also have two swimming pools andoffer swimming lessons. There is a snoozlin room designed to help those whoenjoy quiet sensory experiences. There are summer camps directed by trainedstaff that is inclusive for all. We also regularly have public events that are usually
  6. 6. for children to participate and have fun in. An example of that would be theChristmas party that is set to take place on December 16th.We think variety village does a fantastic job relating to people of all ages andabilities. This is a place where anyone and everyone are welcomed. There are notmany organizations that cater to such a broad cliental and we feel that this facilityis doing a significant job doing so.Q. 8. Why/How was Variety Village started?A. “Good question! In 1948 Variety Village was a vocational school for young adultmales. They would live in this school and learn trades like watch repair. By the60’s there were many schools that offered trades so the school saw anopportunity to help those with a disability and be the first of its kind here in NorthAmerica. They saw this opportunity after the Paralympics became popularglobally. The school wanted to have a place for Canadian Paralympic athletes totrain in so they turned this main building into a facility that could do that. In 1981the field house was built with the two basketball courts and full length track. 1989the swimming pool was built and we still continue to train and support those whoare Paralympic athletes.We think that the founders must have been amazing people to have done thatback in a time where disabilities were still regarded as a problem in most eyes.Variety Village has educated the surrounding area allowing people to change theirview points and become more accepting. The Paralympics are even more popularnow so it is very interesting to find out that there are athletes who train so closeby. Bobby also told us that those hoping to be a part of the Olympics that livenearby also sometimes train at variety village as well.Q. 9. How many members does variety village have and what is your capacity?A. We currently are around 5,500 clients. Usually in the more active months werange from 5,800 – 6,000 participants. Our capacity is about 10,000 clients.”
  7. 7. The group feels this is such a large facility and really can cater to all that wish tojoin. They have many spots available and we will encourage all those who wish tojoin a gym that we know to become a member at Variety Village because wewould like to help out this facility in any way we can. We are now huge supportersof all that Variety Village has to offer.Q. 10 How does one become a volunteer or staff member here at Variety Village?A. You can volunteer at any point for anything. To become a more regularvolunteer or a staff member you would have to have your CPR-CPI and take someinternal training lessons. We have staff with all different backgrounds fromcollege or university. I myself took the recreational program but there are ECE’s,accountants, PSW’s, Child and Youth workers, web developers just to name a few.Not only is Variety Village open to all different types of clients but they are alsovery open to a broad academic staff. We think this is an amazing opportunity andwonder how we could possibly assist as ECE’s once we graduate.Q. 11 What is Variety Village’s main goal?A.“Our main goal is to find the gaps in other programs and fill it. We do not wantto exclude anyone. Have you heard of AODA? It is a law now that by 2025 allpublic building and areas must be accessible by all. That means there will be brailon signs and ramps into every doorway. We are trying to be the top trainers forAODA.”We had no idea that this was in effect. We think it is a great law and can’t wait tosee it in place. We feel that this is 2012 and there should be more buildings thatare already up to these standards. The fact that Variety Village is so keen on beingthe top trainers for this law again shows their dedication and heart is in the rightplace.Q. 12. How does Variety Village keep up to these standards?A.“We receive grants, families support other families who cannot pay the fullamount, donations, fundraised money, and our able bodied clients.”
  8. 8. We are very happy to learn that the government supports this facilitythrough grants. We think they should provide even more funding and perhapsmake more variety villages across Canada. All of the donations and supportmostly come from locals who live within the GTA. We are pleased to know thatthere is so much support from the public.Q. 13 Are you in partnership with any other organizations?A. “Yes. We used to be in partnership with The Ronald McDonald house but theystill provide funding to us when needed. We are currently in partnership withCanadian Tire’s Jump Star program as well as companies like CPL, who have comein and offered to paint our entire facility.We wish more companies would become partners with Variety Village. We thinkTim Horton’s should step up and also become partners with this facility. We feel itis important for Canadian companies to take part organizations to help theircustomers in a different way. Variety Village serves to all people so it is very likelythat some clients of Variety Villages are also customers at these Canadian stores.Q. 14 Where does Variety Village see itself in 10 years?A. We would like to become more of a training facility. Not only physically butmentally and professionally. We would like to make the public more aware and toput a disability component into every course taken by students in college oruniversity. E.g. Curriculum courses like doctors, nurses, teachers, ECE’s, Child andYouth Worker, etc.The group would also like to see this in affect. We would like to be more educatedon this subject as well. We feel it is the right thing for Variety Village to do. Theyshould branch out and train people in all aspects to be aware and educated ondisabilities.Q. 15 Are there any barriers that prevent clients from accessing the facility?A. Most of our clients that have a disability cannot get here on their own theyhave to rely on friends or family members to bring them in or contact TTC wheelTrans. The thing about wheel trans is that the customer must call 48 hours in
  9. 9. advance to book a pick up. If they are not there the bus will leave and most of thetime won’t attempt to knock on a door to see where the customer is. The wheeltrans may be up to an hour early or an hour late and they customer is expected tobe ready and waiting. If someone decided that day that they would like to goanywhere and they had not made prior arrangements to get picked up they willbe unable to come. Another thing that may present itself to be a barrier for someis that we cannot allow hired help to assist those with a disability at our center.For example is someone came in who had a G-tube they would not be able tohave their hired help guide them or assist them in any activities here at VarietyVillage. This is because they are not trained on how to use the equipment norhow to handle problems that arise. For safety reasons we cannot allow this tohappen. A member can as for assistance from our staff and we will gladly providea one on one session with the client.The group thinks that Wheel Trans is not helpful at all. The company restricts thecustomer making it hard to live day by day and have spontaneous impulses orwants. It is very sad that the person has to wait around for possibly two hoursuntil a wheel trans comes to pick them up. They could easily miss appointmentsthat are very important to their wellbeing. Also the customer won’t always betaken directly to the place they wish to arrive. Most often the bus driver must pickup several customers and drop them off as well. This results in being late and ormissing the opportunity to get something done. Variety Village focuses on makingthe client feel independent and it doesn’t help that wheel trans makes itcustomers rely so heavily on them.The point of view from the families who go here or know someone that goes toVariety Village is that is it a very welcoming place. They offer so much and arevery respectful of all people. I could not see them saying anything bad about thisfacility. This is the only place I know of that supports this group of people the waythat they do. We think that the families may be more irritated by the city and itslack of inclusion for many other things that make it hard for people withdisabilities to participate in.
  10. 10. Group ContractWe agree to attend all scheduled meetings to work on this project. If we cannotfor some reason make it to the meeting we are to inform the other groupmember ahead of time and arrange a date that works better. We agree to do theparts we were assigned to the best of our abilities and for it to be done beforeFriday November 16th 2012.JamesPower Point and Hard copy of Power PointThank you letterClass HandoutAsk questions at interviewKeeping a log of meetings and our attendance at themKristySummaryRecord questions at interviewMandateAnalysisGroup ContractContacting agencyKristy Molnar James Macartney____________________________ ______________________________
  11. 11. Scheduled Dates of Meetings and Attendance October 19th | Interview/Tour @ Variety Village | Both Present October 28th | In person meeting at James’ House | Both PresentNovember 1st | Online Meeting | Both Present November 8th | Online Meeting (Check In)|Both presentNovember 15th | Online Meeting (Putting it all together)| Both Present

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