Like much of St. Louis, the participants and staff at the Arc followed the St. Louis Blues on their journey to their first Stanley Cup win. The Community Engagement (CE) team in particular is known to have several die-hard fans among them. As the Blues began pre-season play this week, 160 of the Arc’s staff and participants gathered with the Towel Man to celebrate. This Blues pep rally wasn’t all Gloria and rally towels though, the party provided a unique opportunity for participants to achieve personal outcomes!
What Are Outcomes
Personal outcomes are based on a participant’s desire for what a good life means to them. These outcomes are worked on regularly with the support of staff to encourage independence and engagement in the community. Earlier this summer, the CE and Aging With Empowerment (AWE) teams brainstormed on how Arc staff could support participants in achieving more outcomes. During the Outcome Specialists’ meeting the group brainstormed and came up with an idea to host an event where multiple participants could work toward achieving multiple outcomes. With all seven program sites working together toward a common goal people at various sites could achieve outcomes through working on one large project. Continuing to celebrate the historic St. Louis Blues win was a perfect reason to throw a party.
From the planning to the cleanup, every aspect of the Blues party helped participants achieve outcomes. Creating the invitation provided the opportunity for someone to work on computer, design, and language skills. Instead of catering the event, participants and staff bought and prepared food to achieve outcomes. Shopping for the event allowed several participants to create a list, find items in a store from that list, and complete the purchase process – all important life skills. Cooking with fresh food, meal prepping, and cutting vegetables all provided opportunities for independence outcomes to be met.
At the event someone took photos to achieve their fun outcome of learning more about photography. A musical experience outcome was met when a staff member volunteered to DJ the event and work with participants to create the playlist. Several people worked on language outcomes through serving as greeters and emcees.
Additionally, staff worked with Katherine Rug, the St. Louis Arc’s dietitian to create food that was fun, healthy, and met many of the dietary needs of those in attendance. Nachos, a customary stadium food, was served but with subtle twists to allow all in attendance the ability to enjoy the lunch. In addition to chicken and beef, quinoa was served as an option to add additional fiber or to serve as a substitute for those who could not eat chips. The Cowboy Caviar was chopped to the appropriate size for soft mechanical, ensuring participants and staff wouldn’t need to further cut the meal. Katherine also made “nooch” which uses nutritional yeast to create a vegan cheese. The dish is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and protein.
Overall the event was a great success! The CE sites joined together to not only kickoff what is sure to be another great Blues season, but do what they do best and support individuals with disabilities live their best lives!