The Institute in New Hampshire offers adults with disabilities customized services that contain a well-planned, rich and varied schedule of activities. Activities are individualized to appeal to people’s interests and preferences, and provided in such a way that people’s daily experiences within their neighborhoods and communities are meaningful and facilitate active participation. Among the goals shared by people who are engaged in day services are:
- Formation and strengthening of social relationships
- Development of adaptive skills that permit increased membership and involvement
- Broadening of hobbies, vocational interests, social interests and recreational pursuits
- Contribution to one’s neighborhood through joining civic, fraternal, health and religious clubs
Thus people design their activity schedules and routines so that they go well beyond “filling time". Pleasure and fun, learning new skills, getting out and about, practicing recently acquired skills to proficiency, meeting new people and getting healthy exercise are the desired outcomes of membership in The Institute’s day programs. As people become more comfortable making connections and building friendships in the community, The Institute’s staff helps them with self-advocacy and exercising their legal rights.
Widely recognized for their excellence, IPPI’s day programs emphasize three key principles:
- Focus on Growth -- The schedule of activities each person/team builds is highly customized and continuously adapted as the individual learns, grows, faces new challenges and develops new interests
- Excellence in staff support - Depth of support staffing ensures that activities are rarely cancelled. If one staff person is out sick, for example, others, including managers, fill in, so that the continuity and richness of the individual’s day is not compromised
- Direction and Supervision - Supervisory support to staff is especially strong, so employees experience prompt, helpful and encouraging back-up. Because staff feels buoyed up by their supervisors, IPPI’s staff retention rates far exceed the norm. Individuals feel secure and can count on their staff-companions; their days go smoothly without the kinds of disappointments and disruptions that can result in tension and discord.
"Karen’s life has changed so much. She’s more her own person. She’s developing the ability to make choices. She can say “no.” She never said “no” before. She goes to hockey and baseball games, does her own laundry, goes out to lunch to her favorite places, and likes to have staff read to her. She lives living with Lynn and is really attached to Lynn’s kids. The kids love her too. The IPPI people seem to always like Karen. I can feel it with everybody who works with her. They say it takes a village. This has been her village."
-Lena Odesse, Karen’s mother and guardian