September 10, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

According to the National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA), the week of September 15-19 is National Adult Day Services Week, and Easter Seals Crossroads is celebrating with our Annual Fall Festival on Friday, September 19.

 Fall Festival 2013

George Hill from the Indiana Pacers joined us last year at our Fall Festival to shoot hoops

Our medically-based adult day services program uses individual plans of care to provide a variety of health, social, recreational and therapeutic activities, supervision, support services, and personal care.

Did you know our Adult Day Services program...

  • Was opened in the Fall of 2001

  • Was the first Adult Day Services program in Indianapolis to serve younger adults with disabilities only

  • Currently has 51 clients enrolled in services 

  • Employs 3 Licensed Practical Nurses, an RN consultant, a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, 5 Certified Nurses Aids, and a Medical Social Worker

  • Is CARF accredited 

Our clients...

  • Have individually anywhere from 4 to 18 goals they are actively working on each day

  • 36% of the clients live in their own home with supports

  • Are 100% satisfied with services according to the most recent survey

  • 93% of the clients made functional gains and progress toward all goals in the past 6 months

Join us for Beat the Challenge at our Annual Fall Festival from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Friday, September 19 in our Therapy and Wellness Garden for food and game challenges, special guests and celebrities, KG Slider Station food for purchase, entertainment, live music, face painting and more. While you're here, you can speak with the Adult Day Services staff and learn about program options at Easter Seals Crossroads for children, adults and adolescents with disabilities, special needs and challenges. Contact Tracy Wright at 317.466.2008 for more information.

September 3, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Whether you are a parent of a child with special needs, a teacher, a therapist, or anyone who works with children on a daily basis, the INDATA Project has a free training you may benefit from.

WHAT: Facilitating Play for Children of All Abilities

WHEN: Thursday, September 11, 2014 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

WHERE: Easter Seals Crossroads 5th Floor Conference Rooms

Hayley Anderson, CTRS/Manager of Family Services & Partnerships from National Lekotek Center will provide training on facilitating play for children and the use of adaptable toys. Lekotek Centers is a not-for-profit organization that provides services to children with special needs through utilization of toys and play. The goal of the organization is to use these play techniques "to help children learn, develop and thrive in a world that presents them with many unique and complex challenges."

Attendees may register to attend in-person or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/facilitating-play-for-children-of-all-abilities-adaptive-toys-tickets-12602852471.

In 2007, Easter Seals Crossroads partnered with the State of Indiana, Bureau of Rehabilitative Services to establish the Indiana Assistive Technology Act (INDATA) Project. The INDATA Project is one of 56 similar federally-funded projects designed to increase access and awareness of assistive technology. To find a similar project in another US state or territory, visit www.RESNAProjects.org.

August 25, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

2014 marks the second year of a charitable partnership between the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Easter Seals Crossroads. This year, the 5K, half marathon and full marathon races take place on Saturday, November 1 in downtown Indianapolis. Over 13,600 participants from eight foreign countries and 46 states helped set registration and finisher record numbers in 2013, and we hope our participation helps boost those numbers for 2014. 

Over 2,000 volunteers are needed to make the event a success. Easter Seals Crossroads is looking for volunteers who can assist with packet pick-up at the Expo. Duties include creating the racer packets with t-shirts, posters, bibs and event info along with handing them out to each runner.

Volunteer shifts available:

Thursday, October 30 - 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM or 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM

Friday, October 31 - 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM, 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM or 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM 

To sign up, visit the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon's volunteer page and click "register as volunteer." Select an expo time and in the comments section, write that you are volunteering on behalf of Easter Seals Crossroads. 

Your participation as a volunteer supports children and adults with disabilities and special needs in central Indiana. Thank you for your continued support! For more information about expo volunteer opportunities or to register as a group, contact Tessa Barnard, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, at tbarnard@eastersealscrossroads.org.

August 22, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Liam at BatAt Easter Seals Crossroads, we understand the importance of providing early intervention services for children aged birth to three years with a diagnosed disability, developmental delay or those biologically at risk of a developmental delay. As a parent, do you know what signs to look for in your child's development to identify a potential delay?

