LIFEDesigns’ October Events


Bloomington and Columbus

LIFEDesigns will be participating in the Buddy Walk in Bloomington on Sunday, Oct. 6th at Bryan Park. Please visit the LIFEDesigns Team Page on the Buddy Walk Bloomington website to join us for this walk.

We will also be participating in the Buddy Walk in Columbus on Saturday, October 12th at Donner Park. Please visit the LIFEDesigns Team Page on the Buddy Walk Columbus website to join us for this walk.



Free Educational Self-Care Workshop
Wednesday, Oct. 9th – 6:30pm

The Mental Heath of America chapter of Monroe County is hosting it’s annual Art of Mental Health week October 7-12, 2013. Throughout the week there will be free workshops for the community on the topic of mental health. The Art of Mental Health began in 2006 with the goals of sharing and celebrating the connections between emotional well-being and creativity; informing people about available mental health services in the community; and reducing the stigma and fear surrounding those with mental and emotional challenges. This event strives to break down labels and differences among community members by sharing creative experiences together.

LIFEDesigns is hosting an event called “Who’s taking care of the caretaker? Strategies for self-care” on Thursday, Oct. 9th at 6:30pm at 200 E. Winslow Rd. (the LIFEDesigns Bloomington office). This presentation by LIFEDesigns’ behavior support specialists will provide participants with the signs and symptoms of burnout among caretakers. It will provide strategies and a list of available resources to caretakers in the community for dealing with it.

LEARN MORE by going to the MHA-Monroe County website or their Facebook page.



Free Financial and Legal Workshop
Thursday, Oct. 17th – 5:00pm

We invite you to join us at the LIFEDesigns main office (200 E. Winslow Rd., Bloomington) for this educational workshop. The goal is to provide families with information on how to best plan the future for their loved one with a disability. The “Planning for a Family Member with a Disability” workshop will provide you with an opportunity to ask local experts legal and financial questions pertaining to your specific situation.

Among many other family challenges, we will discuss…

  • What should I do if my child is coming off of the waitlist?
  • How can I support my loved one with a disability without disqualifying them from government benefits?
  • What are the 3 biggest mistakes that families make and how can I avoid them?
  • What is a special needs trust and do I need one?
  • What is the best way to fund a special needs trust?
  • How will the law will affect my child and my money?
  • How can I ensure that financial resources will always be available for my son or daughter with a disability?
  • How does life insurance work and is it appropriate for me?

Presenters: Attorney Janet R. Stavropoulos is a disability law specialist. She graduated from the IU Law School and works currently for Jones, McGlasson, and Benckart, P.C. Logan M. Good is a certified financial planner and works regularly in the disability arena. He graduated from the IU Kelley School of Business and works currently for Western & Southern Life.

LEARN MORE by going to the LIFEDesigns website or our Facebook page.



 It’s almost here! Our most anticipated event of the year: the Annual Halloween Party!!

Friday, October 25th – 5:30pm to 7:30pm – St. Marks United Methodist Church

Come dressed in your best costume. Prizes will be given out for scariest, prettiest, most creative and best overall costume. Food provided will be pizza and salad. Drinks provided will be lemonade and water. There will be candy given out and a kids activity area. There will also be carnival games to play! Don’t forget, we always have a great DJ for dancing and, yes, some karaoke songs, too! We will also be pieing the “winner” of our 2013 United Campaign Penny Wars in the face. You don’t want to miss it! Everyone is invited and there is no charge to attend this event. Please join us for one of the most exciting LIFEDesigns events of the year.

LEARN MORE by going to the LIFEDesigns website or our Facebook page.

Thank You to Our DSP’s from the CEO

September 13, 2013

Dear LIFEDesigns’ Direct Support Professional,

Ten years ago, Ancor, a national association of agencies that support individuals with disabilities, initiated a week long recognition of DSPs across the country. This year, there were official proclamations in 22 states, including Indiana. The US Senate passed resolution 208 (yes, they did pass something) designating September 8th through 15th every year as National Direct Support Professionals Recognition Week. In the resolution there is reference to the growing demand for DSPs, high turnover, and the importance of DSPs in the lives of people we support. Likewise, our governor, Mike Pence signed a resolution indicating that DSPs are the, “key to allowing an individual with a disability to live successfully in their community of choice and to avoid more costly institutionalization.”

