Adult Training Facilities
The Adult Training Facility (ATF) at Don Guanella Village, licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare and Department of Aging, has program locations at the Divine Providence Village Annex and at the Cardinal Krol Center.
The ATF offers year-round day support designed specifically for adults with severe to profound mental retardation. Many participants are very physically and medically involved and require extensive levels of support. An initial assessment to measure levels of functional and daily living skills is completed upon admission. From this assessment, an interdisciplinary team - consisting of the individual, direct care staff, program specialists, the individual's family or guardian, advocates, a representative from the funding agency, and any other people involved in the individual's life - develops an Individual Program Plan (IPP). The IPP, in turn, drives the delivery of service. The mission of the program is for each person to progress to their own highest level of independence and environmental control.
The current ratio of staff to program participants ranges between 1:3 and 1:6, based on the level of service required. Currently, 87 individuals, who range in age from 23 to the elderly, receive ATF services. Hours of operations are 9:00am to 3:30pm, Monday through Friday. Established legal holidays and a Christmas break are the only regularly scheduled closings of the program.
The ATF emphasizes functional life skills, personal management, community involvement, and domestic and recreational/leisure activities. Individuals participating in the AFT have opportunities to explore different experiences in all areas of their life. Some experiences include self-help, housekeeping/domestic, gross motor, fine motor, sensory stimulation, socialization, communication, and pre-vocational tasks. Each individual works toward goals to gain as much independence as possible. This program allows each person to have an active part in having a meaningful day.
The ATF gives individuals the opportunity to reach their greatest potential. We provide a program focusing on pre-vocational skills that may be used in a workshop setting. Although everyone at the ATF voluntarily participates in activities such as sorting, packaging, functional life skills, photocopying, paper shredding, and can crushing, the men and women that do partake in the PRE-VOC program seem to enjoy them immensely.
The ATF provides many occasions for everyone to get involved in his or her community. Organizations such as local high schools and colleges, massage students, and pet therapy groups have come out and provided therapeutic activities for all to benefit. Each person also has the chance to go on a variety of outings. These are some outings in which we have thoroughly enjoyed: fishing, some private movie screenings, visits to a local Nursing Home, the Zoo, Linvilla Orchards, apple picking, Brandywine Battlefield, shopping and delivering shredded paper to a local packaging company.
The Snoezelen Room
The Snoezelen Room serves all the individuals of the ATF. This room is a multi-sensory stimulation room, which has been one of the most successful approaches to individuals with severe to profound mental retardation. The Snoezelen concept provides a means for non-verbal communication in a setting that promotes relaxation and self-healing. A variety of sensory elements in the Snoezelen Room, including sounds, colors, forms and textures, enable staff to provide stimulation for those people who would otherwise be almost impossible to reach. The inviting environment of the room also serves as a tool for motivation and a means to improve concentration and coordination.
Admissions to the ATF are solely through referral from the County Offices of Mental Retardation throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. For additional information on the AFT, see information in the Pennsylvania Home and Community Services and Supports Directory (HCSIS) under both Divine Providence Village and the Cardinal Krol Center. For referral information, admission inquiries, or for any other information, please contact the ATF's Social Services Director, Barbara Hickey, at 484.908.6591.