Ventures is an inclusive classroom for differently abled adults located on the South Shore of Montreal. The ultimate goal for the students at Ventures is to increase their autonomy as much as possible both at home and in the workplace. In order to improve in these spheres, the students learn life skills such as cooking, cleaning, living a healthy lifestyle and social skills, as well as work skills. Ventures promotes inclusive approaches adapted to each student in order to help them reach their fullest potential.
Generally, our students go on work placements outside of school to get practical, hands-on experience. However, finding external work opportunities has been a difficult task this past year given the current circumstances; therefore, our program has adapted to the realities of a global pandemic in quite a creative way. The Ventures students are finding a way to practice their work skills at school by creating hand-made products. These hand-crafted and “unik” products are being made and sold at an online boutique called the “Unik Boutik.” The Unik Boutik is an online platform that was officially launched during the 2020 Holiday season, where friends, family, and coworkers found beautiful holiday gifts for their loved ones.
Our students have designated classes in their schedule called “Work Skills,” where they are each assigned a job they must complete. Every student is given a task that empowers them to highlight their abilities and interests while honing important skills. For instance, making hand-woven carpets and placemats includes a number of skills such as cutting materials, weaving, attention to detail, and lots of patience. Making bracelets and mask lanyards allows for fine motor skills, bead matching, as well as following patterns. Additionally, making cookie jars encourages reading and following a recipe, measuring ingredients, pouring ingredients into a jar, laminating the recipes to attach onto the jar, and placing stickers and toppers onto the jars when they are complete. Finally, some students even pack orders, where they must look through each order sheet and complete each order correctly before sending them off.
To learn more about the Unik Boutik and to support our students projects, follow us on Facebook @Unikboutikventures and Instagram @unikboutik_ventures
Students take courses four days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are no classes on Wednesdays, as this day is reserved for "knowledge transfer," where students are encouraged to practice what they have learned, applying their new skills acquired outside of school. For example, students can spend Wednesdays volunteering.