News

Team Leaders in Day Support have been trying out new, adaptable ways of increasing participant engagement in our recreational and educational programs.

People living with disabilities have varying communication and information-processing needs, so our Disability Support Workers and Disability Educators implement flexible learning strategies to reach the many different participants at OC Connections.

Disability Educators Veta and Jess have revamped a program called “Music Around the World”. They noticed that participants would often move in and out of their programs due to restlessness. Many participants struggle to engage for long periods of time in one room, so Veta and Jess developed a strategy that would actively involve participants and their decision-making processes.

“Music Around the World” starts with meditation, allowing participants to ground themselves in the moment and feel secure in their environment. During the session, Veta asks participants to pick a country from the basket of options and read it aloud. Music from that country is played for the group, accompanied by a fact about the nation’s culture.

Each round is a different kind of dance, including chair dancing, dancing like animals, and group dancing in a conga line. 

The varying options and dances keep participants active during the sessions. Veta moves around the room, teaching participants the dances and encouraging them to copy her.

Every participant is encouraged to dance in a way that suits their physical needs. The program’s flexibility allows for a more goal-oriented approach towards meeting participants’ specific needs with one:one professional support.

It’s a collaborative effort to maintain the focus and interest of all participants, and the social aspects of the program allow participants to support each other and be creative in communication.

OC Connections works using a Co-Achieve model; we actively listen to participants and work alongside them to create strategies to reach their goals.

Independence is at the forefront of choosing and achieving personal goals, and educational programs that are adaptable and flexible in their delivery help disability workers to keep participants engaged in services.

Adaptive teaching is vital for people living with disabilities – everyone is different, so it can take time to understand the learning and communication styles of each participant to ensure no one is left behind.

This is only one example of adaptive teaching within OC Connections! We’re excited to share more stories and ideas from our creative and skill-based classes over the next few months.

MUSIC AROUND THE WORLD

26 May 2024

Team Leaders in Day Support have been trying out new, adaptable ways of increasing participant engagement in our recreational and educational programs. People living with disabilities have varying communication and information-processing needs, so our Disability Support Workers and Disability Educators implement flexible learning strategies to reach the many different participants at OC Connections. Disability Educators […]

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Taryn’s Big Move into SDA

21 May 2024

In April, a regular participant of our Short Term Accommodation made the huge move into her very own home. Taryn, or Taz as her family and friends call her, spent several years utilising our short term accommodation space, learning how to live independently and developing household skills such as cooking and cleaning. With the encouragement […]

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Dinner Dance 2024

7 May 2024

Lights twinkled, cameras flashed, and the stars aligned for a spectacular evening at Merrimu Receptions on Friday, 2 May 2024. Our Hollywood-themed dinner dance event was an unforgettable journey into the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown, where guests stepped into the spotlight and danced the night away.

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DOWN SYNDROME: CONFIDENCE AND CAPABILITY

23 April 2024

What is Down Syndrome? People with Down Syndrome have always existed, with the first historical case discovered over 5000 years ago. In the 19th century the genetic disorder was named, and soon afterwards, the medical cause of the condition was uncovered; an extra chromosome on the 21st pair. Nowadays, Down Syndrome is widely known and […]

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ADRIAN’S SUPPORTED HOLIDAY WITH CLUBMATES

3 April 2024

Adrian, a Supported Employee at OC Connections Enterprises, has recently achieved his long-term goal! With the encouragement of his sister, Support Coordinator, and carers in his Specialist Disability Accommodation, Adrian booked an amazing trip to Illawarra. The holiday program, facilitated by Clubmates, included an incredible opportunity to ride in a helicopter and visit the largest […]

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Accessibility online: announcing the new tool on our website

25 March 2024

OC Connections has taken a big step towards online accessibility for those with disabilities, visual impairments, learning difficulties, and those who speak English as a second language.

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The Spirit of Giving: OC’s Partnership with Dandenong Christmas Tree Farm

24 February 2024

For 50 years, Dandenong Christmas Tree Farm has been a loyal supporter of OC Connections. Previous owner Jim Boucher, and his wife Lorna, built the partnership with OC Connections (which at the time was called the Oakleigh Centre) to engage and bolster fundraising efforts in the local community. Neil and Neal (the two Neil’s) purchased […]

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Neurodiverse Employment: What does it look like?

12 February 2024

For this blog, we will be using “neurodiversity” to describe: – autism– ADHD– intellectual and developmental disorders– Downs Syndrome– and psychiatric disorders Employment is an important part of people’s lives. You get paid for your work, you contribute to the community, and you can make friends. People living with disabilities face barriers to employment, but […]

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