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IMPACT Safety Teaches People with Disabilities to Protect Themselves

By Featured News, IMPACT Safety
IMPACT Ability Students

IMPACT Safety looks to return to in-person events when deemed safe.

People with developmental disabilities face a higher-than-average risk of assault, abuse and bullying. But there’s plenty they can do – no matter the level of disability – to boost their emotional and physical safety.

“Self-defense is way bigger than hitting people,” Matt O’Brien, an instructor and trainer with IMPACT Safety, said during a recent class. “Karate is really good for one thing. But what we’re teaching is really good for all this other stuff.”

O’Brien and his colleague Olivia Caldeira are working with about a dozen ARC Industries participants who signed up for a multi-week course on personal-safety skills for people with developmental disabilities. IMPACT Safety, a program of LifeCare Alliance, has decades of experience helping to empower vulnerable populations.

“It all starts with, ‘How does this person make their wants or needs known?’” Caldeira said. “It’s important to give people choice and a sense of control.”

Everyone, for example, can learn to convey a “stop” message, whether with hands out and a firm voice, or through gestures and expressions. Program participants get plenty of practice on that front when O’Brien plays the role of a shady guy making unwanted approaches. And everyone, whether they are able to speak or not, whether they walk or use a wheelchair, finds ways to tell him to get lost.

“Do you have to let a stranger get close to you? No!,” O’Brien told the class. “If you can remember stop signs, you’ve got 90% of what we’re telling you.”

Because people with developmental disabilities often rely on others for assistance with daily tasks and decisions, it can be difficult for some to realize that they have the right to set and enforce personal boundaries. “Perpetrators are drawn to people who are vulnerable,” Caldeira said. “We have to make sure people with disabilities are empowered. It’s about body autonomy for people who might not have had that.”

Letting go of a passive mindset also is important when interacting with caregivers, seeking help or reporting abuse. “People are taught stranger danger, but if you look at the statistics, it’s usually someone they know,” Caldeira said.

Sessions focus on safety in various situations and settings, and also include self-calming strategies to reduce anxiety and stress.

For now, classes are virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it hasn’t taken long for participants to get the hang of interacting with O’Brien and Caldeira on screen, and to embrace the empowerment message: During a one recent class, three people showed up in Superman shirts.

For more information or to schedule a workshop, email info@impactsafety.org or call 614-437-2967.

Published May 2021 in the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities “Dateline” newsletter.

LifeCare Alliance Announces 2020 Volunteer Recognition Dates

By Carrie's Cafe, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Events, Fan Campaign, Featured News, Help-at-Home, IMPACT Safety, Meals-on-Wheels, Senior PetCare, Volunteers

Each year, we take the time to thank our outstanding volunteers who embody our motto of “Nourishing the Human Spirit.”

Our volunteer base is the heart of LifeCare Alliance, and the work that volunteers do is so valuable to our Agency and our clients alike. More than 100 volunteers are needed every single day to deliver Meals-on-Wheels, run errands, assist with light housekeeping tasks, assist at a Senior Dining or Wellness Center, serve on a board, make favors for our clients, or help in the office.

Volunteers come together as individuals, corporations, families, and groups with the energy and enthusiasm needed to carry out the mission of LifeCare Alliance. Because of the volunteer base, LifeCare Alliance is able to continue serving clients without a waiting list, keeping homebound older adults and individuals with a medical challenge or disability safe, independent, and in their own homes — where they want to be!

Below is information on the locations, dates and times of recognition events throughout our service area. Please join us!

 

LifeCare Alliance Recognition
Monday, April 27, 2020 — 5:00 – 7:30 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Columbus Cancer Clinic/CODA/Help-at-Home/IMPACT Safety
Monday, April 20, 2020 — 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Logan County Recognition
Tuesday, April 14, 2020 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Hilliker YMCA, 300 Sloan Blvd. Bellefontaine, OH 43311

Champaign County Recognition
Tuesday, April 7, 2020 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Champaign County Library, 1060 Scioto Street Urbana, OH 43078

Marion County Recognition
Thursday, April 23, 2020 — 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Marion Senior Center, 2375 Harding Hwy E, Marion, OH 43302

Dining Center Recognition
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 — 11:00 – 1:00 p.m.
L.A. Catering Event Center, 670 Harmon Ave. Columbus, OH 43223

Madison County Recognition
Tuesday, May 5, 2020 — 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
St.Patrick’s Church, 61 S. Union St., London, OH 43140

ABOVE: Longtime supporter and volunteer John McHugh with his Spirit Award.
LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd during Big Wheels 2018

LifeCare Alliance Announces $5 Million Match Campaign

By Carrie's Cafe, Central Ohio Diabetes Association, Columbus Cancer Clinic, Help-at-Home, IMPACT Safety, Legacy, Meals-on-Wheels, POHC, Visiting Nurses, Wellness

At Big Wheels 2018, LifeCare Alliance announced a $5 Million Match Campaign to secure the future, by building its Legacy Endowment.

The Legacy Endowment Campaign is designed to meet existing and future needs of LifeCare Alliance for decades to come.

An anonymous donor has generously committed to matching the first $5 million in Endowment gifts, beginning in 2018. The donation comes during a momentous occasion for LifeCare Alliance as the Agency celebrates its 120th anniversary.

This Campaign creates an opportunity for individuals and families impacted by the work of LifeCare Alliance to express their stewardship and leave their legacies in concrete and meaningful ways.

If you are interested in learning more about the Legacy Endowment Campaign or how you can become a member of the Catherine Nelson Black Society, please contact Chuck Gehring, President and CEO at 614-437-2801 or Rebecca Hurd, Director of Advancement at 614-437-2867.

Click here to donate to the Legacy Endowment Campaign now!


ABOVE: LifeCare Alliance CEO Chuck Gehring speaks to the crowd at Big Wheels 2018.