Easter Seals

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Easter-seals
Headquarters Location: Chicago, IL
Founded: 1919


Mission: Easter Seals' mission is to provide exceptional services to ensure all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.


Tags: disabilities, autism, advocacy, education, outreach, employment, rehabilitation, recreation, 2011


Easter-seals
Story: Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities, and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help, hope and answers to children and adults… Read the full story.

Expert Reviews: Evidence of Impact
Easter Seals is very active in legislation affecting people with disabilities and does a great deal of grant writing. The organization also provides education, outreach, and advocacy to benefit people living with disabilities.
See the complete expert review.

Leadership
Easter-seals James E. Williams, Jr.. James E. Williams, Jr. became President and Chief Executive Officer of Easter Seals in June 1990, shortly before the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. Under Williams’ leadership, Easter Seals has become the nation’s largest service provider for children and adults living with autism and other disabilities, with new program sites, service offerings for more… See full bio.


Transparency Information
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This organization has earned the GuideStar Participation Level Silver, demonstrating its commitment to transparency (learn more)


Financial Data
Charity Navigator Rating: 2stars (profile)
Total Revenue:
$1,149,343,000


From the Nonprofit
The nonprofit has not added any comments yet. If you are a representative of this nonprofit and would like to leave a comment, please email us at feedback@myphilanthropedia.org with your request.


Contact Info
E-Mail:
info AT easterseals.com
Phone:
312-726-6200
Facebook:
Follow_fb
Address:
233 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2400
 
Chicago, IL 60606, USA
Twitter:
Follow_twitter


Easter-seals Story: Easter Seals is the leading non-profit provider of services for individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, physical and mental disabilities, and other special needs. For more than 90 years, we have been offering help, hope and answers to children and adults living with disabilities, and to the families who love them. Through therapy, training, education and support services, Easter Seals creates life-changing solutions so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in their communities. To learn more, visit www.easterseals.com and to see what we’re doing as advocates for young children and families: www.makethefirstfivecount.org Easter Seals annually helps 1.4 million individuals and families living with disabilities through its network of 76 affiliates in the United States and Puerto Rico, offering services through more than 55o service centers. Easter Seals program activities include therapy, training, education and support services, such as early intervention, medical rehabilitation: physical , occupational, and speech and hearing therapies, inclusive child care, workforce development and employment services, adult and older adult day programs, camping and recreation, and services for military, Veterans and their caregivers. In 1907, Ohio-businessman Edgar Allen lost his son in a streetcar accident. The lack of adequate medical services available to save his son prompted Allen to sell his business and begin a fund-raising campaign to build a hospital in his hometown of Elyria, Ohio. Through this new hospital, Allen was surprised to learn that children with disabilities were often hidden from public view. Inspired by this discovery, in 1919 Allen founded what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind.

Expert Reviews of Easter Seals

Evidence of Impact Summary:

Easter Seals is very active in legislation affecting people with disabilities and does a great deal of grant writing. The organization also provides education, outreach, and advocacy to benefit people living with disabilities.
See expert comments.

Organization Strengths Summary:

Easter Seals has competent, knowledgeable staff with good connections on the Hill. Their offerings to people with disabilities also have great reach and range from child development centers, physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, to adult and adult and senior care programs.
See expert comments.

Areas for Improvement Summary:

Chapter by chapter, the quality and diversity of services differs. Experts have highlighted these differences to be an issue and believe that Easter Seals would improve if its services were great across the board.
See expert comments.

Expert Comments: Evidence of Impact

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Accessible Transportation

F
Easter Seals Project Action is focused on making transportation accessible to all. ESPA seeks funds and awards funds for relevant projects.

Variety of Services

N
Easter Seals provides a variety of direct services to people with disabilities.

Strong Advocacy

N
Easter Seals is very active in legislation affecting people with disabilities and does a great deal of grant writing.

Education & Outreach

N
Easter Seals provides education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with disabilities can live, be educated and receive vocational support in the community.

