IRVINE, Calif., April 18, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Easterseals, the leading nonprofit organization serving the one-in-four Americans living with disabilities, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on Monday, April 22, 2019. To commemorate the centennial, on the evening of Sunday, April 21, more than 30 landmarks across the country will illuminate in Easterseals’ primary color of orange. In Los Angeles, the LAX pylons, U.S. Bank Tower, Capitol Records building and the Santa Monica Clock Tower will be illuminated; and in San Diego, the San Diego Convention Center Sails Pavilion will be lit. Additionally, the City of Los Angeles will issue a proclamation in recognition of Easterseals’ centennial.

Easterseals is the largest disability services organization in the United States, supporting more than 1.5 million people annually through a national network of 70 community-based affiliates, including Easterseals Southern California. Easterseals also actively advocates for legislation that supports the disability community and highlights the need for more conversations around accessibility to help create a future that is fully inclusive for all.  

“This is more than simply marking an anniversary. Lighting up these landmarks in Los Angeles and San Diego is literally shining a light on the mission of Easterseals, which has made an indelible mark on the lives of people living with disabilities since 1919,” said Mark Whitley, President and CEO of Easterseals Southern California. “It is also a chance to celebrate the efforts of Easterseals Southern California to ensure that everyone in Southern California is 100 percent included and 100 percent empowered to reach their full potential, regardless of age or ability.”

To further its mission to achieve 100 percent inclusion, Easterseals Southern California is working closely within the entertainment industry to ensure people with disabilities are a part of all diversity and inclusion conversations. While the disability community makes up 25 percent of the U.S. population, they are only seen in less than three percent of on-screen roles. The annual Easterseals Disability Film Challenge addresses this by providing opportunities for the disability community to be represented in front of and behind the camera.

Easterseals kicked off its anniversary year in a big way in Southern California, with the organization’s first float in the 2019 Rose Parade®. The float was designed to be a giant birthday celebration, complete with a towering 20-foot-tall cake, and featured float riders who both provide and receive Easterseals services from across the nation. The float was recognized with the parade’s Leishman Public Spirit Award.

Over the past 100 years, Easterseals has changed the lives of people with disabilities through innovative services and advocacy. Its services include everything from early intervention, inclusive childcare and autism services to job training and employment services. This is particularly important within the veterans community, which has been served by the organization since World War II.

For more information on Easterseals, visit www.easterseals.com.

To learn about the organization’s recently launched awareness campaign in celebration of its 100th anniversary, visit www.WeCelebrate.org.

About Easterseals Southern California
For 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities or other special needs and their families. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) – in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – make profound and positive differences in people's lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,800+ employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, ESSC assists more than 13,000 people, providing adult/senior day services; autism therapy; child development/early education; employment services, veteran employment support; independent living options; and more. At Easterseals, 88% of our income is spent on services. Join us in changing the way the world defines and views disabilities at www.easterseals.com/southerncal and www.WeCelebrate.org.

Contact:
Debbie Ehrman
Finn Partners
310-882-4016
deborah@finnpartners.com