Educational Services

Self-Esteem

It’s hard for anyone to feel good about themselves in a world of supermodels and sports gods. No one is tall enough, thin enough or beautiful enough. Self-esteem is even more difficult for people with disabilities who receive regular, negative messages about the value of difference. From stares to name calling, living in the community can present unique challenges. This class is an upbeat exploration of self-esteem. Walking proud and being confident are wonderful strengths to have in our society.

Some of the things you will learn are:

  • What makes you you and why this is cool.
  • How to think about yourself in positive ways.
  • What to do when someone teases or calls a name.

Abuse Prevention

Life can be hard, life can be frustrating, and anger is a certainty. Anger management does not aim at anger suppression, nor anger denial. Instead, anger management teaches a variety of coping mechanisms for dealing with the stressors that come along with daily living. Many people with disabilities have not had the opportunity to develop a healthy means of dealing with upset, frustration or anger. This class is a fun way of learning about anger and some strategies for coping.

Some of the things you will learn are:

  • How to recognize when you are getting angry.
  • What your personal anger triggers are.
  • What strategies work to help deal with anger when it arises.

Relationship Training

Everyone wants to feel loved. Making friends is a way more important skill to have than making beds! Sometimes people with disabilities haven’t had a lot of opportunities to practice friendship-making skills or learn about love and sex. This class has it all! From friendships to romantic relationships, from handshakes to making love, the participants will be able to learn in an atmosphere of trust and safety. Every single person who has taken this course has increased their knowledge on the final test!

Some of the things you will learn are:

  • Why relationships are important – friendships, family and love relationships
  • The stages of relationships ... why love takes time.
  • Your body and how it works.

Skills for Community Living

SenseAbilities

How do you know how to provide a high quality of life for individuals with significant disabilities, individuals with the inability to speak of their dreams and goals? This course is designed specifically for individuals with complex and significant disabilities. Unlike the other classes, individuals must attend with a care provider for the duration of the curriculum. The course will give opportunities, in an organized fashion, for people with significant disabilities to explore the world through their senses. During this time care providers will learn how to watch and determine profound communication – yes, no, good, bad, happy, sad. These six words will allow individuals to become their own self-advocates.

Some of the things you will learn are:

  • How to make choices.
  • Self-determination through communication.
  • The power of 'yes', the power of 'no' and the right to choose between.

Boundaries

One of the most important of all our social skills involves the ability to set appropriate boundaries. Individuals with intellectual disabilities can get themselves into very serious trouble or very dangerous circumstances if they do not know or follow basic rules of social distance. This workshop aims at teaching individuals ways of determining social boundaries, the rules of permission asking, the importance of social distance, the difference between good touch and bad touch. Boundaries awareness is a huge part of staying safe in social situations. This class will use a variety of different methods to teach people with disabilities how to use boundaries to be socially successful.

How to Register for Educational Classes

All classes run regularly throughout the year. For information about registration or class costs, please contact our Support Services department at 416-749-6234 or e-mail SMcDonald@vitacls.org and your questions about registration, cost and course content will be answered.

Note:

Training is offered at least three times a year to the larger community, either through bringing in speakers to address particular issues or by offering training by the Director of Clinical and Educational Services.

Our Abuse Prevention Trainers have trained trainers around the province and remain available for follow-up consultation.

Policies written by the Department on Sexuality and Abuse have been used as models for agencies all over the world.