Action for Kids is a national organization that works with both children and young people who have physical and learning disabilities, as well as their parents and carers.
Action for Kids achieves their goals through providing mobility equipment to help independent movement, work-related learning to assist with access to employment, furthering education, and alternate career opportunities. They also provide family support services to disseminate information, support and advocacy. The organization promotes independent living, teaches domestic and additional practical skills as well. The organization values friendliness, approachability, personal contact, dedication, and openness.
They work to assist them to transform their lives through removal of barriers to their independence. Young people approach the organization in order to learn in relation to work, develop skills for employment, community participation, charitable volunteering, and to develop self-esteem. The work-related learning young people achieve at Action for Kids is not just about obtaining jobs, the organization focuses on children's abilities as well as providing a positive and supportive environment through which they can develop confidence.
Action for Kids provides young people through the age of twenty-six with mobility equipment, to include power wheelchairs. These products give children with disabilities the ability to participate fully in activities and living. Unlike other organizations, Action for Kids does more than simply provide the equipment, they also offer to maintain it through a program that keeps this equipment functioning.
Many times, children and young people with disabilities are denied access and opportunity to participation in the working world. Action for Kids offers a Work Related Learning program where students do real work in their office. The organization holds a raffle, and students have the opportunity to process the raffle. Instead of being the recipients of charity, these students do the actual work themselves in order to benefit others.
The organization has a new service called, 'Towards Independence,' which trains children with disabilities in practical life skills. Examples of the skills taught include the use of public transportation, or the use of money. The program consists of training sessions that where young people have the opportunity to practice these skills and others. Students of the program receive and OCN qualification upon successful completion of the course.
Action for Kids is aware that there is not enough support available to either children with disabilities or parents. They believe that young people with disabilities have a right to equal participation in society. They offer a Family Support Services helpline that provides advice, or just someone to listen and understand at needed times.
The Community Living program offered by Action for Kids assists children with disabilities to develop as individuals, all while being safe and secure at home and in their community. Instead of institutionalizing young people, the organization helps them to enjoy participation in their own communities. The program offered by Action for Kids encourages young people to use services available to them locally, such as health and sports facilities, or libraries.
The vision of Action for Kids is a world where all children with disabilities and their family members get the advice and support they need, when they need it, for the duration of the time they require it. Their mission is based on the creation of independence through both providing opportunity and offering support. They help physically and learning disabled children and young people, as well as their family members, to achieve greater independence and opportunity through provision of appropriate levels of both support and assistance. What follows are a couple of examples of the assistance the organization has provided to children with disabilities.
A group of students in Action for Kids' work-related learning program set up a, 'mini-enterprise,' group. The groups goal was to create a piece of merchandise for sale in order to raise funds for the organization. The research this group completed led to the production of mugs that presented two different logo's; a Fish and a Tree.
Young Oliver Reed has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. Sometimes the wheelchair prevents him from joining in on activities with his friends. Oliver's mother contacted Action for Kids for assistance with funding, which led to contact with The Punch Community Spirit Project. Oliver's mother, Carey, said, "A huge thank you to both Action For Kids and Punch Taverns for providing us with this trike. It will not only offer Oliver the independence he needs to play with his sister and friends but it will also help build strength and coordination and teach him how to move his legs." Lyn Prodger of Action For Kids, applied to Punch Taverns for the funding. Lyn said, "We're always so grateful to businesses that give something back to the communities in which they operate. The trike will offer fantastic physical and emotional benefits to Oliver and we look forward to hearing about his development."
In another example of action on the part of Action for Kids, supporters had been asked for assistance for a boy with cerebral palsy, named Jordan, who liked to be called, 'JJ.' The organization purchased JJ a powered wheelchair with a rising chair mechanism referred to as a, 'Bobcat,' when he was five. JJ had outgrown his Bobcat. Action for Kids turned to supporters for assistance, and the response was a number of generous donations. JJ has a new wheelchair, a Permobile C400VS, that will meet his needs as he grows and changes. JJ is very pleased and is learning how to use the controls - www.actionforkids.org
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