The Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation (CDHAF) was created in honor and recognition of Christopher Douglas Fornes and Joyce Baye. CDHAF enriches the lives, health, and social well-being of people with cognitive, emotional, and physical challenges through the use of our Multi Sensory Environments™ (MSE). Our focus is on the design, development, implementation and education of our Multi Sensory Environments™ with the aim to enable productivity, inclusion, independence, and self-determination.
Our approach is based on well-documented studies of neurological cognition and emotional development. We offer advisory and financial support for the establishment of integrated, publicly accessible Multi Sensory facilities and for basic research and education.
Providing our Multi Sensory Environments™ can improve the health and quality of life of individuals with disabilities by improving brain activity. Yet these individuals do not have ready access to therapeutic recreation and/or sensory stimulation in North America. A private struggle to give a person with disabilities what he or she needs is also a very public battle across the USA and Canada.
Creating a healthier, integrated tomorrow by promoting recreational, educational, and therapeutic opportunities for persons with cognitive and physical impairments and their families that promote independence, inclusion, self-determination and productivity leading to improved social awareness, health, social well being and quality of life.
Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation’s primary goal is to promote the use of multi-sensory environments in therapeutic, recreational, and educational settings with the intent of enriching the lives, health, and social well-being of individuals with cognitive, emotional, and physical impairments. We aim to enable productivity, inclusion, independence and self-determination.
Our focus is on the design, development, and implementation of Multi Sensory Environments. We support innovative initiatives that demonstrate new approaches to advance education, therapy, recreation and inclusion of special needs populations.
Even children with the most severe cognitive impairments and disabilities can benefit socially, educationally, and therapeutically from Multi Sensory Environments. Recognizing this, we will achieve our goal with methods based on a well-documented approach to neurological cognition and emotional development through Multi Sensory Environments.
Adequate stimulation and use of motor ability produced in sufficient frequency, intensity, and duration excites the brain, improves the organization of the brain, and permits increased functional activity. By working towards a better-organized, stronger and more efficient nervous system, individuals become better able to demonstrate and to access their true potential. The developing brain is continually shaped by the constant exchange of input and outputs. This reality allows us to access and alter the brain’s functional abilities. For individuals with cognitive impairment, sensory stimulation is sometimes the only input to improve and increase synaptic connections and neuro-transmission.
- All individuals are entitled to educational, recreation and emotional security within the community;
- Each person is unique, and therefore deserves a variety of services and customized programs.
- All services should accessible to individuals and their families regardless of race, religion, national origin, or ability to pay.
- Being a model partner and collaborator within our organization, the health system, recreation and education systems, and the community at larger;
- Maintaining high levels of accountability, quality, integrity and respect for all stakeholders;
- The celebration of life; and fostering teamwork and excellence;
- Fostering community growth and integration, through partnerships with community businesses, professional leaders.
Guiding Principles in Serving Individuals with Disabilities
In fulfilling our Mission and pursuing our Vision, we are guided by the following principles and values:
- Independence: The person has opportunities to develop capacities that lessen his/her dependence.
- Inclusion: The person has opportunities to engage in experiences and activities with those who are not disabled.
- Self-Determination: The person is allowed to make choices that are meaningful to his or her life.
- Productivity: The person is provided opportunities to make an increasingly meaningful contribution to their living and community environment.
Founders & Board of Directors
The founders of Hidden Angel Foundation are Sandra Fornes, Executive Director and W.B. (Bud) Kirchner.
Sandra Fornes, Blair G. Kirchner and Brad J. Pierce are currently serving on the Board of Directors.
“Each time a person stands up for an idea, or acts to improve the lot of others, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope … These ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” – Robert F. Kennedy