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March 17, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   1 Comment

Heather HaliburtonToday's post features advisory board member Heather Halliburton. Heather joined us in 2014 and since then has helped us build new brand awareness and fundraising relationships with the community through our fall Hallow's Eve event and the Ability Lunch. In addition to our current events, Heather has also brought us several new event and fundraising opportunities and proves to be invested in our mission of improving the lives of children and adults with disabilities, special needs and challenges.  

Current career: Director of Human Resources, Stonegate Mortgage

Education Background: Bachelors – Marketing, Management from IU Kelley School of Business; Masters – Human Resources Development from Villanova University

Hometown: Carmel, IN; Lived in Indianapolis over 20 years

How were you introduced to Easter Seals Crossroads?

I first came to know Easter Seals Crossroads through United Way’s Leadership Program. We had a meeting at the agency and Patrick Sandy, President and CEO of Easter Seals Crossroads, gave a quick introduction to the agency, the services and its mission. I remember being rather awestruck at the diverse offerings and the depth of its reach into the community. It struck a chord with me and I felt compelled to build a relationship where I could contribute in some way to support everything going on here.

What about the United Way Leadership Program was appealing to you? Can you speak to your interest in working with and volunteering for nonprofits in general?

I applied to the United Way Leadership Program because I was interested in getting involved in joining the board of a nonprofit, but I wanted to be better educated about what that meant before I sought a place to serve. The United Way program gave extremely valuable experiences to learn how boards work (the good, the bad and the ugly) as well as exposure to the real issues facing our community. The knowledge gained through that year long program with stay with me forever and make me a much more valuable board member.

Why do you continue to stay involved with Easter Seals Crossroads? Is there a personal connection we can share?

I have been so impressed with everyone I have encountered at Easter Seals Crossroads. There is such passion and commitment to consumers and their families – it’s a great community. Things like sitting with Brian Norton, Manager of Clinical Services in the Assistive Technology Center, while he walked a consumer through assistive software challenges, to board and development committee meetings, to hearing consumer success stories have been so insightful and rewarding. I continue to stay involved with Easter Seals Crossroads and explore ways raise awareness along with fundraising because I think the work the employees are doing is so very critical and beneficial. I just want to do what I can to help people get access to services that can improve quality of life for individuals and their families.

A full list of Easter Seals Crossroads board and advisory board members can be found here. For more information about our board, contact us today.

March 13, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Easter Seals Crossroads is proud to recognize Century 21 Scheetz for ranking ninth in the nation for their fundraising efforts to our organization.

Since 2006, Century 21 Scheetz has been the presenting partner of Bingo Bonanza, our annual special event that raises money to support our children's services such as physical, occupational and speech therapy. In addition to this event, Century 21 Scheetz has raised funds through their own signature events and charitable foundation. Over $300,000 has been donated during their 10 years of partnership.

Tracy Hutton Century 21 Scheetz President

Tracy Hutton, President of Century 21 Scheetz, at Bingo Bonanza

On top of monetary donations, Century 21 Scheetz works with their partners to solicit sponsorships for Bingo Bonanza and each of their offices is in charge of create a prize package. This year, almost all of the prize packages were valued at $1,000 in cash, gift cards and more. 

Thanks to this partnership, we are able to provide a fun night of bingo all to support children and adults with disabilities, special needs or challenges. Watch this video produced at the 2015 event to see why you should attend next year! 

March 9, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Our Manager of Adult Day Services Tracy Wright has taken the past 2 years to bring art into the regular programs available through Community Day Supports. With the help of staff, interns and volunteers, multiple pieces of art have been created and sold through art exhibits or by commission. In today's post, Tracy and her intern Mu-Chien Tsai explain how art programming is beneficial for adults with developmental disabilities. 

Group Art Project

What is art therapy?
Art therapy is a unique approach in working with individuals of all ages using trained clinicians. This type of therapy helps those involved to express feelings and thoughts, enhance self-esteem and self awareness, promote well-being, increase communication skills, and increase coping skills, just to name a few.

