Distributor of transition work and life skills curriculum/assessments for schools, programs, and service providers.

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1st Step

Congratulations New 2019 First Step Labs

Wayzata MN Transition Program

Richfield MN Transition

Belle Plaine MN Transition

1st Step Transition and Life Skills Lab

What teachers are saying about 1st Step:

“We have a student who has completed all jobs/tasks in 1st Step and is now in the PAES Lab giving that a try. I truly believe the experience she had in the 1st Step better prepared her for a successful experience in the PAES Lab, vs. us placing her directly into PAES.”

- Christine Dohrmann, Crystal Learning Center, MN, PAES Lab, 1st Step & Work Based Learning, Robbinsdale School District 281

The First Step Lab©

A Developmental Transition & Life Skills Program
Designed for students with significant disabilities who require guided instruction and direct assistance.

Transitions Assessments & Curriculum at WorkLifeReady.com

Four Work Centers

  1. Basic Hand Tools
  2. Basic Household Skills
  3. Basic Measurement
  4. Employability Skills

40 Subjects - 119 Lessons - 354 Activities
Objectives - Defined Tasks - Step by Step Instruction
With DVD Instructional Videos

The First Step Program Concept

The First Step Program is designed as a tool to address Basic Skill Development and Transition requirements for Students who are Low Cognitive Functioning at the Secondary level that need guided instruction. It can also be used at middle school or upper elementary for those students who have the ability to function more independently.

The skills in First Step are very basic and designed to allow the students to learn and develop skills they may not possess. Each lesson is broken down into three parts. Part 1 introduces the student to the required tools and materials. Some of your students may complete this part easily, while others may not be able to go any further than Part 1. Part 2 of each lesson the “How To” section. This is where the student learns how to use the tool or material. We also refer to Part 2 of the lesson as the “Practice” section. Part 3 of each lesson is the “Work Activity” or Application part of the lesson.

Some students will not be able to go past Part 1 of a lesson. Others may be able to complete Parts 1 and 2. Others will be able to complete all three Parts of the lessons. A concept and functional Mastery score along with an interest assessment will be produced for the Parts of the lesson the student has been able to complete.

It is important to note that while Mastery and Interest Assessment of each skill will be produced, the lessons also serve as the vehicle to help students develop Work Behavior Skills and introduce them to the Practical Application of Economic Life Skills. They will learn how to follow work procedures and work rules. This will help them transfer the work skills learned in First Step to the real world. They will also learn a positive work ethic and learn how to get along with fellow workers as well as supervisors.

The First Step program rewards students for their work. They will get a paycheck and will have a First Step store where they can purchase real items. This token economy is designed to help students learn how to make economic choices. It also introduces basic money management skills.

Considering a First Step lab?

Read on for pricing, planning ideas & helpful tips!

What about the in-service training?

Who should attend?  

Typically you would send any staff that might work in the lab including teaching staff, paras, and/or aides. Many districts also invite their OT’s to attend the training.

What about staffing & scheduling students?

Most labs run one or two "work shifts" or "sessions" (class periods) per day, which are at least one hour long, and sometime 1 1/2 hours long. It is recommended that students work in the First Step lab at least four days a week, but it is set up for five days a week; so five days a week is most typical. Students should be in the lab at a minimum of a semester, but some are in for a year, some for two years. This is dependent on varying student abilities and scheduling. It is also recommended that you have one assigned person to keep track of your lab.

Basic Package: $13,895

Includes materials, shipping, set-up, and on-site in-service training. (Ask Heidi for an official price list with options)

This example floor plan is meant to be a framework to follow, and would be modified to suit programming and student/worker needs. Read on for more details, and how to plan your classroom/space.

Typically students work in First Step at sit down tables, however you could also include 1-2 stand-up work tables, depending on the functioning levels of your students, and the goals for your students. (Do you want to work on increasing the First Step students endurance in being able to stand up for work?) The example floor plan shows 572 square feet. This is just an example, and this much space, and a dedicated space is not required. So you can use the space for other programming. The example floor plan is set up for a maximum of 6 students with 4 paras. The first step lab is typically one staff per one student, or one staff per two students, depending on the functioning level of the student(s). You can adjust the number of seats and tables based on how many students. The lab comes with a rolling tool case, which you can use, but some districts are choosing to put up a peg board tool wall (at their own expense) so the tools are readily available and visible. This is totally up to you. It is also nice to have a sink in the room. Some districts put their First Step Lab in their “life skills room” where there is already a stove, fridge, washer, dryer, etc.…. These appliances are not connected with First Step – But the First Step Skills could be elongated into other life skills activities using these appliances.