The UCP Seguin CLIMB Program is designed to meet the needs of young adults with disabilities graduating from high school, to support them in meeting the challenges of adult life.
Having closed its sheltered workshop in 1989, UCP Seguin has long championed community-based services designed to provide productive, meaningful activity for persons with developmental disabilities. Through the UCP Seguin CLIMB Program, UCP Seguin is offering its innovative services to DuPage County and surrounding communities.
Within UCP Seguin CLIMB, program participants engage in Life Skills UCP Seguin CLIMB was designed as, and continues to be, a uniquely focused program with an emphasis on more effectively bridging the gap between post secondary education and the adult service world as well as providing young adults real world life experiences and daily opportunities to develop and nurture ties to their community. All too often, the young men and women exiting from high schools and transition programs after graduation or certificate at age 22, are faced with difficult and too few choices. Unfortunately, many times one of those choices must be to enter an adult program that is so dissimilar from what they are used to, that it takes many months and sometimes years for them to re-acclimate and begin understanding the new expectations and systems. The aim of CLIMB is to offer that niche group of young people an opportunity to take part in something that feels more familiar, to more easily bridge the gap from 22 and 1 day to 23 and beyond and most importantly act as advocates and support them as they begin or continue to spread their collective roots into the community. As the program grew from idea to reality, we looked closely at local high school transition programs with the dual intent to not only research best practice in those arenas but to also stake out those districts, schools and programs who would then be feeding the program as it grew. Through the visits, we were able to develop solid connections with the school staff responsible for coordinating transition and firm up what the activities and scheduling would look like for CLIMB members. Incorporating the rules for adult day programs, designated by the Department of Human Services, with the activities these young people were used to in their State Board of Education settings, we were able to slowly and methodically build a program that very closely mirrored what exiting students and their families wanted. Very soon, CLIMB became the natural choice for many families as school staff and parents alike saw the ability to place the young adult in a setting they could thrive within.
Volunteerism, employment, social skill acquisition, community safety and daily living skills are the hallmarks of the programming but actual community integration – being out- is the true core of what we do here. The program space offers computer access for emailing, resume building research etc, plenty of space for educational activities such as reading, art, money skills and the like as well as ample space for in house fitness programs. However, as you may guess, not too many 22 year olds want to spend their days in one program space – no matter how many cool, fun things they get to do within it. The defining aspect of the program is that participants are out and active everyday. When they participate in cooking class, they decide on the meal in house but then shop at the local market and cook at one of the local agency CILAs. When they want to work out, they utilize the YMCA. The group frequently takes safety walks in the community, visits museums, volunteers at the homeless shelter and food pantry. They take trips to downtown Chicago, go horseback riding, sailing, and when the weather is nice hit the water parks and shoreline for picnics.
CLIMB offers a wonderful combination of recreation and learning and continues to receive the highest marks in satisfaction from parents and other stakeholders.
To learn more, visit http://www.seguin.org.