Holloway brings experience, understanding to CRS medical consultant post

Dr. Albert Holloway has joined the Rehab Family as a medical consultant for Children’s Rehabilitation Service. Holloway, who joined CRS through a contractual agreement with Medicaid, is available to respond to medical concerns generated from staff, families, and providers of CRS services. CRS Director Melinda Davis said she is delighted to have Holloway available toContinue reading “Holloway brings experience, understanding to CRS medical consultant post”

CRS receives grant to advance care for children with medical complexity

Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Networks (CoIINs) are multidisciplinary teams of federal, state, and local leaders working together to tackle a common problem. Last year, CRS was one of 10 states awarded a CoIIN to advance care for children with medical complexity (CMC). The grant, managed by the Boston University School of Pubic Health and supportedContinue reading “CRS receives grant to advance care for children with medical complexity”

New clinic ‘one-stop shop’ for youngsters with craniofacial disorders (photo gallery)

Homewood’s CRS office recently launched a clinic to specifically address the orthodontics needs of children with craniofacial disorders. The CRS Orthodontic Clinic for Craniofacial Disorders – first held this past summer – offers a one-stop shop for consumers with craniofacial anomalies. The new clinic is the only one of its kind in the state andContinue reading “New clinic ‘one-stop shop’ for youngsters with craniofacial disorders (photo gallery)”

ADRS, Easter Seals open new Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery + video)

Easter Seals West Alabama (ESWA) and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) recently hosted a ribbon-cutting celebration for their new state-of-the-art facility. The new building – located at 1400 James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway Drive East – features 56,000 square feet of office space and houses all four major ADRS programs – Alabama’s EarlyContinue reading “ADRS, Easter Seals open new Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery + video)”

Summit unites families, professionals as ‘partners in care’ (photo gallery + video)

More than 100 attendees came to Prattville’s Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill Conference Center for the seventh annual Family Voices Partners In Care Summit, April 20-21. The two-day family/professional development workshop aims to strengthen networks between families and care professionals and spotlights current challenges to developing quality systems of care for children and youth withContinue reading “Summit unites families, professionals as ‘partners in care’ (photo gallery + video)”

Kids Wish Network honors Tuscaloosa CRS consumer (photo gallery)

Ashlyn Wilson, a CRS consumer from Tuscaloosa, was named April’s Hero of the Month by the Kids Wish Network. To celebrate the honor, staff in the Tuscaloosa CRS office sponsored a party for Ashlyn and her family, complete with pizza and cupcakes. Ashlyn, who has Down syndrome and bilateral hearing loss, loves cheerleaders and cheerleading,Continue reading “Kids Wish Network honors Tuscaloosa CRS consumer (photo gallery)”

ADRS staff re-locating to newly completed facility (photo gallery)

Earlier this week, the Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) and State of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL) offices in Tuscaloosa began moving to their new location at 1400 James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway E. When the move is complete, the 56,000-square-foot, three-story complex – owned and built by Easter Seals West Alabama – will house some 60Continue reading “ADRS staff re-locating to newly completed facility (photo gallery)”

Congresswoman Sewell visits Selma ADRS office (photo gallery)

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, who represents Alabama’s 7th district, toured the Selma CRS office Dec. 12 to visit with CRS families and observe a clinic. Following the clinic visit, she had the opportunity to learn more about ADRS and the services provided through our continuum when she met with Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw.

Anniston’s fall festival frightfully fun for CRS families (photo gallery)

Anniston’s CRS office held their annual fall festival for children with disabilities on Oct. 26. Open to families served by CRS and Early Intervention and children from area schools, approximately 150 children enjoyed the games, food and fun at the event. Activities at the festival included a cake walk, bean bag throw, hoop toss, waterContinue reading “Anniston’s fall festival frightfully fun for CRS families (photo gallery)”

New Tuscaloosa complex progressing on schedule (video, photo gallery)

Work continues on schedule on the new office complex for the ADRS offices in Tuscaloosa. The facility, which is owned and being built by Easter Seals West Alabama, is on James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway East, near the current location of the Tuscaloosa office for Vocational Rehabilitation Service (VRS) and State of Alabama Independent LivingContinue reading “New Tuscaloosa complex progressing on schedule (video, photo gallery)”

Montgomery, State Office CRS staff band together to help families get back to school

Montgomery CRS held a back-to-school drive in August and September to help area families start the school year off on the right foot. Several staff members in the Montgomery office “adopted” children in need by purchasing an individual child’s entire back-to-school shopping list. “I chose Moshope Arabi,” said CRS Speech-language Pathologist Program Specialist Sonia Cleckler. “She loved Disney’sContinue reading “Montgomery, State Office CRS staff band together to help families get back to school”

