Since 1974, Society’s Assets has supported the independence of individuals with disabilities. Society’s Assets serves Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Rock and Jefferson counties. Perhaps aging or a disability means you need some assistance to live at home. Services include independent living assessments and coordination, in-home care and skilled nursing. To ask about Society’s Assets resources for seniors and people with disabilities, call 800-378-9128 or go to societysassets.org.
Youth Art Contest
Students in grades kindergarten through high school in the agency’s service area can participate in the annual Youth Art Contest. Entry blanks are available in each office and online at societysassets.org.
The contest theme is “Ability...Not Disability.” Prizes are awarded to winners in four grade categories. Contest entries must be received at a Society’s Assets office by 5 p.m. Oct. 18. “Last year’s art contest brought in almost 500 entries from schools throughout our service area,” said H.L. Denton, chairperson of the Community Relations Committee of the Board of Directors. “The Committee believes this project creates disability awareness and highlights our mission with young people in the community.”
Promoting access to local businesses
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one in five people has a disability. For those ages 65 and older, that number is one in three. The 2020 Census will confirm the upward trend. The good news is people are not allowing disabilities to limit their lifestyle, work or leisure time. Yet many businesses limit their customer base by not being accessible.
Society’s Assets staff offer assessments and guidance for businesses to address modifications to improve accessibility. Not only do we wish to help individuals with disabilities access the community, but we wish to help businesses provide goods and services to customers with disabilities and the elderly to create better consumer experiences overall.
Back to school and disabilities
A new school year means a new grade, new teachers, new goals and maybe even a new school. In order to help students with special needs and their parents and teachers be as successful as they can be, Society’s Assets offers these tips:
- Review the Individual Education Program (IEP) plan to make sure it still “fits” the student’s needs.
- Contact the school to request an IEP review meeting if you’re unsure.
- Keep a communication logbook to document phone calls, e-mails, notes and meetings.
- Attend school events like open houses and parent/teacher conferences.
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Contact Society’s Assets for help advocating for services at the next IEP meeting.
Growing healthier relationships
Relationships are complex and difficult to understand. We are never really taught how to distinguish between one type of relationship and another. It is taken for granted that we will just know how much to share with whom.
Teaching Relationships for Everyone in Everyday Situations (TREES) was developed by TF Wilcox and Society’s Assets to help people better understand these distinctions. Using a tree as an extended metaphor, through activities and discussion, TREES helps participants start to think about how they should be interacting with the people in their lives.
To date more than 100 people have taken part in the TREES program, and many have built stronger, healthier relationships as a result.
Contact Tyler Wilcox or Tricia Lewis, independent living coordinators at Society’s Assets.
Home modification assessments
Aging in place is defined by the Centers for Disease Control as “the ability to live in one’s own home and community safely, independently and comfortably regardless of age, income or ability level.” Some people plan for their later years, choosing to renovate their homes to improve accessibility.
Others make the move to accessible housing when they are still able. Society’s Assets can provide information about the options, including low interest loans for accessibility projects. Its home modification assessments can be provided for $85 an hour and are a valuable tool in the decision making process. Contact Society’s Assets at 262-637-9128 for more information.