Clients, staff can’t wait for return


UNION CITY, Ohio — Like so many other facilities had to do during this time of the pandemic, UCM Day Services LLC, at 388 State Route 571, Union City, also known as Art Sense (AS), has participated in temporary shutdown since March 18 due to the Coronavirus concerns.

“As a result, AS has had correspondence with a majority of individuals through emails, phone calls, Facebook, zoom videos, and hand-written notes sent out to folks to say hi, we miss you, and we hope to all be together again soon,” said Director/CEO Jessica Schiavone. “During the shutdown, additional efforts have been made to plan the return of the Art Sense family through the restructuring of client activity spaces to encourage distancing and yet promote a feeling of togetherness. Increased infection control efforts have been followed per CDC and ODH guidelines. It is our hopeful intention that we are able to structure a revolving attendance schedule for the community clients once a lift on the 10 person restriction occurs. Currently, those UCM Residential Services individuals who are considered low risk are attending on a rotating schedule. When the 10 person restriction increases, it is our hopeful intention we may support ‘waiver’ clients on alternating days.”

The facility opened in 2014 in response to the privatization of day services from the county board run workshops.

“We are licensed in seven counties and currently have enrolled 60 Individuals, 42 from the ICF UCM Residential Services (formerly Christel Manor) and 28 ‘waiver’ clients from the community including Greenville, Rossburg, Versailles, Union City and Ansonia,” Schiavone said.

Art Sense refers to the participants enrolled in its program by a variety of terms such as friends, clients and employees.

Currently, Art Sense employs 13 staff to provide services and supports to the program.

Art Sense provides pre-vocational training opportunities in a realistic setting, replicating skills individuals may build upon and find useful in community employment in a variety of careers.

“We schedule and support employment tours at community business locations as an effort to educate those folks interested in learning more about employment options in choices,” she said “In addition, 28 of the folks are paid to work in some capacity to maintain the Art Sense operation.”

According to her, Art Sense encourages self-determination and advocacy skills by participating in the local advocacy group “Advocacy in Aktion,” regional meetings, Darke County “Aktion Club” and its in-house “Karaoke Council”.

It was noted that Art Sense promotes individual choice in seeking and participating in a variety of community leisure and socialization activities throughout the state.

“On average, Art Sense supports three outings daily,” the director said. “Outings are designed with personal preferences in mind for individuals.”

In house, Art Sense structurally includes the Art Studio, (in which participants design and build props for themes and lend them to the community), a computer lab, a gym, a Tinker Shop, a music room, a performing arts location, a free community book exchange, a movie theater space, and academic space and a variety of leisure spaces for games and socialization activities.

“Art Sense teaches adult daily living skills including cooking skills in a training kitchen created specifically for that purpose,” Schiavone added. “Art Sense hosts a large number of community-based personal wellness activities such as yoga, essential oils, performing musical artists and educational training organizations.”

She concluded, “We would like to take this opportunity to shout out to our Art Sense family and say hi and we can’t wait to be together again.”

A couple of clients at Art Sense enjoy spending time doing some fishing. couple of clients at Art Sense enjoy spending time doing some fishing. Provided photo

A group of Art Sense clients are pictured at a recent venture they made as part of the facility’s offerings. group of Art Sense clients are pictured at a recent venture they made as part of the facility’s offerings. Provided photo

By Linda Moody

Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at [email protected] or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at

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