Food is life. For adults with disabilities, however, eating and preparing healthy, balanced dishes is tough.
At Independence WORKS the goal is to help individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities engage in activities that promote independence and improved quality of life. One such activity that is very popular among the attendees are cooking classes – but not just ordinary cooking classes – Adaptive Cooking with Gwen Weiss.
Gwenn Weiss is a private chef who volunteers her time every other Thursday morning with the clients at IndependenceWORKS.
Gwenn develops healthy, adapted recipes that she cooks with our clients. She combines a live cooking show with an interactive class that IndependenceWORKS clients look forward to and thoroughly enjoy.
Gwenn makes sure to involve every client, no matter the ability. Gwenn develops our clients’ independent living skills as well as their leisure skills with her skill-appropriate cooking classes. When recipes are too advanced, Gwenn Weiss adapts the recipes and creates cooking lessons to adapt to the needs of participants.
For example, we have some clients that only have use of one hand, so Gwenn makes sure to set up specific adapted tasks with that client in mind (ie using special chopping tools/techniques, larger spoons for stirring).
Gwenn makes sure to have every recipe be something clients can make at home and also something that is healthy!
Healthy eating is especially important for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Gwen is such an amazing volunteer for ensuring that adults with IDD have the same access to food preparation and healthy eating as anyone else. Thanks, Gwen!
Want to learn more about adaptive cooking and eating for special needs adults and children? Check out one of these links. Or if you want to get involved and volunteer with us go to jfcsatl.org/volunteer
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