October 5, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

On Thursday, October 1 a group of seventeen Eli Lilly & Company employees came to Easter Seals Crossroads and spent the afternoon cleaning, sanding and staining all of the outdoor furniture used in our Therapy and Wellness Garden. The garden is used by staff and consumers alike at Easter Seals Crossroads. It is a safe place to go outside and enjoy the sunshine in the warm spring and summer months and a beautiful spot to watch the leaves change in the fall. The volunteer group was a part of the Lilly Global Day of Service, where nearly 20,000 Lilly employees spent a day outsides of the office, volunteering in communities around the world.

The group revitalized some pieces of solid wood furniture that was almost twenty years old. Now the pieces look brand new and will withstand the chilly winter months and be ready to go in the spring. We are very grateful for their hard work!

Volunteer staining a bench

Volunteer staining another bench

Group of Lilly volunteers together

If your group, school, or business is interested in volunteering at Easter Seals Crossroads, please contact Tessa Barnard, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator, at tbarnard@eastersealscrossroads.org.

This blog was written by Tessa Barnard, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator at Easter Seals Crossroads.

October 1, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

American Graduate Day 2015 is a national and local call-to-action telethon for communities to engage in stronger outcomes for students. On Saturday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., WFYI will air the live telethon broadcast and other programs in partnership with WNET in New York.

Scott Fogo, Vice President of Clinical Services at Easter Seals Crossroads, will be on-air this Saturday, October 3 at 2:24 PM on Channel 20.1 as part of the American Graduate series. 

Featuring a dynamic mix of long-form programming, live breaks and pre-taped segments, the telethon will tell the stories of individuals and organizations making a positive different in the lives of students. Localized breaks will highlight the efforts of 29 central Indiana organizations working tirelessly to improve graduation rates in Indiana. Tune in for 24 hours of American Graduate themed programming scheduled on WFYI 1 and WFYI 3 between October 3-4.

We thank WFYI for continuing to involve us in their American Graduate program. For more information, visit their website at http://amgrad.wfyi.org/home/.

American Graduate Logo Image

September 29, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

From October 16 - 25, the 24th Annual Heartland Film Festival will give access to more than 100 visiting independent filmmakers from around the world with over 130 movies that do more than just entertain. The Festival will showcase the very best in inspiring independent film from all over the world with screenings at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12, AMC Castleton Square 14 and the Wheeler Arts Community in Fountain Square.

This year you can support independent films and Easter Seals Crossroads at the same time by purchasing tickets to any Heartland Film Festival movie by using the code ESCHEART at http://HeartlandFilmFestival.org or at the box office. Easter Seals Crossroads will receive $2.00 back from every ticket sale when that code is applied. 

Heartland Film Festival Give Back Graphic

Not sure which film you would like to see? Here are a few suggestions of films that discuss disability in many different ways:

Right Footed

Born without arms, Jessica Cox never allowed herself to believe that she couldn’t accomplish her dreams. An expert martial artist, college graduate and motivational speaker, Jessica is also the world’s only armless airplane pilot, a mentor and an advocate for people with disabilities. Right Footed chronicles Jessica’s amazing story of overcoming adversity as she becomes a mentor for children with disabilities their families, and a disability rights advocate working in the U.S. and abroad. View the official trailer on YouTube here.


  • Sunday, Oct 18, 4:15 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Tuesday, Oct 20, 2:30 p.m. at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12

  • Wednesday, October 21, 12:45 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Saturday, Oct 24, 6:00 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14


Autism in Love

Autism in Love is a feature length documentary that explores how adults with autism find and manage romantic relationships. View the official trailer on YouTube here.


  • Saturday, Oct 17, 10:15 a.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Sunday, Oct 18, 4:45 p.m. at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12

  • Monday, Oct 19, 9:00 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Wednesday, Oct 21, 2:15 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14


Marie’s Story

At the turn of the 19th century, a humble artisan and his wife send Marie, their deaf and blind fourteen-year-old daughter, to the Larnay Institute in central France where an order of Catholic nuns manage a school for deaf girls. There, the idealistic Sister Marguerite sees in Marie a unique potential and vows to bring the wild young thing out of the darkness. Based on true events, Marie’s Story recounts the courageous journey of a young nun and the lives she would change forever. View the official trailer on YouTube here. 


