4 Steps to Success
Mark prided himself on his self-sufficiency and independent lifestyle and never really thought twice about holding a full-time job. Often it is the routine of our daily life that we often take for granted and Mark was no different. Mark entered CLASS’ Centre Services after a stroke left him with cognitive challenges and a diagnosis of traumatic brain injury. He had four goals he wanted to accomplish and, with the help of his case manager and CLASS staff, Mark has made tremendous progress toward those goals.
Mark’s goals included 1) learning how to cook; 2) earning his GED; 3) obtaining a driver’s license; and
4) securing employment. Through his participation on the community skill building team, Mark was able to develop skills and utilize resources to assist him with reaching many of his goals.
In his meal preparation class, Mark successfully learned how to use adaptive kitchen equipment to compensate for limited use in one of his hands. He was introduced to nutritional concepts, meal planning, and general kitchen health and safety rules. Cognitively, he learned how to follow directions for multi-step recipes and manage time as it related to meal preparation, leading to independent meal preparation and clean-up. Mark is now able to successfully plan a meal and follow-through to completion by applying both physical and cognitive strategies.
Mark recently obtained his GED in October of 2012. With the assistance of CLASS staff, Mark had the opportunity to work one-on-one, over a period of several months, to study and practice taking the test. In order to keep Mark organized and simplify the amount of information that was included on the test, Mark and the instructor separated the test into three separate sections. As a result, Mark was able to study one section at a time and complete the test in the same manner. This strategy and individualized support, along with Mark’s determination, led to the successful accomplishment of earning his GED.
CLASS connected Mark to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in order for him to participate in several weeks of driver’s education classes that included theory and practical elements. Mark learned about the rules of being a safe driver and was able to experiment with the many adaptations that could be made to vehicles. It wasn’t long before Mark was able to pass his test and eventually purchase a car equipped with adaptations that best met his needs.
Finally, Mark has been utilizing staff support to explore vocational options and has been scheduling interviews for positions of interest. CLASS staff continue to assist Mark with developing a resume, honing relevant job skills, attending job fairs, and participating in mock interviews. Mark’s perseverance will undoubtedly lead to the successful completion of his fourth goal, securing employment, in the very near future.