We Care Arts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Let's Sign Together

Image result for sign language

Hello everyone, my name is Mallory.  I write the blog for We Care Arts every week.  This week I want to introduce myself and tell you about my amazing experience teaching sign language to some of our clients.  First, I want to explain how I discovered We Care Arts and began to develop a strong connection with them.  Last year I was completing my Bachelor’s Degree at Wright State University and I had to do a final internship prior to graduation.   My academic advisor told me about WCA so I contacted them and did my internship here for four months.  I have a rare neurological syndrome called Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere that caused me to become legally deaf blind and a quadriplegic.  I use sign language and lip reading as my primary way of communication.  Despite my multiple disabilities I am determined to work with individuals with a variety of disabilites and help them any way I can. 
           During my internship, I did many different projects. Teaching sign language to a few clients with the help of my sign language interpreters was one of the primary projects I did.  Every week I would create  a document focusing on a specific topic to teach the following week.  Once the list of words was completed we would copy and paste pictures of the individual sign on the document for each client to keep and practice on their own.  Some of the topics included animals, holidays, activities, colors, and many others.  It always makes my day to see how much these clients truly enjoy learning sign language.  Sign language is a wonderful way for them to be able to communicate with others who are deaf, hard of hearing, or non-verbal. 

I recently started working on staff at WCA part time so I continue to teach sign language to those same people along with any new clients who are interested.  We are currently learning the signs to the “I Love You Song”.  I am thrilled to announce that some of us might be performing this song at our upcoming event Celebrate Your Style. 
Come see us perform on Saturday, October 8.  Celebrate Your Style will be held at the NCR Country Club from 10am to 12 noon.  Please click here if you want to register: http://wecarearts.org/about-events.php.  We hope to see you there!  I will continue to keep you updated on the clients in their journey to learn sign language. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

September is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month

Let's show our respect and support to those affected by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).  The month of September is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.  TBI is caused by strokes or sudden trauma to the brain after a fall or other aggressive activities effecting the brain.   According to website, Scioto.com, 5.3 million Americans are living with a disability caused by a TBI and face many challenges to live full and productive lives.  Traumatic Brain Injuries are the top cause of death and disabilities to individuals under the age of 44.  Awareness and educating people as well as communities about the common causes, symptoms and prevention of the destructive nature of a TBI.

According to Jackie Biggs, manager of the TBI art therapy program of the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Fort Belvoir, Va., who works mainly with vets who have returned home after receiving TBI during active service.  Many times her clients express reluctance when Biggs introduces them to art therapy.  One common excuse is "I am not artistic and have not done it since I was young." However, after she continues to encourage them to give it a try, then the "magic happens".  Their reaction shows a sense of surprise when they say "Wow!  This feels like medicine!  I haven't felt this relaxed in a long time.  My head hasn't been this clear in a long time!" 

Biggs explains that therapy works at the cellular level in the brain, restoring connection s that might have been damaged during a traumatic event.  Admittedly, art therapy is not a magical cure, but clients experience progress in how they deal with issues and it creates an opening to help them put words to what they are feeling.

We Care Arts is proud to contribute many art media services to individuals who are effected by TBI and many other disabilities for their personal expression through art.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Art Promotes Healing For Anxiety and Depression

Jen Swafford has always used art as a way to cope with life while growing up. Painting and using a variety of colors is an activity that she finds very peaceful and it helps to release emotions like stress and grief.  She finds that managing her stress helps with her chronic pain issues.
Jen loves it at We Care Arts.  She loves to learn different art techniques.  She likes to do watercolor and is now learning to paint on glass. She also enjoys painting silk neckties and scarves, and working in polymer clay and multimedia.  Her favorite projects have been painting scarves and doing multimedia, because she had never done those before.

Jen has 2 jobs. She works at the We Care Arts store at Town and Country Shopping Center.  She also works as a wavier provider, with a 16 year old girl with developmental disabilities.  She has been in therapy for her anxiety and depression issues and met a friend there who told her about WCA.  Later, when she had to cut way back on her work hours because of health issues, she started coming to WCA.
Jen could not pick just one favorite thing about being at We Care Arts.  She loves the atmosphere, the people, and getting to make art!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Grand Reopening at Town and Country Shopping Center

     After a year of sawdust and orange barrels, Town and Country Shopping Center is having their Grand Reopening! On Wednesday, September 14, Kettering Mayor Don Patterson will be there, along with the entire City Council and the owners of the Center, Casto and Skilken. Dan Edwards from Soft Rock 92.9 will have a live radio remote and they will have giveaways, food, and, of course, shopping! Congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to make this magic happen!