“Without innovation, we cannot advance”
~ Ahmed Mohamed
Driver of Innovative Service and Implementation (DISI) is awarded to an agency, organization, or initiative that drives the implementation of innovative programs/ services in the field of ASD and other developmental disabilities that relate to at least one goal of the Indiana Comprehensive State Plan for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Congratulations to our new Indiana Interagency Autism Coordinating Council – IIACC Driver of Innovative Service in Implementation (DISI) award winner, Kelsey Schapker! Kelsey is the founder of Cam’s Sensory Equipment Kits (CAMSE) and the Executive Director of Autism Evansville. The CAMSE kits were created by Kelsey, in celebration of her son Camden, who is on the autism spectrum. The kits allow law enforcement, firefighters, airports, and other organizations to bring comfort to special needs children and adults in the event of a crisis, emergency, or stressful situation. Kelsey has served as a selfless humanitarian, staunchly advocating for the dignity, value, and inclusion of some of our most vulnerable citizens. The IIACC is proud to honor Kelsey and the important work she has been doing in the Evansville community and beyond!
Winner: Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI)
We are proud to congratulate the Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI) as the recipient of the Indiana Interagency Autism Coordinating Council’s first Driver of Innovative Service and Implementation (DISI) award! EGTI offers comprehensive vocational training curricula that provide individuals with disabilities valuable job skills, preparing them for employment in the hospitality, health care, and food service industries.
Participants in EGTI’s training programs receive instruction on topics related to health and wellness, life skills, and job-specific subjects before participating in hands-on job shadowing opportunities. In addition, EGTI provides students with mentors and tutors to enrich their experience at the Training Institute. EGTI’s combination of training and on-site internship programming seeks to lower the 82% unemployment rate among disabled individuals, including those with ASD and other disorders, and the program’s partnerships with employers in the City of Muncie exemplify the types of community-based collaborations that fuel the mission of the IIACC. Visit the Erskine Green Training Institute’s website (https://www.erskinegreeninstitute.org/) to learn more or to apply for admission.
Winner: One Community, One Family (OCOF)
We are proud to congratulate One Community, One Family (OCOF) as the recipient of this quarter’s Driver of Innovative Service and Implementation (DISI) award! OCOF is a community partnership that works to address the emotional and behavioral health needs of children and youth across southeastern Indiana.
Following an evidence-based System of Care approach, OCOF’s services are family-driven, youth-guided, community-based, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed. The partnership connects mental health providers, educators, child welfare and social service agencies, juvenile justice professionals, and community coalitions with youth and families in the area to meet the needs of children and help them succeed at home, in school, and as part of their communities.
One Community, One Family offers a number of resources, training opportunities, and programming to improve and expand the services available to the populations they serve. OCOF’s offerings include Parent Coaching workshops designed to help parents and caregivers address children’s social, emotional, and behavior needs, multi-day trainings to educate providers on caring for families affected by trauma, and Parent Cafés that promote self-reflection and peer-to-peer learning as a means to support and engage families within communities.
Though OCOF is not an ASD-specific initiative, its services align with multiple goals of the Indiana Comprehensive State Plan. OCOF’s focus on connecting children and families with the appropriate providers, community groups, and interagency resources exemplifies the objective of Goal Two (Family and Professional Partnerships), while its support of increased early developmental screening in child care centers in rural areas across Southeast Indiana aligns with Goals Three (Early and Continuous Development and Medical Screening for ASD Responses) and Four (Access to All Needed ASD Health, Mental Health, Education, and Social Services) of the Comprehensive State Plan. For more information about One Community, One Family, visit http://www.onecommunityonefamily.org.
The 2017 IIACC Driver of Innovative Service and Implementation in ASD (DISI) Award was awarded to a group dedicated to supporting individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Spanish-speaking community – Grupo de Apoyo para Latinos con Autismo Indianapolis or GALA. Read more