History

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ASK was incorporated as the Indiana Parent Information Network (IPIN) in 1987 by two parents and two professionals who represented the perspectives of a family of a child with developmental disability, a family of a child with serious chronic illness, a professional in medical social services, and a professional in special education. The founders and their families provided the initial funding for the organization. ASK (then IPIN) received its first grant on July 1, 1990 to train parents of children with special needs to be partners on First Steps Local Interagency Coordinating Councils. On October 1, 1990, ASK received its first federal grant from Maternal and Child Health Bureau to implement the Indiana Parent Education Project. This project set the foundation for a statewide network of families trained as Parent Liaisons to provide information, support, and training to other families. ASK continues to provide information, peer support and training to parents and professionals throughout Indiana.

ASK offers families parent to parent support, training on issues around special education and insurance programs, and information and referral to community resources throughout the state of Indiana. ASK’s funding comes through corporate and private donations, foundation grants and state and federal grants. ASK serves families and professionals using a parent to parent model, as every parent liaison and half of the board of directors have children with special needs. Since our staff have personally dealt with issues in many of the systems that serve children with special needs, their personal experience and expertise gives qualified support and guidance to the parents coming to ASK to seek assistance.

 

Milestones in ASK's History

Date Milestone
1987 Founding and incorporation of ASK (then The Indiana Parent Information Network).
1990 ASK received first grant to train parents of children and special needs to be partners on First Steps Local Interagency Coordinating Councils.
1990 Received first federal grant from Maternal and Child Health Bureau to implement the Indiana Parent Education Project.
1991 Published first Directory of Indiana Parent Leaders of Children with Disabilities and Chronic Illness.
1994 Introduced Parent Liaison Training program for families of children with special needs, thanks to grant from Indianapolis Public Schools.
1994 Launched initiative to produce computerized central directory of Indiana's First Steps Early Intervention System. Introduced CD version in 2003.
1998 Developed model that promotes medical homes for Indianapolis area children with special health care needs. Created model through collaboration with Wishard Health Services / North Arlington Community Health Center and the Indiana University School of Medicine.
2003 ASK celebrates 15 years of service to families of children with special needs and professionals in Indiana
2003 ASK receives funding from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to become Indiana’s Family to Family Health Care Information Center
2004 ASK launches its website www.aboutspecialkids.org, including the new on-line, searchable Resource Directory
2006 ASK receives funding from the United States Department of Education to become a Community Parent Resource Center (with a focus on the near east side of Indianapolis)
2007 ASK celebrates 20 years of service to Indiana families and professionals!
2007 ASK receives a contract with Indiana University to expand, implement and evaluate the Family to Family Network as part of First Steps’ Unified training systems. This allowed ASK to expand its reach by following First Steps’ Statewide Clusters and placing Parent Liaisons in each cluster.
2009 ASK signs a contract with MDwise to provide care coordination services to its members. This contract greatly increases the socio-economic and culturally diverse clients ASK is able to serve.
2010 ASK signs a contract with Anthem Hoosier Healthwise to provide care coordination services to its members. This contract greatly increases the socio-economic and culturally diverse clients ASK is able to serve.
2010 ASK trainings expanded to include on-line trainings and webinars thanks to the generosity of the Indiana Bar Association and an anonymous donor.
2011 ASK signs a contract with Managed Health Services (MHS) to provide care coordination services to its members. This contract greatly increases the socio-economic and culturally diverse clients ASK is able to serve.
2012 ASK celebrates 25 years of service to Indiana families and professionals.
2013 ASK receives a $150,000 capacity building grant from Lilly Endowment.
2015 ASK launches new website, funded by Lilly Endowment

Most recent data shows that ASK serves more than 2,500 families a year.  ASK has served approximately 48,000 families and professionals since 1987.  We have made a difference in Indiana by:
 
  • Connecting families who have children with a certain disability or chronic health condition to appropriate support groups.
  • Educating families on various public health insurance options available.
  • Training families on the rules & regulations of Indiana’s special education law.
  • Finding childcare options for kids with special needs.