By Jennifer Petraitis, Human Resource Generalist and Kim Busha, Human Resources Staffing & Wellness Coordinator
Venture’s Wellness Works Program is a benefit to all employees to help them achieve their health goals, create a sense of community, and provide resources for wellness. All of these great benefits are available to employees through this program:
- Monthly award given to an employee who has been nominated by a co-worker for making a healthy change in their life – employees can a win certificate and gift card
- Fruity Friday or Tasty Tuesday – providing fruit and healthy snacks to all employees in the main office
- Lunch and Learn workshops throughout the year on topics such as stress management, making healthy food choices, financial health and chair yoga
- Wellness Challenges are offered several times a year, including the Walk for Wellness Challenge, Venture’s Biggest Loser Challenge, Healthy Hydration Challenge and Sleep Challenge. These challenges educate employees on the benefits of the activity and equip participants with the tools to help them complete the challenge. Everyone that completes the challenge is entered into drawings for great prizes like Fitbit activity trackers and gift cards.
- Free chair massage days with chiropractic information
- Information on healthy recipes, hiking trails and farmer’s market locations
- Free Venture Wellness t-shirt and entry fee reimbursement for participation in a road race, walk or run.
- Monthly wellness topic information co-sponsored by the Nursing Team, including Go Red for Heart Health Awareness in February and Autism Awareness in April. During both of these months the committee challenges employees to show their support by wearing red in February and Blue in April.
- Annual Winter Pot Luck Luncheon for all employees – anyone who brings a healthy dish with the recipe is entered to win a prize
- Free massage chair available in the main office
- Annual Wellness Fair with great vendors like local hospitals, health food stores, fitness instructors, and more. Employees also enjoy free giveaways, raffle prizes, and snacks.
- Blood pressure screenings and seasonal flu shots
If you are a Venture employee and have noticed a fellow coworker making a positive change in their life to promote their health and wellness, email Kim Busha to let the Wellness Works Team know and the nominee will be entered to win a prize in the monthly drawing!
If you are a member of the community and would like to help as a vendor at this year’s Wellness Fair on Thursday, October 13th, please contact Kim Busha at firstname.lastname@example.org or 774-922-1139.
Adaptive equipment and assistive technology are essential to improving the quality of life and level of independence for people with disabilities. Examples of such equipment might be wheelchairs, lifts, swings, tricycles, communication devices, tablets, computer software, shower chairs, specialty eating or writing utensils and much more. These items can help individuals with mobility, communication, sensory, recreational, or social needs. Too often, cost or availability can be a major barrier to someone in need of such equipment. Here is a list of valuable resources that can help people access adaptive equipment and assistive technology:
- The UCP Elsie S. Bellows Fund – This fund, administered by United Cerebral Palsy, provides grants for the purchase or repair of assistive technology devices and adaptive equipment to individuals with disabilities who show financial need. Examples of eligible equipment include wheelchairs, lifts, and computer equipment. To apply, contact your local chapter of UCP. Visit the affiliate search web page to find the contact information for your area.
- MassMATCH – Each state has a unique program for helping people access assistive technology. In Massachusetts, MassMATCH defines their mission as “promoting the use of assistive technology and assistive technology services to enhance the independence of people with disabilities, enabling equal participation in all of life’s activities”. Their various programs offer regional centers where individuals can go to test out different types of gear, a low-interest loan program to purchase needed items and free refurbished medical and adaptive equipment. These items can help people with disabilities be more successful in the workforce, travel independently, communicate, and so much more.
- Great Bike Giveaway – Every year, this organization aims to provide 600 free adaptive bicycles to children with special needs from all over the country. To find out how to register for this contest, subscribe to their mailing list. Also be sure to check out Friendship Circle’s resource list for other sources of adaptive bicycles.
- Challenged Athletes Foundation – This organization offers a grants for athletes with physical disabilities to help them access adaptive sports equipment. Their Access for Athletes program provides the opportunity to receive a grant for specialty wheelchairs, adaptive bicycles, sports prosthetics, and more depending on the need of the individual and their sport.
- Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism – The Allison Keller Education Technology Program helps schools and other organizations access valuable assistive technology equipment for children with autism and other disabilities. Eligible items include computers, tablets, smart boards, and applicable training. Although this program is not for individuals, it could be greatly beneficial to your child or family member in the classroom setting.
Also, be sure to check out Venture’s Adaptive Equipment and Assistive Technology boards on Pinterest for more inspiration!