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Orana and Down Syndrome SA programs available online!

Orana and Down Syndrome SA clients have adapted well, transitioning straight to learning virtually online through the platform Zoom.

Orana has been offering 1:1 skill development and capacity building programs online through Zoom since mid-April during COVID-19 so that everyone could continue to learn from the safety of their own homes. To reflect, the Zoom programs that were on offer include: Turning Anger Into Calm, Social Skills, Money Handling and Budgeting, Literacy, DE Counselling and Intervention, Life Out Loud, Information Technology and more.

The Life Education and Work Skills programs at Down Syndrome SA has been running through Zoom since mid-April too, five days a week! We have been able to deliver many of the activities in an interactive way online, in which many of the participants have become more engaged in their own home environment. We have been working on many topics including keeping safe at home and in the community, what constitutes an emergency and some basic first aid. Keeping safe when out and practising physical distancing has been a core focus this term!  

Our participants have been at home and we have structured each day the same as face to face, as much as we can to accommodate everyone. The morning session has a focus on social skills such as conversation, asking questions and finding out more about ourselves and our communities. We have learnt so much more about each other over the weeks! We also practise and develop functional skills such as money, time, mapping and safety at home and in the community. The afternoon session has been more focused on games, dancing, craft and cooking.

We have continued to develop our calendar, speaking and listening, writing and some numeracy skills with the online platform. In the afternoon sessions we have been learning new basic recipes, science experiments and simple home craft activities. Everyone has had lots of fun. The participants are thoroughly enjoying it and can’t wait to Zoom in again. Thank you to all of our families and the support they have given the new program.

Lastly, Dance Down online classes have been delivered through Zoom, which have been available to attend every Thursday evening from 30th of April.

Feedback from a few of our teachers:

“It has been really good and engaging.”

Angelina – Program Facilitator at Orana Capacity Building Team.      

“I have had several very positive comments from families regarding the programs we are running at Orana.

Firstly they are very grateful that we are still able to provide these programs while the pandemic is on. They see these programs as very beneficial in their day-to-day lives and have made a huge difference.

Secondly is the amount of confidence a lot of the employees have gained in themselves since doing a lot of these courses. One of our employees has never lived alone and has always needed to be in a relationship to be supported. After doing some courses with Angelina, she now feels confident enough that she is ready to move into a home of her own with some support. Having Zoom available through this time of COVID-19 has enabled the programs to be on going. Although the employees miss the personal interaction they usually have with Angelina, they have all adapted really well.”

Lee Orana Supervisor.

“The Zoom sessions resulted in wonderful outcomes for many of our participants in regards to using technology in a different way and still feeling connected to their programs that we provide for our community. We really wanted to provide this service for people with Down syndrome and their families to keep friendships connected, as well as practising the core skills that we have been focusing on this year. We have got to know the families a lot more and I’m sure they have of us too! All in all, it’s been challenging for us (especially the IT component) but rewarding as we could see all of the participants.”

Teressa Education Consultant & April – Down Syndrome SA Life Education.

Feedback from some clients and families:

“I have found doing programs via Zoom pretty good. I am doing reading and writing and I love it. I’m more confident in reading and writing and my handwriting is much neater. I want to have a change in my job and this course will be very beneficial to me.”

“I have enjoyed Ang teaching me the programs, she explains things so that I can understand them and has given me lots of confidence in myself”.

Robert Papagni – Orana

“I enjoy doing the programs via Zoom it’s easy to hear her and can understand clearly. I love all the programs! I enjoy the way Angelina does the programs she is polite and helps me whenever I need help.”

Greg Vermeeren – Orana

“I am happy that we can still do programs and Zoom makes this happen. I enjoy the way Angelina does the programs she is polite and helps me whenever I need help.”

Jamie Vermeeren – Orana

“Thank you we were grateful for the opportunity to you and April and the staff in presenting the Zoom opportunity to Jake and Life Ed participants.

Jake enjoyed the “working from home ” concept adapting well as both his brother and myself worked from home also and Roger closed the shop for a month.

This enabled us to assist Jake to keep connected with your program, engaged and participating and seeing you all. This helped him from being bored and lonely as it was hard enough not seeing all his usual friends and family. 

Thank you again for the opportunity and the effort put into setting up the Zoom sessions.”

Jake and Roger and Lucy Trombetta

From the 1st June, Orana has started offering face-to-face skill development and capacity building programs again, particularly for those programs which we cannot provide virtually. We will be continuing to offer Zoom sessions for our other skill development programs wherever possible.

Down Syndrome SA’s virtual group program, Zoom into Life Ed and Work Skills began to transition back towards group services in mid-May by offering a small group (maximum of four people per day) to attend the program at Ridleyton, while also continuing to run Zoom sessions for the other participants.

As of the 1st June, Life Ed and Work Skills face-to-face group sessions are re-commencing at Ridleyton. We will cease Zoom for the time being from this point until further notice.

We have implemented many safety and hygiene measures to ensure that we can run our programs face-to-face following the protocols set by the Australian Government and the Department of Health.

Have a look at a few of our photos from our experience with online learning below. Please note sliders one and two – Greg and Jamie are brothers who live in the same house on a Zoom session with Angelina.

  • Slider 1 – Greg & Jamie Vermeeren – 713×385

  • Slider 2 – Ang teaching Greg & Jamie – 713×385

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  • Slider 2 – 713×385

  • Slider 6 – 713×385