Mike does not walk, but he has a sharp eye for safety. At UCP’s Adult Day Program, he carefully inspects each room he is in to ensure there are no safety violations – zipping across the room in his wheelchair to see if a table or wastebasket is too close to an exit.
Safety is just one of the many skills UCP’s Adult Day Programs focus on, including activities of daily living, independent living skills, verbal and nonverbal communication, community integration and more.
But to Mike, his Adult Day Program housed in the Aero Haven Adult School is just that – school.
At school, Mike, who was born in Montana with cerebral palsy and now lives in Rancho Cordova with his mother, loves to learn about science and computers and browse the web. He also enjoys the Smart Board donated by the California Communications Access Foundation to help participants learn about a wide variety of topics using accessible technology. He is quick to share his latest scientific discovery – from how the eye works to why we brush our teeth.
But safety is his favorite subject. He often wears a baseball cap featuring a U.S. Air Force or fire station logo. He also worked with a local nonprofit to help box care packages for people serving in Afghanistan, which he says is, “Far east. Not where Florida is – farther east.” He was thrilled to receive their thank you notes.
Loie, who manages UCP’s Adult Day Program at Aero Haven, said she and Mike work as a team to keep the students safe. She said, “Mike is a great observer of human nature and behavior. When I recognized that, I asked him for help.”
Mike loves to learn new things and keep the room safe, but his favorite thing about school is his friends.
“I like my friends,” Mike said. “We’re a community.”