Indiana School For The Deaf

Staff Portal
Special Needs » Life Skills Program Courses

Life Skills Program Courses



Life Skills Program courses are designed as a 4-year cumulative program that is individualized to each student based on individual goals, needs and skills. Emphasis is on courses related to real-world experiences: Language Arts (reading, writing and communication), Math, Science, Social Skills, community based learning, occupational competence and some elective courses where appropriate.



(reading, writing and communication)


Students will read articles from news, restaurant menu, notes, directions, schedule or to-do lists to develop reading and vocabulary skills and gain general knowledge. They will develop sequencing, interferences, cause/effect, and questioning skills from these materials. The students will read, spell and apply use of functional words with real-life opportunities through medicine labels, the calendar, environmental signs, cleaning and household product labels, food labels, and job applications. The students will communicate through writing, American Sign Language and pictures.



(number sense, computation, problem solving, geometry, measurement, algebra and functions)


Students will use the correct process of addition, subtraction, multiplication and/or division to solve everyday math problems. These problems will include: counting the amount of money needed and/or using the next dollar approach, knowing when they will receive change back, figuring sale tax, sale discounts, and using coupons to make purchases. Students will be able to manage money, set-up a simple budget, and maintain a savings and/or a checking account including making deposits, withdrawals, reconciling a checkbook and use of an ATM machine. Students will have understanding of time management including being able to add how many hours they work within a time period for full and/or part-time employment.



Social Skills leads the students in improving and developing relationships with others, including family members and peers. An emphasis is placed on values, decision-making, and goal setting. Students with additional disabilities do not learn social skills naturally, instead, they learn best when the unwritten social rules are broken down into steps and taught specifically. Some repetitions and emphasis is required to help acquire specific skills being taught.



Students will develop skills needed to function as an adult in today’s society. They will study interpersonal standards, lifespan roles and responsibilities, individual and family resource management, and financial responsibility and resources. Students will utilize thinking skills, communication skills, and fundamentals in order to be prepared for the adulthood.



Students will learn about specific health issues, such as mental and emotional health, drug prevention, human development and family health; health care, non-communicable and communicable diseases, and tobacco prevention. Sex Education topics will be discussed to expand better understanding of a person’s feelings and safety. Students will learn how to practice best health-enhancing behaviors and develop health and wellness advocacy skills.



Students receive opportunities to learn about themselves and their interests related to traditional and nontraditional occupations and careers. Skills in employability, understanding the economic process, and career decision making and planning are taught. Various activities, such as field trips and job shadowing help them make better informed decisions about future employment plans.



Students will develop the skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment. This will include knowing where to look for a job, using an interpreter, and working with a job coach. Students will be engaged in activities that lead to finding interest and skills in specific areas that lead to potential jobs. Job Skill Training Center is utilized to meet part of this requirement by providing a real-life experience with filling out applications/timesheets, starting/completing tasks independently and to master skills that help one live, which leads to maximize students’ potential to lead a productive and independent life.



Students will develop skills necessary to become an independent adult as possible. The goals in this class are often written to meet specific needs that may be included in the students’ Individualized Education Program. Language Arts and Math concepts are often applied in these courses to help generalize the skill in other environments. Topics covered intertwined, but is not limited to: personal care, intrapersonal relationships and health awareness skills, physical development, home cleaning and safety, miscellaneous domestic skills, money management and consumer skills, recreation and leisure and community services.



Life Science is similar to Biology and includes the following topic/skills as identified in the Indiana DOE’s ISTAR criteria: Nature of Science; Structures and Functions of Living Systems: Cellular Structure; Changes in Living Systems: Gene Expression; Changes in Living Systems: Heredity and Reproduction; and Changes in Living Systems: Evidence for Evolution to meet the requirement of ISTAR state standards.



Topics in Social Studies are similar to U.S History, World Geography, State and Local Government, and U.S. Government. Social Studies includes the following topic/skills as identified in the Indiana DOE’s ISTAR criteria: History – North America to 1610; Foundation of the United States to 1800; Chronology, Analysis and Interpretation; Civics and Government; Geography – Maps and Globes; Economy – Elements of a Market Economy; Economy – History of Early United States Economy.



Students will be exposed to various sport and recreational activities. This course can be offered multiple times with different topics: individual physical activities, outdoor pursuits, aquatics, dance, exercise, leisure, etc. The purpose of this course is to promote health and wellness in decision making. Students are encouraged to explore various activities that may interest them in a long term.



Elective courses are intertwined within the 4 year and varies from year to year to target interests of students where possible, such as Animal Care, Auto Detailing, Introduction to Technology, Functional Art, Photography, Building and Facilities Maintenance , Landscape Management, Radio and Television, community service, and work based internship.