Parents are usually the first to notice unusual behaviors in their child or their child's failure to reach appropriate developmental milestones. Not all milestones are as easy to identify as walking and talking, which is why the free online Ages & Stages Questionnaire is here to help.

When kids get the right treatment and therapy they need before the age of five, they are ready to learn alongside their peers, build lifelong skills, and achieve their dreams. We know kids who do well in school, do well in life.

  • For children who are identified before age three and enrolled in early intervention services, more than 11 percent do not need special education.

  • Research demonstrates that children who attend high quality pre-kindergarten programs are less likely to be held back a grade, less likely to need special education and more likely to graduate high school. They are less involved in crime and delinquency. They also earn more as adults and are less likely to become dependent on welfare.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau reports that in 2010 there were 75,217,000 children under age 18, and 21,000,000 children aged 5 or younger with a disability or were at risk of a disability. Among children under 18, nearly 14% had a special health care need and could benefit from screening and services. 1 in 5 households with children has a child with a special health care need.

To determine if your child could benefit from early intervention services, take the free online Ages & Stages Questionnaire. Each survey is geared towards your child's age (0 - 5) and asks questions about their development in five different sensory areas: cognitive, sensory, language, social/emotional and movement.

Easter Seals Crossroads provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, augmentative communication services and behavioral therapy either in your home or at our facility. Contact us today to learn more about our evaluation process and how early intervention services may help your child.

August 13, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Do you shop on Amazon.com? Whether you are buying books for your Kindle, ordering back to school supplies or doing your holiday shopping a little early, your purchase can benefit Easter Seals Crossroads. Here's how:

Go to http://smile.amazon.com/ and type in "Easter Seals Crossroads" under "pick your charitable organization" and click SEARCH.

Crossroads Rehabilitation Center" will then be displayed. Click the yellow "SELECT" button.

That's it! Each time you make a purchase through Amazon Smile, 0.5% of your total purchase will be donated to Easter Seals Crossroads. If you purchase $100.00 worth of items through Amazon Smiles, $5.00 will be the donation we receive. Can you imagine how quickly that can add up?

Make sure you are shopping through Amazon Smiles and not the regular Amazon homepage. Amazon Smiles offers all of the same products as Amazon. It is just the way for Amazon to know you want a percentage of your purchase to be donated to your favorite charity.

Amazon Smiles Logo

August 7, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

August in Indianapolis means trips to the Indiana State Fair, one more month of lounging at the pool before Labor Day, and the inevitable moment where kids start the next school year. Going back to school does not have to be stressful, thanks to these tips from therapists in our Autism Family Resource Center.

Before school:

1. Prepare for an earlier bedtime – This is an opportunity to create a consistent schedule and set expectations. Begin by going to bed a little earlier each and every day working up to that first day of school. The more sleep your child has, the more prepared they will be for learning.

2. Involve your child in school supply shopping – Allow them to go to the store and help pick out clothes, markers and notepads as a way to build excitement about school.

3. Create social stories – Is your child asking “Am I going to have the same teacher / school / therapist / classroom?” Help them answer those questions by creating social stories with tools from the Autism Family Resource Center.

4. Visit the school with your child – Take photos of the school and your child’s classroom and add them to your social stories. Walk the hallways, sit down in the classroom, find the restroom and cafeteria and other important areas your child should become familiar with.

Image of Boy with Pencil5. Read/watch “back to school” stories – Your local library offers several children’s books with stories of back to school themes including potential scenarios your child may encounter during school. PBS's educational television show Arthur often deals with important issues children face with going back to school.

At School:

6. Identify a school buddy – Allow one of your child’s classmates to come over for playtime and get to know your child. ESC Autism and Behavioral Services’ Licensed Clinical Therapist, Maren Oslund, LCSW, suggests “contacting your child’s teacher and ask them if there is a neuro-typical peer in their class that interacts well with your child and would serve as a good model for him or her. Building that friendship outside of school will help that neuro-typical peer advocate for and support your child in the classroom.”

7. Provide a visual schedule – Create a daily schedule that includes the morning, school day and afternoon so your child can anticipate the routine of getting out the door in the morning and back home after school.

