Paladin, Inc., an organization working daily to advocate for persons with developmental disabilities, is proud to offer a wide array of services to meet the specific needs of their clients. Joshua Janosi, Curriculum Developer, has been getting creative with new learning opportunities and classes.
“I’ve been with the agency for the last several years, and for a good chunk of that I was managing our day program. Throughout this program, individuals kept coming up to me with suggestions about certain subjects that they were interested in learning more about,” Janosi said. “Over the years I kept adding to this list and developing new curriculum.”
Since then, Paladin has added more than 40 new classes to its repertoire.
“We are really big on the idea of self-expression for these individuals. Unfortunately, with the population we serve, there are many people dictating what goes on in their lives, and sometimes their voices get lost in the mix. In every curriculum, I always stress that I want to hear what they have to say, however they choose to express it,” Janosi said.
Individuals can acquire daily living skills starting with the classes that have an 8:1 participant-staff ratio, where instructors work with individuals who have lower cognitive levels and higher needs. The goal is to develop the necessary skills to advance to the classes with a 10:1 participant-staff ratio for pre-vocational training, giving them the opportunity to dive into various learning activities to further advance their critical thinking skills.
Below is a list of the new programs that Janosi has been developing for the past year:
Pick a country and learn about it in two sessions: 1) via the internet and 2) creating a poster board.
Identify an animal, living or extinct, and research it in two sessions: 1) via the internet and 2) creating a poster board.
Identify something electronic, mechanical, architectural, etc., and research it in two sessions: 1) via the internet and 2) creating a poster board.
Solve puzzles to escape hypothetical situations.
Learn to express yourself through art in various mediums.
Participate in various activities, videos, and discussions related to independent living skills.
Explore history through lessons on ancient civilizations, dinosaurs, historic wars, historic figures, history mysteries, to the advance in technology, and more.
Engage in various types of math and money skills by working with worksheets and game-formatted lessons.
Discover music and instruments through song recognition activities, acoustic jam sessions, free jam sessions, and listening.
Take and edit photographs using computer software.
Engage with various basic science experiments.
Focus on soft skills, such as communication, creative thinking, problem solving, teamwork, etc.
Learn to play the game of billiards.
Learn various routines that incorporate exercise and dance.
Participants will engage in making different types of jewelry and creating their own designs.
Create a device that consists of several causes and effects.
Learn yoga that has been adapted for individuals who have deficits in range of motion or mobility.
Participate in various chair and standing exercises that accommodate different levels of physical abilities.
Retail Training Programming
Train for three months in the center’s retail snack shop to learn customer service, operating a cash register, money handling, and completing inventory.
Music Studio Production Program
Learn recording software, recording different instruments, producing music, and more.
Use instructional videos to learn guitar basics.
Administrative Office Training Program
Learn basic office tasks including filing systems, organization and computer skills, copy machine features, data entry, etc.
Learn about entrepreneurship by developing a product or business idea and a business plan. Then turning that idea into a marketable product.
Driver License Preparation
Learn the driver’s license handbook and practice tests.
Manual Labor Training Program
Learn safety measures, painting, patching and repairing drywall, connecting light switches and outlets to mock electric wires, properly using tools, etc.
Participants will learn about safety measures, tool usage, following instructions, and build projects.
In a variety of clubs, Paladin offers participants the opportunity to independently choose age- and skill-appropriate activities that cover topics to explore and learn about in a group setting. Clubs include Writing, Book, Dance, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Computer, Sports & Games, Strength Training, Karaoke, Cooking, Art, Music, Drama, Journalism, Self-Advocacy, Restorative Art, and Discussion.
Paladin is actively seeking donations and gifts to acquire meaningful equipment, materials, and supplies to support its unique curriculum. For more information regarding how you can help support Paladin’s curricular needs, please call Erin Mooneyhan (219)-342-0656 or Joshua Janosi at (219)-202-2000.