October 6, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

Grant supports Central Indiana veterans, caregivers and individuals with disabilities on path to better health through Freedom from Smoking program

Blog contributed by Tessa Barnard

Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. While more Americans are kicking the habit, 42 million still identify as smokers – accounting for 1 out of every 5 citizens. People living with disabilities face even higher instances of smoking, nearly 40% more than those who reported having no disability (CDC, 2011).

CVS Health knows promoting a tobacco-free lifestyle extends well beyond their cigarette-free stores. That’s why they’re working with Easterseals, the nation’s indispensable resource for people facing disability, to help the disability community, veterans and caregivers kick the habit for good.

“If we are to help Americans on their path to better health, then tobacco-free living must remain a top, public health priority – for people of all abilities,” said Eileen Howard-Boone, President, CVS Health Foundation. “And that path starts in a different place for everyone. Together with Easterseals, we’re engaging the populations they serve including people with disabilities, veterans and caregivers who we know want to quit, but may not know where to start.”

Through support from the CVS Health Foundation, and in collaboration with the American Lung Association, Easterseals is advancing a smoking cessation program specifically tailored to the populations it serves: people with disabilities, veterans and caregivers – all groups with higher incidence of smoking. The partnership leverages the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking online program, which takes participants through modules containing tips and lessons to quit smoking.

“We’re proud to partner with the CVS Health Foundation as we help the individuals and families we serve kick the habit for good,” said Patrick Sandy, President & CEO of Easter Seals Crossroads. “It’s a true honor to be selected among the grant awardees. We hope Central Indiana families are inspired to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Easter Seals Crossroads was among six affiliates to receive this year’s grant. The grant will support local efforts to put the Central Indiana community on the path to better help.

Learn more about smoking cessation

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its approximately 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 75 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs.

Learn more about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health 

September 23, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

history of logos images with new logo for November 2016

Easter Seals Crossroads has been a vital resource for 80 years. Throughout those years, we have responded to community needs with our programs and services for adults and children with disabilities, special needs and challenges.

We started in 1936 with a club of 12 teenagers with disabilities who formed a social group. The group formally organized in 1939 under the leadership of the Indiana Society for Crippled Children and leased a building at 30th and New Jersey streets. A curative workshop was established to prepare persons with disabilities for jobs in the community. In 1956, the organization moved to a newly built two-story structure at 3242 Sutherland Avenue, and in 1958, became an affiliate agency of the United Way of Central Indiana.

Our Easter Seals affiliation came years later in the late 1980s followed by a physical move to our current main location at 4740 Kingsway Drive. We maintain this facility, along with two others – our Industrial Services division at 8302 East 33rd Street and our south location at 3215 East Thompson Road.

Our “look” has changed over the years in addition to our physical location. When we affiliated with Easter Seals, we adopted the Easter Seals logo, which was a blend of the national organization’s integral icons – the lily (introduced in 1952) and the seal (incorporated later because it captured the appeal of the signature fundraiser and namesake for Easter Seals).

In May of this year, our national organization introduced a new philosophy, brand and architecture to be adopted by all 70+ affiliates within the next 2 years. This new look is accompanied by our affirmation as the leading disability service provider locally and nationally – and we are taking on disability together as a national effort.

At the beginning of November of this year, Easter Seals Crossroads will sport the new look and we are excited to be part of this national effort to change the way the world defines and views disability. While we may look different at the beginning of November, be assured that we continue to hold the best interests of our consumers, donors, volunteers and partners at the very core of our service delivery.

September 19, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

two friend in adult day services posing for photo


National Adult Day Services Week | September 18 - 24

This week is set aside to recognize the importance of our ADS services, the clients who attend our programs and the dedicated staff in our program. We currently have a total of 96 clients participating in our Adult Day Services. These clients attend services in 2 different locations (Kingsway Dr. and Thompson Rd.) and in 3 different programs.

At our last survey, 100% of clients were satisfied with services; this definitely says a lot about our program! That satisfaction is a direct result of the dedication of our wonderful staff.

