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Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Check out what’s been going on in our world!
Jordan Macdonald is a fourth year Social Work student at the University of Regina. Jordan is currently doing his mini practicum with Astonished! When Jordan began his practicum, he noticed his awkwardness, coming in as a new person in an established group, but now he is loving his placement, the laid-back atmosphere and the feeling of hanging out with friends. Jordan’s experience of being one of five brothers and one sister in a blended family helps him adapt and find his place in new situations.
The primary focus of Jordan’s mini practicum is supporting Student Researchers in the VOICE Lab. He has been teaming with A! Student Researcher Kelsey Culbert to develop some new episodes for her podcast ‘Less Inspiration More Conversation’. For a better understanding of the focus of Kelsey’s podcast, take a listen to the first episode that Kelsey created with Chelsey Temple Jones: Less Inspiration More Conversation . We look forward to hearing the episodes that Kelsey is creating with Jordan.
When Jordan is not in the VOICE Lab he is part of the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Centre in the classroom, the yoga studio, the coffee shop, and The Owl. Welcome Jordan, it is great to have you on the A! team this semester.
PHOTO: Jordan Macdonald, Kelsey Culbert, Melissa Turbuck
Diving into the deep end of the pool requires confidence, skill, knowledge, and a willingness to learn. Melissa Turbuck has been displaying all of this as she takes on the role of Program Coordinator at Astonished! She says finding a balance between planning and establishing relationships with Core Members, families, volunteers, and others in the A! community is the constant challenge, but she is loving every minute of it.
Melissa is a graduate of the Faculty of Social Work program at the University of Regina. She grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, but moved to South Africa in 2013 while waiting for her husband’s immigration process so he could come to Canada. They have been living in Regina since 2015.
Melissa’s previous experience in the disAbility community includes working as an Educational Assistant in Fort Qu’Appelle, as a counselor at the Summer Program for Special Children, volunteering at Queensburgh Cheshire Home in South Africa, and completing a major practicum at Creative Options Regina. Through these organizations she has gained knowledge and experience in a culture of person-centeredness and continues to be a lifelong learner.
Some of the things she enjoys doing are playing and watching sports, spending time with her family and friends, traveling, watching movies, and spending her summers in Waskesiu. We are delighted that Melissa has joined our Astonished! team.
PHOTO: Rebekah, Melissa, Tanya, Kennen
Being up close to the sounds of a T-rex and feeling the ground shake as it moves can be fun and a little scary. The Astonished! Social Club recently checked out the new T-Rex exhibit at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Crystal McLaughlin created a quiz based on the museum exhibits and the group explored the dioramas looking for answers to the questions. When you are in a wheelchair some of the exhibits, like the wolves and ravens, are at eye level with you. Ashley Lafaver laughed out loud when she encountered the wolves and enjoyed being up close to them. The Astonished! Social Club is a monthly recreation, leisure, or social gathering for Core Members, families, and friends. Check out our Events Calendar for upcoming events. Thank you to the City of Regina for a Social Development Grant – Annual Activity to partially support the work of the Astonished! Social Club.
Tuesday evenings, during Astonished! Summer Literacy, students have the option of participating in events that explore various aspects of literacy, for example, cultural literacy. On Tuesday July 16th Kevin Ma taught participants how to make sushi, write some words in Chinese, and sample food that was new to many of the group. The evening was called Asian Fusion. There was lots of laughter, questions, and delight as we tried the different sushi rolls. Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your knowledge and skills with us. Thank you also to the Conexus Community Investment Program for their support of the Astonished! Summer Literacy Program. To see photos from the evening click here….
PHOTO: Katherine Taylor, Sean Davis, Pagan Racette, Maggie Taylor
What could be better than bringing together friends, farm, and food on a beautiful June afternoon? Rebekah Lindenbach, her mom Joy, and Rebekah’s extended family generously host this annual event for the Astonished! Teaching and Learning Center. Each year we learn something new about their ever-changing dairy and grain farm. There have been many changes over the past seven years, but some things are constant year-to-year; the warmth of the community, the excitement at being on a working farm, the delicious taste of warm cinnamon buns, and the way everyone takes to the baby calves. Thank you, Rebekah, Joy, and your Broyhill family for hosting us once again. To see photos of our day click here.
PHOTO: Zirka Petrowsky, Joy Lindenbach, Rebekah Lindenbach
Chelsea Jones, MITACS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Regina, and Katherine Taylor, Program Coordinator at Astonished! will be presenting at the Canadian Disability Studies Association (CDSA) Conference ‘Circles of Conversation’, June 1-3, 2019 in Vancouver. Their presentation Critical Community Reflections on “Giving Voice” in Research focuses on the process to date in the creation and use of the Voice Lab.
The Voice Lab is a studio space established in 2018 by a four-person research team. It opened in February, and currently hosts six core members. The name VOICE Lab is an acronym. It stands for Vocally Oriented Investigations of Creative Expression.
As Chelsea writes’ “I take up voice following the work of Meryl Alper (2017), who ties communication technology to digital equity and reminds us that voice “is an overused and imprecise metaphor—one that abstracts, obscures, and oversimplifies the human experience of disability” (p. 5). As such, I try make clear from the get-go that we not in the business of “giving voice.” And, to keep the work critical, we need to tease out the ways in which questions of “voice” and disability crop up at the intersections of class, race, and rurality among others. We also need to uphold “voice” as politically significant. Indigenous, critical race, and feminist scholars have cautioned against “giving voice” for some time.”
Thank you, Chelsea and Katherine, for representing us at this conference. We wish you all the best and look forward to the insights you will glean.
PHOTO: Katherine Taylor and Chelsea Jones
We work in inclusive community to address barriers facing young adults with complex physical disAbilities (core members) by creating opportunities for teaching and learning, social, recreational and cultural engagement, and for employment and housing.
The Big Sky Centre for Learning and Being Astonished Inc.
University of Regina
3737 Wascana Parkway
Regina, SK S4S 0A2
Bonnie Cummings-Vickaryous, Executive Director, 306-737-9560