BRISTOL, INDIANA — We celebrated ADEC’s 70th Birthday on Thursday, April 7th with an Open House from 10 am to 1pm. Irish Dave from Froggy 102.7 was with us to broadcast live and share some wonderful interviews about everything that ADEC does. Cupcakes were provided by Sweet ‘Ems Cake Shoppe of Goshen, IN, and Gaining Grounds debuted their new coffee blend, “Aux Chandelles” in partnership with The Refinery Coffee Co. “Aux Chandelles” is French for “into the light” and is named after the first iteration of ADEC, which celebrates our long legacy of serving our community.

Clients from all of our Day Programs and their family members stopped in to visit and enjoy snacks, coffee, gifts and a fun photo booth. Indiana State Representative Doug Miller joined us to declare April 7th “ADEC Day” here in Indiana and to present the official proclamation. We were joined by Hannah Carlock, Director of Public Policy for The Arc, who also spoke, as well as Bristol Town Manager Mike Yoder. We heard from Board Member Cary Kelsey, and Board Member Don Anderson, as well as several of our friends and clients. And we were joined by  the Troyer family, Board Member Philip Noonan, and representatives from the Goshen News, WNDU and ABC57.

Since ADEC’s beginning in 1952, it has innovated the way services and care are provided for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as how their families are supported and assisted. As the first children educated by ADEC grew, so did the organization. When public schools began offering education and assistance to all, ADEC began offering vocational training and work experience to those that were interested so that they could be empowered live lives full of choices and endless possibilities.

In 1974, ADEC had two incredible achievements. Not only did the organization move into its current location in Bristol, Indiana, but it also opened the first licensed group home in the State of Indiana. Since that time, ADEC has gone on to open and operate multiple group homes, residences with supported living, and Day Programs throughout both St. Joe and Elkhart counties. ADEC also started a transportation department to give our neighbors with disabilities options for travel. Today, ADEC  provides a wide range of programs supporting individuals and families through the spectrum of life, from diagnosis to retirement. This includes services such as various therapies, job coaching, extended day programs, guardianship, and more. ADEC also recently opened its coffee shop, Gaining Grounds, a conference center space, and gallery space to showcase and sell the amazing artwork created by our friends and neighbors in the various Day Programs or at home. 50% of profits go back into the art programs, and 50% goes directly to the artist themselves.

“Throughout the history of our agency, ADEC’s programs have been guided by the individuals we serve and their families. Parents shared that they needed support in the transition from school-age into adulthood, so we created the Skills and Training Center. We’ve also been able to transition from a Sheltered Workshop at ADEC Industries to a Competitive Employment model. Our families needed engagement in the summer months for their school-aged children with disabilities, so we created a full day summer camp. These resources help our community members with developmental disabilities reach for their dreams and live fulfilling lives as participating members of the community.”  -Michelle McGuin, Chief Program Officer

ADEC continues to grow and expand services to support choice and possibility: in May, ADEC will be opening a new day program in St. Joseph County to expand resources for families in the area. In 2022, the entire ADEC organization is proud and happy to celebrate our 70th year, and look forward to the next 70.