Some Damar victories could seem mundane: a child eating a sandwich … a young man sweeping a floor… a family enjoying a night out.
But, for the individual and families involved, the victories are profound: a little girl ordering her own restaurant meal … a woman moving into her first apartment … a young man driving across two states to visit former caregivers.
For 50 years, Damar has helped to create countless moments like these by providing life-changing care for people with behavioral and developmental disabilities. Whether on its 47- acre main campus on Indianapolis’ southwest side or at one of its service sites across the state, each day Damar serves 1,500 clients and their families with one simple mission: to help them live more successful lives.
In this and other work, Damar’s professionals and staff members employ both cutting-edge and time-tested techniques, seeking the unique formula for each individual client’s needs. The result? Ninety-seven percent of individuals served by Damar have transitioned to more independent settings.
With approaches that have set national standards and best practices, Damar offers services to individuals of all ages, from infants to senior citizens. Specific services include Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services for children with autism, residential treatment for children, outpatient behavioral health services, transitional living services for youth, and 24-hour supervision and support for adults living in their own home settings. In addition, Damar operates two schools (including the state’s first charter school serving a sizable population of children with developmental and behavioral challenges) and provides school-based support to many children. It also provides foster care services, family counseling and parent training.
In recent years, Damar has responded to emerging community challenges with new services. Recognizing the need for businesses, attractions and organizations to be more accommodating to diverse audiences, Damar recently launched Damar DNA, a training program that helps publicfacing operations understand and welcome persons with disabilities.
As the incidence of autism has spiked – today it is estimated that one in every 68 children live with autism – Damar has responded by expanding its services for families affected by autism. As state agencies have expressed a need for additional capacity for emergency placements and services, Damar added expertise and facilities to meet those needs. And Damar continues to prepare itself and the community to meet the needs of an aging population of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Through these adaptations, Damar demonstrates the vision that drives all that it does – a vision that Damar will be a place that leads the way with services that are as innovative as they are compassionate.
This year, as Damar celebrates its 50th anniversary, that vision continues to drive all that we do – and to help us create victories of all sorts and sizes.