Tips for Communicating with People with Disabilities

Feeling like you don't know what to say and/or how to act? Remember we're all human. No one is judging your every move so first and foremost... RELAX! You are communicating with a person, not a "disability"Mistakes are OKAY! We all make themASSUMING... We all know that old saying... Remember you don't know what another person is and/or isn't capable ofSpeak directly to the person. If a companion is present, don't speak to the person through the companionTreat adults as adults. Address people with disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to everyone else presentNever patronize someone by patting him/her on the head or shoulders.Never pet, talk to, feed, or otherwise distract a service animal unless the owner has give you permissionBe proactive. If you see a visitor with a visible disability enter the building (wheelchair, walking cane, service animal, hearing aid, etc..) and you have the ability to leave your post, greet them and let them...
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Arts for All’s #GivingTuesday Grateful for Sensory Tools

This year, as we get ready to sit down with friends and family for Thanksgiving, we are reminded of all the things we are grateful for. Too many to be listed for me, I'm one of the really fortunate ones. For someone else, it may be that they are grateful they can walk outside for a breath of fresh air. Or, hug a loved one that's been away for too long. Or maybe, feel the calming weight of a blanket when they don't know what else to do and their environment is just too much. Often times, we don't even realize that someone is feeling anxiety or struggling. The torment on the inside is exhausting, and many are unable to soothe themselves in these overstimulating environments without the help of tools. We now have a term for these items: Sensory Tools. I'm sure you've seen some of the popular ones such as fidget spinners. Every kid in America had one...
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An Inclusive Gift Guide

An Inclusive Gift Guide I don’t know about you but I love shopping in my PJ’s. Sipping my coffee, knowing that I’m getting a great deal AND making my money go further by using my Amazon Smile account to give a percentage to the non-profit of my choice. In this case, we all know it’s Arts for All of Norther Michigan right?! This is where you double check your Smile account and confirm;) This year, while you’re trying to be the best gift giver, let me give you some sage gift giving advice. Everyone likes gifts that speak of inclusion. EVERYONE. They make both, the giver and receiver, feel good. It also lets those around you know that you feel inclusion is important. Because it is! It’s a basic human need.  Anyway, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already know all of that so let’s get to the fun list of goodies below. I hope they speak to your heart and help...
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Calling all Artists

Phil Wilson teaching a ceramics class Are you interested in working and teaching youth and adults with disabilities? Arts for All is holding a two-part FREE teacher training on November 14 and 19th, from 5:30-8pm at our studio. In an interactive setting, participants will explore Universal Design for Learning, connect with beginning and master level teaching artists, and learn how to plan creative classroom instruction that reaches ALL learners. Occupational, physical and speech therapists, and a specialist in Autism Spectrum Disorder will offer their expertise on how to integrate and adapt the arts for a wide audience.  Receiving this training makes you eligible to become an Arts for All teaching artist. Very limited space is available, so if interested please email Program Director Melissa Johnson at melissa@artsforallnmi.org or call the studio at (231) 947-1278. ...
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