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 LIFEDesigns, also 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 job—Thanks 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 money. He 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 week, helping 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 families. I 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 differently–abled 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 one of the most influential teachers in 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 first–hand 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.