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Vision, Mission and/or Purpose of Organization
Vision Improve the quality of life for members of our communities. Mission Helping individuals and families with life’s changing needs by developing programs and providing services which will improve their quality of life.
History of Organization
From our beginning in 1923 as part of the National Society for Crippled Children to our independent status as Lifesteps today, we have been helping individuals and families with life’s changing needs lead better lives. Today, the Agency helps thousands of individuals annually; and provides outreach to tens of thousands of area families. The Lifesteps staff creates a culture that works to foster independence and to provide exceptional care and support to all we serve. Tragedy Leads to Inspiration 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. Concerned by this discovery, Allen put all his efforts into collecting private donations for a hospital to provide services for disabled children. In 1915, the Gates Hospital for Crippled Children was established solely for disabled children and the services were offered free of charge. When the community hesitated to accept the free services, Allen enlisted the Rotary Clubs of Ohio as volunteers to help gain the trust of the communities and assist with the care of the children. By 1919, Allen and Ohio Rotarians established what became known as the National Society for Crippled Children, the first organization of its kind. The organization had chapters throughout the Midwest and northeast, including Pennsylvania, just two years later. The umbrella organization and its chapters later became known as the Easter Seal Society. Local Community Support Leads To Independence From eight programs and services offered in 1954, the local agency grew to offer 35 programs and services by 2002. Community support also continued to grow. The community supported the Agency through sponsorship’s, special events and volunteering. Strong community support and commitment lead the agency to break away from the Easter Seal Society in 1994 and become an independent nonprofit agency known as Lifesteps, Inc. Lifesteps mission is supported by hundreds of businesses and individuals. Whether Lifesteps has required more facility space or funds to add services for the community, Lifesteps has been able to call on the community for the support it has needed to accomplish its goals. Lifesteps, in turn, has continued to answer the call when the community has needed new services to help individuals and families with life’s changing needs.
Accreditations and Licenses
Lifesteps, a 501(c) 3 is licensed to provide services and has met all requirements of the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Department of Public Welfare's Office of Mental Retardation, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Area Agency on Aging, and Child Care Information Services (Subsidized Child Care). All programs are subject to regular internal and external evaluations to insure the quality of Lifesteps programs and services.
All Abilities Inc., AccessAbilities
Various state and federal grants, the Indiana County United Way, and Private Foundations.
800.225.2010 - Toll-free - Child Check Appointments or Lifestep's Central Office
724.465.6276- Community OutReach Center FAX
724.349.1122 - Community Relations and Community OutReach Center
Lifesteps of Indiana County is a branch of Lifesteps, Inc. Lifesteps serves Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.
Family Care Mobile Library- The Lifesteps' Family Care Mobile Library is a traveling library program designed to build stronger families by strengthening and empowering them with the resources they need to face challenges in their lives. This free program will travel to the families in the Indiana County area and meet their needs in a comfortable and accessible setting.
Community OutReach Program (COR) provides support for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families by teaching ways to positively change one's behavior to foster functional community living and increase independence in their home or residential facility. COR is an alternative to a workshop program for people who lack interest in vocational skills, or who exhibit behavioral deficiencies or inappropriateness that limits their chance for success in a less restrictive setting. Individuals are provided vocational and socialization training to enhance communication and basic life skills. The community-based program operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Residential Living Program or Community Homes helps individuals receiving services to become more self-sufficient in daily living activities which will enable then to function in a less-restrictive environment. The program provides support for both the individual and their families by teaching ways to positively change one's behavior, to foster functional community living and increase independence in their home or residential facility. A dedicated team of Direct Care Professionals work with each individual to help them develop self-sufficiency in daily living skills, socialization and leisure skills through community relationships.
Pediatric Independent Evaluations- Lifesteps provides certified staff to provide a home-based assessment service. The staff assesses learning skills in areas such as physical development, speech, personal and social skills through a comprehensive standardized home-based test.
Child Check - A FREE developmental screening for children from birth to age 5 that checks a child's development in playing, talking, hearing, moving and thinking. Autism screenings are also available for children up to age 3. Appointments recommended by calling 1-800-225-2010.
developmental intellectual screening Autism
Programs have different hours. The Indiana County Program Center located at 1455 Church Street, Indiana PA, is open weekdays from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Fees/Cost for Services
Fees, if applicable are specific to each service. For more information, contact Lifesteps at (724) 349-1122 or 1-800-225-2010
Community OutReach Program and Community Homes Must have a primary diagnosis of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and an open case with a county Base Service Unit.
Documentation required is specific to services. For more information, contact Lifesteps at (724) 349-1122 or 1-800-225-2010
How to Access Services or Schedule Appointments
Call Lifesteps at (724) 349-1122 or 1-800-225-2010
Indiana Community OutReach Center is handicap accessible.