In the greater Omaha/Council Bluffs metro area, there are thousands of adults with developmental disabilities who need a specialized environment if they are to participate in recreational and social activities. The Meyer Foundation for Disabilities is dedicated to helping them meet their needs by supporting recreational programs offered through the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s renowned Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha and in partnership with other community organizations.
Besides offering fun, the programs provided by the institute’s professional staff are therapeutic, improving the physical, cognitive, social and emotional functioning of disabled adults. The programs also promote inclusion of an often marginalized population and provide hours of much-needed respite for families and caregivers. Many of these programs aren’t available anywhere else, filling a critical void for members of the adult disabled community and their families.
In addition to the regular weekly Thursday night program offered through Munroe-Meyer, increased financial support from our community in recent years has allowed MFD to expand program offerings to include dance lessons, expanded cooking classes and a reading club.
Click on the About tab above to learn more about the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities, the people we serve and our mission. To make a tax-deductible donation to MFD, visit our donation page. To learn more on how you can participate in our fund-raising events, click on the links below.
Increased community support provides for expanded services
The Meyer Foundation for Disabilities is proud to announce it will be funding a significant expansion of services to individuals with disabilities in the metro area. Among the exciting new programming being offered in 2013 include a beginning figure skating program, a horse riding therapy program, visual and musical arts programs, expanded cooking classes, and programs providing increased access to books and reading clubs.
The new programs are the result of a recent call for proposals issued by MFD’s board. MFD is not a service provider but raises dollars to fund programming offered through partner organizations in the region. MFD issued nearly $25,000 in grants to fund the programs, made possible by the increased community support MFD has received in the past year. Here are details of the new offerings:
Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands (DSA)
DSA will be working with the Blade and Edge Figure Skating Club of Omaha to adapt their Learn to Skate Program to follow the Special Olympics Figure Skating Badge Program. Classes will be offered to teens and young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities beginning in April 2013.
DSA was also was awarded a grant to fund a Health and Wellness Class for teens and young adults with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities. This program will concentrate on social behavior, sexual health, nutrition and physical fitness. Additional information can be found at: http://www.dsamidlands.org/
HETRA –Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
HETRA’s mission is to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children with disabilities through equine assisted activities. This grant will fund a new HETRA site offering one-day mini camps, farm day experiences and vocational training. Additional information can be found at: http://www.hetra.org/
Omaha Public Library Foundation
The Omaha Public Library “High Interest – Low Vocabulary” book collection serves individuals with a low literacy level, including those with intellectual disabilities, those learning English as a second language or adults just learning to read. The books are targeted toward adult readers, giving them age-appropriate content that matches their reading level. A grant from MFD will provide for an additional 300 to 350 books for the collection. Additional information can be found at: http://www.omahalibraryfoundation.org/
The Mission of “Why Arts?” is to provide arts experiences to all ages, abilities, and culture to enhance their quality of life. Partnering with the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands and the Omaha Children’s Museum, “Why Arts?” will provide individual sessions of “Afternoon with the Arts.” Participants will rotate between the stations featuring music, visual arts and theater. Additional information can be found at: http://www.whyartsinc.org/
Next Chapter Book Club – Coordinated by the Ollie Webb Center
The Next Chapter Book Club provides adults with developmental disabilities the chance to read, learn and make friends, meeting weekly to discuss a book of their choosing in local bookstores, coffee shops and cafés. The clubs are open to anyone, no matter their reading level and are facilitated by volunteers. MFD’s grant will fund additional book clubs around the Omaha metro. Additional Information: http://chaptersahead.org/what-we-do/next-chapter-book-club/ or http://www.olliewebbinc.org/
Munroe-Meyer Institute Recreational Therapy Department
MFD continues its support of the Thursday evening Respite and Habilitation Program offered by the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. MFD is building an endowment to provide for the program into perpetuity. In addition, this year MFD will expand the adult cooking class offerings offered by MMI, one of the most popular programs among adults with developmental disabilities. More information on the MMI programs and be found at: http://www.unmc.edu/mmi/eveningrespitepgm.htm and at: http://www.unmc.edu/mmi/adultcookingclubpgm.htm