Jackson CRS community project to provide coats for kids

Parent Consultant Vivian Spears wants to ensure all kids have a warm coat this winter. As part of a community outreach, Jackson CRS will be offering free coats to the children and families they serve, and all ADRS staff are invited to donate. “When I was in the Tuscaloosa office, I held a coat drive after noticing severalContinue reading “Jackson CRS community project to provide coats for kids”

Summer hectic time as CRS offices host wheelchair washes (photo gallery)

Summer is a busy time for CRS offices around the state as they host events for their families. The events give staff an opportunity to interact with and get to know families in a fun, relaxed environment. Enjoy these snapshots from events held in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Muscle Shoals.

Commissioner visits Muscle Shoals offices, Blind Services staff retreat (photo gallery)

Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw visited the CRS and VRS offices in Muscle Shoals recently, introducing herself to and getting to know staff serving the northwest section of the state. While in the area, Burdeshaw also toured the new facility for Muscle Shoals CRS, which is currently being renovated. CRS staff are scheduled to re-locate to their new building Oct. 1.Continue reading “Commissioner visits Muscle Shoals offices, Blind Services staff retreat (photo gallery)”

CRS updates Alabama families at State PAC meeting (photo gallery)

Families from across the state met with CRS and ADRS leaders yesterday at the State Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) to discuss current initiatives. Following a welcome from State Parent Consultant Susan Colburn, ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw introduced herself and spoke about her career in rehabilitation. As guest speaker, Robin Rawls, communications director for AlabamaContinue reading “CRS updates Alabama families at State PAC meeting (photo gallery)”

Gov. Bentley tours Montgomery CRS seizure clinic (photo gallery)

  Governor Robert Bentley on Wednesday toured the Children’s Rehabilitation Service Seizure Clinic in Montgomery. Governor Bentley met with some doctors and families impacted by Medicaid funds. In FY 2016, Children’s Rehabilitation Service (CRS) has received $12,124,985 in Medicaid reimbursements which accounts for 43% of the total CRS budget.

Early Intervention Update valuable for parents, professionals (photo gallery)

  Parents and early intervention providers and other professionals gathered June 14 in Tuscaloosa for the 15th Annual Early Intervention Update. The event was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (for Alabama’s Early Intervention System), the Three Rivers Early Intervention District VII Coordinating Council, and Auburn University at Montgomery. Some 200 participants attended theContinue reading “Early Intervention Update valuable for parents, professionals (photo gallery)”

CRS project focuses on emergency preparedness for families of CSHCN

Children’s Rehabilitation Service is currently working on a quality improvement project to better prepare families of children with special health care needs for emergencies. CRS discovered a need for better emergency preparedness among families of children with disabilities as part of last year’s comprehensive needs assessment survey, said CRS Maternal and Child Health Coordinator Lolita McLean. “We were really surprisedContinue reading “CRS project focuses on emergency preparedness for families of CSHCN”

Summit unites families and professionals (video, photo gallery)

More than 100 attendees came to Prattville’s Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill Conference Center for the sixth annual Family Voices Partners In Care Summit, April 14-15. The two-day family/professional development workshop aims to strengthen networks between families and care professionals and spotlights current challenges to developing quality systems of care for children and youth with special health careContinue reading “Summit unites families and professionals (video, photo gallery)”

Construction continues on Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery)

  Work is progressing on the 56,000-square-foot facility that will house the ADRS offices in Tuscaloosa. The complex, owned by Easter Seals West Alabama, will boast three floors, with Alabama’s Early Intervention System offices and Children’s Rehabilitation Service offices and clinic space occupying the first floor and office space for Vocational Rehabilitation Service and State ofContinue reading “Construction continues on Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery)”

Social workers make a difference in people’s lives

People – especially children – with disabilities often face a unique set of challenges in their everyday lives and need to receive services is a variety of settings. Professionals who hold a master’s or bachelor’s in social work help individuals with disabilities in a variety of ways. “In CRS, our social workers help our families to identifyContinue reading “Social workers make a difference in people’s lives”

Teen Transition Career Fair draws crowd (photo gallery, video)

Students and teachers from schools throughout the Birmingham area gathered March 16 for Teen Transition Career Fair 2016. The half-day event was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services and the Exceptional Education Department and Career Technical Program of Bessemer City Schools. More than 300 students flocked to the Bessemer Civic Center to learn aboutContinue reading “Teen Transition Career Fair draws crowd (photo gallery, video)”

