A new online platform is offering Greater Victoria adults with developmental disabilities a space to learn new skills, attend events and connect with one another.
Launched by the Garth Homer Society in late 2020, LifeStreams is based off five pillars of learning – academics, body and health, community, purpose and self – intended to foster adaptability and self-sufficiency. The platform is one of the first to gear itself specifically to adults.
“We wanted to provide resources that were accessible and enjoyable for users, while at the same time maintaining their dignity as adults,” Geoffrey Ewert, Garth Homer Society learning and employment services director, said.
Upon clicking on the homepage, users are welcomed with an array of inviting graphics, including Supports, Activities and Learning, Live Events and The Voice Newsletter. They can then browse through a range of options from guides on social interaction and COVID-19 resources to lessons on painting, home skills and online safety.
The events section offers nearly daily options for users to try out new activities and connect with each other online. Upcoming events include a games and coffee hangout, a yoga class, trivia night and karaoke.
Creation of the platform was based off input from some of Garth Homer’s 185 existing clients.
“Inclusion should always be a top priority, and when it comes to building something for a community, voices from within that community are crucial to include in the conversation,” Jen Thorndale, LifeStreams program leader, said. “With their contributions, we have created an engaging, inclusive and accessible online hub where adults of all abilities can feel independent in exploring learning, resources and virtual connection.”
Funding of the website and ongoing live events came from United Way Greater Victoria, which provided a $45,000 grant.
The platform can be accessed at lifestreams.ca.
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