TYLER, TX - Long time Tyler residents have always known the hidden gem that is Tyler, Texas. Its excellence, freedom, beauty, joy, and strong Christian culture are rapidly seen and felt by all moving here. It is a powerhouse of quiet selfless service and innovation.
It is no surprise then that a new non-profit to the area, the Culture of Life Foundation, finds itself right at home here in East Texas. At the heart of this foundation is its service to individuals of special and exceptional needs and their families. Its vision is to “serve any need of individuals with exceptional abilities and their families in order to encourage and strengthen one another to live out our unique commission from Christ of helping bring His Salvation and Sanctification to the World.”
The Culture of Life Foundation is multifaceted in its approach to fulfilling its mission and vision, but one area of great focus is its collaboration in bringing to Tyler a unique training for parents and professionals alike who wish to learn new strategies in communication with their loved ones.
The P.O.D.D. (Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display) Communication is still somewhat of a hidden gem in the science and application of communication strategies. It was developed by an Australian speech pathologist, Gayle Porter (B. App Sc., MSPA), with over forty years of hands-on experience serving individuals with some of the most complex combination of needs and communication difficulties. This alternative and augmentative communication has become the foundation and prototype for building community, relationship, and education in exceptional programs around the world. Her work and PODD in Australia have made such an impact that they are in the process of making it a second language.
Furthermore, Gayle has successfully trained other clinicians to implement this alternative and augmentative communication method. Anyone can learn these strategies and help provide that essential bridge for communication that can be successfully applied with preschools, families, and communities, creating a newfound freedom to cross over many challenges and enhance the dignity of each individual by enabling them to uniquely and personally express what they have to say. The beauty and joy for everyone involved in this is described as:
“The very first day after the training we took our PODD book home and showed it to Melissa. I guess she had been using it in class for a while because she gave us a big smile and pointed to “More to Say.” That was the beginning of our journey. Three months later, we now “talk” and laugh with our daughter who has never said a word in her 14 years of life but she sure has lots to say…” ~Testimony about PODD training from a Father.
On March 24th and 25th, the first of a three-part sequential series will be hosted at Bishop Gorman Catholic School. The Culture of Life Foundation is pleased to introduce internationally renowned trainer Linda Burkhart and the “Introduction to PODD training.” All are invited to join in experiencing this remarkable program. Due to the sequential nature of the program, interested parties must begin their training with this first class in the series. But space is limited!
To register for the event please visit the Culture of Life Foundation website at: thecultureoflifefoundation.com While visiting the site, please browse all upcoming events like the Culture of Life 5K - Walk, Run, Wheel in May – a unique 5K experience with varied routes and lengths to accommodate any level of mobility. All are invited to celebrate a Culture of Life in East Texas and encourage one another in the ongoing work that requires.
It is the Foundation’s firm hope and commitment to help do our part in making this City one of the best places to live in the country for individuals with exceptional abilities as well as their families. It has been said: ‘A rising tide raises all ships.’ Helping any individual to thrive in their God-given abilities only strengthens the whole family and community.