Jacob’s Story

Jacob’s Story 1024 684 Lifesteps

High school grad, Jacob, a young adult with Cerebral Palsy and Intellectual Disabilities, came to Lifesteps Transition Program…The Next Step after finishing his public education in 2014.  Like many young adults his age, Jacob had a goal to work and gain independence.

Jacob’s gift to light up a room with his joyful spirit and pleasant personality fueled his ambition and ignited energy those around him to work to help him meet his goals. His pursuit to achieve employment helped Jacob overcome the physical challenges that might have otherwise kept him from fulfilling his dream.

Jacob is limited in his ability to speak and move. He uses an I-Pad for communication assisted by a walker for mobility. With his long-term outcome to gain employment, he chose to join Lifesteps Transition Program…The Next Step, where young adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities including Autism are prepared to help them live as independently as possible.

Lifesteps program works with young adults to continue a life-long learning attitude for pre-vocational and self-advocacy skills. Through continued development of independent living skills, vocational and employment skills and on-going education, Lifesteps Transition Program…The Next Step, better prepares young adults to reach their fullest potential.

For Jacob to gain Competitive Integrated Employment, initially, his goals included the ability to effectively communicate with his I-Pad and to independently physically navigate throughout the facility. Jacob’s professional team reviewed his success in these areas and because of his progress, shifted the focus to developing these skills at the job sites. Learning to communicate with co-workers and supervisors on the job and developing consistent basic “soft” employment skills were critical to Jacob’s success in Competitive Integrated Employment. He began working on “asking for assistance when needed” and “doing a thorough job on assigned tasks” as well as working on other employment skills.

In 2017, Jacob progressed to working with a Job Coach on a one to one basis and pursued his individual job search.  In the program, typically over 30 basic “soft” employment skills are monitored by job coaches on each unpaid work experience.

He had gained consistency in the basic “soft” employment skills monitored and through unpaid work experiences had opportunity to explore multiple employment sectors.  Jacob and his Job Coach prepared a resume including his unpaid work experiences and began interview preparation.  Jacob created pre-recorded answers to basic interview questions on his I-Pad.  After internet job searches, employment opportunity visits and interviews, Jacob fulfilled his goal and now is now a proud part- time “packer” at a local Target store.