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Life and Employment Skills for Independence

Life and Employment Skills for Independence

The Life and Employment Skills for Independence (LESI) certificate at Red Deer Polytechnic is a non-credit program developed to support learners with developmental disabilities to obtain employment and establish and maintain independence. Learners will participate in classroom instruction and experiential learning opportunities, including work experience and staying in residence. The LESI has been divided into three terms: Social skills and Personal Development, Independent Living Skills, and Employment Readiness. Throughout the program learners will earn ProServe, First Aid and WHIMS certifications that will allow them to gain practical skills while increasing their employability. The emphasis of this program is to provide a more inclusive approach to support learners in career discovery, employment readiness, work-integrated learning, and exploration of post-secondary training. 

Program Length:

Full-time program over 12 months 


January 2023 and September 2023 

Delivery Method:

On Campus 



Funding Options:

Foundational Learning Assistance 

Admission Requirements: 

  • Must be 18 years of age or older 
  • Complete the application package and psychological assessment 
  • Natural Support Assessment 
  • Completion of high school and transcripts 
  • Letter of reference (teacher or employer)  

Courses and Descriptions: 

LESI 1001: Introduction to Health and Wellness   

Focus on healthy living including relationship building, healthy eating and exercise practices. Identify support services provided by local community agencies and government.   

LESI 1002: Introduction to Life Skills   

Increase self-awareness about feelings, thoughts and actions. Develop strategies to manage and communicate emotions with others. Explore different ways to minimize and manage stress.   

LESI 1003: Healthy Relationships and Interpersonal Communication   

Develop strategies for effective communication with others in personal and workplace relationships. Examine non-verbal communication, conversation skills, conflict resolution, and assertiveness.   

LESI 1004: Study Skills for Success  

Apply strategies for learning to promote success including effective listening, comprehension and note-taking.

LESI 1005: Volunteer Experience

Gain practical experience through a work experience opportunity in a setting suited to individual interests and abilities.

LESI 2001: Living Independently   

Gain practical experience to apply knowledge and skills to prepare for independent living. Learn how to search for suitable housing, prepare meals, manage home responsibilities and enhance personal safety skills. 

LESI 2002: Introduction to Technical Proficiency and Digital Literacy  

Gain experience using Microsoft programs including Word and Outlook. Create basic documents including a resume and cover letter. Use email, the internet/world wide web and social media safely.   

LESI 2003: Financial Literacy and Numeracy  

Explore financial and consumer strategies to manage personal banking including creating monthly budgets, understanding bank statements, and strategies for financial decision-making. 

LESI 2004: Community Involvement and Social Life   

Employ skills to identify and access services provided by local community agencies and facilities.  Research and attend social events of interest to develop social skills. Understand leisure and social interactions as an integral part of self-care.    

LESI 2005: Career Discovery and Employment Preparation  

Explore employment opportunities through local events, speakers and assessments. Discuss principles of conduct that would be expected within the workplace. 

LESI 2006: Work Experience I  

Complete a work experience opportunity in an employment setting suited to individual interests and abilities. 

LESI 3001: Math Skills for the Workplace  

Develop mathematical skills for the workplace including how to count money and give change, measurement techniques, problem solving and basic math computing. 

LESI 3002: Leadership and Self-Advocacy  

Develop the tools to make decisions, understand legal rights, and advocate for personal needs to be successful in the work and social environments.  

LESI 3003: Workplace Standards and Employment Readiness Simulation  

Become familiar with workplace standards, complete a job search and submit a resume or application. 

LESI 3004: Post-secondary Level Course  

Audit a post-secondary level course based on personal interests to become immersed in the post-secondary life. Choose from a suite of courses to practice study, social and leadership skills in an academic environment. 

LESI 3005: Work Experience II  

Complete a work-experience opportunity in an employment setting suited to individual interests and abilities. 

How to Register:

Request an Application Package from the Division of Education at (403) 356-4900 or extended [dot] ed [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca

Complete and Submit an Application Package, including:

  1. LESI Applicant Profile Form, including the following documents (email preferred):
  2. 2 Reference Letters i.e., Teacher/Counselor; Employer/Work Experience Coordinator; Other
  3. Copy of most recent Psychological Assessment, including scores
  4. Other information as appropriate (work experience reports, relevant school reports, etc.)

Send completed LESI (Life and Employment Skills for Independence) Applicant Profile and associated documents to:

Red Deer Polytechnic  
Division of Extended Education 
Millennium Centre 
Box 5005 4909 49 Street Red Deer AB T4N 5H5  
Email: extended [dot] ed [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca 

Apply early, as space is limited. Late applications will be considered, space permitting. Once applications have been reviewed, successful applicants will be contacted for an interview. Information regarding community supports and funding will be provided at the interview.

You have questions, we have answers. Contact us by extended [dot] ed [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca (subject: LESI%20%28Life%20and%20Employment%20Skills%20for%20Independence%29%20Application) (email) or call 403.356.4900

We understand that you still have questions about the programs.
You can talk to us and we can help.
Are you interested in Corporate Training opportunities?
Contact our Business Development Consultant to explore group and customized training solutions.
Corporate [dot] Training [at] rdpolytech [dot] ca