• Jo Anna Leaderbrand, LPN, Manager, Adult Day Services North
• Deanna Teegen, LPN, Manager, Adult Day Services South
• Debbie Hovious, LPN
• April Jones, Activity Coordinator
• Jenifer Martin, BSW
• Robin Johnson, Support Professional
• Scott Wilcher, Support Professional
• Melanie Adams, Support Professional
• Brittni Viles, Support Professional
• Lila Farley, Support Professional
• Rochelle Brown, Support Professional
• DaShawn Meadows, Support Professional
• Jennifer Barkewich, Support Professional

All this week, we will be celebrating with different activities. On Monday, our Adult Day staff members and clients will be in pajamas for Pajama Day. On Wednesday, we will be wearing fun hats.

We also like to use this time of year to educate others about our services and to give back to others in the organization. We plan to celebrate all week in our program area; here are some things we will be doing:

Monday, September 19 – Staff Appreciation Breakfast, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., lobbies of Kingsway Dr. and Thompson Rd.  

Tuesday, September 20 – Information Day, mid-afternoon, clients will pass out a little treat to staff with some fun facts about Adult Day Services

Wednesday, September 21 – Art Sale, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., (Kingsway Dr. – 1st floor east hallway; Thompson Rd – in ADS area).

Thursday, September 22 – Random Acts of Kindness Day - don’t be surprised if clients ask to do something for you to make your day easier!

Friday, September 23 – the day everyone has waited for all year….Fall Festival!!

Fall Festival is an all-day event full of fun, food, excitement and friendships! The day will include hayrides, cotton candy, carnival games / booths, face painting, balloon artist, singer / entertainer, dancing, client challenge games, staff contests such as hot wing eating contest and slushie drinking contest, the annual chili cook-off, annual bake off and much more!

Everyone in Adult Day is looking forward to celebrating this special week!

September 12, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

two football players with small boy on one player's shouldersThink of Easter Seals Crossroads as your family's back-to-school support team!

We understand the demands on our busy families' lives; that is why we want to help in every way we can. We offer programs that help our families live, learn, work and play all during the year.

Our full-range of services for families include:

Vital programs to help individuals live independent lives.

  • Families living with autism can benefit from behavioral treatment services from an interdisciplinary team of clinicians who provide individual as well as family intervention.
  • Our diagnostic clinic offers comprehensive evaluation services for children ages 18 months through 8 years with symptoms that may indicate the presence of ASD or other developmental disorders.
  • Physical, occupational and speech-language therapy services are available for children with special needs ages 3 - 18 years old to help them maximize their independence.
  • Community services are available for children, teens and adults with developmental or special needs and can include respite, individual community hab (CHIO), personal assistance care (PAC) or recreational therapy.

Resources and therapy that help people learn in order to grow, develop and thrive.

  • Free and open to the public, the Autism Family Resource Center is a place for families to connect through parent-to-parent support, use library and video resource materials, access the internet and engage in support groups.
  • The Speech and Hearing Resource Center - offered in partnership with Hear Indiana - provides speech therapy, audiology, information and referral, school outreach and counseling for parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • We provide specialized driver evaluation and training for adolescents and adults with disabilities.
  • Our Assistive Technology Center is a nationally-recognized resource for individuals with disabilities.
  • Early intervention therapy services are available for children ages birth to 3 years. We offer a free screening tool, the Ages & Stages Questionnaires, which will help identify if your child could benefit from developmental services at Easter Seals Crossroads.

Activities that help families and children relax and enjoy play.

  • Respite services include Parents' Night (and Day) Out programs at multiple locations and Teen Night Out for adolescents.
  • Summer camps for children and adolescents to enjoy recreational time and enjoy learning during the summer months.
September 6, 2016
by Katie   |   1 Comment

Easter Seals Crossroads would like to announce that Donna Marino has joined the agency as Vice President, Marketing and Development.

