Meet Seamas

seamas at feddys

Seamas began working with LIFEDesigns Employment Services earlier this year. Seamas is a volunteer at the IU Art Museum and he plays Euphonium in the Bloomington Community Band. Like many younger adults, Seamas didn’t have much employment experience. He had some experience working in a café at Holiday World, but it was very limited as he only worked there when he was visiting extended family.  

With the help of his Employment Consultant JD, he started his career exploration with a work experience that was set up with Freddy’s. The work experience allowed Seamas to see if he liked working in a kitchen like Freddy’s and gave him a chance to show that he was able to do the job. This is not only a success story because Seamas was hired after his work experience ended, but showed success in that work experiences that are paid by the services provider for clients to participate in, help clients in the discovery process to help consider employment in an area with little or no experience.  Since LIFEDesigns pays the client to work during the work experience, the employer doesn’t have to say no immediately to a person with disabilities seeking employment opportunities due to fiscal concerns.  Instead they get to see the client in action!  Even if the work experience ends without a successful placement into a job, their Employment Consultant can use this experience to help guide further employment discovery.   

The culture is good for Seamas at Freddy’s as they believe in a “work family” philosophy where they all help and support one another to succeed.  Freddy’s was able to set Seamas up with a mentor/trainer when he first started and that beginning had a lot to do with his success! We wish Seamas the very best with his “work family” at Freddy’s. 

Recognizing our Employees

amy
We are always looking for ways to recognize and celebrate our employees at LIFEDesigns. We introduced our Kudos Program in January 2019 as an incentive to recognize Direct Support Professionals for going above and beyond in their work. Team managers are provided with ‘Kudos Cards’ to distribute to members of their teams when they observe a DSP going above and beyond their traditional job responsibilities. Along with the acknowledging excellence in direct support, the Kudos Cards also allow the DSP to be eligible for a monthly raffle drawing of two $50 gift cards. The Team Manager who gives a DSP a Kudos card is also entered into a monthly drawing for one $50 gift card.

Recognizing DSPs through the Kudos Cards is just one-way we can continue to acknowledge DSPs year-round for their hard work. In addition to providing staff with a chance to win a gift card, the program also helps build and reinforce a positive culture across the organization.

Click here to read about our Kudo Cards Program!

United Way Campaign 2020

 

The United Way plays a significant role in our community, as the United Way Member Agencies work together to make sure that all members of the community of various ages and facing different struggles receive the support they need. With that being said, it is very important LIFEDesigns participates in this campaign, as the United Way gives us over $30,000 in funding each year! Read below to see how LIFEDesigns employees will be raising money for the United Way this fall.

 

 

Jeans for a Cause:

Starting Monday Sept. 28th, dress down for the day with a pair of jeans just by donating a minimum of $1.00 (Fridays are always casual, regular work appropriate jeans are still required, no holes or stains)! Please give your money to Vern at the front desk if you plan to partitpcate.

Penny War:

LIFEDesgins staff will be nominating fellow colleagues for their own Penny Jar, where they will receive a “special” surprise if they end up with the most pennies! The jars with the Nominee’s pictures will be in the front lobby starting Wednesday, October 1st and will end Friday, October 30th. We’re asking employees to bring in their spare change of pennies and dollar bills to give the Nominee’s positive points, and your silver coins for negative points. We will have 12 nominees, and the top 3 will win the “special” surprise!

Snack Table:

We will be having a prepackaged snack table available in the front lobby starting Oct. 1st until supplies last! All items will be $1.00 and money can be given to Vern Hageman.

We are inviting all Board and Staff members to donate prepackaged snacks for our snack table in an effort to raise as much money as we can! Any donations can be brought to Claire Schapker, Developement Fellow. Please feel free to email Claire at cschapker@lifedesignsinc.org with any questions regarding donations.

Check out our social media pages for any updates and a Penny War count. We are excited to begin help raise money for the United Way!

Human Resources Update

Heather Bagshaw, Director of Human Resources, will be leaving LIFEDesigns on October 2nd to move with her husband to Florida – a move they have been looking forward to for quite some time. Heather and the entire HR Department have been instrumental in increasing the number of direct service staff working at LIFEDesigns. Amy Joslin, Associate Director of Human Resources, was offered and accepted the position of Director of Human Resources. Amy has worked continuously with LIFEDesigns (and Christole before that) for over twenty years. We wish Heather the best of luck going forward and offer our congratulations to Amy on her promotion!

Changes to our Community Intergration Services

The concept of providing services outside the home for our clients has been changing for many years. LIFEDesigns has worked to remain in the forefront of these changes, and we continue to make changes in order to support our mission to partner with and promote independence for people with disabilities. The first phase of change began when LECO changed to Community Integration Services (CIS) shortly before the impact of COVID-19 was known. The second phase was to continue moving toward more individualized community activities with clients. Once the extent of the pandemic was known, the CIS program was suspended and CIS staff went to work in residential settings.

It has now been five months since CIS was suspended, and there is no end of the danger from COVID-19 in sight. Some facility-based day programs have reopened by invitation only. But our programs have not been facility-based and moving to such a program would be not only a step backwards but a move toward programming that does not help clients become active and involved members of their community. As a result we have made the difficult decision to discontinue offering scheduled day services. We will work with clients, guardians, and service teams to find ways to give clients time out of the home in a safe manner which likely means one staff member with one client in most cases. Moving to this model will take time since for many clients it will involve changes in their PC-ISP as well as budgets. Our Services staff will work closely with teams to promote this individualized service that truly helps clients explore their likes, expand their interests, and increase their community engagement and quality of life. 

August 2020 Newsletter

It has been a busy summer for LIFEDesigns! Since the pandemic began, we have been adjusting to our new ‘normal’ regarding events, client activities and overall day-to-day tasks for our administrative staff.

From fundraising to planning future events and more, we have been making sure to stick to our mission, despite this abnormal summer. To see what we’ve been up to, check out our August 2020 Newsletter!