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Tips for Effectively Utilizing Volunteers:
Volunteers are never to be left alone with a child or adult
Volunteers are told not to bring any outside food into program areas. As a role model, please follow the same policy
Volunteers are not permitted to administer medication, provide personal care, or feed any individual (unless they are CPR Certified and specifically trained to feed a client)
Volunteers are reminded not to use cell phones while they are volunteering. Please remember to follow the same policy.
Volunteers are not allowed to surf the web or use a computer (especially a staff computer) unless their work assignment specifically requires one (i.e. data entry, board maker, etc.)
Volunteers are a great means to assist with activity planning and preparation (e.g., organize supplies, make copies, cut-outs, laminate, prep materials, etc.)
Volunteers are a great resource for maintaining a healthy learning environment. During downtime they can wipe down and disinfect regularly used items or common areas
Volunteers are a great medium for providing a little extra one-on-one for individuals who need extra encouragement and attention during group activities
Volunteers are permitted to take pictures during their service, if approved by staff and/or the client and the client has a signed HIPAA agreement/photo release
Volunteers have potential to be a future staff member, advocate, parent, or family member. Remember to support them in a manner that leaves them with only a positive impression
And finally… volunteers are a blessing. It is how Redwood began and it is what we need to continue to thrive. Thank your volunteers often and treat them with respect like any fellow employee
Did you know October is Physical Therapy Month? The goal of physical therapy, a service that Redwood proudly provides, is the (re)training of the body to do functional activities to the best of its ability. The physical therapist examines, evaluates, and develops treatment plans and treats patients who have conditions that affect an individual’s ability to move freely without pain.
Happy Physical Therapy Month to Redwood’s star PT, Debbie Listerman!
During these uncertain times, it’s also important to regularly review your estate plan.
If Congress allows current rates and exemptions to expire at the end of 2012 as scheduled, your family could lose significant amounts of wealth to gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. But Congress may extend current exemptions and rates or take other action.
Because of this uncertainty with estate tax laws, you need to make sure you’re on the right track. If your estate exceeds $1 million — or you and your spouse’s estates combined exceed $2 million — consider whether you should make gifts this year.
As long as you don’t exceed your $5.12 million exemption (less any taxable gifts you’ve previously made), you won’t owe any tax on the gifts. This likely will remove the assets from your taxable estate and, at minimum, will remove their future appreciation. Note, though, that in certain circumstances gifts made in the past might be included in your estate. So it’s important to understand the consequences of making the gift. And, before making a gift, be sure that doing so won’t jeopardize your own financial security.
During these uncertain times, it’s also important to regularly review your estate plan. Make sure it takes maximum advantage of current estate tax law, and yet still has the flexibility to adapt to future estate tax law changes.
For example, if your estate plan includes a credit shelter trust to protect both you and your spouse’s estate tax exemptions, make sure the plan allows you to take maximum advantage of the available exemption while still providing the surviving spouse sufficient assets to maintain his or her lifestyle.
Minimizing taxes is only one aspect of estate planning, but it can help you achieve other goals as well — such as providing for loved ones or supporting charity. That’s why it’s important to make the most of available tax breaks and be prepared for future estate tax law changes.
Imagine a world without books. Now imagine a world filled with books that you can’t read or understand. This is a circumstance that many adults—with and without disabilities—experience to some degree.
Scott is a case in point. He was good at connecting letters into words and words into sentences, but he knew that he wasn’t fully understanding the meaning of words or extracting useful content from the text. This impacted his ability to gather information, learn new skills, achieve important life goals, and pleasantly while away an afternoon with a good book.
To change these circumstances, Scott participates in a variety of activities to improve his reading comprehension.
The Computer Life Skills program provides lots of opportunity for reading improvement through exploration of special-interest topics on the Internet; interactions with others through email, Facebook, and chat rooms; word processing projects; and data entry tasks.
Scott’s reading comprehension improved a big boost through his work with a therapist and a rehabilitation engineer last year. Several technology-based treatment programs were trialed before they discovered BLIO, a software program that uses a multisensory approach by presenting reading material in both auditory and visual formats. When Scott ran into a word he didn’t know, he highlighted it and the software said it for him. When Scott didn’t know a word’s meaning, he accessed a dictionary definition. To remember key content matter, Scott highlighted words in the text.
One of Scott’s favorite activities is the Redwood Book Club. Scott takes a leadership role in the club by reading to other adults each week. An enlarged copy of the text helps him better see the words. At the end of each chapter, Scott participates with the other adults in a discussion prompted by comprehension questions. As the meeting closes, members try to foretell what will happen next in the story.
Reading instructor, Rachel Otte says, “Scott is great at foretelling. He uses good critical thinking skills to guess upcoming content based on the chapter’s title and his comprehension of the chapter just finished.”
The Book Club is currently reading White Fang by Jack London. Scott looks forward to reading more mystery novels. “I like the book club because it helps me practice and improve my reading skills. This will help me reach my future goals,” explained Scott.
As Scott continues his quest to improve his life through the power of the written word, we believe he will reach his long-term goal of attending Gateway College.
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