The clients at Aull Place Community Training Home in Columbia, South Carolina, will spend their summer using their fidget boards, practicing their balance on a wobble board, and jumping on a new trampoline.
For clients with autism, the training home was able to purchase this adaptive technology during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) Love One Another campaign for programs in South Carolina.
The Love One Another campaign raised $1.2 million to help young people transitioning out of foster care, refugees, and individuals with intellectual and/or development disabilities (I/DD). The campaign included a goal of $30,000 to purchase adaptive technology and equipment for individuals with I/DD. This equipment will help improve communication, task completion, and focus.
All eight Community Training Homes in South Carolina received adaptive technology. Items included Big Joe chairs, ceiling projectors, tricycles, crash pads, swings, squishy balls, adjustable base beds, wobble boards, tablets, shower chairs, weighted blankets and sensory toys. Additionally, several clients in the Host Homes programs received adaptive technology such as bean bag chairs, specialized mattresses, weighted blankets, tablets, headphones, adjustable bed frames, fidget boards, and ceiling projectors.
“During COVID, things were on lockdown so a lot of the opportunities clients had to go to day centers or recreation centers went away,” LSC South Carolina Business Developer Rachael Fulmer said. “So with funds for adaptive technology raised by the Love One Another campaign, we started ordering the equipment and sensory toys. We wanted to make sure to give them things that would help with their skills and be fun at the same time.”
The purchases for the Community Training Homes came out of consultation with LSC adult services teammates on the greatest needs of the clients.
For the clients at Aull Place, one of the most popular items is the sensory boards. Sensory boards help LSC clients with fine tuning their motor skills, motor planning, cognitive development, and cause-effect understanding through play.
“I love the sensory board,” Aull Place Manager Alexis Prezzy said. “As soon as we set it up, our clients went straight for that.”
The generous donations of those who contributed to the Love One Another campaign provided these opportunities for LSC’s I/DD clients to live a more abundant life, even during a pandemic.
“The adaptive equipment has been very beneficial to the Community Training Home programs. The equipment assists with mobility, communication, and recreation,” Community Training Homes II Director Ebony Dawson-Mack said. “It promotes the development of problem-solving skills and creates opportunities to interact with others.”