Developmentally Disabled People Are Learning Woodworking

Skidz Reimagined is a vocational program in Lebanon, Ohio, that is teaching the skill of woodworking to people in the area that suffer from developmental disabilities. The program originally started out with only one student. However, a few more developmentally disabled people heard about it and wanted to join a few months later. The program has continued to grow at a very steady rate. In fact, the class had to move into a larger workshop because the one they were using before was no longer big enough to hold all of the students. Robb Barton is the man who started the program. He says that one of the reasons for the success of the program is the fact that all of the students learn at their own pace. They are given a learning environment that puts them in a position to succeed.

 

Barton also believes that much of the appeal of his vocational woodworking program is that the students are always treated with respect. These people are used to being treated like children and talked down to because of their mental disabilities. However, they are treated like just another student when they attend the woodworking class. It allows them to feel like they have a place where they fit in and are not constantly judged based on their handicap. The developmentally disabled people in the class also like being able to have something to occupy their time. They enjoy making friends with the other people in the class. People with mental disabilities often feel isolated and excluded from activities because they feel like they do not fit in. The class gives them a place where they feel normal.

 

The Skidz Reimagined vocational program has been such a massive success that plans to expand it are already underway. Barton is already talking to other people who are interested in becoming instructors at other locations around the state of Ohio. It is now just a matter of getting the proper funding.