April 7 Update | March 30 Update | March 27 Update | March 20 Update | March 18 Update | March 16 Update | March 13 Update | March 12 Update | March 11 Update

Helpful COVID-19 Links

Tuesday, April 7, 2020: Update from ADEC President / CEO Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D.:

Donna BelusarThe time we all spend cutoff from the lives we knew just a month ago drags on and it isn’t getting any easier for anyone.


With every passing day we miss interactions with our friends and family even more. Those we once welcomed into our homes on a regular basis now have only visited by text message, phone call or a webcam for weeks. People we’d see daily but don’t know personally, like a favorite waiter, store clerk or doctor’s office receptionist, may have completely disappeared from our lives for the time being. We miss all of our favorite activities outside of our homes – often to an increasing degree as the weather has started to warm up.


These are trying times but necessarily so if we want to see the world we knew return. This is a global pandemic run amok on every corner of the globe.


I know that you are all experiencing similar feelings and, to some degree, it is symbiotic. I miss visiting with our clients and their families so very much and I know they miss interacting with their favorite ADEC staffers and other clients. We want to reunite everyone as soon as possible.


Unfortunately, we know that it simply won’t be possible to get together again for some time. I am heeding the advice from Indiana Governor Holcomb’s extension of the public health disaster emergency into early May and similarly extending the suspension of our day services, ADEC Industries, the skills and training center, Gaining Grounds Coffee Shop, after school services and other activities to May 8, 2020.


We are thankful that BDDS has recently allowed some of our therapies and community employment to continue to a limited remote basis through a virus-combatting expansion of telehealth’s applications.


This was a very complicated decision. Beyond just the disruption of services for our clients, we know this can disrupt the lives of their families who care for them when we are forced to leave a void. This decision also has a significant impact on the livelihood of #TeamADEC’s nearly-400 employees. Some of them are temporarily filling in shifts in residential settings and some stepping dramatically out of their day-to-day roles to pitch in where they can.


No part of this decision has been easy, but I believe the uncomfortable choice is the wiser choice.


Just as countries all over the globe are in some sort of self-imposed quarantine; America is on pause. Indiana is on pause. Elkhart and St. Joseph counties are on pause. ADEC is on pause. We can keep on working behind the scenes in several areas, such as advocating for our clients with each passing piece of emergency legislation. We can ensure that ADEC will be ready to be here to welcome you with open arms whenever the time is appropriate. But we cannot unpause many of our core programs until deemed safe – and even then we will proceed with the utmost of caution out of respect for the auto-immune vulnerability of our clients.


We can shift our daily habits like wearing a mask in public and following CDC guidelines such as washing our hands. We can get one small step closer to eradication by keeping ourselves and our clients isolated at their residential homes while continuing our essential services.


The entire world feels fragile right now and us along with it. We are all in this giant waiting pattern together for now but, if we stay strong, the only thing that will prove to have been fragile is COVID-19 once we collectively fend it off long enough for someone to find a cure.

Monday, March 30, 2020: Good News! BDDS and FSSA Approve Telehealth:

On March 26, the Indiana Bureau of Developmental Disabilities Services (BDDS) modified its policies on remote services and those changes have been approved by the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA).

Because of this action, we are excited to announce that we are now able to utilize telehealth for the delivery of extended services including therapies (music, recreation and behavioral) and also remote service delivery for community employment.

Employment consultants and therapists are presently reaching out directly to families/guardians to discuss how we may be able to serve our eligible clients remotely and this is a development which all of us here at ADEC are excited about.

Friday, March 27, 2020: Program Suspensions To Continue:

COVID-19 is a very fluid and active situation. The uncertainty of the impact of the virus is being addressed by our local and state government as they continue extreme safety measures. Therefore, we believe that it is prudent to extend the suspension of our facility-based services through Friday April 10th, one week beyond the original date of April 3rd. We will at that time reassess the situation.

The additional one week suspension through April 10th includes: Day Services, Therapies, ADEC Industries, ADEC Skills Training Center, Community Employment, Transportation, Gaining Grounds Coffee Shop and After School and Young Adult services.

Friday, March 20, 2020: Update from ADEC President / CEO Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D.:

Donna BelusarDear community,

In an effort to further prevent potential exposure to the dangerous novel coronavirus (COVID-19) among our vulnerable clients, dedicated staff and the local community at large, we have been forced to make some difficult decisions.

