5/5 - (1 vote)

June/July 2023

This month, Zionsville Monthly is pleased to feature Zionsville resident and Independent Living for Adults with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities [ILADD] Board of Directors President Thomas “Tom” Easterday and Vice President John Sima. Easterday, his wife, Deb, along with Sima and his wife Jill, are the four cofounders of ILADD.

Easterday sat down with our publication to explain what the proposed Crossbridge Point community within the future Wild Air development is and how it will provide housing opportunities to adults with and without intellectual and/or developmental disabilities [IDD].


Easterday and his wife, Deb, are parents of an adult son with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects development and can contribute to learning disabilities and cognitive impairment. Easterday is retired from Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Inc., where he served as senior executive vice president, secretary and chief legal officer. In addition to ILADD, Easterday serves various foundations and organizations and is a member of the Indiana Disability Rights Commission. Easterday previously served as the president of the Zionsville Town Council, Central Indiana Chapter of the March of Dimes, Community Foundation of Boone County and Crossroads of America Council of the Boy Scouts of America; and he is a past chairman of the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.

Easterday has received several awards, including Special Olympics of Boone County Volunteer of the Year, Area Eight Special Olympics of Indiana Coach of the Year, Champion of Diversity, Sagamore of the Wabash and Indiana Business Leader of the Year.


ILADD, Inc. [Independent Living for Adults with Developmental/Intellectual Disabilities] is a Zionsville based 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in October 2019 with a mission to provide housing, enrichment/educational programs and social options that enable adults with IDD to live in homes of their own and enjoy fulfilling and meaningful lives in their communities.

Crossbridge Point, an ILADD, Inc. development, will be an affordable, walkable residential community that embodies home, choice and security for adults with and without IDD.


ILADD increased by more than fifty percent the number of adults with IDD served through its clubs, classes and programs in 2022. At the end of 2021, ILADD served 60 adults with IDD through its Book Club, Game Nights, Hiking Club, Relationships Class, Safety Class, Fitness Class and Cooking Class. ILADD now serves more than 90 adults with IDD through a wide variety of clubs, classes and programs. In 2022, ILADD added several new social outings, along with a Community Service Club, Grilling Class, Voter Empowerment Training Class and Self-Advocates Group.


ILADD also provides a quarterly series of ILADD Informational Seminars on important topics for adults with IDD, as well as their parents, guardians, caregivers and other interested community members. The topics include opportunities for independence, mental health awareness, financial planning, special needs trusts, government benefits, ABLE Accounts and Medicaid waivers.

“ILADD was created in October of 2019,” Easterday shared. “Then the pandemic hit. So, we didn’t really start our programming in full until 2021. My wife [Deb] and I facilitated a book club for a number of years in conjunction with the Village of Merici and some other [organizations], so we started with a book club and brought that into the ILADD fold in January 2021. We were serving 10 people at the very beginning, and because of our tremendous programming committee and program director Michele Gray, we now serve over 100 individuals with IDD through a variety of programs, primarily in Boone and Hamilton County, but we have some individuals from Hendricks County [Brownsburg area] and the north side of Indianapolis.”

Easterday emphasized that ILADD’s growth and success with its expanding programming are a result of the efforts and outreach of its dedicated volunteers, directors and board members. Additionally, Easterday spoke on the importance of ILADD’s programs and overall mission.

“The point is to get our self-advocates [ILADD members] out into the community,” Easterday stated. “And to enhance their life skills by getting those opportunities out in the community as well as acceptance from the community.”


Easterday shared that there are far more adult residents of Indiana with IDD than there are safe, affordable, supportive residential settings designed to accommodate their needs and wants throughout their lifespans. There are approximately 159,031 Indiana residents with IDD, of which 37,467 are ages 22 plus. Only 8 percent of Hoosier adults with IDD live in their own homes and 64 percent live with family.

Creating solutions to the housing shortage for individuals with IDD requires a multi-faceted approach that involves collaboration between government agencies, housing providers, advocacy groups, and community members.

Community integration, among many factors, is key to these efforts. ILADD’s Crossbridge Point, in conjunction with Old Town Companies LLC’s proposed Wild Air development, will be located on the east side of Marysville Road in Zionsville. Crossbridge Point will encourage community integration by promoting housing where individuals with IDD can live alongside individuals without disabilities. This helps foster inclusive communities and reduces isolation.

Addressing the housing shortage for individuals with IDD requires a comprehensive and collaborative effort. This collaboration works towards creating a more inclusive society that provides adequate and accessible housing for all individuals.

“Old Town is very charitable and civic-minded,” Easterday expressed. “And we are continuing to work with [local area] landowners and developers with regard to the possibility of an additional [development] project in the future.”


Point, will be a neurodiverse neighborhood of small homes in the Zionsville area that embodies home, choice and security for adults with IDD.

While ILADD continues its process of seeking input from builders in addition to Old Town Companies, stakeholders and its self-advocates and their families, Easterday shared some of the general details that will give the public an idea of what Crossbridge will look and feel like once it comes to fruition.

“We chose the name ‘Crossbridge Point’ because we feel like our self-advocates, when they move into a home of their own, are crossing an important bridge in their life to a point of independence. Our development will have a learning/community center where we intend to have a teaching kitchen and a large classroom where we can have some of the independent living classes and social gatherings too.”

When asked about price points and the maintenance of the zero lot line lots and “cottages,” as these houses have been dubbed, Easterday said, “We’ll be meeting all the quality, safety and architectural standards while trying to keep the price point down. We’re looking at [house plans] around 1,000 square feet [and] one-story for the one-bedroom cottages, and we are talking about having a two-bedroom [option] because we’ve got some interest from our self-advocates in having roommates.”

Easterday explained that ILADD is looking at fundraising opportunities to cover the cost of the engineering, architectural, legal and other expenses that are typically rolled up into the price of building a home. He added, “We’d like to try to cover as much of that as possible through fundraising to decrease the normal cost of a home based on the square footage for this area. We’re still receiving some input on this, but ILADD would continue to own the land and the homeowners would own the homes.

ILADD would take care of the maintenance, and if we can, through fundraising, we may establish an endowment for the maintenance.”

Though the current projection date for the construction to commence is not until 2025, Easterday shared that ILADD has already received electronic sign-ups from a myriad of interested individuals and families.

“We do have an ‘interest’ list on the ILADD and Crossbridge Point websites,” Easterday said. “We’ve got over 100 names already on that list, which is why we’re continuing to look for property in the area.”

For more information on ILADD and its remarkable services, visit, and for more information on Crossbridge Point, visit