  • Sunday, Oct 18, 4:00 p.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Thursday, Oct 22, 11:45 a.m. at AMC Castleton Square 14

  • Friday, Oct 23, 5:00 p.m. at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12

  • Saturday, Oct 24, 10:15 a.m. at AMC Showplace Traders Point 12

Purchase a ticket to any Heartland Film Festival movie using the code ESCHEART and Easter Seals Crossroads will receive $2.00 back. You do not have to attend just these three movies to show your support. For a full schedule of every movie screening and to learn more about the event, visit http://HeartlandFilmFestival.org.


September 23, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Easter Seals Crossroads is in need of volunteers (ages 21+) in a variety of capacities with our ghostly fundraiser - Hallow's Eve: A Night for Ability - on Saturday, October 24.

Hallow's Eve Volunteers

This event is held at Indianapolis City Market (222 East Market Street) and will feature hauntingly-delicious treats from City Market chefs, beer from Sun King Brewing, a signature cocktail from Thunderbird, wine and other tricks-and-treats along with entertainment from fire spinners, magicians, tarot card and palm readers and more. DJ Helicon and Trukk Norris will provide the spooky beats while guests enjoy live entertainment, a costume contest with fabulous prizes and a tour of the historic Catacombs. Check out photo's from last year's event here.

This event requires approximately 45 volunteers to run successfully. Volunteer duties may include registration, additional food/drink ticket sales, security/guide in the Catacombs, activity assistance, bartending, and photography. Shifts are generally 2.5 to 3 hours long and volunteers are invited to attend the event before or after their assigned shift. Costumes are encouraged, but not required.

If you’re interested in volunteering for Hallow’s Eve: A Night for Ability, please email Tessa Barnard, Volunteer Coordinator, at tbarnard@eastersealscrossroads.org.

Would you rather attend Hallow's Eve? Find general admission and VIP tickets on Eventbrite and we will see you there!

September 16, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Veteran Services at Easter Seals Crossroads is bringing employers and qualified candidates together for a one-day job fair. 

Veteran standing with employer shaking handsWhen: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where: Easter Seals Crossroads 5th Floor Conference Rooms, 4740 Kingsway Drive, Indianapolis

Who should attend: You must be a job seeking veteran in central Indiana to attend this event. Come dressed to interview — and discover job opportunities!

Cost: Free

30 Central Indiana businesses from a variety of industries will be represented.

Veterans will have the opportunity to attend a special presentation "Make the Best Impression." This will be offered at 9 a.m. and class attendees will be the first to visit the employers’ booths.

Prep Class - September 22, 2015
Prior to the Job Fair, job seeking veterans are invited to attend this helpful Prep Class offered from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. 

To RSVP for the prep class and the job fair, contact us at VeteranServices@eastersealscrossroads.org or call 317-466-2018. For more information about how Easter Seals Crossroads works together with veterans, visit our Veterans Services page for information about veteran employment and training, rally point events, and veteran resources.

September 4, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   1 Comment

Today's staff spotlight features JerriAnn McFarland, Office Manager of Deaf Community Services. JerriAnn has dedicated 16 years to Easter Seals Crossroads through assisting individuals who are Deaf, and she continues to make a difference in our community each and every day. We asked JerriAnn to tell us more about why she decided to learn sign language, why she joined Easter Seals Crossroads, and what keeps her motivated.


When did you decide to learn sign language? What made you come to that decision?

I don’t think I ever really decided to learn sign language. It was the language used in the household when I was born. Both my grandparents were Deaf so learning to sign was not really an option but a necessity in order to communicate with them.

Has sign language impacted you in ways other than employment? If so, how?

I believe sign language has impacted my life by becoming a big part of my life. I have many friends who are Deaf, as well as family members, so being able to effectively communicate with them means a lot to me.

What got you interested in applying for a position with Easter Seals Crossroads? Or, how did you hear about the job and why did you want to apply?

I became interested in applying for a job with Deaf Community Services as a way to make my Grandpa proud of me, and to feel a part of the Deaf world. My mom was/is a working interpreter and my grandparents were Deaf so this was my “in” I was already part of the community but I needed to feel like I had role in the community.

How long have you been a staff member?

I have been a staff member since February 15, 1999. Wow, seeing that in black and white makes it seem so official. It doesn’t feel like it’s been 16 years.

What keeps you motivated to be the best at what you do?

My motivation to do my best stems from actually loving what I do, and having a purpose. I also know that being here made my grandpa so proud and now that he is no longer here I feel this keeps me connected to him.

