Through the efforts of volunteers, good things were happening at the Rehabilitation Center with visual impairment services. In the early 1970s more formal programs, including a low vision clinic, were established with the development of a blind rehabilitation services contract with Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
Adult program services were added to the Rehabilitation Center’s program of services in 1970 when the Rehabilitation Center merged with the Sheltered Workshop Inc. This move signaled the development of center-based services for adults with disabilities, an important event in the history of the organization. The merger prompted a change in the legal title to Elkhart County Society for Crippled Children and Adults Inc. Because people preferred a less complicated name, the “Rehab Center” had been adopted over the years.
Public schools assumed responsibility for the education of children, ages 6 through 18, and purchased the building on Hively Avenue in 1973. Thanks once again to the generosity and support of the community, Aux Chandelles moved its headquarters to a parcel of donated land near Bristol in 1974.
Always a leader among organizations serving persons with disabilities, Aux Chandelles opened the first licensed group home in the state of Indiana in Bristol in 1974.
Prompted by county officials and United Way, the Rehab Center and Aux Chandelles merged into the Association for the Disabled of Elkhart County on May 1, 1976. A joint commission composed of representatives from both organizations supported the proposal, believing it would result in a more comprehensive and less fragmented system to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.