How are you implementing art therapy at Easter Seals Crossroads?
Mu-Chien usually spends one or two sessions interacting and assessing his clients, writing down their strengths, limitations, needs, and possible goal(s). The materials and approaches will be adjusted and changed based on the clients’ needs, goals, and choices. From his perspectives, giving clients the opportunity to choose is very important because they already experienced a lot of limitations in their lives, and this would be a good opportunity for them to retrieve some freedom and their own voices. Sometimes Mu would combine the tasks with current events, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, to increase the clients’ interests and motivation.

With the implementation of art therapy at Easter Seals Crossroads, we have found that most of the clients within the Community Day Supports programs have expressed an interest in art. Art therapy has now grown into a full art program that includes art therapy, art classes and exploration, art shows and sales, and individual and group art sessions!

Mu with Catina

How many people participate in art program with us?
More than 35 clients have participated in formal art therapy sessions. Currently over 100 clients have participated in some aspect of art programming.

Have you come across any challenges with art programming, such as getting people involved who do not want to participate or adaptations that needed to be made due to a visual, physical or hearing disability?
It is normal to experience challenges working with individuals. As with everything we do, we focus on individuals’ abilities and strengths and build a program around the individual. We adapt the project to fit the needs of the group or individual. As an example, we have many who have limited movement in their hands or arms. Art can then be created with adapted art utensils using mouth pieces or foot pieces. Our popular adaptation of wheelchair art is when the wheelchair itself becomes a paint brush with simple adaptations allowing clients to create art by rolling on canvas.

Catina and Gina with egg art project

What have been favorite art program projects?
We have had many art program highs in the last year. We have been commissioned for many art pieces by individuals and corporations. We’ve held several art shows and exhibits highlighting our clients’ pieces. One of our favorite projects has been creating pieces that have been used as greeting cards and special events promos.

Garden Affair

How can the public get involved? 
We’re always appreciative of the donations of art supplies such as canvases, brushes, paints, clay, glue, mod podge, etc. If you are an artist yourself or just have a passion for art with some creative skills, we are always looking for volunteers to work and teach individuals and small groups. Finally, the easiest way to get involved is to come to an art exhibit and show your support.

Volunteers with art program

For more information, please contact us online or call 317-466-1000.

 

March 6, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Indianapolis resident Case Calvert recently announced he will represent the USA as a member of the US National Power Soccer Team in the 2015 Powerchair Football World Cup.

We first met Case in 2012 through a relationship with Community Health Network, our presenting sponsor of the 52nd Annual Ability Lunch with keynote speakers Emma Preuschl and Nick Springer. Case asked to meet Nick and Emma, so we arranged a dinner the night before the event to introduce everyone and discuss our common interests.

Case has been a member of the Indianapolis' Circle City Rollers, a competitive power soccer team that travels across the Midwest region for power soccer games. He previously represented the United States in 2011 and assisted in winning the team's second World Cup.

"It is a great honor for me to represent the USA knowing that the hard work and love I put in this sport has paid off. This gives me the opportunity to represent all those people in my life who have truly made me the Power Soccer athlete I am today! As a member of this team I have made a commitment to my fellow athletes, staff, and coaches. Part of my commitment is to participate in weekly drills, multiple training camps around the US, traveling, and personal fundraising," says Case.

Please join Easter Seals Crossroads in wishing Case good luck with his practices, games and traveling this year! You can learn more about Case on his Facebook or Twitter or by visiting www.powersoccerteamusa.net

Case Calvert

Case Calvert pictured in the middle of this team photo!

March 2, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

The INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads is hosting a free full day training on the topic of assistive technology for people with brain injuries. Taught by our assistive technology clinicians, this training will offer an introduction to brain injury followed by individual sessions on assistive technology for physical, communication and cognitive impairments. 

WHAT: Brain Injury and Assistive Technology Full Day Training

WHEN: Friday, March 27 from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM (Lunch is provided)

WHERE: Easter Seals Crossroads 5th Floor Conference Room

Anyone interested in learning the assistive technology that is helpful for those who have experienced a brain trauma should attend. Vocational Rehabilitation counselors, assistive technology specialists, rehabilitation specialists, social workers, parents, educators, students,professionals and health care providers can benefit from training content.

CEU's will be offered for this training to those who attend in person. Please register on the Eventbrite page for attending in person or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/brain-injury-and-assistive-technology-full-day-training-tickets-15603540610

For questions or to request accessible accommodations, please contact Nikol Prieto at nprieto@eastersealscrossroads.org

Brain Injury and Assistive Technology Full Day Training

February 25, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Becky LohmanToday's post was written by Becky Lohman who has worked at Easter Seals Crossroads for 15 years, mostly in the Employment Division, as a Training Specialist and Benefits Liaison.

I recently celebrated my 15th service anniversary as an employee with Easter Seals Crossroads. Every day at work, I see firsthand the scope of services and feel the impact that our agency provides to adults and children with disabilities and their families. But, the work that we do as an agency was never more evident to me than last year when I was asked to help supervise preparing archived paper files of our consumers for digital imaging. The records would then be scanned and shredded at Crossroads Document Services, a division of Crossroads Industrial Services, whose production facilities are staffed primarily by those with disabilities.

As a computer trainer and IT staff member, I was very happy about “going digital.” It was the next logical step in our effort to become paperless. Most of our departments had already transitioned to using a secure Electronic Medical Records (EMR) database to track current consumer records and staff caseloads. We now would have a system to quickly access these archived records for our consumers, who often return multiple times for help as they progress through life.

So along with my colleague, Crista McIntosh, and six production workers who each had a disability, I quickly learned how best to remove staples from fragile, old computer or typewriter paper; smooth out wrinkled (sometimes coffee-stained!) pages; and keep a sharp eye out for paperclips, Post-it notes, or anything else that could cause a scanner to jam. I soon was wearing funny-looking rubber finger and thumb tips that allowed me to shuffle through thousands of pages a day. I even had to break down and buy a pair of reading glasses!

By the time the project came to an end, over 16,000 consumer records were prepared for the scanning process. As I was working through the last group of files, I took a moment to look around me. Surrounded by hundreds of cardboard file boxes stacked on wood pallets, I was overwhelmed by that swelling of warmth and emotion that you feel inside your heart.

Becky in group CST training room

Every file we had prepped--some with hundreds of pages of notes and reports, others with just a few sheets of documentation--has its own story. One that Easter Seals Crossroads helped to write over the years. These just weren’t pieces of papers stuck inside brown cardboard boxes. I was surrounded by people’s hopes and goals; setbacks and pain; triumphs and struggles; and most important their ABILITY to overcome.

Whether on paper or in digital format, there’s just no way to truly record what Easter Seals Crossroads has done and the chapters we will continue to write with our consumers, their families, and the community!

February 16, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   6 Comments

Grab your bingo daubers and your fun attitudes for Bingo Bonanza on Friday, February 20 at the Northside Knights of Columbus! We are excited to yet again bring 450 people together into one room for an incredible night of food, games and fun.

If you have not attended before, read our Top 10 Reasons to Attend Bingo Bonanza post to get an idea of the atmosphere. 

Easter Seals Crossroads is giving away two tickets to this year's event through the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to anyone over the age of 21 and will end on Wednesday, February 18 at noon. All giveaway entries must be submitted through the Rafflecopter below to be considered. If you currently have tickets to the event, you cannot exchange the tickets for a refund. If you use assistive technology, please email Sara Croft at scroft@eastersealscrossroads.org saying you would like to enter the contest OR call Sara at 317-466-2002 to enter to win, and tell us what kind of assistive technology you use!

 

Bingo bonanza photo

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

February 11, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Curtiss Quirin, Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services, has recently been appointed to the SourceAmerica Board of Directors to serve as Easter Seals' National Nonprofit Agency representative.

SourceAmerica (formerly NISH), a national nonprofit, is the leading source of job opportunities for a dedicated and highly qualified workforce – people with significant disabilities. For nonprofit agencies, SourceAmerica provides legislative representation, engineering and technical support, and research and development projects. Their network of over 550 community nonprofit agency partners provides training to people with disabilities, assists them in identifying employment options that most of us take for granted, and then enables them to be successful at work.

Curtiss QuirinMEET Curtiss Quirin:

Curtiss Quirin has been the Chief Operating Officer of Crossroads Industrial Services since 2009 and is an executive with more than 25 years of experience leading many types of operations. During his career at General Motors, Delphi and Stanley he was permitted a wide scope of autonomy in the fields of Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing, Finance and Supply Chain Management. He lived and worked in Europe for four years, bringing a multi cultural experience.

His Lean experience comes from Toyota production training with both Toyota Sensei’s and working at the NUMMI assembly plant. Factories that he managed were suppliers to Toyota, Honda, General Motors, and many aftermarket customers. His Battery plant in Anaheim, California was granted the Toyota Gold Supplier Achievement award three years in a row for 0 defects and 100% on time shipments.

Curtiss was featured in the 2007 Stanley Annual Report for significant improvements achieved as the Director of Operations for their Security Solutions Division.

He has an MBA, is a certified Green Belt Six Sigma problem solver and has published several articles on employee involvement and problem solving. Before joining Easter Seals Crossroads, Curtiss was on the Goodwill-Indy board of directors. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Smart Partners Alliance (Indiana State Use).

ABOUT Crossroads Industrial Services:

Crossroads Industrial Services is a social enterprise. It is the operating division of Easter Seals Crossroads, with a mission to employ people with disabilities and to generate an income used to support programs and services for children and adults.

Crossroads has been in existence since 1939 and competes for commercial manufacturing and distribution opportunities on the basis of quality, cost and delivery. We are ISO 9001, FDA registered, UL approved, and a “prime” contractor to the Department of Defense. Crossroads has been part of the AbilityOne program since 1998 and has successfully completed many AbilityOne contracts. Crossroads achieved QWE “Gold” status in 2013.
 

February 4, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Bingo Bonanza is one of Easter Seals Crossroads' signature fundraisers thanks to a longstanding partnership with Century21 Scheetz. 2015 will be the 14th year for this event which brings together 450 people in one room for seven games of bingo for fun, food and prizes. Never attended Bingo Bonanza? Here are 10 reasons for why you should attend in 2015:

1. Prize packages valued at $500 and up per each bingo game, and each package has a theme: Family Fun Night, Sports Package, No Dine and Dash Here, Stock the Bar...

Stock the Bar package

2. Play games with 450 Easter Seals Crossroads supporters - it's one thing to play in your living room, its another thing to play in a packed house with others who support disability services in central Indiana.

Bingo crowd

3. A chance to win $1,000 cash not once, but TWICE! This year we are playing two bonus games! 

Cash Prizes

4. Standing up and calling out B-I-N-G-O and having the entire audience fall silent as your card is checked for accuracy.

Winner

5. Two $400 airline tickets are up for grabs (so you can whisk yourself away to warmer weather!)

Prizes

6. Play "Heads or Tails" like never before

Heads or Tails at Bingo

7. Place your bets on a "Horse Race," bingo style

Horse Race

8. Be the loudest table at the event to win extra prizes

Loudest table

9. Your ticket gets you a buffet pasta dinner, two beer and wine drink tickets, free snacks, sodas and water to enjoy all night long! 

Food and fun

10. Bingo Bonanza raises about $30,000 each year for children's services at Easter Seals Crossroads from ticket and raffle sales, donations made at the event and sponsorships. 

Money

Ready to purchase your ticket? Download this flyer and mail in a check or call Sara Croft at 317-466-2002 for more information! 

January 27, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Have you ever wondered what it is like to operate all of the buttons, switches and remotes in your home with one single device? Are you curious to know how robots can increase independence for people with disabilities? Attend the Assistive Technology Open House to get answers to these questions and meet the people who can connect you to these technologies.

ARTI

WHEN: 2:00 - 6:00 PM on Tuesday, March 3

WHERE: Assistive Technology Center, 3rd floor of Easter Seals Crossroads

              4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis IN 46205

Join the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads to tour their new location on the 3rd floor of our building, complete with an updated Assistive Technology Lab. 

You will have the chance to meet ARTI, aka the Assistive Robotics Technology Initiative. ARTI can practice socialization through face and voice recognition and is incredibly engaging. The INDATA Project is exploring ways ARTI can be of assistance to people in need of social interaction skills and educational assistance.

Inside the newly remodeled assistive technology lab you'll find a complete home automation unit, where a few simple buttons are used to control every aspect of the home, such as turning on/off lights, opening doors, setting the thermostat and more. You'll also have a chance to sit in and explore the zero gravity workstation, and get a better understanding of how INDATA is using these tools in Indiana for people with educational, employment or independent living goals.

No RSVP is required, but if you have questions or accommodations to request, contact Nikol Prieto at 317-466-1000 or nprieto@eastersealscrossroads.org