Easterseals Arc and RISE Merge, Effective July 1

Plan to Increase Services Available in Steuben and DeKalb Counties

Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana and RISE Inc. announced a plan to merge in April 2020, and it became official July 1, 2020.

Easterseals Arc and RISE each have more than 55 years of history supporting individuals with disabilities. Merging the two organizations will enable them to serve more people with a broader scope of services in Steuben and DeKalb counties. Operations in the Fort Wayne area will continue to be known as Easterseals Arc, while operations in the Angola area will be Easterseals RISE.

“Service providers often collaborate and share ideas about how we can best serve our communities,” said Donna Elbrecht, CEO/president of Easterseals Arc. “The more we talked with leaders at RISE, the more apparent it became that our organizations could make great strides in helping people by joining forces.”

Easterseals Arc began offering Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Steuben and DeKalb counties and entered a co-location agreement with RISE Inc. in January.

“Seeing the successful implementation of employment services has created a lot of excitement for us to explore how much more we can offer to people in our area by working together,” said Chris Stackhouse, executive director of RISE.
RISE staff will join the Easterseals team to create a smooth transition for clients in Angola.


“Stability is important to the people who need our services,” Elbrecht said. “Keeping staff in place will help reassure clients that they will still be supported by the people they know and trust.”
In addition to the residential supports, day programs and employment services the organizations already provide in the Angola area, the merger will enable Easterseals RISE to add services such as behavior consulting, respite and recreation and serve more individuals and families in DeKalb County.


“One of the most encouraging things about this new partnership is the immediate excitement expressed by clients and families we serve,” Stackhouse said. “They’re really looking forward to gaining access and experiencing the increased depth and breadth of services that Easterseals Arc provides while remaining in the environments they know and with the staff they trust at RISE.”

Learn More about Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana