ReFocus is committed to the belief that offering people the chance to learn and be productive helps them to move to their full potential – and increases their self-esteem along the way. Our ReFocus Community Centers put this belief into action, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
All our day activities and programs focus on our clients’ abilities, instead of their disabilities. Programs provide new opportunities for each of our clients and they expand the definition of what’s possible in a loving, trusting and challenging environment.
Our teachers offer a wide variety of learning opportunities – both in the classroom and out in the community. Some of our classroom offerings include Getting Ready for the World of Work, Project Vote, Jewelry Making, Singing, Work Ethics, Spanish Speaking, Sign Language, Computer Skills, Art, Current Events and Cooking.
Favorite activities out in the community involve the swim club, bowling and gym membership at WOW! – Workout World. Throughout the year, we plan field trips for the folks at our Community Centers. More than a “break from the routine,” these trips foster a sense of inclusion, which builds self-esteem and self-confidence. Some of the places we visit include the Providence Performing Arts Center and Trinity Repertory Theater, Canobie Lake Park in New Hampshire, the Rhode Island Flower Show, Mystic Aquarium, as well as local horse farms, zoos, libraries, historic sites and museums.
ReFocus is proud to offer opportunities on-site and through community libraries for instruction in reading, writing, math and money skills for adults with differing levels of ability. Through this program the folks gain greater independence and confidence about their place in the community. Literacy training also provides an important pathway to the workplace for some of our folks. Funding for our literacy program is currently provided through the Conrad Hilton Fund and the Northeast Mercy Ministry Fund; we are always looking for additional funding sources to expand this very beneficial program.
ReFocus Community Centers encourage and teach our folks about the ingredients of a healthy lifestyle. It’s all hands-on learning! We focus on good nutrition and exercise and offer complementary classes in cooking, yoga and relaxation techniques.
This program offers folks the opportunity to explore the performing arts, digital photography, storytelling and gardening. From spring to fall, folks cultivate and harvest herbs and vegetables in our outdoor urban gardens. During winter months, an indoor terrarium and plants throughout the our centers help to keep their green thumbs green.
ReFocus believes that all adults with developmental disabilities have the right to choices and the right to make their own decisions. We are also aware that negative attitudes and discrimination prevent many of these folks from having equal opportunities in housing, employment, education, health care, transportation, recreation and other basic rights important to every American. At ReFocus we advocate publically for equal opportunity. We continually challenge our folks to stand up for themselves while practicing skills that will keep them safe from harm.
These groups are smaller communities within the ReFocus community. Each meets weekly in a relaxed atmosphere for socialization, recreation and facilitated discussions about how to take their rightful place in the broader community. In addition to talking about the rights afforded them by the Americans with Disabilities Act, both the women’s and men’s group also discuss appropriate social behavior as well as how to keep themselves safe as they further integrate themselves into their communities.