Donna comes to Easter Seals Crossroads with a strong background in executive level sales and marketing having worked for acclaimed Fortune 500 organizations such as Rubbermaid, Kodak and Roche Diagnostics. Drawing on a lifetime of personal and professional leadership relationships, Donna brings a wealth of experience, unique skill set and powerful insight. Donna’s first major project with Easter Seals Crossroads is to execute a complete brand relaunch set for November.

Patrick Sandy, President/CEO of Easter Seals Crossroads, said, “I am so pleased to welcome Donna to our team. She is a high-energy individual with great ideas and a strong track record of achieving results.”

Prior to joining Easter Seals Crossroads, she also served as the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce. Donna most recently worked on a capital campaign for the Greater Indianapolis YMCA through her independent consulting practice ARMONIA, LLC. Donna is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Business Administration and is currently working to obtain her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy/Counseling from the Christian Theological Seminary.

August 25, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

The Employment Division at Easter Seals Crossroads is a community resource for businesses, employers and job candidates. We work with qualified individuals who are seeking employment and we match their abilities to open employment opportunities.

Our employment consultants work directly with job candidates and potential employers; they are highly skilled in analyzing necessary qualifications for job success and they work diligently to make successful outcomes.

Two employment consultants have been honored as being top producers within the division this year – Sherri Negri and Marlene Martin.

Sherri Negri
photo of Sherri NegriSherri has worked at Easter Seals Crossroads for over a year now and she has been an employment consultant for eight years. Sherri assists individuals in finding employment that fits within their interests, backgrounds and skills set. This means everything from entry level positions to seasoned professionals.

Sherri has found that many businesses in our community know our brand name and that this recognition often helps open doors for discussion. She is quick to tell employers who are not aware of us that our candidates are pre-screened for employment by a team of qualified consultants and that we have a high level of long-term job retention among our candidates.

“I love helping individuals seek out and achieve their goals and dreams to live a more fulfilling life,” said Sherri. Sherri typically works with 20 – 25 individuals seeking employment during any given month.

One dream job that Sherri recently helped someone achieve was a culmination of this person’s goals and interests, which included teaching, advocacy and office work. Together, they researched opportunities and discovered that a career in mental health required her skills set and interest level. The consumer completed some necessary coursework, applied for some open positions and was thrilled to obtain her dream job shortly after.

Marlene Martin
photo of marlene martinMarlene has been an employment consultant at Easter Seals Crossroads for over 2 years and has over 20 years of experience in the field.

Marlene loves to meet and help people find jobs to sustain them in their daily living. She has helped people find employment in professional positions such as government offices and other organizations; service positions in restaurants and dining halls; and industrial and janitorial positions in stores and the hospitality industry. She finds that much of our community is very aware of the excellent reputation that Easter Seals Crossroads has earned; this helps her learn of employment opportunities that are available.

“I am here to help future employers; my goal is to make their jobs easier by offering training and support services to my job candidates,” said Marlene.

Marlene’s best advice to individuals seeking employment is to learn how to handle an interview well and maintain a positive attitude. Being able to excel during an interview often lands a person the job and the positive attitude often helps maintain that job.

Last year, our Employment Division assisted in placing 145 people with disabilities into permanent positions and arranged 83 internships with community employers. Thanks to the hard work of consultants like Marlene and Sherri, we are often the number one choice for businesses seeking qualified job candidates.

August 8, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

Hickory Hall Polo Club
Friday, August 26, 2016

polo players - two men and one woman

Join Easter Seals Crossroads for a fun, family-friendly polo event at Hickory Hall Polo Club on Friday, August 26. Easter Seals Crossroads is the nonprofit partner who will benefit from sales made at the gate.

Tailgating with your own food and drinks is encouraged; a food truck may be available. Gates open at 5 p.m. and the match begins at 6 p.m.

The cost to attend is $20 per carload (cash only, no advance ticket sales).

For more information about Sunset Polo at Hickory Hall, contact us.

Images from last year's Sunset Polo match to benefit Easter Seals Crossroads. It was a beautiful outdoor evening for polo!

polo players moment of silence before match group of players trying to get ball

small boy and woman watching match one rider on horse during match

August 1, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

bikes to vets image with graphic of bicycle and words Bikes to Vets

Donate a bicycle in good working condition and help a veteran thrive!

