December 9, 2020 – Charlottetown PE:
Special Olympics PEI is excited to launch an at-home program as an adaptation due to the COVID-19 pandemic that isolates and restricts opportunities for many individuals with intellectual disabilities across the province.
“For many Islanders with an intellectual disability, social isolation and anxiety are heightened, and COVID-19 increases these issues. When the pandemic shut down our physical programs, we knew that our delivery methods would need to change.” says Charity Sheehan, Executive Director for Special Olympics PEI. “Step one was to implement Virtual Programming though a newfor our members to have access to a wide range of topics to keep them, healthy and engaged with our community while being safe at home. Thanks to funding we received through the Emergency Community Support Fund, provided by the Government of Canada and administered by United Way of PEI, we have been able to take programming to another level.”
Theprovides resources and materials to promote and motivate Islanders with an intellectual disability in broadening their skills and staying active in the environments they live, work and learn. The program has four theme areas: Experiment & Create, Connect & Learn, Be Active, and Build Skills. The activities participants choose can be customized, personal and fun to enjoy! Points are awarded for the time they spend completing any activity in a theme area, and participants will achieve a medal when they have completed enough points. The four theme medals fit together like a puzzle to make a large medal, and the Wellness Champion title when they are finished! Along with the physical materials, we have also worked with professionals to develop a Wellness campaign that highlights five Athlete Leadership Academy members who completed the Health Messenger training online during COVID restrictions this Spring. It is important for this population to see others like them; to be inspired, educated and supported with simple health and wellness messages. Please check out our first video highlighting all five of the trained Health Messengers, Janet Charchuk, Lisa Bernard, Ellen MacNearney, Cameron Gordon and Heidi Mallet: