Who We Are

Bridging Gaps. Building Relationships.

LifeWorks at WKU is a non-profit, two-year postsecondary certificate program designed to prepare young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other learning differences for successful transition to work and independent living.  Participants develop crucial skills in the areas of career-readiness, self-reliance, and social interaction.

Located in Bowling Green, KY, home of Western Kentucky University, LifeWorks is the only living and learning transition program for young adults on the spectrum in Kentucky.

LifeWorks participants reside in an intimate, supportive campus setting consisting of townhouse-style apartments where they develop daily living skills and build confidence in their abilities to make responsible decisions – both with support and on their own.

Our classroom instructors use the proven Learn4Independence® curriculum to develop person-centered plans for each individual. As a Community Rehabilitation Provider for the Kentucky Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), LifeWorks also provides Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) and Supported Employment services.

Incidence of Autism

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 44 children are diagnosed on the autism spectrum. Upon graduating from high school, or by age 21, special education services cease to be a mandatory provision resulting in individuals falling off the proverbial “service cliff.”


More than 5.4 million adults in the United States, or 2.2% of the U.S. population, are on the autism spectrum. Approximately 80% of autistic adults – including college graduates – are underemployed or unemployed.

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Supported Employment for meaningful work
Supported Living For Independence Skills
LifeWorks at WKU Mentoring

The focus of LifeWorks at WKU is to facilitate a living, learning environment that empowers autistic young adults and those with other learning differences to realize their full potential and successfully lead lives of independence, self-direction, employment, and inclusion.

LifeWorks utilizes Learn4Independence – a 32-course curriculum that focuses on skills to promote living independently and working successfully. This curriculum implements person-centered planning, designed to accommodate various types of individuals with learning differences and is adaptable to diverse community and cultural needs.

At LifeWorks at WKU, our focus is on independence, productivity, and community engagement; and we operate under a four-tier program to accomplish this.

The Four Tiers

Supported Living

Participants feel at home while learning daily independent living skills in specially designed apartments with multi-purpose spaces that promote community.

Supported Employment

Explore career opportunities, and receive instruction and mentorship to learn the critical skills needed to not only maintain employment, but also to be successful in the workplace.

Community Engagement

Participants will flourish among their neighbors in a nurturing and creative atmosphere specifically designed to connect with the community through a variety of local attractions.

Relationship Building

Participants are empowered to have meaningful relationships for personal fulfillment that prepares them to integrate into community life.

Curriculum Benefits


Student financial education, both basics and personal finances.


Planned monthly activities to engage in the community.


Education for relationship building and interpersonal interaction.


An environment where young adults can live and work independently.


Nutritious meal preparation and planning.


Transportation to class, work, and nearby locations.


Guidance for personal and vocational development.


Confidence to live in, work in, and engage in the community.