Longtime Sudbury Developmental Services client Marilyn Neganegijig said she loves attending the Cec Woods Centre on Cambrian College's campus.
Not only does she learn life skills such as doing dishes and attend math classes, Neganegijig said she also appreciates taking advantage of the college's amenities.
“I like Cambrian College to go out for lunch,” she said. “We go to the cafeteria.”
It's just this type of inclusion in day-to-day campus life that Mila Wong was aiming for in recently relocating the centre to Cambrian's campus.
“This is a dream come true, because part of our mandate is inclusion in the community,” said the executive director of Sudbury Developmental Services, speaking at the facility's grand opening today.
“Having a location on campus is one of the ways that we can start the enhancement of community inclusion.”
The Cec Woods Centre, which provides services to adults with developmental disabilities, occupies the building formerly used by Cambrian's now-defunct daycare centre.
Not only will its 39 clients be able to take advantage of college amenities, there's also the potential for them to do volunteer work on campus or take part in special events put on by Cambrian, Wong said.
Bringing Sudbury Developmental Services to Cambrian also makes sense because the agency takes in placement students from the college's developmental services, social worker and personal support worker programs, she said.
Wong said she's also excited about the enhanced recruitment opportunities the partnership will bring, as many Cambrian students go on to work at her agency after graduation.
Jean Brown, Cambrian's dean of community services, said the facility's relocation is “wonderful for our students.” They'll be able to work with the Cec Woods Centre clients on a regular basis, as part of their program, she said.
This is also a great step for Sudbury Developmental Services clients, Brown said.
“They want their clients to be included in an adult environment,” she said. “So we're thrilled to have them here.”
It's fitting that the facility is called the Cec Woods Centre, as it's actually named after the first co-ordinator of Cambrian's developmental services worker program, Brown said.
“I was actually able to speak to two of his former students last week,” she said.
“They told me he was a very much admired and highly respected individual, and they were quite certain he was going to be absolutely thrilled that the centre that bears his name was now at Cambrian College.”