Speech-Language Therapist shines at Easterseals

Meet Liz!

Liz is a speech-language pathologist with Easterseals Central Illinois. She started with us shortly after she graduated from Illinois State University in May of 2022.

Her positive attitude and desire to make personal connections with her clients have been on display since day one. As a new graduate entering the field, she brings a fresh perspective to the team.

“Everyone has been so kind; I have learned so much from the team here,”

she shared when discussing her first few months at Easterseals.  Mentorship and professional development are a huge part of the culture at Easterseals Central Illinois. Therapists are encouraged to collaborate across service lines and grow their skill set.

What she loves most about working with children and families is helping them find their voice and advocating for themselves. She loves to celebrate alongside the child when they learn a new skill. Recently, one of Liz’s Early Intervention kids graduated from therapy. When the child started, she was not speaking at all.

“When I first met the family, they were already doing really great strategies with her; I was able to come alongside them and help get her where she needed to be. It is so rewarding to see the progress of the kids we work with.”

Liz Jones, Speech- Language Therapist at Easterseals Central Illinois

Originally from Ohio, Liz and her fiancé relocated to McLean County in 2019 when he began working for State farm, and she was looking at Graduate Schools. Liz was originally going to enter the Special Education field.

“I knew I wanted to make an impact and work with children. I observed a special education teacher and saw that the Speech-Language Pathologist who worked with her could make more of a 1:1 connection with a child, which drew me to the field”

When COVID hit, her graduate school experience shifted to an online format. While her coursework was online, she did get to participate in the on-site ISU Speech clinic. This solidified her desire to work in pediatric speech-language therapy.

 “Language is a huge part of life and interacting with people.” Liz shared, “People sometimes see the name ‘Speech Therapy’ and think it is about working on sounds, but it is so much more than that- it is about functional communication.” Functional communication is about having your wants and needs met efficiently and effectively- typically using words, signs, devices, or gestures.

When looking for her first job, Liz prioritized work-life balance. She wanted the flexibility to be able to make trips back to Ohio to see friends and family. She also wanted to work with populations she was passionate about, which included early intervention (children ages 0-3) and children from diverse backgrounds. The strong mentorship program at Easterseals was also a draw. “A few of my classmates did their internships with Easterseals. From their reports to the class, I knew it would be a good fit for me,” Liz shared.

Liz and her fiancé have enjoyed getting to know their neighbors and community in McLean County, especially since their first few years here were during the COVID-19 pandemic. While not at work, you can catch her playing volleyball and enjoying the new Bloomington-Normal YMCA.  

Easterseals Community Rally Returns to Central Illinois April 15 – 22, 2023

Kicking off with Run, Walk & Rally events in East Peoria and Bloomington on April 15th!

For the third year in a row, Easterseals is inviting all of Central Illinois to participate in the Easterseals Community Rally, April 15th – 21st. This week-long celebration is a chance for community members to rally in support of Easterseals Mission; to ensure that children with developmental delays, disabilities, and other special needs can reach their full potential. The Easterseals Community Rally is made possible by CEFCU.

“The Community Rally is a celebration like no other, and we are thrilled to be a part of it,” said Matt Mamer, CEFCU President/CEO. “Easterseals is an amazing resource for our community, even beyond the families they serve directly. CEFCU is proud to support Easterseals’ message of inclusion and empowerment.“

There are many ways to rally for Easterseals:

  • Register for Run, Walk & Rally in East Peoria & Normal on April 15th! A family-friendly

5K run /1-mile walk that celebrates participants of all abilities! Join us for a post-race party with prizes and games. Wheelchairs and strollers are welcomed and encouraged.

  • Tune in to the week-long telethon! WMBD and Easterseals are teaming up to raise money to support therapy services for the children and families of Easterseals! Tune in to WMBD/WYZZ newscasts Monday, April 17th – Friday. April 21st  from 4-6 pm during Community Rally week to make your donation through the telethon.
  • Rally Your Own Way! Your support helps ensure that every child Easterseals serves can reach their full potential. Last year, Easterseals Central Illinois served over 6,000 families and provided 36,792 hours of pediatric therapy services.
    • Host a Fundraiser:  Create a fundraising page, host a small gathering or workplace challenge. There are so many ways to raise money for Easterseals and celebrate our message of inclusion and empowerment.
    • Make a Donation: Find a list of upcoming fundraising events or make a direct donation now at Eastersealsci.com.
  • Learn More: Interested in learning more about Easterseals Central Illinois? Consider hosting an Easterseals 101 presentation for your workplace or community group to learn about our services and opportunities to get connected.

Learn more at Eastersealsci.com/CommunityRally