Crouch to speak at ADEC annual celebration

Suzanne Crouch

ELKHART — Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch will visit Elkhart County in October to deliver a keynote address at ADEC’s Annual Celebration.

The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10, inside the Crystal Ballroom of the Lerner Theatre.

“We are honored to host one of the state’s most influential advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at this year’s event,” ADEC CEO and President Donna Belusar said. “Lt. Gov. Crouch shares the same beliefs as those of us at ADEC: That individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities deserve a life full of informed choices and greater opportunities.”

Crouch has served as Indiana’s lieutenant governor since January 2017 and previously served as the state’s auditor. Prior to that, she was a state representative for House District 78.

Throughout her years of public service, Suzanne has been focused and committed to programs and services for people with disabilities. She receives the 2012 Public Policy Award from the Arc of Indiana for her work with people with disabilities and was named Legislator of the Year in 2011 by the Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities.

“Every success we help someone achieve opens their life to great opportunities for independence, self-worth and employment,” Crouch penned in a 2017 editiorial. “Our friends with disabilities are really just friends with different abilities, and they have the same dreams of every Hoosier and every American – to have friends, to have a job, to love and be loved, and be successful.”

Crouch has spent the past few years serving as chairman of the Indiana Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force, a group of representatives from around the state that was formed to improve services for Hoosiers with disabilities.

Many of the recommendations put forth by the group led by Crouch would have a positive impact on the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in northern Indiana if they are enacted by the Indiana General Assembly or various state agencies, the organization said. 

The group recommended increased wages for direct support professionals, for example. ADEC employs nearly 400 DSPs who work every day to provide informed choices and greater possibilities to the people they serve. The group also requested increased funding for Vocational Rehabilitation services, which help individuals with disabilities find and maintain jobs in the community.

Belusar serves on the state level task force committee to address the creation of an array of employment options that lead to a good life with independence and respect for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and ensures informed choice.

“Lt. Gov. Crouch has a keen understanding of what we do at ADEC and the importance of providing a strong support system and community for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Belusar said. “Not only will we be celebrating the people we serve at ADEC, but we will also be looking ahead to a brighter future for all Hoosiers with disabilities thanks to the work of Lt. Gov. Crouch and the Task Force.”

ADEC’s Annual Celebration also recognizes several of the individuals ADEC serves for the barriers they have overcome and the goals they have accomplished in the past year, whether in the workplace or the art studio.

Seating is limited, with tickets priced at $25 for individuals and $150 for a table of eight. Tickets can be purchased online at adecinc.com/celebrate or by visiting ADEC’s Gaining Grounds Coffee House in Bristol between 7:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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