MISSION: We provide exceptional services for persons with disabilities and their families across a lifetime by empowering individuals to live their lives to the fullest.
Cause: Disability Services
- Join us as we celebrate our 75th Anniversary at our Gala on Oct. 2, hosted under the Big Top!
- 75 Days of Giving at FlanzerTrust.org allows Easterseals’ donors a matching opportunity, through Sept. 30.
- This fall, the agency will officially open the Autism Center of Excellence, a new community resource for Southwest Florida families.
- Newly developed Virtual Reality modules are employed for job training, including social and emotional components.
- Easterseals Academy serves pre-K through 12th grade students with disabilities, up to age 22, with therapies provided on campus.
- Clients earn 70 percent of art pieces they create, sold through our Art Initiative, from paintings to ceramics and more.
- 2022 events: Black Tie & Blue Jeans on March 12, while the Meadows Cup Pro-Am will be on April 22.
For 75 years, we continue to serve and ensure abilities shine.
Easterseals Happiness House strives every day to enhance the way the world defines disabilities—whether physical, intellectual, emotional or social—by making profound and positive differences in the lives of our clients and their families, empowering them with access and inclusion.
Founded in 1946 to combat polio, the agency expanded services after a cure was found for the disease. The community need demanded expansion of services to assist people living with all forms of disabilities. As the decades passed, the staff has always worked to provide the care and treatments our clients and their families require, regardless of their ability to pay.
All these years later, our inventory of exceptional services for people with disabilities includes behavioral, occupational, physical and speech therapies as well as equine-assisted programs at InStride Therapy. As part of a multi-disciplinary team, our therapists collaborate to ensure each child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Neurofeedback also plays a role in our lineup, made possible through a partnership with The Brain Wave Center, providing non-invasive mapping that helps to create healthy, optimal patterns.
Educational platforms have also expanded at Easterseals, now serving students with disabilities throughout their school career, pre-K through 12th grade (up to age 22). Servicing the full life span of our clients, adult services are also offered here and include day training programs as well as employment opportunities to help create independence.
Enrichment programs offered at the agency embrace art and music programs as well as Operation Eco Vets-run gardening at the organic farm on our main campus. Family support services focus on coping mechanisms and even respite, both in-home programs and various on-campus retreats.
The renowned Easterseals’ Art Initiative is designed to help our clients express themselves through beautiful paintings and ceramics. The program also helps our adults generate income through the sale of their artwork, with 70 percent of sale proceeds going to them while the remaining 30 percent goes back into the program for supplies.
Over the last year, Easterseals has started two microbusinesses designed to provide employment opportunities for our adults. Part of our “purchase with a purpose” program, Board & Abilities offers an endless variety of wood home décor signage. Another new microbusiness at Easterseals is abili-TEEs, a shop in which our clients produce creative T-shirts for small batch orders, for family gatherings, corporate retreats, weddings and other celebrations.
Tackling another employment hurdle using digital tools, the Easterseals team recently developed Virtual Reality modules used in job training. Beyond tactical exercises, the customized virtual environments also provide social and emotional challenges to help prepare candidates for common situations on the job.
Later this year, we will open the Autism Center of Excellence, a community resource that will include everything from a diagnostics clinic to information about services available to people with autism and related developmental disabilities.
We continue to innovate as we serve, always seeking new partnerships and tools to create opportunities for our greater community. These services, combined with the diverse therapeutic and educational components on our thriving campuses, drive—and always have driven—to help our clients live their life to the fullest.
Want to help make a difference? Visit: easterseals-swfl.org