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Teaching each other skills

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Brendan and Darian learn off each other in the program. Photo – Jessica Howard
Brendan and Darian learn off each other in the program. Photo – Jessica Howard

By Jessica Howard

A link between two Darley Neighbourhood House course programs is bridging the gap between adults with disabilities and students.

The Avenue Group, which provides an alternative program to secondary students not suited to the school environment, has teamed up with members of the Creative Art Disability Group.

Members of the two groups join together on a Friday afternoon and take part in a variety of art and craft activities.

Hope, the creative art disability group tutor, said after being the only class instructor for the past 13-years, it was great to have some fresh new faces.

“It’s a fabulous collaboration between the two groups and it’s very beneficial for the students to be a part of a community,” she said.

“The students are very sensitive to the needs of those in the [creative art disability] group; we have some people that are non-verbal but the students have learnt to read them and can now confidently converse with them”.

The two groups met at Darley Neighbourhood House on Friday (November 18), where they made and decorated their own dreamcatchers.

Avenue Group Tutor, Tabatha said the collaboration had a number of invaluable benefits.

“It’s giving these students, who for whatever reason are just not suited to the normal school environment, a sense of independence. It teaches them organisation and communication skills and enables them to learn the value of patience,” she said.

“It has also provided a stepping stone for future pathways to two particular students, who are now seeking a future in the community and educational sectors.

“These are a really good bunch of kids and when they walk out of this program at the end of the day they are proud and that is something a lot of them have never felt before”.