Monday, March 29, 2010

Hands-on Learning at Local Rehabilitation Program

To help her students gain heart as well as head knowledge about the field, Kaye Cook, professor of psychology, is taking the members of her Developmental Disabilities class to Bridgewell, a rehabilitation program for adults, ages 22 and up with disabilities, in the nearby city of Lynn. The interactive learning is incredibly beneficial to students, though it isn’t always easy. “I am used to working with young children, so the idea of entering a classroom with adults was a challenge,” said junior Melissa Overmyer. “I was glad to realize that techniques I use in the early education classroom also work with developmentally disabled adults.”

In cooperation with the staff, Cook’s students guide the clients in nutrition, music, exercise and craft programs. Their enthusiasm and creativity during the activities has not gone unnoticed by Susan Craven, director of Bridgewell. “I think it is a great experience for both the students and our staff,” she said.

Overmyer and others have learned from Bridgewell’s excellent staff, who have been models of patience and adaptability for the students. “Bridgewell staff are outstanding,” Overmyer said. “They recognize and celebrate gifts in those who have physical and/or mental impairments. They enable these wonderful members of our communities to get into public places and into jobs that encourage independence and appreciation of diversity.”

No comments: