Sewing is my Super Talent
Sewing seems like a daunting, tedious task. Scary at most, to control a sewing machine and create a product, a useful product, from a bolt of cloth!
Adults with disabilities are eager and ready to get sewing. A craft, a talent, and a useful skill, sewing has become a great interest for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at DEEN Day Program.
Many of Day Program participants are unable to attend colleges or get a job. They are usually isolated from peers and society at large, once they have graduated from high school. They tend to develop mental health issues in addition to physical or intellectual disabilities and delays. All these individuals want, is to participate in an activity that will keep them motivated, engaged, and connected.
The sewing project brought out a super talent, which amazed parents and caregivers. With the guidance of staff, the participants measure, cut, sew, and stuff pillows and cushions. They feel they have a belonging in society because they are actually working. They are waking up with a purpose to produce useful items for them and for others.
I control the Sewing Machine
Sewing requires many skills including hand-foot-eye coordination, mathematical reasoning, and attention to detail. These skills are generally difficult for individuals with Autism, developmental delays, or partial immobility. With supports and guidance, the Day Program participants have learned to use a sewing machine.
Due to their disabilities, the participants may not be able to drive, another keen interest of theirs. The comparison of sewing and driving becomes exciting. They have learned to control the speed of the machine as the cloth slides along their fingers. The use of brightly colored lines drawn on the fabric as a path to follow is associated with the lanes when driving. They are focused on staying straight and not wavering.
The finished product becomes a positive reinforcer each time. The participants see the product move through the process. Some will help to fold the material, others will cut the cloth with the pattern; they will sew, and then stuff the pillow. The pillow is then used as a back rest when attending to other tasks, used for relaxation, and for decorative purposes!
The joy, pride, and personal gain is seen in the faces of the Day Program participants. They are constructively working, they are in control, they have a super talent.
Social Enterprise is my Future
The sewing class was organized to get a group of individuals with disabilities involved in an activity they may not necessarily participate. The first project was to create pillows for a window seat at the Muneeba Centre, the housing of the Day Program. They first pillow was modeled by a staff, then one participant attempted a second with one-on-one guidance. This drew attention to other Day Program participants. They were very interested and excited to make their own pillows. Soon, visitors at the centre, were praising and requesting these items.
Please assist in giving individuals with disabilities a chance of employment and a constructive space, where they have a desired talent and feel they can be a part of the workforce.
Currently we have one donated sewing machine and would like to purchase more for the entire class. They would require material as sewing thread, cloth, scissors, measuring tape, patterns, and more. They will need to market their produce and set up booths for sale. Help these adults with disabilities with a startup social enterprise. They will soon have a self-sufficient business; any you will continuously get the blessing.