Is there a story of someone you have served that has stayed with you over the years?

All of the clients that I have worked with in one capacity or another have a place in my heart, so to give a specific story is a bit of a challenge to me. I appreciate knowing the clients trust me and are appreciative when they continue to see me year after year.

Visit our web page for more information about sign language interpretation, case management services, and requesting an interpreter through Deaf Community Services.


September 2, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Project SEARCH Indiana is underway at both the Community Hospital North and East locations. High school students with disabilities are enrolled in the program to help them transition out of school by experiencing a workplace environment where they have roles and responsibilities. 

Kelly Pattison, a newly hired job coach, has spent her time assisting the students with employment skills. She has provided them with business cards they can hand out to their colleagues and offers guidance to assist them with understanding the nuances of employment that many people take for granted. 

Nick Interviewing

Nick is interviewing for an internship at Heart Hospital Rehab. He got a hair cut and wore a suit for the big day. He is holding his business card, which he will give to his interviewer.

Cody with environmental services

Cody is interning for Environmental Services. He came to the program extremely eager and wanted to clean.

Kwame at the Sleep Center

Kwame is interning at the Sleep Center. His goal is to be a manager, and the Sleep Center is teaching him all kinds of office skills: computer indexing, scanning, copying, assembling folders for doctors, and making coffee.

Maria in maternity

Maria is interning at Maternity. This is a big job. The maternity department is two floors. In this picture, Maria and I are with Sarah. Sarah is a graduate of Project SEARCH and is employed in this department. She now assists in training current interns.

Project SEARCH Indiana exists at both Community Hospital North and East thanks to the work of Angie LeGrande, Keith Fox and Kelly Pattison. These Easter Seals Crossroads staff members are dedicated to not only assisting these students with their internships, but also providing them with valuable skills they will use for the rest of their lives. To learn more about Project SEARCH Indiana and the five collaborating agencies, visit http://www.eastersealscrossroads.org/project-search-indiana

August 12, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

For the fourth year in a row, Easter Seals Crossroads has been selected as the charity partner for The Glo Run – a glow-in-the-dark nighttime 5k run/walk – in Indianapolis. Race participants will make their way through a neon safari of lights, the GLOasis, kissing giraffe tunnels, the cheetah’s den, and more before finishing for the base camp bash.

Person Being Painted with Glo Paint

However, all of that fun can’t happen if there aren’t volunteers to hand out glo swag at registration, help direct racers on the course, provide water at water stations, and cheer everyone on as they cross the finish line.

Easter Seals Crossroads is recruiting 35 volunteers for this year’s event on Saturday, September 5 at White River State Park in downtown Indianapolis from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m.

Volunteers will receive a neon t-shirt to wear while volunteering and have access to the live DJ base camp bash. Please contact Tessa Barnard, Volunteer Coordinator, at tbarnard@eastersealscrossroads.org if you’re interested in volunteering. The Glo Run is responsible for assigning volunteer duties depending on their needs for the evening.
You can run/walk in The Glo Run and help Easter Seals Crossroads too! Use the code easterseals to get your 5K run/walk registration for only $25 and 10% of that will come back to us. Registration includes a neon t-shirt, glo swag, and a ticket to the base camp bash following the race. Registrants can also opt to donate to Easter Seals Crossroads when they sign up to attend, and any donation over $5 means even more glo gear for the participant.

For more information about The Glo Run, visit http://theglorun.com/indianapolis/index.html.

August 11, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

In 2014, the unemployment rate for individuals with a disability was 12.5%, more than double the 5.9% for those with no disability according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Why is this percentage exceedingly higher for individuals with a disability? According to authors Jenell L.S. Wittmer, an assistant professor of management at the University of Toledo, and Leslie Wilson, president and CEO of Wilson Resources, while employers who hire individuals with disabilities regularly experience less turnover, less absenteeism and higher productivity, front-line staff and hiring managers continue to have uncertainties about hiring workers with disabilities due to preconceived myths.

Check out this list of 5 debunked myths from our Indiana Government about hiring individuals with disabilities and the true facts behind them.

MYTH: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) forces employers to hire unqualified individuals with disabilities.
FACT: Applicants who are unqualified for a job cannot claim discrimination under the ADA. Under the ADA, to be protected from discrimination in hiring, an individual with a disability must be qualified, which means he or she must meet all requirements for a job and be able to perform its essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations. No accommodation must be provided if it would result in an undue hardship on the employer. At Easter Seals Crossroads, each of our job applicants develop a thorough job plan, which identifies their needs and goals prior to starting their job search. This allows us to match job candidates with careers using an individualized approach.