8. Communicate with the teacher – Help your child’s teacher know what your child’s favorite things are (ex: dinosaurs) so he/she can incorporate them into educational lessons. Identify any sensory needs your child may have so the teacher can provide an inclusive teaching environment. Communicate with your teacher to make sure they understand your child’s IEP / 504 plan.

After School:

9. Offer a study-only area – Have a place in your home that is calm, quiet and free from television, radio and general noise distractions. Maren Oslund, LCSW, also suggests having a “Ready for Homework” visual checklist that includes things like having supplies ready.

10. Commit to the routine –Providing visual supports, sticking to early bed times and using your evening to plan ahead for the next day helps your child understand what is expected and encourages smooth routines.

Going back to school may seem just as much work for parents as it is for their children. The Autism Family Resource Center offers Boardmaker software and laminators so parents can create visual schedules and offers monthly support groups with child care. The center is open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM or by appointment. Easter Seals Crossroads Autism and Behavioral Services can also provide therapy and behavioral services if issues at or about school arise. Call us at 317.479.3231 for more information about the resource center or our behavioral therapists.

August 2, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

The fairgrounds are alive with the Indiana State Fair from August 1 to 17, drawing thousands of people from all over the state of Indiana. If you're traveling from a distance or you're just taking an afternoon to see what it's all about, the Indiana State Fair has many tips on their website for people with disabilities and special needs.

Wheelchair and scooter rental - There's a lot of ground to cover at the fairgrounds, and they make every effort for you to get to every barn and tent you want to visit. A limited number of wheelchairs and scooters are available to rent for the day. Visit this website to make your reservation in advance and find details on pricing.

Shuttle tractors - Almost every where you look you'll see a tractor pulling three carts of people from one stop to the next. The ADA-accessible shuttle rides are $1 each.

Accessible parking - The Indiana State Fair's website states "accessible parking can be found just inside Gate 6, Gate 1, both north and west of the Expo Hall, the southwest corner of the infield adjacent to the ADA accessible walk tunnel and the south lot of the Indiana School for the Deaf."

Maps / Information booths - When you enter the fairgrounds you'll be able to pick up a program, which has a list of events for each day of the fair along with information on where to find restrooms and assistance if needed. Information booths are a great place to stop even if your question is about where to find the bacon glazed doughnuts! 

Service animals are allowed at the Indiana State Fair. Please make sure you have documentation present or that your animal is wearing something that designates they are a service animal. 

Accessible TractorInside the fair you'll find the Indiana Agrability Project from Breaking New Ground, a program out of Purdue University that cultivates independence for farmers and other rural residents with disabilities. The USDA-sponsored program addresses disabilities such as spinal cord injuries and amputations but also arthritis, back impairments and behavioral health issues. The project has a booth at the FFA Pavilion, and you can also see this accessible tractor up close!

 Do you have tips to share about accessibility at the Indiana State Fair? Leave a comment below!

July 25, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

24 years ago, on July 26, 1990, George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act into law. This was a huge step forward for all disability activists and changed the lives of millions.

Obama ADA 20th Anniversary

Image of President Barack Obama Signing New ADA Rules and Celebrating the 20th Anniversary in 2010 (Courtesy WhiteHouse.Gov)

What does this act do? It is fairly simple, exciting and important. The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, gives civil rights protection to individuals with disabilities that are like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. It also guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodations, telecommunications, and State and local government services.

Here are 7 fun facts about the impact the ADA has made:

  1. The number of federal employees with disabilities has increased to nearly 12% of all federal employees in 2013, up from 7% in 2010.

  2. States like Oregon and Illinois are creating more supply-side opportunities for people with disabilities. This is called becoming a State as a Model Employer.

  3. Newly designed or newly constructed amusement rides must be accessible and located on an accessible route to the ride

  4. At least 50% of all holes on a miniature golf course must be accessible. These accessible holes must be consecutive, and they must be on an accessible route.

  5. Newly designed, newly constructed, or altered fishing piers must provide accessible routes, subject to the same expectations permitted for gangways.