Birmingham CRS district office adds new administrative space

Seven members of the 11-person staff in CRS’ Birmingham district office are moving this week into a larger administrative space. The suites of offices is on Highland Avenue in Birmingham, less than two miles from the district’s clinic space at Children’s of Alabama. “The clinic area at Children’s is fine,” said Social Work Administrative/Office CoordinatorContinue reading “Birmingham CRS district office adds new administrative space”

ADRS Med Aspects conference offers training opportunity for staff

The ADRS Medical Aspects of Disability Conference attracted some 250 EI, CRS, VRS, and SAIL staff to the Hyatt Regency in Birmingham. The two-day conference featured 16 distinct concurrent sessions on such topics as diabetes, dementia, traumatic brain injury and vision, dysphagia, professional ethics, seizures and epilepsy, spasticity management, Parkinson’s disease, “hearing privilege,” and stroke.

Teen Transition Clinic important piece of ADRS ‘continuum of services’

The transition to adult life is difficult, but it can be especially complicated for teenagers with disabilities. There are a number of challenges to consider: postsecondary education, work, family life, adult health care, functional independence and mobility, independent living, and recreation. In terms of transition, one size does not fit all. Each individual faces uniqueContinue reading “Teen Transition Clinic important piece of ADRS ‘continuum of services’”

Selma VRS, CRS office moves to new space

Selma’s ADRS office now has a new address. The Vocational Rehabilitation and Children’s Rehabilitation offices in Selma moved Dec. 7 to a newly renovated existing location at 720 Alabama Ave. – in downtown and just across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The facility triples the space of the office’s former location on Citizen’s Parkway, which was shared with Easter SealsContinue reading “Selma VRS, CRS office moves to new space”

Inaugural Fall Festival draws large crowd in Anniston

The Early Intervention and Children’s Rehabilitation Service staff in the Anniston office recently sponsored a Fall Festival for area consumers and their families. Spearheaded by CRS Social Work Administrator Stacie Rolf and CRS Nurse Coordinator Amy McQueen, the inaugural festival attracted some 200 children and families. The event featured games, face-painting, prizes, and treats. LocalContinue reading “Inaugural Fall Festival draws large crowd in Anniston”

Site prep begins for new Tuscaloosa facility

  Site preparation is underway at the location of the new ADRS facility in Tuscaloosa. The facility, which is owned and being built by Easter Seals West Alabama, will be on James I. Harrison Jr. Parkway East, a short distance from the current location of the Tuscaloosa VRS-SAIL office. The 56,000-square-foot complex will feature three floors,Continue reading “Site prep begins for new Tuscaloosa facility”

ADRS celebrates 20 years of independence

Twenty years. Four commissioners. Six sites. The statewide commemoration of the department’s 20th anniversary kicked off Monday, Sept. 14, in Mobile and wrapped up two weeks later in Huntsville. Founding Commissioner Lamona Lucas made a special appearance at events in Mobile and Montgomery. Former Commissioner Winona Nelson spoke to the Montgomery group, and Former Commissioner SteveContinue reading “ADRS celebrates 20 years of independence”

Overstreet’s journey: from stay-at-home mom to Jackson CRS office coordinator

Before Jennifer Overstreet gave birth to her daughter, she didn’t give much thought to the many issues that families of children with disabilities face in the state of Alabama. Today, Overstreet is a far cry from where she was 25 years ago. Recently named the new office coordinator for the CRS office in Jackson, she overseesContinue reading “Overstreet’s journey: from stay-at-home mom to Jackson CRS office coordinator”

Wounded Warrior visits CRS Limb Deficiency Clinic

Children attending today’s Homewood CRS Limb Deficiency Clinic had the opportunity to visit with a soldier who lost a limb as a result of a service-related injury. The visit was part of a pilot program of the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2). If successful, the program will be expanded to sites in San Diego andContinue reading “Wounded Warrior visits CRS Limb Deficiency Clinic”

Federal reviewers visit Montgomery for CRS block grant, needs assessment review

Children’s Rehabilitation Service presented its five-year needs assessment survey results at the annual block grant review held Aug. 14 at the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH). The needs assessment is conducted every five years by agencies that receive money through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. The survey helps state maternalContinue reading “Federal reviewers visit Montgomery for CRS block grant, needs assessment review”

300 attend Muscle Shoals CRS carnival, wheelchair wash

Earlier this month, the CRS office in Muscle Shoals hosted the inaugural Carnival and Wheelchair Wash for children with special health care needs. The carnival, planned and coordinated by Muscle Shoals CRS staff, attracted 300 local children and adults, with 40 volunteers pitching in to wash 25 wheelchairs. The free event was held at SpringContinue reading “300 attend Muscle Shoals CRS carnival, wheelchair wash”

