We believe that all of us—including adults with a developmental disability, can pick up new skills. And not just basic skills, but thinking, questioning, and imagining.
The first time Shannon saw Ricky’s vlogging experience in the catalogue she said, “That’s too hard.” One month and four experiences later, she was ready for the challenge. With Ricky’s help, Shannon set-up a YouTube account and uploaded her first video. “It was scary but good,” she said. Meanwhile, Ricky learned how to explain information in new ways. “Shannon kept me on my toes!”
We believe that to get meaning from the things we do, we need to reflect. We require time for ourselves and for deeper conversations that go beyond the, ‘Hi, how are you?’ Zach is a Middle Eastern history buff. He’s insatiably curious, and impressively opinionated. Sometimes his opinions clash with others. At Reflection Cafe, Zach took a step back and thought about his week. He set himself a personal goal: “I’d like to improve how I listen.”
We think there’s a lot of kinds of smart. Not just book smart or test smart, but people smart, nature smart, music smart, art smart, etc. None of us know our smarts until given the chance to develop. Aaron’s a lover of language. After he graduated high school, he thought he might go to college and study English. But, he didn’t meet the requirements. He was offered a job as a greeter at Walmart. He wanted more. He wants to take a job that lets him exercise his mind.
We believe we’re never too old and it’s never too late to grow and develop. Adult brains grow over time too, if you feed them with fresh input and yummy challenges. Without a diet of new things, our brains don’t have anything to work with! Ben, age 36, joined Kudoz because he was ready for a change. After 17 years going to the same day program, he was hungry for a challenge. So he picked a Kudoz experience with a real physical challenge: stunt doubling! At the start, it was nerve wracking - particularly tucking & rolling. But, just an hour later, he gave it a go. Our brains (and bones!) are malleable—if given a chance.
All of us have a curiosity, a hobby, a pastime, a fascination, something to offer—even if it’s in hiding. We believe it’s time to awaken our passions and exchange them with others. Reciprocity makes life so much cooler and richer.