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, therapeutic horse riding, ice skating lessons and reading clubs, among others.
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.
MFD grants support new, continued services in 2014
The Meyer Foundation for Disabilities is proud to announce the awarding of nearly $35,000 in grants for fund services during 2014 for individuals with disabilities in the metro area. Among the exciting new programming being offered in 2014 include a film-making class, a nature camp and dance classes. In addition, MFD will continue support for a horse riding therapy program, expanded cooking classes and reading clubs. Read on to learn more about this year’s offerings:
Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands (DSA)
Lights. Camera. Action! A class offered through DSA will provide students the fundamentals on sharing their voices, stories and creative talents through the art of film-making. Each student will learn the basics of filming, editing and posting video, and they will showcase a short film at the end of the program. Students will also be encouraged to continue producing films for local and national advocacy organizations. Additional information can be found at: http://www.dsamidlands.org/
HETRA –Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
Saddle up! MFD expands its support of HETRA and its mission 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 high-back saddle, which will provide additional support for adult and teen riders that a traditional saddle cannot. The saddle will encourage the greatest level of independence. Additional information can be found at: http://www.hetra.org/
MFD will step out with Why Arts? to provide a series of fun, active and informative dance classes. Called “Dancing with Robin and Deb,” the sessions will include learning basic dance steps and then interpreting them through a variety of musical themes, including Western, Latin and Musical Theater. The mission of Why Arts? is to provide arts experiences to those of all ages and abilities, and culture to enhance their quality of life. Additional information can be found at: http://www.whyartsinc.org/
Next Chapter Book Club – Coordinated by the Ollie Webb Center
For the third straight year, MFD rants will provide or expansion of the popular Next Chapter Book Club program. The Next Chapter Book Club provides adults with developmental disabilities the chance to learn and make friends while exploring literature. 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
Nebraska Lutheran Outdoor Ministries
An MFD grant will enhance the offerings at the Jay Novicki Program, a day camp for adults age 21 and up. Spring sessions will include the new “Feel the Music” program, in which participants will craft their own instruments and explore sound, rhythm and vibrations. In the fall, the “Living in Creation” program will allow participants to explore bird calling and bird watching and to enjoy a nature-themed craft. More information is available at http://www.caroljoyholling.org/camp-programs/special-needs-programs
The MFD sponsors two major fund-rasing events each year that enables us to fund all of our programs, Walk & Roll for Disabilities and the OwL Ride. Please click on the links below to learn how you can participate in or support these annual events.