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Our Culture

Culture of Gentleness

Navigators

We see our primary role in each person’s life is to serve as
a navigator, helping each make critical life decisions which empower and
support independence, healthy relationships and self-sufficiency.    To the greatest extent possible, we believe
every individual should make their own life choices.  It’s important we focus not so much on an
individual’s disability as the unique abilities and characteristic they possess
and build upon strengths.

A Culture of Respect

The starting point for MOKA’s culture is the high respect
and regard we have for every individual. 
This includes not simply the children and adults we serve, but
everyone.   We understand clearly if we
want the individuals we serve to be treated well and with great respect, it is
critical we show this same level of regard for those we employ to carry out our
mission.

John F. Kennedy, Jr., who was a strong advocate for
individuals with disabilities once said, “Quality is defined at the point of
interaction between the staff member and the individual with a disability.”  We strongly believe in this statement in that
our entire quality of service and reputation as an agency rests on the
relationships built between our front line direct support professionals.  We work diligently to ensure that all of our
employees understand their noble role in the lives of those whom they directly
support and receive the proper amount and quality of support to carry out their
role.

Our culture of respect therefore permeates every interaction
and every relationship, so much so that guests and visitors often remark, “It’s
different here, in a good way.” 

Our culture of respect grew out of a culture of gentleness
developed by Dr. John McGee.  This
philosophy, which we adopted several years earlier, resulted in a foundational
shift in our approach and culture.  For
more information about Gentle Teaching, read more.

Want to know more about Gentle Teaching? 

This article highlights MOKA’s 2-day employee Gentle Teaching training. Gentle Teaching is more than training; Gentle Teaching is MOKA’s philosophy! Click here to download a pdf.

The following resources were consulted for the above article: 

A Gentle Teaching Primer, Gentle Teaching Institute, a nonprofit affiliate of the Macomb Oakland Regional Center (MORC). 

MOKA’s Gentle Teaching Training materials.  A Philosophy Not a Technique PowerPoint 2011. 

The Center for Positive Living Support materials, www.positivelivingsupport.org

Learn More

To schedule a group presentation and/or a showing of the Coming Home: Gentle Teaching Journey video contact Thomas Zmolek, Interim Development Director at 800-644-2434 or tzmolek@moka.org.

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