Tricia Succeeds with LifeShare’s Individualized Vocational Services
LifeShare Rhode Island’s Individualized Vocational Services welcomed Tricia in January, 2018, after she worked with another vocational agency that didn’t quite meet her needs.
Tricia is diagnosed with Down syndrome, has limited communication abilities and has anxieties regarding new situations. She originally tried to seek employment independently but was not able to communicate her wants efficiently. After trying on her own she decided to seek assistance from the state’s vocational agency. Trish applied for services through the Office of Rehabilitation Services in Rhode Island which matched her with a vocational agency, before ultimately deciding that the more individualized employment services offered by LifeShare Rhode Island would be the best fit for her and her family.
Tricia’s goals were to gain an understanding of what type of employment would best suit her skills and personality, find out more about local employment options, and how to go about obtaining employment. LifeShare’s Rhode Island program is uniquely designed to assist with these goals, as well as on-the-job training, travel training (how to safely and independently travel on a public transportation system), and job coaching and retention support.
The first placement Trish had through LifeShare was trialing community based work experience in a hotel doing a variety of housekeeping tasks. After a few days in this setting, she made an informed choice to switch employment goals and trial a dining room attendant position. The vocational team searched for a new evaluation site that would be a good fit for Trish, and found an assisted living facility that welcomed her to trial this employment setting.
From day one, Trish flourished within this environment, providing a friendly dining experience to the residents. She was able to complete the majority of her tasks independently, and at the conclusion of the assessment Trish decided this was the job that she would like to pursue. The assisted living facility was impressed with Trish’s skills and the way she interacted with the residents there. Unfortunately they had a full staff and were unable to offer Trish a position. She is now working diligently with the LifeShare vocational team to find employment opportunities within her community.
These experiences allowed Trish and her family to see many of the exciting things that LifeShare Rhode Island is doing within their day program that emphasize community integration and the building of natural supports. Trish and her family decided to expand her services with LifeShare Rhode Island to include day program services as well. This enhancement gives Trish the opportunity to create meaningful relationships within her community, expand on her monetary, safety, cooking, and daily living skills, in order for Trish to gain the skills and experiences to ultimately be self-sufficient and live independently.