Director of Programs: Brenda Pohl
The Life Enrichment Program Division is divided into three main areas: The Life Skills Program, The Learning Center Program, and the Community Learning Program.
This Division provides a wide variety of opportunities set up to meet the unique needs of adults living with an intellectual disability such as work training, job development training, and recreational activities.
The Life Skills Program is designed for participants who need more individualized supports. It allows them to pursue their identified goals and interests through a program adapted to meet their unique needs.
Individuals in this program have the opportunity to learn communication/life/safety skills, pursue community volunteer and job development goals, pursue academic goals, learn basic housekeeping duties, and participate in various recreational activities and outings.
Conflict resolution, counselling, occupational therapy and physiotherapy services are also available.
The Learning Center Program provides instruction in life skills, alternative communication device training, functional math, communication skills, literacy, Vulnerable Persons Act, voting knowledge, resume writing, computer safety, budgeting, time concepts, emotions, peer interactions, reading, friendships and conflicts, healthy eating, work etiquette, and bike/street safety.
The goal is that adults living with intellectual disabilities will develop the skills needed to live a more independent lifestyle, will have the opportunity to further their education, and will experience heightened self-growth and self-worth.
Activities in the Community Learning Program take place both onsite and offsite. The instructional components include sign language, fitness, sewing, reading, kitchen/healthy eating, hygiene, music therapy programs, pottery sessions, and crafts. Recreational opportunities include activities that provide physical activity. There are also opportunities for outings and field trips.
Contract work such as stuffing envelopes and packaging for organizations are examples of some onsite activities. Collecting recycling from local businesses and senior homes, and performing janitorial duties for businesses are examples of some offsite activities.
Gateway networks with organizations/businesses within the community with the end goal of providing competitive employment to interested individuals. When job development opportunities are established, on the job coaching/training is provided by program staff.
During the summer, individuals who are part of the Green Team receive instruction/experience in the area of lawn care by mowing various lawns within the community two or three times a week and maintaining a lawn care contract for Gateway’s residential homes.
Individuals working with food preparation have the opportunity to work in a fully functional, commercial kitchen learning valuable skills related to meal planning, food preparation, hygiene, and safety. Morning and afternoon coffee breaks and a noon meal are prepared in the kitchen daily and served to the Workshop employees.
The Senior Activity Program involves individuals who participate in activities geared towards seniors on a rotation basis – a few are in the program on a full-time basis.
A typical day is filled with a variety of leisure activities such as puzzling, board games, crafts, and model building. To stay active a music exploration program and daily physical activities are an important part of the routine.
Weekly themes focus on topics of interest to seniors and they are encouraged to the share their interests and explore new hobbies.
Participating in activities at the Winkler Senior Center is also an important part of this program.