For some people supported at DakotAbilities, work is not important or not possible due to the person’s physical limitations. DakotAbilities staff provide meaningful day activities as part of the overall Day Program and as a specialized Alternative Services Program. Both programs work hand in hand to provide activities such as participation in Horse Power, Swimming, Feeding SD, Fishing, Trent River Farm, Gardening, interacting with day cares, and several other community based activities.
Day Program staff also engage individuals throughout the day by providing sensory stimulation through music, dance, music therapy, massage, as well as physical activities in the gym here at the Longfellow Center. Meaningful days are very individualized and DakotAbilities strives to determine what makes it a meaningful day to each of the people that are supported at the Longfellow Center and to those who are participating in Alternative Services.
These programs have made obvious differences in people’s lives. Through observation we can see that people are doing things that are enjoyable and meaningful for them. They are also making new acquaintances and friends in the community.
DakotAbilities offers individuals an opportunity to participate in work based training programs at the Longfellow Center and assists people in finding full wage employment in the community as well. Individuals working at the Longfellow Center receive work training by completing work that is brought in from area businesses. This work includes packaging nuts, bolts, and washers into packages of various sizes and shapes. Individuals are expected to learn what it means to earn a paycheck, to work with others, to complete tasks independently, and develop other necessary work skills.
When individuals express an interest and are able to work independently out in the community, staff at DakotAbilities assist them with completing applications, writing resumes, and other skills necessary to secure outside employment. DakotAbilities staff also work closely with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employers in the Sioux Falls area to assist people in finding integrated employment.
DakotAbilities also offers individuals who have the ability and desire to work in the community an opportunity to work at a supported location at Citibank. At this location, individuals learn work skills out in the community while being supported by a DakotAbilities staff.