Adults with developmental disabilities face unique challenges in everyday life. First Step offers various programs and services, including Day Program, Supported Employment, and On Our Own residential living that help men and women learn how to do things you might not have thought possible.
Daily Living Skills Training
The goal of Adult Services Day Program is to improve or enhance the quality of life for adults with special needs, to assist caretakers with the challenges of providing care for adults with disabilities, and to provide hope for adults with disabilities.
We believe it is important to enrich their lives—each with his or her own different abilities and restrictions—by providing as much independence as possible while enhancing their productivity and nurturing their creativity.
We work towards accountability, advocacy, self-advocacy, integration, participation, and decision-making. Those involved in our program learn to do everyday activities that most people take for granted: getting dressed, mailing letters, cooking a simple meal, traveling to a job or the mall on the city bus, shopping at local stores, eating at local restaurants, going to the movies with friends, cashing a paycheck, paying an electric bill, and living in an apartment.
We offer individualized services and provide coordinated programs dealing with living independently, having meaningful relationships with people, getting a job, fostering social skills, participating in recreational activities, and learning about community safety, health and nutrition, and the use of computers and the Internet.
We are able to provide tube feeding for those who cannot eat by mouth. Others may need assistance with skills we take for granted. We reposition and lift as well as help with personal hygiene skills for those who need assistance in these areas.
The program is free and includes lunch and transportation.
Adult services are offered at our locations in Hot Springs, Malvern, Fordyce, and Glenwood.
Find A Job and Job Training
First Step is an approved vendor of Supported Employment Services, a program designed & funded by Arkansas Rehabilitation Services.
Supported Employment is for individuals whose disabilities cause significant functional limitations such as difficulty locating, learning, or holding a job. Trained and certified Job Development Specialists and Job Coaches work with individuals who need assistance in securing and keeping jobs in integrated work settings. Through SE Services, individuals with disabilities participate in real life experiences by having real jobs for real pay! Having a job is an important component of a person’s identity – one that provides a sense of connection, achievement and confidence.
Providing a “win-win” for the employer and the employee as a result of our services is our goal. Customer satisfaction is our objective. By properly matching an individual to a job, we are able to support and assist individuals with disabilities become productive and contributing members of society while meeting the employment needs of businesses.
Once an individual’s interests & skills are matched to a job and employment has been secured, a Job Coach provides one-on-one, job-site assistance to learn the job skills and good work habits. As the individual begins working independently and the employer is pleased with his/her progress, the job coach begins a fading process. Fading is gradual, all the while staying in close communication with supervisors and the employed individual. Once stable in his/her job duties and able to work independently, the Job Coach has faded; and Supported Employment follow-along services begin to help ensure continued success for the duration of employment.
In addition to the many other services offered by First Step, Supported Employment promotes the right of the person with a developmental disability to work and enjoy the dignity and fulfillment of employment and independent community living. The individuals supported by our services have a better than average chance for job success, and their employers gain reliable, hard-working employees.
Living With Independence
The freedom to make simple choices in life is something almost everyone takes for granted. If you are the caregiver for an adult with developmental disabilities, you have seen first-hand that this kind of freedom isn’t always possible.
On Our Own Residential Living program at First Step is designed to offer adults with developmental disabilities the freedom of choice that is often lacking in long-term care facilities. More importantly, we help people learn how to depend on themselves more and others less. This fosters a great sense of personal worth, self-respect and independence.
Group homes and individual apartment living are available for those who are eligible. Residents receive help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, budgeting, and other daily chores, with the overriding goal of helping them achieve as much independence as possible.
For more information or an application, contact the Community Based Services office at 501-620-5432.