Disability Film Challenge Screening 2023

Easterseals Partners with Heartland International Film Festival on Disability Film Challenge

Free screening of Disability Film Challenge finalists on October 9

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 25, 2023) – Easterseals Crossroads, a local nonprofit organization providing disability services, is excited to partner with the Heartland International Film Festival to highlight the 2023 finalists of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge.

The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge was created in 2013 and launched in 2014 by actor, comedian and producer Nic Novicki, who has starred in the hit holiday children’s series, Santa Buddies, and has appeared in hit TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos.

The week-long filmmaking contest gives filmmakers — with and without disabilities — the opportunity to collaborate to tell unique stories that showcase disability in its many forms, inviting aspiring storytellers to creatively write, produce and complete short films. Open to all, the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge provides a platform for new voices in the entertainment industry.

Heartland International Film Festival is offering a free screening of the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge winners and finalists on Monday, October 9, at 7:30 p.m. The screening takes place at Glendale Landmark Theater 12, 6102 N Rural St. in Indianapolis. Nic Novicki will be at the screening to present this year’s lineup. Order your free screening tickets by visiting: https://tickets.heartlandfilmfestival.org/schedule/64ecb7c9153c990ebefbcba6

“I am so excited to come to Indianapolis for the Heartland Film Festival for a special screening of the 10th anniversary finalists that were shot earlier this year.,” Novicki said. “I created the Easterseals Disability Film Challenge to help accelerate change within Hollywood and to provide filmmakers and actors with tangible work experience and with an opportunity to tell authentic stories. We are proud of the amazing films produced over the past 10 years — viewed around the world — and the successes our participants have gone on to achieve.”

“The Easterseals Disability Film Challenge is one of the highlights of our year at Easterseals Crossroads, and we’re so glad the Heartland Film Festival will once again hold a screening of the latest and greatest from creators with disabilities,” said Easterseals Crossroads President and CEO David Dreith. “These short films pack entertainment, inspiration and humor into a wonderful evening.”

The 32nd Heartland International Film Festival takes place October 5-15. Heartland Film is a nonprofit arts organization that runs the 11-day Heartland International Film Festival in October, the Academy Award®-Qualifying Indy Shorts International Film Festival in July, the Truly Moving Picture Award and other year-round programs. Based in Indianapolis, Heartland Film was founded in 1991 with the mission to curate, promote and celebrate thoughtful and engaging films from diverse perspectives.

For more about Easterseals Crossroads or to donate, visit www.eastersealscrossroads.org.

2023-09-27T10:35:13-04:00September 27, 2023|News Releases|

Ability Awareness Day at Indiana State Fair July 30, 2023

Easterseals Crossroads Sponsors 2nd Annual Ability Awareness Day at Indiana State Fair on July 30

Fair attendees can explore accessible gaming and adaptive sports

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 24, 2023) – Easterseals Crossroads, a local nonprofit organization providing disability services, is excited to return to the Indiana State Fair to present the 2nd Annual Ability Awareness Day on Sunday, July 30. Easterseals Crossroads is partnering with Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI)/RHI Foundation, BraunAbility, Superior Van and Mobility and several other organizations.

Easterseals Crossroads and its partners will host several booths along State Fair Boulevard that day, designed for attendees to gain a better awareness of ability by experiencing accessible gaming, learning how to play an adaptive sport and exploring an adaptive vehicle, among other activities. The fair will also provide sensory-friendly Midway hours from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on July 30.

In addition, Easterseals Northern Indiana will be on site with their gaming team, Rise of the Phoenix, for demonstrations throughout the entire day.

“Gaming is a great way to break down social barriers, and our esports team is really excited for the opportunity to show off their skills at the Indiana State Fair,” said Paige Hart, esports coach for Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana. “We’ve been practicing quite a bit, while also learning about things like online safety, teamwork, time management and taking care of our physical health while gaming.”

During the duration of the Indiana State Fair, accessible transportation vehicles sponsored by Easterseals Crossroads will be available. Accessible transportation will help ensure all fair visitors have equal access to all the programs, buildings and exhibits.

“Since 1852, the Indiana State Fair has been a convening place for all Hoosiers,” said Easterseals Crossroads President and CEO David Dreith. “Once again, Easterseals Crossroads is a proud partner of the fair in recognizing Hoosiers of all abilities and the vital roles people with disabilities and their families play throughout the state. Ability Awareness Day on Sunday, July 30, will provide information, resources, games and activities. We’re proud to partner with the fair in leading the way for the inclusion of people with disabilities in all facets of our state.”

2023-07-25T09:17:37-04:00July 25, 2023|News Releases|

June 2023

Camp ROCKS is an outdoor camp for young people with autism. Lakyn McGee from WISH TV 8 visited Camp ROCKS on June 8, 2023, to learn more about what makes this camp such a great summer experience.

2023-06-09T11:23:24-04:00June 9, 2023|Media Appearances|

April 2023

WISH TV 8 spoke with Easterseals Crossroads and The Indianapolis Public Library on April 26, 2023, about the installation of accessible workstations at all branches of Marion County libraries. These stations will assist patrons access information.


2023-05-09T09:17:12-04:00May 9, 2023|Media Appearances|

April 2023

WRTV visited with one of our families to learn more about therapy services and autism acceptance month. Gina and Edmund share their story about how Easterseals Crossroads has made a difference for their family.

