Almost 60 years ago in 1962, a group of parents in the Venice area sought to be the voice for children with disabilities and advocate for educational and community services. That was the beginning the organization known as the Loveland Center. Today, the Loveland Center, located at 157 S Havana Road, includes a planned residential community tailored specifically for adults with developmental disabilities and programs such as The Supported Employment and Adult Day Training.

A major program of the Loveland center, the Adult Day Training, has expanded tremendously and now offers 31 unique classes for individuals to choose from, including gardening, news and cooking. The goal of the ADT Program is to strengthen the participants’ daily life in ways including communication and social skills. The program also strives to improve independence, decision making and self-advocacy. Participants are able to fully customize their schedules by choosing classes and experiential learning opportunities that interest them and help to achieve their personal goals. To further enhance the learning experience, each class has unique community integration opportunities.

One of the opportunities offered by Loveland’s Adult Day Training Program is a cooking class. Participants begin by browsing through grocery store circulars to see what items are on sale that week. They make their shopping lists based off the sale items and the amount of money they have to spend. The community integration opportunity in this class comes when the group actually takes a trip to Publix to shop for their ingredients before coming back to the Loveland campus to further learn about the cooking process.

To learn more about Loveland Center and their Adult Day Training Program, please visit www.lovelandcenter.org or call 941-493-0016. Stay up-to-date with the Loveland Center by following them on facebook.com/LovelandCenter.

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