Understanding Disabilities

People with disabilities are overwhelmingly underprivileged & 2x more likely to live at or below the poverty level. Living in poverty with a disability creates a vicious circle & builds barriers to the education, employment & public services that can help them achieve independence.

There is a great need for the services that we provide, which is why we need your help! LIFEDesigns believes everyone, no matter their ability, deserves an opportunity to work & participate in their community. While we cannot force employers to hire our clients, we can be their support system & provide them with our resources to help them live independently and active in their community.

Make a difference in your community by donating to our 40th Anniversary Campaign & help us provide the services our clients need & deserve.

Meet Nathan!

Finding a career can be an intimidating journey, especially for someone with a disability, which why we offer employment services. Nathan is a client at LIFEDesigns & receives assistant from our Employment Consultants who help him find a job in the community that both complies to his abilities & helps him learn and achieve independence. 

After graduating Highschool in 2019, Nathan wanted to begin his search in finding his first job and asked LIFEDesigns for help. After some searching, we introduced Nathan to a volunteer opportunity at Sans Souci and helped him complete a job assessment at Kroger on cart pushing. Both of these experiences helped Nathan learn what kind of job might be ideal for him & led him to his job today!

With support from our employment team, Nathan applied for and got hired at Donut Central in the beginning of 2020. Nathan is a hard worker and his manager always has positive things to say about Nathan’s work ethic and mentioned that “Nathan is a huge help to the shop when he folds the donut boxes during our busy Saturday mornings”.

We are so honored to have been part of Nathan’s journey & we are so proud of all he has accomplished over the past year. To support Nathan and many others to find employment and achieve their goals, consider starting a monthly gift to our 40th anniversary campaign…your gift will ensure staff to support Nathan and others in life skills and employment skills are consistent, and available for the next 40 years. Click here to support our 40th Anniversary Campaign!

Meet Crystal!

LIFEDesigns provides Crystal with support services to help her achieve independence. Crystal really enjoys going out in the community and socializing. Some of her favorite things to do are going to Starbucks, going on drives with our staff, and making arts & crafts with her roommates. Crystal also participates in our All Abilities Choir program and loves being able to practice her singing with others. 

Without staff support, our clients are limited to what they can and cannot do. In order to achieve our mission in partnering with & promoting independence for people with disabilities, we have to provide essential resources like staff assistance to help our clients live as independently as possible. Your donations help us provide staff support for Crystal so she can continue to look forward to her favorite things. If you are able, please consider donating to our 40th Anniversary Campaign & help us fundraise the necessary resources our clients need to achieve their independence. 

Meet Eldena!

Eldeana is the definition of a social butterfly! She loves to share her family history and talk about American history. She can recite almost the entire Gettysburg Address and really likes to hear and share stories about the American revolution and Civil War time periods.  

Her oldest brother served in 3 different military branches, and patriotism is very important to her. Eldeana cherishes an old “Secretary” an antique piece of furniture her mom left her. She stores some of her arts and crafts supplies in it and displays her favorite knickknacks and art.  

Eldeana also loves to cook, something she learned from her mother. She remembers her mom’s blackberry cobbler, which was the best around! She enjoyed picking blackberries for her mom when she was young. She has a photo of her mom and dad in her bedroom from before they were married. She likes looking at the photos and remembering her father’s coal black hair and mother’s fiery red hair. If you get the chance to meet Eldeana, she’ll share these and more stories with you. 

Eldeana receives housing & staff support from LIFEDesigns. Because she enjoys being social, it’s important that we are able to provide her with staff support so she can do the things she wants to do & participate in activities that make her happy. We want Eldeana and all of our clients to be active community members, but if we don’t have enough staff support, we have to limit what our clients can and cannot do. 

If you can & are able, please consider donating to our 40th Anniversary Campaign & help us provide staff support for our clients who want to be part of their community. Your donations mean so much to our agency, clients, & their family members and we thank you for supporting LIFEDesigns and our mission in partnering with & promoting independence for individuals with disabilities.

Meet Anna!

A few years ago, LIFEDesigns partnered with the South Central Indiana Housing Opportunities to reserve some of the affordable Switchyard apartments for people with disabilities. Being able to provide a safe & affordable living environment for our clients who want to live independently is a something we take very seriously. We are happy to share that we’ve been able to place several of our clients in these apartments where they have access to their community and can safely live independently!

Last year, LIFEDesigns was able to help Anna reserve one of the Switchyard apartments, where she  is able to walk and use public transportation to do the things she wants to do. Anna was really happy about living so close to a skatepark, as that is one of her favorite things to do. She even has a collection of old skateboards, which she refurbishes so she can get a little more use out them and keeps some as decorations to hang on her wall at her apartment. 

With the help of our services, Anna is able to live on her own and enjoy the life she chose for herself. There are hundreds more people just like Anna who have unique interests and need someone to support and guide them through the steps it takes to accomplish their personal and life goals. Your donation gives the gift of support through individualized staff who work daily with people like Anna.

Click here to help an individual with disabilities achieve independence by donating to our 40th Anniversary Campaign. Thank you for supporting LIFEDesigns!


Meet Steve!

Steve is an employment client here at LIFEDesigns. He is originally from Shelbyville, IN, but moved to Columbus, IN in 1979 to receive services from ResCare. Steve is currently working towards living independently and having his own place. In his free time, he likes to go fishing, camping, horseback riding, farming, talking on the phone with his sister & nephew, and hanging out with sister.

Prior to his current job, Steve worked on a farm, which he really enjoyed. Unfortunately, after Steve’s father passed away, he had to take time away from that job to help his mom around the house. However, Steve still had goals of living on his own, and he knew he needed to work to achieve those goals. With our employment services and some help from a few LIFEDesigns Employment Coaches, Steve landed a job at Goodwill, where he has now been employed for almost 4 years! He helps with stocking, cleaning, making sure items are in the correct places, and helps wherever it’s needed. 

When we asked Steve how LIFEDesigns has impacted his life, he responded “LIFEDesigns helped me get this job at Goodwill. Without my employment coach, I would not have gotten this job. LIFEDesigns never gave up on me. At first, I just volunteered at Goodwill. Then, they offered me a job. I did not expect to get offered a job.”.

We see first hand how difficult it can be for individuals with disabilities be given an opportunity to work in their community. We all have goals and things we want to accomplish, and we each deserve a chance to work and chase those goals. Your donations help our clients achieve their dreams, see their worth, feel accomplished, and become more independent.

Read more about how your gift helps at Donate | LIFEDesigns (lifedesignsinc.org)