OTB is steadfastly dedicated to demonstrating competence and awareness to all individuals served; Staff, Teams and Stakeholders. Outside the Box, Inc. values diversity and strives to ensure people do not experience harassment or discrimination based on the following traits: Culture; age; gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, spiritual beliefs, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, and/or language. The goal is for individuals to work effectively and positively cross-culturally with an understanding, appreciation, and respect for the ever-changing diversity of today’s society.
Outside the Box, Inc. (OTB) maintains an employee harassment and civil rights violations policy with all employees and applicants for employment encouraging participants, teams, and stakeholders to adhere to the same standards. As an equal opportunity employer, OTB hires and advances employees based on competence and qualifications, without regard to – race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, national origin, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental disability, status with respect to marriage, status with respect to public assistance, or participation in lawful activity outside of working hours.
The Cultural Competency and Diversity Plan addresses the classes listed below. It is reviewed annually for relevance and updated as needed by the Administrative team. This is available upon request by teams and stakeholders. All personnel are trained on cultural competency and diversity in orientation, and again at annual re-training. All participants in OTB’s day program also work through curriculum annually regarding acceptance and diversity.
Due to the varying cultural demographics of program participants, it is essential that OTB is committed to competency and awareness with regard to race and diverse cultural values. It is the mission of OTB to teach awareness to its personnel, participants, stakeholders and the general public to respond respectfully and effectively to people of all cultures in a manner that recognizes, affirms, and values the work of individuals and protects their dignity.
Outside The Box serves individuals ranging from age 16 to 80 years old, and the age of personnel is just as diverse. It is essential that OTB recognizes the unique aspects of age diversity and understands that people of all ages may collaborate and work with one another on a daily basis cohesively and seamlessly. OTB also serves individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia and other age-related diseases/disorders. Employees receive annual professional training on age related diseases/disorders. It is vital that personnel are educated on specific challenges that these individuals may face so they may foster feelings of comfort, safety and joy.
Outside The Box, Inc recognizes that sexual orientation is not limited to lesbian, gay, bisexual and/or heterosexual, but rather that it occurs on a continuum. OTB strives to educate participants, staff, teams and stakeholders on the value of acceptance with regards to sexual orientation in order to eliminate discrimination, and is proud to support this diversity in its participants and staff members.
Outside The Box maintains no affiliation with any formal religion or spiritual belief system. OTB encourages respect towards individuals with varying spiritual beliefs or lack thereof. Staff and participants alike are accommodated on religious holidays, food restrictions, etc. as applicable. In regard to different holiday activities and education, it is the mission of OTB to ensure that care is taken to include recognition of various beliefs. For instance, staff are encouraged to discuss Hanukkah and Kwanzaa along with Christmas during the holiday season if activities planned revolve around the holiday. OTB staff understand and participants are not penalized if they choose to opt out of activities due to religious considerations.
One of the core values of Outside The Box is Capabilities. OTB does not focus on the disabilities of individuals, but rather values them for their capabilities. OTB educates our participants and staff to foster their inner wealth to become the best version of themselves. As no two disabilities are the same, OTB staff are trained to treat all participants as individuals with respect and dignity. Staff are instructed on an array of topics such as sensory integration and dual-diagnoses, and encouraged to seek out additional information and/or trainings to help foster a better understanding of individuals’ needs.
A high percentage of OTB’s participants qualify for Indiana Medicaid, which means the subject of socioeconomic status is very relevant to our community. OTB understands that many people we serve have limited resources; We are committed to keeping outing and facility costs manageable for everyone. We encourage staff to explore free opportunities in regards to community exploration and promote a culture in which resourcefulness is prized. Small groups within OTB will often work together to fundraise to achieve group goals that are outside of the scope of their budget. These values are near to our heart both as a non-profit, and as an agency that seeks to promote good financial habits to our participants.
Outside The Box is fully aware of certain language barriers that may present when working with participants and team members. Much of OTB’s participant population have communication difficulties Whether an individual communicates primarily non-verbally, uses English as a second language, or is deaf, care is taken to ensure individuals are communicated with as effectively as possible. OTB strives to enable staff members to feel competent in this area by expanding their knowledge base with communication-specific trainings, such as ASL basics. OTB staff are required to work alongside participants’ individual support teams and learn how to communicate effectively with people from various backgrounds.
Updated: October 6, 2022
To empower individuals with intellectual disabilities toward personal growth, through education, self-discovery, leadership development, and a customized career path.