Birmingham-area artist volunteers time at Homewood CRS clinic

A popular art program at the CRS office in Homewood is continuing, thanks to the generosity of a Birmingham-area artist and Homewood CRS staff. Since 2005, the program – funded through a grant to VSA Alabama – has given children attending clinics at the Homewood office an opportunity to explore their artistic side while waitingContinue reading “Birmingham-area artist volunteers time at Homewood CRS clinic”

New Selma office set for October opening

A major renovation currently in the works at 720 Alabama Ave. in Selma is good news for ADRS consumers in west Alabama. That is the address for the new Vocational Rehabilitation and Children’s Rehabilitation offices that will be serving children and adults with disabilities in Dallas and the surrounding counties. Though the construction project kickedContinue reading “New Selma office set for October opening”

CRS answers SOS, holds in-state feeding conference

Children’s Rehabilitation Service recently hosted a four-day conference for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties and weight/growth problems. The conference – “Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders” – focused on the SOS (sequential oral sensory) approach to feeding, which aims to help rehabilitation professionals better identify oral, sensory, motor, cognitive, and emotional milestones that areContinue reading “CRS answers SOS, holds in-state feeding conference”

Parents, professionals gather for 14th Early Intervention Update

Parents and early intervention providers and other professionals gathered in Tuscaloosa today for the 14th Annual Early Intervention Update. The event was sponsored by the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (for Alabama’s Early Intervention System) and the Three Rivers Early Intervention District VII Coordinating Council. Some 200 participants attended the one-day workshop, which featured sessionsContinue reading “Parents, professionals gather for 14th Early Intervention Update”

Tour bus stops in Alabama to celebrate 25 years of the ADA

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the ADA Legacy Tour bus is rolling across the country to raise awareness and build excitement for this milestone anniversary. Guest speakers Rep. Thad McClammy (D-Montgomery) and Gov. Robert Bentley both served as guest speakers for the event on theContinue reading “Tour bus stops in Alabama to celebrate 25 years of the ADA”

Summit brings together partners in care

More than 200 attendees came to Prattville’s Marriott Legends at Capitol Hill Conference Center for the 5th annual Family Voices Partners In Care Summit, April 13-15. The yearly family/professional development workshop works to strengthen networks between families and care professionals and spotlights current challenges to developing quality systems of care for children and youth with special healthContinue reading “Summit brings together partners in care”

‘A-Team’ tackles accommodations issues with cross-divisional approach

The ADRS A-Team — that’s the accommodations team — isn’t taking pity or prisoners when it comes to helping all consumers achieve their maximum potential. The team’s innovative approach targets consumers with the most-significant disabilities, and cleverly uses creative solutions through rehabilitation technology to better prepare individuals for life at home, school, work, and in theContinue reading “‘A-Team’ tackles accommodations issues with cross-divisional approach”

Needs Assessment findings presented to CRS

Children’s Rehabilitation Service received the needs assessment survey results from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on March 9. The in-depth survey is conducted every five years by agencies that receive money through the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. “The purpose of the survey is to identify both the strengths and theContinue reading “Needs Assessment findings presented to CRS”

Therapy dogs visit Montgomery VR, CRS clinic

This week, Mark Vosel, VR state office administrator, held a Lunch & Learn session at the State Office for Dogs On Call, a therapy dog team organized through Easter Seals to provide assistance and compassion to adults and children. Dogs On Call trains and certifies therapy dog teams to provide comfort to persons who are at-risk, livingContinue reading “Therapy dogs visit Montgomery VR, CRS clinic”

CRS, UCP work in tandem on new Neuromotor Clinic

The CRS office in Homewood has partnered with United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Birmingham to conduct a unique clinic for children with serious neuromotor disabilities. The clinic evaluates and treats clients with neuromotor disabilities related to traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and other neuromotor conditions. Led by Dr. Charlie Law, medical directorContinue reading “CRS, UCP work in tandem on new Neuromotor Clinic”

Cheerful murals brighten Anniston CRS

The halls of the Anniston CRS clinic have been made a bit brighter with the recent addition of several hand-painted murals placed throughout the clinic space. “The murals have been a big hit,” said Randy Whitt, CRS district supervisor. “Our children have absolutely loved them. Parents often take pictures of their children with the animals, and ofContinue reading “Cheerful murals brighten Anniston CRS”