Ashley's Quest, LLC
What began as a labor of love has quickly become a model for how services to young adults with disabilities should be provided. Ashley’s Quest was founded by a mother of a child with multiple disabilities in order to provide her daughter with a program ideally suited for her needs. The result has turned out to be unlike any other that was available at the time and has grown to serve a number of other young adults as well.
The original goal was to help Ashley develop real life skills that would allow her to thrive in the broader community and to develop and maintain relationships that would allow her to truly be part of that community. We have the same goal for all of our program participants. We provide personalized experience to each client, allowing us to better assist them to develop skills necessary to live independently in the community and thrive in the workplace. We assist the participants to develop personal interests and relationships. The ultimate goal of the program is to develop productive citizens who can work in the community and live as independently as possible.
Ashley’s Quest maintains a 6 to 1, or better, program participant to staff ratio and limits the number of program participants to no more than 16 per day. The staff provides personalized experience to each program participant, allowing them to better assist program participants to develop skills necessary to live independently in the community and thrive in the workplace. Program participants are encouraged and assisted in developing personal interests and relationships.
The program participants arrive daily by means of public transportation including Mercer County TRADE and NJ Transit’s Access Link. Participants may also provide there own transportation. Those participants within our catchment area may be transported by Ashley's Quest.
All of the program participant have the opportunity to work on such things as meal planning, including preparing menus, gathering recipes, making shopping lists and budgeting money. The program participants then have the opportunity to go to the grocery store to do the actual shopping. The program participants can prepare the planned meals and serve themselves along with the other program participants. After the meal, the program participants can take part in such activities as clearing the dishes, cleaning the table, washing and drying the dishes and cleaning up the kitchen. Lessons for safety in the kitchen and safety and cleanliness in food preparation are also incorporated into every culinary activity.
The program participants can keep track of household items (such as toilet paper, paper towels, dish detergent and cleaning supplies) in order to plan for replenishment, and then be responsible to prepare shopping lists and go to into the community to purchase the necessary items.
The program participants have the opportunity to further develop their household skills by cleaning, dusting, vacuuming and mopping floors. They can learn life skills such as ironing, doing simple sewing by machine and by hand, simple household repairs like changing light bulbs and batteries and/or hanging pictures. The program participants learn basic first aid and how to appropriately respond to mishaps in the home.
The program participants have the opportunity to develop fiscal responsibility by learning such skills check writing and balancing a check books and/or a savings account. There is also regular training in how to handle money in the community on both ends of a transaction, such as how to ask for payment, make change and use a cash register as a cashier as well as how to purchase and pay for items, as well as collect the appropriate amount of change, as a customer.
The program participants have the opportunity to develop computer/internet skills and work on office skills, organizing, filing, shredding, data entry, photocopying, faxing, scanning and taking phone messages. They can go into the community to make bank deposits and withdrawals, and learn about maintaining bank accounts.
The program participants have the opportunity to develop time management skills. The program participants can keep their own calendar with birthdays, anniversaries, doctor’s appointments and social engagements, in addition to tracking their attendance in the program and scheduling their transportation.
Program participants learn to use public transportation not only for transportation to and from Ashley’s Quest, but to avoid being isolated from their community.
The program participants can work on arts and crafts: making gifts for family, friends, the disadvantaged, elderly, and the sick. The program participants are involved in the community, distributing holiday gifts to the needy and infirmed and by volunteering; they currently volunteer two days each month at Morris Hall Rehabilitation in Lawrenceville. The program participants work with the residents in a variety of ways and settings, decorate bulletin boards, organize cabinets, do mailings and help set tables in dining hall. The group also frequently volunteers time to Hamilton Township Recreational Soccer Association, providing such services as mailings, shredding and inventory; and volunteer work for United Way and Reynolds School.
Most importantly, the program participants have the opportunity to go into the community and use the skills they have learned to experience restaurants, arts and entertainment venues, parks and gardens. They also use these skills in various places such as the grocery store, craft store, dry cleaners, the bank, the post office and the library.
33 Kuser Road
Hamilton, NJ 08619