33rd annual early intervention preschool conference a success

More than 500 professionals and parents attended the 33rd annual statewide Early Intervention and Preschool Conference in Huntsville Oct. 23-25. The 2 1/2 day conference offered more than 40 sessions, recommending practices for various early intervention and preschool services from birth to 5 years of age. Penny Foster, the parent of a child with DownContinue reading “33rd annual early intervention preschool conference a success”

EI partners with Alabama reading initiative to ‘prescribe’ books to kids

A new partnership between Alabama’s Early Intervention System (AEIS) and Reach Out and Read Alabama is encouraging early learning through reading by offering books to children when visiting their pediatrician. The program – Rx for Summer Reading – works by identifying pediatric offices in Alabama’s counties of need. In turn, these doctor offices “prescribe” andContinue reading “EI partners with Alabama reading initiative to ‘prescribe’ books to kids”

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)”

‘Early Intervention Week’ celebrates impact of services for children with disabilities

The seven districts of Alabama’s Early Intervention System (AEIS) held several special events for the week of April 17-21 to celebrate the vital role early intervention plays in the success of children with disabilities or developmental delays. The celebrations were part of “Early Intervention Week” in the state of Alabama. Former Gov. Robert Bentley signed aContinue reading “‘Early Intervention Week’ celebrates impact of services for children with disabilities”

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)”

EI conference draws 500 to Montgomery (photo gallery)

Some 500 parents and early intervention and preschool professionals are gathering in Montgomery this week for the Early Intervention and Preschool Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Once Upon a Time … Everyone Has a Story.” The opening session for the two-and-a-half-day conference featured the Harrison family of Tuscaloosa, who shared their personal storyContinue reading “EI conference draws 500 to Montgomery (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)”

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)”

ICC honors retiring commissioner (photo gallery)

  The Governor’s Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) for early intervention services honored ADRS Commissioner Cary Boswell at its June 8 meeting. The group presented Boswell, who is retiring June 30, with a signed and inscribed copy of the book ‘Sweet Dreams: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories.’ Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind President John Mascia, who serves onContinue reading “ICC honors retiring commissioner (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)”

ICC formally welcomes four new representatives at quarterly meeting

The Early Intervention System’s Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) recently welcomed four new faces. Tametria Conner, Rachel Harrison, and Lori Skidmore are the newest parent voices for the ICC, formally joining the council at its quarterly meeting March 9. With the addition of Susan Bradt as the new Head Start representative, the ICC now comprises a full 21 members. ConnerContinue reading “ICC formally welcomes four new representatives at quarterly meeting”

Conference offers ‘colorful’ training for parents, providers

Alabama’s Early Intervention System (EI) and the District II and District III councils of the Early Intervention Council collaborated to present the “Color Your World Early Intervention Conference” on Feb. 25 in Homewood. The one-day conference, which featured 11 distinct sessions, provided a training opportunity for early intervention professionals as well as parents. The conferenceContinue reading “Conference offers ‘colorful’ training for parents, providers”

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.

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”

31st EI and Preschool Conference ‘knocks it out of the park’

The 31st Early Intervention and Preschool Conference is being held this week in Montgomery. The two-and-a-half day conference includes sessions on positioning equipment for children with special needs, promoting positive behavior, child-guided assessment, transition to preschool, strategies for improving social-pragmatic communication skills, EI in child-care settings, assistive technology for children with complex communication needs, maternalContinue reading “31st EI and Preschool Conference ‘knocks it out of the park’”

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”

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”

‘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”

EI’s Blakeney welcomes ‘brand new challenge’ in leadership role

On Jan. 1, Amy Blakeney stepped into her new role of assistant coordinator of Alabama’s Early Intervention System, a position long held by Kim Hill, who retired in December. “Having been with ADRS for 15 years, and working with persons with disabilities throughout my entire career, I already have a love and a passion for what I do,”Continue reading “EI’s Blakeney welcomes ‘brand new challenge’ in leadership role”

Upcoming EI conference to be ‘sailing with flying colors’

The 30th Annual Early Intervention and Preschool Conference is set for Nov. 17-19 at the Renaissance Riverview Plaza Hotel in Mobile. The theme of this year’s conference is “Sailing with Flying Colors.” The keynote speakers for the two-and-a-half day conference will be Dr. Allen Mallory, one of the most-popular child care speakers in the country,Continue reading “Upcoming EI conference to be ‘sailing with flying colors’”