  6. Accessible means of entry/exit are required for swimming pools.

  7. Students with documented disabilities may request academic adjustments, including auxiliary aids which enable them to participate in and benefit from all post-secondary educational programs and activities.

As you can see, the ADA has made a huge impact on millions of lives. Not only are long over due implications finally being made, but society is truly working to make sure that everyone is treated equally. Easter Seals Project Action is focused on increasing access to transportation for people with disabilities and has a lot of information for individuals, businesses and government entities on their website here: http://www.projectaction.org/.

If you have any questions or inputs about the Americans with Disabilities Act or if you would like to know more about what Easter Seals Crossroads is able to do thanks to the implementation of the ADA, feel free to comment below!

Today's blog post was written by Sam Sanders, Special Events Intern at Easter Seals Crossroads.


July 23, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Early Intervention Physical TherapyIt’s that time of year again when kids head back to school and every parent’s first priority is to make sure they have everything their kids need. Do you know what’s missing from that supply list that could be the most critical tool your child needs?

Every year, millions of young children with undiagnosed disabilities enter school with issues that can put them behind their peers. This is frustrating for the children and the family and it can create a lasting, negative impact on the child’s educational process.

Make the first five years of life count for your child. Through the generous support of the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, Easter Seals is providing access to the Ages & Stages Questionnaires to parents. The questionnaires serve as a simple screening tool to help parents monitor their child’s development. If the results indicate a need for developmental services, the children’s programs at Easter Seals Crossroads can help you at every age and stage.


Here are some examples of warning signs to watch for before your child begins school:

At age 4, is your child…

  • Unable to separate from parents without major protest

  • Easily distracted and unable to concentrate on any single activity for more than five minutes

  • Showing little interest in playing with other children

  • Refusing to respond to people in general, or respond only superficially

At age 5, is your child…

  • Not using plurals or past tense properly when speaking

  • Unable to build a tower of six or eight blocks

  • Having difficulty feeling comfortable holding a crayon

Early identification and treatment are keys to a bright future for your child. Trust you instincts – you know your child best. If something does not feel quite right, share your concerns with you health care provider. Your child is unique and develops at his or her own pace but understanding the basics about child development will make you more aware of the skills your child should achieve.

If you are considering Easter Seals Crossroads children’s services or are unsure if your child is in need of services, contact us today to ask your questions. Regardless, be sure to take the Ages & Stages Questionnaires periodically to continue to make sure that your child is readily prepared to succeed in school.

Today's blog post was written by Sam Sanders, Special Events Intern at Easter Seals Crossroads.

July 22, 2014
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

The INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads is hosting two free full-day assistive technology trainings geared towards vocational rehabilitation counselors, parents, caregivers, educators, students, health care providers and other professionals. Attendees can catch up on the latest changes in technology that can assist children and adults with disabilities and special needs.

Creating Technology Solutions in Minutes - Monday, August 18

There will always be a need for low-tech solutions in a high-tech world. Did you know that 80% of assistive technology solutions used by individuals with disabilities cost less than $100? We live in a fast food fast information world. We want solutions to everyday challenges and we want it now. Kids and adults with disabilities can't wait days, weeks, or months for solutions. They need these solutions right now. This amazing hands-on interactive workshop will demonstrate hundreds of five-minute solutions that can be made "on-the-fly" using everyday materials.

Read the full agenda and RSVP here: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/creating-technology-solutions-in-minutes-tickets-12331402557

iPad Accessibility: The Next Level - Tuesday, August 19

This free assistive technology training program will educate participants about advanced iPad accessibility features and apps, such as switches and environmental control units and several discussions on new apps and advanced apps for blindness and low vision.

Read the full agenda and RSVP here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ipad-accessiblity-the-next-level-tickets-12353675175

If you are unable to attend in person, register as an online attendee and view the training from a personal computer wherever you are!

The INDATA Project has been providing assistive technology solutions across the state of Indiana to ensure that people with disabilities can achieve their workplace, education or independent living goals. Their trainings are available throughout the entire state of Indiana and are provided at no charge. For questions, more information, or to schedule a training, contact Nikol Prieto at 888-466-1314 or nprieto@eastersealscrossroads.org.