With support from a grant from The Jewish Fund, JARC has completed the first year of the "Changing Needs - Changing Lives" program. The grant provided the necessary funds to supplement staff support for an increasing number of adults with disabilities who present with a higher level of need. These individuals will become included members of the community, living in the most appropriate living arrangement.
One example of someone included in the "Changing Needs - Changing Lives" program is Kevin.
Kevin is a 19 year old with very severe autism. His parents insisted he leave home when he turned 18 for the safety of his younger siblings. In addition to autism, Kevin is Deaf and legally blind. When he came to JARC, Kevin’s behavior was much the same as it was when he lived with his family. For example, one day, getting out of the car, Kevin ran down the street, banging on the windows of his neighbors, then rolled under a parked vehicle, refusing to come out for over an hour. Kevin’s staff were provided with intensive Gentle Teaching training. Using this approach, the staff make the person feel unconditionally loved by building positive relationships with him. In less than a year, Kevin is able to visit new friends, have them over to his house, and interact appropriately with women. None of this was imaginable one year ago. In addition, because all of Kevin’s staff are fluent in sign language, his language skills have improved immensely and he has less reason to be frustrated.
JARC is grateful to The Jewish Fund for their support of people with disabilities in the community.