2023-04-26T13:29:56-04:00April 25, 2023|Media Appearances|

Accessible Workstations Partnership Project

The Indianapolis Public Library and Easterseals Crossroads join logo

Easterseals Crossroads Partners with The Indianapolis Public Library to Install Accessible Workstations at All Branch Locations

Workstations to ensure all library patrons have access to assistive technology

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 17, 2023) – The Indianapolis Public Library and Easterseals Crossroads are partnering on a project to install accessible workstations at all 24 Library locations throughout Indianapolis, Lawrence and Beech Grove to ensure all patrons have access to assistive technology.

Part of The Library’s digital inclusion roadmap to improve access to Library services and materials for persons of all abilities, the accessible workstations are currently available at the Eagle, West Perry, East 38th Street, East Washington and Garfield Park locations.

The workstations offer a height-adjustable desk, large-key keyboard, large-print keyboard, trackball mouse with programmable buttons and arm supports. Software includes a text reading app, live transcription app, math app, magnification app and a screen reading app for people who are blind and visually impaired.

These tools can “read” information to patrons and respond to voice commands; and help people with learning disabilities or mobility limitations complete tasks such as writing a document or accessing the internet. These workstations are available for all patrons, with shorter use periods than other stations to decrease wait times.

“The framework for the accessible workstations took shape through site visits, conversations and online surveys with Library staff,” said Brian Norton, ATP, CEAS, director of assistive technology at Easterseals Crossroads. “The strategy was to use a small amount of technology to meet the majority of patron needs. This includes needs for vision, mobility, intellectual/cognitive and hearing impairments as well as language barriers. Built-in durable tools, devices and apps make the workstations user-friendly, intuitive and sustainable.”

“We strive to improve digital and technology inclusion and services for persons of all abilities,” said Shanika Heyward, director of innovation and technology at The Indianapolis Public Library. “We hope to increase the confidence of all of our patrons in using technology independently and to enhance their quality of life.”

The accessible workstations will be rolled out and installed at all 24 Library locations over the next several months.

Visit eastersealscrossroads.org for more about the services offered through Easterseals Crossroads. Visit indypl.org for more information about The Indianapolis Public Library.

 About Easterseals Crossroads

As one of 68 Easterseals affiliates, Easterseals Crossroads has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 85 years. Whether helping someone improve physical mobility, return to work or simply gain greater independence for everyday living, Easterseals Crossroads offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals. The agency provides top-quality, family-focused and innovative services tailored to meet the specific needs of the individuals served. For more, visit eastersealscrossroads.org.

 About The Indianapolis Public Library

The Indianapolis Public Library is the center of knowledge, community life, and innovation for residents of Indianapolis, Lawrence, Beech Grove, and Marion County, Indiana. Operating in 24 locations along with a Bookmobile, The Library provides materials, programs, and services in support of lifelong learning for residents of all ages and backgrounds.

2023-04-17T10:58:06-04:00April 17, 2023|News Releases|

Easterseals Crossroads Awarded $100,000 Grant from Comcast NBCUniversal for Second Year

Grant will help build a digital skills and employment training program for youth with disabilities

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 12, 2023) – Easterseals Crossroads, a local nonprofit organization providing disability services, has been awarded a one-year $75,000 grant from Comcast NBCUniversal for the Comcast NBCUniversal Digital Literacy and Employment Program. This is the second year that Easterseals Crossroads has received funding for this project. The grant will help build a digital skills and employment training program for transition-age youth with disabilities.

The Comcast NBCUniversal Digital Literacy and Employment Program is for any young adult ages 18-24 with a diagnosed disability who is preparing to work in a competitive work environment. The project focuses on delivering targeted digital skills curriculum in the classroom combined with an internship that will allow each participant to demonstrate what they are learning in a real work setting.

“We are thrilled to receive a second year of funding so that we can continue the important work of providing young adults with disabilities training on Digital Literacy.  These skills are crucial for them to move from school successfully and safely to adulthood and manage both their work and personal lives” said Marjorie Duryea, Director, Employment Programs, Easterseals Crossroads.

Easterseals Crossroads is pleased to partner with national Easterseals and affiliates in Arkansas, Colorado, Greater Houston, New Hampshire and Washington State by sharing resources and best practices in offering digital learning opportunities for young adults with disabilities in our community.

Digital literacy and access to technology are two areas of strategic investment at Comcast NBCUniversal that empower people and create opportunities for those who need it most. Easterseals and affiliates throughout the country have been chosen by Comcast NBCUniversal for many grants and programs throughout the years.

About Comcast NBCUniversal  |  Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.


2023-04-12T14:25:45-04:00April 12, 2023|News Releases|

April 2023

Josh Anderson who is our manager of clinical and assistive technology programs at Easterseals Crossroads spoke with WISH Business Tech in April 2023 about technology in the workplace to help businesses help their employees with the use of assistive technology.

2023-04-07T09:44:16-04:00April 7, 2023|Media Appearances|

March 2023

WISH TV 8 spoke with our program director of our brain injury services program at Easterseals Crossroads on March 15, 2023. Learn more about the recently transitioned brain injury services program at Easterseals Crossroads.


2023-03-17T08:10:21-04:00March 17, 2023|Media Appearances|
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