Category Archives: EI

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 Down syndrome who received services through

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

Reach Out and Read Alabama volunteers pose for a photo at the event in Selma

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” and distribute books to families to

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EI Update draws professionals, families (photo gallery)

Mary Bryan, a speech-language pathologist at the University of Alabama, gestures during her session on abnormal and normal feeding in infants and toddlers

  The 16th Annual Early Intervention Update was May 23 at University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa. The daylong event was sponsored by Three Rivers Early Intervention District VII Coordinating Council, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (for Alabama’s Early Intervention System), and Auburn University Montgomery. The morning began with Lauren Wilson, the parent of a child with a disability, whose general

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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 Early Intervention System, Children’s Rehabilitation Service,

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

Children ride bikes at 'Family Day'

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 a proclamation in late March to

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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 60 ADRS staff. The Tuscaloosa offices

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EI conference draws 500 to Montgomery (photo gallery)

Rachel Harrison interviews her son Wren about his little sister Anna Pruitt (nicknamed 'AP' by the family) as dad Brian listens in

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 story about Anna Pruitt, their youngest

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

A telehandler operator empties debris in a dumpster in front of the building is abuzz with activity

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 Living (SAIL)/Homebound. The 56,000-square-foot complex will

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

Speech-language Pathologist Melissa Cheslock of the University of Montevallo discusses addressing communication concerns regarding development of language strategies

  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 the one-day workshop, which featured sessions

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ICC honors retiring commissioner (photo gallery)

Interagency Coordinating Council extends well wishes to Commissioner Boswell

  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 on the council, was also on

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Construction continues on Tuscaloosa facility (photo gallery)

The view from the second floor

  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 of Alabama Independent Living (SAIL)/Homebound on

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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. Conner comes to the ICC having

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Conference offers ‘colorful’ training for parents, providers

AEIS Coordinator Betsy Prince shares a story at the keynote session

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 conference attracted more than 250 attendees,

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ADRS Med Aspects conference offers training opportunity for staff

Laura Lieb, a nurse practitioner, speaks at the 'Understanding Parkinson Disease' session

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.

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Inaugural Fall Festival draws large crowd in Anniston

A sign welcomes visitors to the Anniston EI-CRS Fall Festival

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. Local businesses and community organizations donated

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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, with Early Intervention offices and

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

CRS State Parent Consultant Susan Colburn welcomes parents to the families-only session on family leadership

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, maternal depression, working with Hispanic families,

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ADRS celebrates 20 years of independence

Connie Brechin Gloria Crider Becky Fields Ann James Ronny McCall Fredonia Mobley Karen Nobles Sue Schulgin Lynn Shelton

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 Steve Shivers joined the celebration in

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Parents, professionals gather for 14th Early Intervention Update

Brian Harrison, the father of a child with special needs, spoke in the session entitled 'From a Father's Perspective'

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 sessions on the importance of early

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

The Birmingham-area Accommodations Team – better known as the 'A Team' – discusses accommodations at their quarterly meeting.

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 the community. If the concept sounds similar

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Upcoming EI conference to be ‘sailing with flying colors’

Conference attendees participate in the group activity during the Family Voices of Alabama session, 'Dream Weavers: Tips for Developing the Supports Your Family Needs'

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, and teacher-author-consultant Dr. Jean Feldman.

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