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City Council Supports M2L

On June 30th, 2021 the City Council voted on the budget for FY2022. The City's budget for FY22 will total $98.7 billion. Adaptive Design is pleased to share we have been awarded $25,000 from the City Council Discretionary budget. Adaptive Design thanks Council Member Helen Rosenthal for advocating for this program since 2017. This Mental Health Initiative is championed at Adaptive Design through the Made-to-Learn (M2L) Program.

This funding is to educate high school students with autism and the community in the practice and philosophy of adaptive design -- on how to use basic cardboard carpentry and finishing techniques to create adaptive devices that benefit individuals with autism and other disabilities.

Adaptive Design Association’s M2L program is an innovative educational and vocational in-school and community-based program teaching hands-on skills in design and fabrication. It consists of two components: hands-on sessions for students and staff-training sessions for educators and support staff. During hands-on sessions, students with autism learn 1) pre-vocational skills, including interpersonal relations, time-on-task, receptivity to supervision; 2) STEAM skills, including working with fractions, using measuring and building tools 3) Mission-centric knowledge about how their skills and knowledge can help, not just themselves, but other people with disabilities. Staff training provides teachers and paraprofessionals with the skills and curriculum needed to provide pre-vocational training to their students with autism. It adds to their repertoire of teaching skills and improves inclusion and accessibility in the participating schools. The items created via this program are distributed to students of the school or other local schools.

In 2020 ADA adapted a virtual version of the M2L program while students participated in remote learning sessions. Adaptive Design staff partnered with the local D75 team to customize cardboard caddies to be delivered to students' homes. The caddies serve both as a curriculum tool and hold student supplies. A tremendous triumph over circumstances given the disruption students in special education endured in the 2020-2021 academic year. ADA was one of few work sites that adapted to continue providing the much-needed community interaction with students and school staff.

Image 1:ADA volunteer who made caddys.

Image 2: Cardboard caddys with supplies.

Image 1: Virtual session: Students & staff adjusting to the new format with smiling faces.

Image 2: Virtual session: Educator demonstrating cardboard carpentry curriculum.

ADA is thrilled to learn that come September this program will return to in-person. To view individual agency funding under the mental health initiatives in the CIty Council adopted Expense budget Adjustment Summary/ Schedule C, visit this this link.


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