Assistive Technology computer with keyboard

MYTH: Accommodating workers with disabilities costs too much.
FACT: Reasonable accommodation is usually far less expensive than many people think and in many cases is similar to the accommodations for employees without disabilities, such as technology and workplace ergonomics. At Easter Seals Crossroads, accommodations for our job candidates are identified as part of their individual job plans so both the employer and the employee know from the beginning what accommodations will be necessary. Our Assistive Technology Clinicians provide on-the-job evaluations and recommendations for necessary equipment and computer software. We work closely with Vocational Rehabilitation, a state-funded agency, which may provide funding for those services. 

MYTH: Under the ADA, employers must give people with disabilities special privileges, known as accommodations.
FACT: Reasonable accommodations are intended to ensure that qualified individuals with disabilities have rights in employment equal—not superior—to those of individuals without disabilities. A reasonable accommodation is a modification to a job, work environment or the way work is performed that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform the essential functions of the job, and enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace. 

MYTH: It will be difficult to supervise employees with disabilities.
FACT: A Harris poll found that 82% of managers said employees with disabilities were no harder to supervise than employees without disabilities. Employees with disabilities should be held accountable to the same job standards as any other employee. Managers should be confident that their supervisory skills will work equally well with employees with disabilities.

MYTH: Under the ADA, an employer cannot fire an employee who has a disability.
FACT: Employers can fire workers with disabilities under three conditions: The termination is unrelated to the disability; the employee does not meet legitimate requirements for the job, such as performance or production standards, with or without a reasonable accommodation; or because of the employee’s disability, he or she poses a direct threat to health or safety in the workplace.

As you can see, hiring an individual with a disability is no different than hiring an individual without a disability. Our Employment Services program provides qualified job applicants to the Indianapolis business community in conjunction with evaluations and recommendations for workplace accommodations from our Assistive Technology program. Our ability to offer both of these critical components allows employers to rest assured that they are hiring qualified candidates who have the support they need to get the job done.

For more information about our qualified job seekers, please visit our For Employers page. To learn more about workplace accommodations, please visit our Assistive Technology page. 

August 5, 2015
by Sara Croft   |   0 Comments

Volunteers are critical to our mission of serving children and adults with disabilities and their families. From events like Hallow's Eve and The Glo Run to providing mock interviews or providing respite to parents and caregivers, volunteers allow us to advance the reach of our mission far beyond what our staff are capable of doing on our own. 

During the July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 fiscal year, over 700 volunteers gave their time to assist us with our events and services. The total number of volunteer hours racked up to 9,182 - that's a savings of $205,128 to Easter Seals Crossroads. 

Lacrosse Team Volunteers

Here's what our volunteers had to say about their experience:

"I liked developing a relationship with my rider and helping them achieve something important to them." - iCan Bike volunteer

"I liked getting to meet and interact with so many different kids and watch them grown throughout the week." - iCan Bike volunteer

"This started as service learning for school and I enjoyed it so much I kept coming back!" - Parents' Night Out volunteer

"This is truly a wonderful place! I love the experience that Easter Seals Crossroads gives to their volunteers." - Parents' Night Out volunteer

"The biggest takeaway for me is experiencing the positive energy and the uplifting spirits of the consumers that participate in CHEER. It really is infectious." - Dean Weseli, Advisory Board Member and CHEER volunteer

A special shout out goes to these community groups for volunteering in large groups:

Epsilon Sigma Alpha
Sertoma of North Downtown Indianapolis
Liberty Mutual
Indy Volunteer Meet-Up Group
Eli Lilly and Company
University of Georgia
Rotary Club of Indianapolis-Metropolitan
University of Dayton
Hamilton Southeastern Fishers Boys Lacrosse Team

Here are a few photos that highlight volunteer experiences during the last fiscal year:


liberty Mutual Volunteers

Whether you are a skills-based volunteer looking to utilize your expertise or you have a few spare hours per week that you would like to fill, we always have a variety of volunteer needs available. Visit our Volunteer Page to learn about upcoming opportunities or to fill out the volunteer application. Contact Tessa Barnard, Volunteer Coordinator, at tbarnard@eastersealscrossroads.org or 317-466-1000 to discuss group volunteer opportunities or for further volunteer related questions.