Since our inception in 1962, OBI has been a place of opportunity for adults with developmental disabilities. We have created services that enable our program participants to achieve both personal and vocational success. In addition to our daily programming, we offer supplemental services which enable these adults to be more self-sufficient, independent and live more fulfilled lives.
This program is a 13-week job-preparation class that teaches skills that empower the individuals to achieve their life dreams and goals. Upon completion, a participant leaves with a resume and basic computer skills including MS-Word, PowerPoint and Excel. Throughout the 13-week period, participants are taught how to do an intensive job search both on-line and in the community. They learn stress management, coping and social interaction skills as well as interview techniques. By program’s end, most participants accomplish their goal of finding a job. Each class is individualized to meet the needs of the participants.
We offer a computer lab as an opportunity to learn basic keyboarding skills, prepare PowerPoint presentations, write resumes and perform on-line job searches. For some, the computer lab is a place to take a break from work and enjoy educational games.
Once a week a community musician works with OBI program participants who have specific sensory needs. These individuals have the opportunity to play a variety of instruments to promote and stimulate a more productive lifestyle.
An important component of being independent is being able to ensure that one’s environment is safe. In addition, we want to promote a healthy lifestyle. As a result in 2008, we developed the Health and Safety Awareness Program, which is a collaborative effort between staff and program participants. The group meets monthly and plans events and activities to learn about such topics including diabetes awareness, autism, fire prevention, and work safety.
At OBI, we provide services that promote one’s social interaction. In 2001 we partnered with the Civitan Club of Glen Burnie to form the Friendship Civitan Club that enables OBI program participants to give back to their community. Typical service projects include collecting food to give to local food pantries, designing flower arrangements to take to the elderly, and creating gift bags for returning service members to be given upon arrival at the airport. The club also has formed bell choir that practices once a week and performs for area assisted living and nursing homes.