The Elizabeth Richardson Center provides services to adults ages 18 and over in a wide variety of programs including vocational training, Supported Employment/Job Placement, life skills training, community involvement, residential options and recreational activities.
Ryna recently transitioned from living in the ERC Intermediate Care Facility to living in her own apartment in the community through the ERC Medicaid Waiver program. She is thoroughly enjoying her newfound independence. When she was asked what she liked most about living in a home of her own, she said, "I get to do the things I want!"
Ryna has an incredible memory and keeps her friends in stitches with the great stories and fond memories she has of growing up on a farm.
"I never believed that my little girl would be living such a ‘normal’ life as she is now," said Sheila Reynolds, Ryna’s mother. "She goes to the grocery store, the bank, to restaurants, yard sales, swimming, parties, etc. One of the most enjoyable aspects of her new life is inviting her friends over to her own home. She absolutely loves this and I couldn’t be more proud of her, as I am with each day that passes."
ERC is committed to helping adults with disabilities find meaningful work in the community. A variety of programs are offered which take into account the ambitions, skills and work readiness of each person. As part of these programs, participants will:
The Elizabeth Richardson Center offers a variety of services for children and adults with disabilities. These services include a residential program for adults which consists of three 10-bed Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF) and supported living services through Medicaid Waiver.
The ERC Greenhouse and Gardens project is an ongoing venture that is aimed at providing recreational opportunities, teaching moments, and a local, organic, and healthful food source for adults with disabilities.
With the help of wonderful volunteers from the UA Master Gardeners program, participants are involved in all phases of gardening - from propagation to consumption - as a means of bringing about improvement in their lives. They learn about soil preparation, nutrients necessary for growth, the planting process, nurturing healthy plants, identification of weeds, control of pests and other barriers to growth and the harvesting process. Gardening can be linked to improvements in a person’s physical, mental and social well-being.
In our first year of production, the food generated from this gardening project was utilized by the individuals we serve in our three Intermediate Care Facilities. Tangible results have been seen in lowered food bills and the clients' overall health. We know that this project is progressing successfully by the willingness and participation of the clients themselves. We see it in their attitudes, their willingness to help out in the gardens, and their excitement of eating meals based on things they have grown themselves.
It is our hope that this project will develop into a full scale program that offers different educational components. We expect that we will be able to grow excess food which we would then encourage our clients to sell through a farmer's market. Ideally, our clients will be able to develop a seasonal business which will provide employment for people with developmental disabilities.
The Elizabeth Richardson Center offers unique opportunities for adults 18 years of age and older to become involved in recreational and leisure activities throughout the year. The ERC has competitive teams playing in city sports leagues as well as dances, camping trips, and special events that promote social interaction, community integration, and just plain FUN! SEE CALENDAR PAGE FOR CURRENT ACTIVITIES.
ERC offers two day programs for adults – Life Skills and Richardson Industries. There are many options for adults with disabilities at ERC. Whether they choose to work or take part in the leisure activities, ERC staff will tailor the program to the specific needs of each individual.
Through partnerships with several local high schools, special needs students are assisted in the transition from school to work by means of a unique School-to-Work program. Students learn valuable skills while completing work provided by Richardson Industries under the supervision of their classroom teachers with support and guidance from Richardson Industries staff.