Effective on Monday, March 23rd and extending through at least Friday, April 3rd, ADEC will suspend the following facility and community services:

  • Day services – all locations
  • Therapies
  • ADEC Industries
  • ADEC Skills & Training Center
  • Community employment
  • Transportation
  • Bristol Gaining Grounds Coffee Shop

Earlier this week, we also suspended our after school and young adult services along with closing the Goshen Gaining Grounds location.

These temporary closures cut to the core of what ADEC is proud to offer our clients and it hurts me to do this. Ultimately, it is medically necessary in the best interests of our community’s health and safety amidst the perilous threat of COVID-19. I eagerly look forward to the day when we can reopen these ADEC services although we are all fully aware that it may be some time before that happy day arrives.

This move also directly impacts a significant number of the dedicated staff members who help make ADEC a model service provider. The safety of these dedicated individuals is also a top priority and we are grateful for those who continue to provide essential services during this uneasy time. We will continue to ensure that resources like personal protective equipment are available to them and universal precautions are followed. I am lucky to have this team. ADEC’s clients are all better off for their continued work.

I can’t wait for the day when this pandemic has passed, allowing us to re-open all of our facilities and feel the warm embrace of the many clients we already miss seeing on a daily basis.

March 18: Arc of Indiana’s COVID-19 Info & Resources

The Arc of Indiana has issued the following statement from executive director Kim Dodson along with a link to a webpage with resources for ADEC clients and their peers around the Hoosier State.

“As we are all living in the world under a new “normal,” many people continue to look for the latest, factual information regarding COVID-19, the coronavirus.  The Arc of Indiana has developed this resource page to help provide the most recent factual information. The resource page also includes links to virtual educational and fun activities for young and old to utilize while we are spending our days at home. Please be sure check this page often as we are committed to updating information and adding new content as soon as it becomes available.” 

March 16 Update From ADEC: News About Services

Due to the CDC’s restrictions on gatherings in excess of 50 people over the next eight weeks, our day programs will be restricted to only ADEC residential clients from our supervised group living and supported group living programs.

Additionally, in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of our clients, staff and the community at large, we regrettably will no longer be able to accept outside visitors to either our day centers or residential homes.

Due to these day center restrictions, we will be closing the Goshen Gaining Grounds location to the public until at least April. The Bristol Gaining Grounds location will remain open for beverages and prepackaged food but ONLY for take-out and drive-through orders to comply with the latest state of Indiana restrictions on restaurants.

The conference rooms in our Bristol administration building remain available for public rental so long as the group is no larger than 50 people.

Earlier today, we announced that we are canceling our annual Cupcake Wars event.

We will continue to closely monitor local, national and global trends as this pandemic continues and make further adjustments to our programs as needed. We urge everyone to heed warnings from the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and follow recommended preventative measures, including:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces:
    • Increasing the sanitation of high-touch objects in common areas of our main facilities,
    • Additional precaution supplies of surface disinfectant wipes, sprays and gels are ordered;
  • Consult with a medical professional on the best course of treatment if a client or yourself become ill with flu-like symptoms.

Should any additional updates relative to COVID-19 be required, particularly a disruption in services or our various community-driven social enterprise efforts, we will share them as soon as possible here on our website (ADECinc.com) along with our Facebook (ADECservices) and Twitter (@ADEC1952) pages.

Friday, March 13, 2020: Ride-A-Bike Cancelled Out of COVID-19 Concerns

The following is a statement from ADEC President / CEO Donna L. Belusar regarding the cancellation of the 2020 ADEC Ride-A-Bike out of concerns for COVID-19.

“ADEC is proud to be a member of the Elkhart and St. Joseph Counties family– we are honored to call these communities our home. Due to the imminent risks presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, I announce the cancellation of one of ADEC’s signature fundraisers – the 48th annual Ride-A-Bike originally planned for May 16. ADEC believes that the welfare of our community—clients, ADEC staff and our neighbors—comes first.

“Ride-A-Bike is our most prominent, and highly anticipated, annual fundraiser. Ride-A-Bike, a multi-generational event, has become interwoven into the very fabric of both ADEC and Elkhart County and its cancellation only came after substantial deliberation. We will truly miss seeing the many familiar faces of our neighbors that gather to support ADEC’s mission.

