New program in works  in New Minas for young adults with special needs

Ashley Thompson
Published on October 14, 2015

Donna Randell was inspired to start Kaleidoscope after worrying that there would be a lack of social activities for her son, Phillip, pictured looking through a kaleidoscope, to participate in once he graduates from high school.

©Ashley Thompson

NEW MINAS - Donna Randell is stepping up to help young adults with special needs build upon their social networks after high school.

“Kaleidoscope will be a program for young adults who don’t have a place to go,” says Randell, a local mother of three. Two of her children have autism.

Randell has devoted countless hours to networking to learn how to get Kaleidoscope, a program that will be presented by the Wolfville-based Alexander Society for Inclusive Arts, off the ground.

Her goal is to give the young adults in Kaleidoscope something to look forward to week after week. The daytime program’s offerings will vary according to the participants, who will be accompanied by their support workers at events.

“If you look through a kaleidoscope the picture that you see… changes all the time,” says Randell, who has enlisted the help of a number of parents, friends and volunteers.

The program is still in the development stage, but Randell envisions Kaleidoscope participants meeting once or twice a week in the Louis Millett Community Complexin New Minas.

“We can go to the Millett Centre and make friendships, have social interactions, do artistic things,” she says.

Randell says they are interested in working with other community groups to make the program the best it can be for the young adults who will benefit from it.

“They need things to go to,” she says.

“I’ve done a similar program in the city and it was amazing.”

The group is looking for more participants, volunteers, community partners and funding to move forward.

“We want to create as many positive social interactions for our kids. The more we can do, the more fun they can have,says Randell.

Get involved

To learn more about how to participate in the program, or help Kaleidoscope get off the ground, email or visit the Kaleidoscope New Minas page on Facebook.