For young adults with developmental disabilities Variety Village offers a Lifestyle,
Independence, Nutrition, Knowledge, and Sports (L.I.N.K.S.) program. The program currently has 23 young adults (ages 21 to 45) enrolled and a substantial waiting list. Through educational and fun programs, such as exercise, sports, swimming, nutritional planning and cooking, current events, computer training and community outings, members become more self-aware and self-reliant while developing friendships, and team building and leadership skills. LINKS participant, Aidoo has really progressed since joining the program in 2005. He has made a lot of new friends and he has gained a lot of confidence in himself through learning to read.
AIDOO: “I have been in the L.I.N.K.S program since April 1, 2005 and I have learned a lot of new things. One of them is how to read and write. When I began, I barely was able to recognize the letters of the alphabet. I began to trace them on worksheets. With practice writing in a daily journal and working with the staff on our outings to the library, I began to recognize small words such as hat, cat and bat. I found a “Cat in the Hat” book at the library and was excited when I could figure out many of the words. Eventually, I was able to read more words and gain confidence in my new-found skill.”