Good Job at Modernizing

N
Easter Seals has done an excellent job of modernizing and staying relevant over the years. Unlike the March of Dimes, they continued a tradition of direct service. They also seem broad in embracing various disabilities, and not just one type.

Work with Young Children

N
They work with children with disabilities at a very young age and provide therapy(s) for them and training for caregivers.


Expert Comments: Organization Strengths

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Strong Staff

F
Easter Seals is very good at securing large federal grants and soliciting organizations with whom to partner to implement projects. Easter Seals has a strong team of dedicated professionals who are knowledgeable, diligent and competent.
N
Easter Seals has competent, knowledgeable staff with good connections on the Hill.

Great Reach

N
Easter Seals' services range from child development centers, physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, to adult and adult and senior care programs.

Strong Marketing

N
This organization has been around for years and years. I remember as a child receiving mailings from Easter Seals. Their strength is in marketing, longevity and being able to create a visual image for its services.


Expert Comments: Areas for Improvement

Select the boxes to display the results according to expert type.

Show:
X
Foundation Professionals (F)
X
Researchers and Faculty (R)
X
Nonprofit Senior Staff (N)
X
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers) (O)

Organization

F
Easter Seals could be a little better organized in terms of responsiveness, consistency and communication.

Congruency

N
Chapter by chapter, the quality and diversity of services differs.
N
Easter Seals needs to resolve some conflicted messages. For instance, they support community integration but run sheltered workshops and take a conflicting position.
N
Not sure if the organizational model is working - there are always challenges with a national organization with affiliates.
N
Easter Seals operates as both a provider organization and an advocacy organization. As such they may be in conflicting roles when they attempt to speak or advocate for persons with disabilities. This can be particularly problematic when lobbying for the continuation of program models, such as sheltered workshops, that restrict people to employment in non-integrated settings.

Staff

N
As a large nonprofit, there is sometimes an overwhelming feeling related to Easter Seals, rather than a feeling of "family" or "togetherness". There have been some reports of underqualified staff being hired in entry level positions.

Financials

N
They need more funding to reach more and more children.
N
More recently, the organization has had financial problems. In the community I lived in a couple years ago, Easter Seals went out of business. My impression was that it tried to do too much--perhaps straying from the original mission.


Leadership

Easter-seals
James E. Williams, Jr.
President and Chief Executive Officer
James E. Williams, Jr. became President and Chief Executive Officer of Easter Seals in June 1990, shortly before the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990. Under Williams’ leadership, Easter Seals has become the nation’s largest service provider for children and adults living with autism and other disabilities, with new program sites, service offerings for more than 1.4 million individuals, and revenues of $1.3 billion. To better serve the needs of families living with autism, Williams has initiated partnerships with autism research and treatment organizations. Williams also is focused on Easter Seals’ Vision 2015, which calls for a focus on innovation, on expanding Easter Seals’ services internationally, and for a barrier-free America, where all people are included in all aspects of American life. He began his career with Easter Seals in 1970 in Maine, where he was responsible for program development. From 1974 to 1979, Williams directed the Speech and Hearing Division for the State of Missouri Children’s Services Section in the Department of Health and Social Services. He led multi-disciplinary medical specialty teams in charge of Oro-facial Anomaly Clinics in six teaching hospitals. He developed and implemented the state infant high-risk registry for all newborns and served as instructor in the departments of pediatrics and otolaryngology at the University of Missouri School of Medicine. Williams recently served as Chairman of the National Health Council and is a member of the Board of Governors of the Institute for Philanthropy and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. He has served on the boards of the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, the JM Foundation Search for Excellence, the National Foundation for Dentistry for People with Disabilities, the Montessori School of Lake Forest, and the Missouri Commission on Comprehensive Health Planning. Williams earned his master’s degree from the University of Missouri, with a major in Communications/Speech Pathology and Audiology and received his bachelor’s degree in Speech and Communications from Harding College. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by the University of New England.

From the Nonprofit

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