At the Stroke and Disability Learning Center, we are committed to both healing and learning. If you have suffered a stroke, or are living with a condition such as Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, traumatic brain injury/tumor, speech, language or hearing impairment, or other orthopedic or neurological limitation, you can come to the Cabrillo College Stroke and Disability Learning Center to learn new knowledge and skills.
Our professional team provides instruction and techniques for learning new activities and re-learning familiar tasks. For many, repetition, practice and perseverance are the keys to success. A community of support is built as students receive encouragement from others who have had similar experiences, share accomplishments and witness each other “standing tall.”
The SDLC also provides opportunities for service and experiential learning to Cabrillo students interested in careers in Health and Human Services.
Currently the program offers CORE classes as part of the Cabrillo College Accessibility Support Center (ASC). Core classes include: counseling and stress management, mobility, dexterity and fitness, and communication skills.
Additionally, the HEART (Health, Education, Art and Recreation Together) Program is offered in collaboration with the Cabrillo Extension. Classes featured include: ceramics, painting, healthy eating, culture and change, choir, hand/shoulder and recreational movement. HEART Program classes are reserved for students enrolled in CORE classes.
Counseling and Stress Management
The counselor’s primary goal is to help students clarify their educational goals so they can maximize college and community resources and develop successful strategies for adaptation.
Counselors speak with prospective students and their families by phone, arrange tours and coordinate student assessments. An Orientation class helps new students to learn about the program, choose the correct classes and then begin to integrate into classes.
CORE counseling classes include Exploring Abilities, Self-Management and Women’s and Men’s groups that assist students to gain self-awareness and confidence as they pursue their learning goals and interests.
Mobility, Dexterity and Fitness
The majority of students who come to the Center want to regain lost function in mobility and/or dexterity, as well as to maintain and improve their fitness level. The instructor, who is a licensed physical therapist, and his class assistants, provide group activities at different levels of function and ability. Students encourage each other to push past limitations through committed exercise and practice.
Goals include improving use of upper and lower extremities by developing strength, dexterity, flexibility, balance, coordination and endurance.
Oral and Written Communication Skills
Communication skills are crucial for successful relationships and for meaningful participation in the community. The SDLC instructor, who is a speech therapist, and her instructional assistant, offer CORE classes that strengthen oral communication, reading, writing and memory strategies. A fully equipped Computer Lab allows students to access the many resources of the Internet as well as specific programs to promote language skills.
Students pursue individual goals to improve voice and speech, gesture, hearing, listening, comprehension, attention, thought processes and memory.
After a stroke, many individuals lose language capabilities yet are able to sing because music lives in a different part of the brain. Our choir gives students the opportunity to exercise voice and harmony, as well as to perform for our Stroke Center parties!
Ceramics and Painting
Ceramic and painting activities use art and creative expression as a pathway towards personal enhancement, expression and self-esteem. Clay is a forgiving medium that allows survivors of a stroke or other physical/neurological damage to push and pull and make shapes that are pleasing and functional. Both physical skills and creativity are engaged in the process.
The hand/shoulder class is designed to promote upper body strength and coordination, including manipulation skills and learning to accomplish tasks with the non-dominant hand.
In this fun class, we gather around the kitchen table to learn about the way various foods help our health conditions. Those who are able often help prepare recipes, and we all eat and rate the nutritional meals created. Students learn to better understand the ways in which vitamins and minerals in the foods we eat can support overall physical and mental health.
Life and Culture
Each week we gather to talk about current and past events that impact our lives and cultural experiences. Our views and understanding are explored and expanded upon with the viewing of brief video segments and Ted Talks as we discuss events of the past and present. Students gain a broader understanding and appreciation of each other and our global society.
Building on skills learned in the CORE Mobility/Fitness classes, the recreational movement classes provide students with physical games and activities that support walking, balance and coordination. Blending repetition with fun, participants gain strength and endurance while enjoying time together as a group.
Student Club Activities
Standing Tall Advocacy Club
The SDLC Standing Tall Advocacy Club is a student club that supports student-run social and recreational activities and is part of the larger Cabrillo College Inter-Club Council.
SDLC students may choose to stay after lunch to participate in structured games and recreational activities such as card games, Bocci ball, Scrabble and Dominos. These games stimulate brain function, promote social connection and bring members of this unique student learning community together.