Did you know that a bicycle often helps eliminate huge employment barriers for veterans? Easter Seals Crossroads Veteran Services is asking for your help. Many of the veterans we serve are challenged with employment and housing issues.

You can help by providing a bicycle in good working order; each bicycle will be given to a veteran who needs help getting from home to employment or from home to a bus stop.

Our Bikes to Vets (BV2) project will accept bicycles in good working order and distribute them to veterans who need transportation assistance. Not only will your donated bicycle help a veteran with transportation, it will also help promote good health to improve the veteran's quality of life!

Bicycle donations can be made at:

Easter Seals Crossroads | 4740 Kingsway Drive | Indianapolis, IN 46205

Contact us if you need more information; donations accepted August 1 through September 16, 2016. Pick up can be arranged when donating three or more bicycles.

July 26, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

image of new logo look with curtains - a sneak peakLate October we will be sporting a new look! We are excited to offer this sneak preview of what is to come for us in late October as we roll out our new brand, look and feel highlighting the same great quality programs and services that our community depends upon us to deliver.

Over a year ago, our National organization initiated a brand renaissance effort. This effort originated in response to solid research into the power of our current brand through a donor-backed study with a highly successful marketing firm, Siegelvision. It was concluded that “Our brand doesn’t deliver clarity about what we’re trying to do in the world,” and the rebranding efforts began. Research involving focus groups, consumer groups, community groups and affiliate groups was carefully conducted and the results involved a new look, new logo, new philosophy and new organizational architecture.

The concept behind the renaissance is simple: to redefine disabilities for today’s challenges. Our National organization (now referred to as Easterseals as one word) rebranded in May; view their website. Affiliates were asked to select an implementation year; we have selected 2016, and our hope is to push out our new look in October 2016. There are many things we are in the process of doing now to make that transition a reality.

In addition to our National organization, 13 of over 70 affiliates have launched the new brand. It is very possible that you will notice this as you visit websites and interact on social media. Until we launch this fall, we will not be using any of the new look; it’s hard to wait, yet exciting to know it is in store for us very soon.

While we will soon look different, be assured that the quality and extent of our programs are not changing in any way; we are staying true to our core beliefs and values. Our new National tagline – taking on disability together – will help all affiliates throughout the country consistently be known as industry leaders dedicated to the abilities of those with disabilities, challenges and special needs.

Look for more information this fall as we reintroduce ourselves to our community with our new look! With all the expertise from our National organization as well as a leading marketing organization, Siegelvision, we are positioned to truly make an impact in fall 2016. 

July 21, 2016
by Katie   |   0 Comments

Camps offered by Easter Seals Crossroads provide great opportunities for children and adolescents to grow, learn and play.

As we wind down this year's summer camping season, we want to thank the many, many staff members, camp counselors, volunteers and community partners who helped us offer the following series of camping programs:

CampAbility for children with special needs ages 4 to 10
Children enjoyed outdoor play, amazing field trips, peer play and more.

two CamAbility images - each with one child and one counselor

Camp R.O.C.K.S! for young people with autism ages 10 to 18
During this week-long, overnight camp, 76 young people enjoyed the outdoors by hiking, horseback riding, swimming and more.

two images - each of groups of campers walking in woods

Camp FUEL for adolescents with special needs ages 11 to 17
Adolescents enjoyed fun and unique experiential learning during June and July by taking field trips and interacting with peers.

two images - one of girl touching (contained) snake; one of group of campers smiling

iCan Bike for individuals with special needs
Forty individuals made great strides in learning to ride a two-wheel, conventional bicycle during an intensive one-week bike camp.

iCan Bike images - one with man and biker riding, one with volunteer and biker riding

Gadget Camp for young people who use augmentative communication devices
Children and adolescents enjoyed a week of indoor fun and outdoor play.

two images of Gadget Camp - one with group of campers drawing in class, one with group fishing at outdoor pond