It is the work you do throughout the year that we celebrate. People with disabilities are two times more likely to be poor, are unemployed at the highest rate of any minority, and have been excluded from the mainstream of life for far too long. You are the reason that is different for the people supported by LIFEDesigns. You are the reason more people we serve have jobs, their own homes, and participate actively in community. 

So while we take this week to recognize what you do to make that difference, please know we appreciate it EVERY day. I know I speak for the Board, donors and everyone associated with the organization in echoing our sincere thanks for your commitment to people with disabilities, our communities, and inclusion. Thank you.


Susan Rinne, CEO

Recap of DSP Appreciation Week

Thanks to Our DSP’s for All They Do

DSP’s (Direct Support Professionals) are the support system for so many individuals all over the country and with the help of Williams Bros. Long-Term Care Pharmacy, during DSP Appreciation Week 2013 (Sept. 8th through 14th) we took EXTRA time to recognize and appreciate the work that they do. They are more than employees to LIFEDesigns, they are our rock. They are more than staff to the people with disabilities they work with, they are their rocks.

For being the rock to us all, we thank you.

For doing your job with excellence and persistence, we thank you.

For spending time support the dreams, visions, goals and ambitions of others, we thank you.

For working tirelessly….or sometimes tiredly….at your job, we thank you.

For everything you do that no one sees, but makes a world of difference, we thank you.

For all the times you have not received a thank you, we thank you.

LIFEDesigns LOVES OUR DSP’s! If you see a DSP, please, let them know you appreciate them and the work they do.

For this year’s DSP Appreciation Week we held a DSP Appreciation Car Wash (see Facebook for pictures) where office staff and managers washed the DSP’s cars. We also asked customers and their loved ones to send us “Thank You” letters to  our DSP’s. Below of phrases from those letters. At the end of the week we did a raffle for all DSP’s to win prizes (DSP’s – see Accel for winners and details on how to pick up your prizes). Prizes were courtesy of Williams Bros. Long-Term Care Pharmacy and the office staff at LIFEDesigns. We officially ended the week with a picnic Saturday, September 14th from 1-3pm at Donner Park in Columbus to thank all the DSP’s for the work they do. Thanks to Williams Bros. Long-Term Care Pharmacy for sponsoring that as well.

Follow us on Facebook to find out more about what we did for DSP Appreciation Week:

 Read this letter from Susan Rinne, the LIFEDesigns CEO, thanking our DSP’s.

Below are phrases from letters customer family members sent in:

“Thank you so much for all you do for my brother and so many others who have special needs, and that includes the homeless people who you are now helping to have a home!”

“DSPs are the most important people in our daughter’s life.Her DSPs support her in so many ways.They have to be patient to learn what she wants and likes; how to communicate with her; how to teach her things; and how to lend a hand without “taking over.” They are vital to assisting her in the community. This means not only knowing what she enjoys but also helping her make plans and transporting her. DSPs are responsible for so many things—scheduling doctor and dental appointments as well as hair appointments, grocery shopping, etc.  DSPs assist her in choosing outfits; cleaning her apartment; communicating with us; and advocating for her when necessary.”

DSPs are like the umbilical cord from LIFEDesigns to the person.”

“You really have the power to influence the lives of each person you come in contact with and all the people who I have met in this position are influencing lives in a positive way.”

Our daughter is fortunate to have really responsible, caring DSPs.” 

“All of us have the potential to need life saving help from others. It’s so good to know that you are there helping in the many good ways that you do!”

We truly appreciate all of the many ways DSPs enrich our son’s life.”
“A good DSP becomes like extended family.”
“For many people, life couldn’t even come close to what we view as normal, like enjoying a trip to the store, the park, or attending a concert, church or a show. It’s almost impossible for many of us to imagine not being able to do these and many other things on our own, but it’s a reality for so many people, and it could happen to us at any time too. It wouldn’t be easy to depend on others for our basic needs, but it’s so good when people like you are there to be the hands and feet of those who have needs unlike our own. It’s so good when people help others the way they would want to be helped if they were in the same situation.”
“A good DSP often sets the mood for the day.
“Thank you for doing so much to turn the difficult times of others into times of praise and power, to live life to it’s fullest! You are appreciated in more ways than can be counted!”
“The DSPs that work with my son are outstanding. How fortunate we are.”
“My grandson just loves the DSPs who work with him. They are his friends.”
“To the LIFEDesigns DSPs: thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you.”