Meet Jason!

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Jason was born in Bloomington, IN but lived in Odon, IN before moving to Norfolk, VA when he was just 7 weeks old. His father was in the US Navy and worked on the Richard E. Byrd, DDG23. Jason, however, considers Bloomfield, IN his hometown because that is where he went to grade school and met his best friend David. Jason’s Grandma & Grandpa also lived in Bloomfield and he loved visiting them and hunting and fishing with his grandpa.

LIFEDesigns has been part of Jason’s life since he was 16 or 17 after he was in a car wreck and caused him to have a traumatic brain injury. In 2016, the LIFEDesigns Employment Team helped Jason find a job at Texas Roadhouse, which he loves! He works about 6-7 hours every week and some of his responsibilities include cleaning, mopping and helping with other tasks in the kitchen. 

Jason dreams of having a family and living as normal life as possible.  He is closest to his Mother and Aunt Crystal. He also cares deeply for his family and friends. Jason likes to be independent and he is an excellent cook and if he couldn’t be a Professional Fisherman he would make a great Cook! When he’s not conjuring up interesting recipes he loves to eat steak, pizza or go for Chinese with mom. We are so proud of Jason and his accomplishments and we can’t wait to see what he does next!

Support Services

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We are highlighting some of our support services in honor of the Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month campaign in hopes to bring attention to the importance of inclusion for individuals with disabilities.
 
LIFEDesigns offers a variety of services, including respite support, which helps clients get involved in the community and participate in every day life activities. Sam is an outgoing 18 year old and receives respite services from LIFEDesigns. Sam attends Bloomington North High School and he sings with the All Abilities Choir, which is sponsored by LIFEDesignsSam’s primary form of communication is sign language and he is excellent at using technology such as zoom and computers to hang out with his friends.   

With this support, Sam is able to go on walks and outings in the community and work on life skills. Click here to read more about our support services.

Justin’s Dreams

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Justin is a young man who loves music, horror films, and socializing. Justin’s developmental disability affects his physical mobility and his ability to learn. With some support from LIFEDesigns, and a lot of support from his mom, Justin now lives in his own apartment, takes the bus to get to work, meets up with friends at the Bloomington Moose Lodge, and hangs out with other musicians. He has also started his own small business as a DJ. He specializes in small parties and business events.

Justin loves his job and being a DJ. He needs support to help him plan and organize play lists for his events as a DJ. He also needs help networking and promoting his business. LIFEDesigns is honored to be able to support Justin to achieve his dreams.  

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month 2021

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March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month! To celebrate this special month, we are sharing a few stories from our clients that spotlight their success. Although we are proud of our clients each and every day, we are excited to take part in this national campaign, created by the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). 

The NACDD states that this campaign seeks to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live. To celebrate and honor this month of awareness, we’re spotlighting some of our clients that prove their disability does not limit their abilities to work, live, and participate in everyday life activities. Click the link(s) below!

Joyful Creations by Jennifer

Nathan’s Employment Journey

Celebrating Employment Success

Albert’s Story

Justin’s Dreams

Albert’s Story

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Albert has been a client at LIFEDesigns for a little over 4 years. Albert receives employment services from LIFEDesgins and participated in our Day Program, prior to it closing due to COVID. Read below to hear from Albert’s mother, Lisa, and how LIFEDesigns has supported Albert.

Hi, My name is Lisa and I’m the mother of Albert.  Albert is 24 years old and he receives 3 very important services from LIFEDesigns.

Prior to this program temporarily closing due to the COVID Pandemic, Albert attended the day community program at LIFEDesignsalso known as LECO, which was held 9-3 each day minus 5 hours work time for Albert.  As a part of the program he has various activities each week and travels to different locations so he and his group are very visible in the Bloomington community He goes to the library, has shopping outings, volunteers and takes classes all in different locations. His group would eat lunch together at the Bloomington Moose lodge every day and was a consistent activity he always attended with LECO.    

The second service LIFEDesigns provides is help getting and keeping a jobThanks to LIFEDesigns, he is currently working at Cheddars restaurant 5 hours a week and this is his first paying job.   He has worked with job coaches from LIFEDesigns who currently attend work with him to help him learn the job and they are in the process   of fading out a very little bit at a time and working towards Albert being completely on his own with natural job supports.   Those being other friendly and helpful people at work who can give him a little nudge or hint when he needs it. He is so proud to be the silverware roller and this opportunity gives him so much confidence and a knowledge that he is going to a job on a regular basis just like everyone else and earning a little of his own  moneyHe probably has a more positive attitude and a sense of pride about going to work than many people.      

Thirdly, LIFEDesigns also trains individual staff that can work with Albert one on one a few hours a weekhelping him attend activities in the community and also complete personal errands like shopping, getting his bus pass and his hair cut.  This gives him a chance to interact with others one on one and develop relationships independently of me.  His staff help him become more independent since I as his mother sometimes tend to do too much for him or doubt his capabilities or simply I am too stressed to stop and take the time to make sure Albert is doing things for himself. 

I just want to say thank you to everyone here for helping to make all this possible for Albert and myself and other clients and familiesI can’t imagine what we would do if we didn’t have these services for Albert. LIFEDesigns and organizations like them are so important in giving individuals a chance to show themselves what they are capable of which boosts confidence so much, in addition to showing their loved ones and community what abilities they do possess.    

Also now thanks to organizations like LIFEDesigns barriers between people and inside communities are being broken down by reducing the fear and misunderstandings about those who are differentlyabled by integrating the services within the community.  By helping their clients become more visible and showcasing what they have to offer LIFEDesigns plays a key role in keeping Bloomington an accepting and welcoming place to all people regardless of any limitation or label.     

Not only do we see gains in real hard measurable skills such as what we have seen Albert accomplish, we also learn soft skills from each other that can’t quite be measured like persistence, appreciation, love, joy, contentment, forgiveness and just living in the moment I know my son has been onof the most influential teacherin my life. 

Thank you again – my family appreciates you so very much and I tell you my story because sometimes it is through hardships and being pushed out of our comfort zone that we become the most grateful for  people around us and those in our community who are true helpers.  I am so saddened to think what my life would have missed would I have not had Albert and met all these amazing individuals, his friends and helpers and learned from firsthand experience how vital organizations like LIFEDesigns are for a healthy and successful community. 

Thank you again for supporting LIFEDesigns whether it be through your employment, by volunteering or your giving. 

Nathan’s Employment Journey

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Meet Nathan!

Nathan has recently graduated high school (2019), and wanted to begin searching for his first job. Nathan needed some help in getting organized and being prepared for the application and interview process of job seeking. Nathan got connected with LIFEDesigns employment consultant who began working with him on things like coping mechanisms to help him overcome challenges with anxiety and stress 

LIFEDesigns introduced Nathan to volunteering at Sans Souci, and helped him complete a job assessment at Kroger on cart pushing. These experiences helped him learn what kind of job might be ideal for him. With support, he then applied for and got hired at Donut Central at the beginning of 2020. Nathan started out working one day per week folding donut boxes and cleaning the inside and outside of the donut shop. He now works 2 days a week folding the boxes, cleaning trays, sweeping, mopping, cleaning tables, and taking out the trash. Nathan has anxiety with large crowds of people at work, and uses the coping methods he learned to help ease the anxiety. Nathan’s manager Coleman always says positive things about Nathan’s work ethic. “Nathan is a huge help to the shop when he folds the donut boxes during our busy Saturday mornings.” 

We’re so honored to have been a part of Nathan’s journey, and are proud of all he has accomplished over the past year. Nathan is very happy with his job and his life, “This job is perfect for me. I get to work, and still play in my band!”