“ADEC events like Ride-A-Bike may stop, but the service to our clients will continue. Many of our clients are medically vulnerable and face an increased risk of infection from a virus like COVID-19. Medical agencies on the local, state, national and even global level are increasingly advocating social distancing to help diminish the rate of COVID-19 transmission. We are entrusted with their lives and will continue to take the steps necessary to protect their health and well-being – even disheartening steps like cancelling Ride-A-Bike.

“We would like to thank the event’s planned presenting sponsor, Thor Motor Coach, along with the Community Foundation of Elkhart County, 1st Source Bank, Triangle Rubber & Plastics, Froggy 102.7 FM, and others who intended to donate, participate, volunteer or otherwise support Ride-A-Bike.

Should any additional updates relative to COVID-19 be required, particularly a disruption in services or our various community-driven social enterprise efforts, we will share them as soon as possible here on our website (ADECinc.com) along with our Facebook (ADECservices) and Twitter (@ADEC1952) pages.

Thursday, March 12, 2020: Update from ADEC President / CEO Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D.:

Donna Belusar

Dear community,

We consider it a labor of love for our clients and staff as we continue our work of vigilantly monitoring the spread and impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), inclusive of the first confirmed case in St. Joseph County.

Our goal is to continue ADEC services at the exemplary standard of caring which all of our constituents expect from us.

However, we will utilize an abundance of caution in regards to this fluid situation in hopes of minimizing the health risks to our valued clients and staff, particularly our most vulnerable. We are aware that we unfortunately will have to curtail some of our community activities and volunteer engagements.

ADEC thrives upon our role within the Elkhart County and St. Joseph County communities both for the enjoyment benefits to our clients and to help raise awareness for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Medical agencies on the local, state, national and even global level are increasingly advocating social distancing to help diminish the rate of COVID-19 transmission. Therefore, you may not see ADEC clients and staff out and about in our communities as we do our part to minimize risk and exposure to the virus.

This immense level of caring for those we serve, those we employ and those who live in our northern Indiana neighborhood is paramount as we continue to assess what are ADEC’s most viable service options for the immediate future.

Should any additional updates relative to COVID-19 be required, particularly a disruption in services or our various community-driven social enterprise efforts, we will share them as soon as possible here on our website (ADECinc.com) along with our Facebook (ADECservices) and Twitter (@ADEC1952) pages.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Update from ADEC President / CEO Donna L. Belusar, Ph.D.:

Donna BelusarDear community,

I am reaching out to you to let you know your agency is here for you and for our clients.  As global novel coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns continue to encroach upon our community, ADEC has been constantly monitoring the rapidly-evolving situation, following guidelines established by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), and working collaboratively with our local Elkhart County and St. Joseph County Departments of Health.

The health, well-being and safety of ADEC clients and staff is our top priority and concern. We are closely tracking the situation and proactively taking steps to keep our clients and staff as healthy and as safe as possible should confirmed cases arise in our area.

ADEC has a comprehensive emergency preparedness plan. An important part of our plan is preventing the spread of this novel virus to the clients and staff of ADEC.  We are taking steps to reduce the chance that the virus will spread to any of our residential and non-residential facilities. These include the following transmission-based universal precautions:

  • Wash hands thoroughly and often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands;
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  • Cover your cough or sneeze;
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces:
    • Increasing the sanitation of high-touch objects in common areas of our main facilities,
    • Additional precaution supplies of surface disinfectant wipes, sprays and gels are ordered;
  • Consult with an ADEC nurse on the best course of treatment if a client becomes ill with flu-like symptoms.

ADEC is prepared and will respond as needed, noting that the coronavirus, even if present in our community, will not infect everyone. However, we may have to alter our programming services to minimize risks. This could possibly include temporarily suspending our facility-based services. In addition, we may need to limit the amount of time clients and staff are in the community along with reducing volunteer engagements to help create social distancing and reduce the potential spread of the virus. For clients at high risk, this may start soon.

ADEC’s leadership is actively following the latest updates and adhering to guidance provided by:

While taking extra caution, we will continue providing exceptional service for our clients and guarding the safety of our staff. Should any additional updates relative to COVID-19 be required, particularly a disruption in services or our various community-driven social enterprise efforts, we will share them as soon as possible here on our website (ADECinc.com) along with our Facebook (ADECservices) and Twitter (@ADEC1952) pages.