1:1 SUPPORT COUNSELLORS
You are some of the people we admire most in the world. You have the courage of your convictions, look outside yourself, see a need, and with compassion and empathy work to fill that need. Every year we look forward to welcoming counsellors-in-training as they learn the best practices regarding inclusion and integration in Ontario, through our professional practice and training. And we thank you for the wonderful gift of time and care you are providing to others.
Program Counsellor Training
- Our curriculum is developed in consultation with subject matter experts and program partners
- All regional training offers Level 1 and Level 2 certifications
- Each 3-hour REACH Inclusion and Integration Training Program focuses on establishing the culture of inclusion and accessibility in leisure, recreation and sport
- Training modules include:
– REACH Inclusion Model
– Behaviour Tools & Strategies
– Communication Tools & Strategies
– Programming for Differing Abilities
– Personal Care & Health
- All attendees acquire specific disability-awareness knowledge and learn a set of hands-on strategies to integrate program participants with physical and developmental disabilities
- In 2018, REACH program staff trained 192 inclusion leaders across Ontario
- We cover five regions: Toronto/GTA, Southwestern Ontario, Eastern Ontario, Muskoka/Near North and Oakville/Hamilton/Niagara
“REACH trains support staff to provide suitable, top-quality support. I don’t worry about Luke for a second; without REACH he would never even have had the first camp experience. Now his camp experience has evolved into a work experience…wow!” – Diana, REACH Parent
PROGRAM PARTICIPANT VOLUNTEERS
REACH participants, between the ages of 17 and 24 years, may have the inclusive opportunity to attend programs as a volunteer! Presently, participant volunteers are limited to the camp setting. In the future, we plan to expand the participant volunteer program to all program partners.
All participants eventually grow up, but the memories of camp last a lifetime. Many “grown-up campers” will choose to return to a program each year as a staff member to reunite with old friends and enjoy the activities and communal living that camp offers. Returning to a program in a work role provides ongoing opportunities for skill development, social interactions and personal growth.
Participants with disabilities, like most campers, want to return to camp as part of the staff team. With 1:1 support, an individual with a disability can return to camp in a work role and make the natural transition from program participant to program staff.
There are many benefits to hosting an adult with support:
- Grow and develop in a valued and familiar setting
- Learn new skills in a supportive environment
- Provide meaningful experiences with peers
- Promote awareness, diversity and acceptance at camp
- Provide healthy respite for families and caregivers
- Extend the interpersonal socialization experience beyond the camper years
Everyone benefits as this participation enriches the program leadership experience as all staff experience new programs and vocational aspects with an older youth or adult, from a new point of view.
Stay tuned as our Volunteer Handbook is under review – for more information contact us!
REACH has been preparing youth and emerging adults (aged 17 to 24) for careers in the field of developmental disabilities, accessibility and inclusion, and social justice for over 30 years. The new REACH Ambassador Program will annually train up to 35 youth and emerging adults with disabilities, and equip them with skills such as public speaking, advocacy and transferable job readiness skills. We are currently conducting a pilot program, through the support of the RBC Foundation, with 12 individuals with disabilities across Ontario.
In its inclusive approach to integration, REACH is committed not only to the inclusion of children with disabilities, but also to offering opportunities for emerging adults with disabilities to attend in a supported staff role. Program partners are encouraged to see the enormous potential of these young adults and the training necessary to teach an age-appropriate approach to the 1:1 support of youth.
REACH Ambassadors undergo several levels of REACH training. This includes staff training, in-field resource program coordinator training, and inclusion and integration training. We also provide job-readiness training, prior to their employment as seasonal on-call training facilitators with us.
We invest many resources into teaching these important life skills, moving from a volunteer role into the workforce and covering a variety of different areas including:
1) Designing a work schedule around interests and strengths
2) Using effective time-management strategies
3) Offering experience in a variety of roles to gain real-world experience such as:
- Planning and helping to lead small group activities
- Organization/sorting of materials
4) Strategies to work with others
5) Setting and following through on goals
Our training programs shape the lives of young people, reinforcing the values of integrity, respect and perseverance. We want to empower and educate youth as well as prepare them socially and mentally to enter the adult world. This is all about encouraging growth, interaction and, ultimately, service. Providing well-trained, strong role models and peer supports (our 1:1 support counsellors) helps to prepare our youth for their future entry into the workforce.
563 Dundas St. East, Suite 201
Toronto, Ontario M5A 2B7
REACH is a registered non-profit organization
(#11911 1748 RR0001).
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