March Disability Awareness 2019

Empowering Fishers: Ask How

March is National Disability Awareness Month, and for the third year the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability and the City of Fishers will host a month-long celebration to bring awareness to what life is like for those with physical and intellectual disabilities.

This year’s theme, Empowering Fishers: Ask How, will engage the community to learn more about the accommodations for those with disabilities, share the value of those with physical and intellectual disabilities in the workplace, and celebrate the talents and contributions of those with disabilities.

This year’s event lineup includes:

Fishers 2019 Disability Awareness Month Kick-Off 

Friday, March 1 | 8:30 - 10 a.m. | Fishers City Hall Auditorium      

Paralympian athletes Noah Malone and Jordan Dickey share their stories of challenges and triumph as keynote speakers at the kick-off event for 2019 Disability Awareness Month in Fishers.  

Malone, a 17-year-old sprinter on the Hamilton Southeastern Track and Field Team, is one of the fastest sprinters in Indiana. In 2016, when he was 13-years-old, he was diagnosed with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), which affects the optic nerve and takes away the central vision. Malone now splits his time between Hamilton Southeastern High School and the Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and he hasn’t let his condition slow him down on the track. He was recently selected as a 2018 U.S. Paralympics Track & Field High School All-American, where he was named Male Track Athlete of the Year. Malone hopes to win a gold medal in the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo.

Dickey is a 25-year-old from Pendleton, Indiana, living with distal spinal muscular atrophy. He is a senior data scientist at Statwax and plays wheelchair soccer for RHI Sudden Impact, a club team based in the Fishers area. Dickey has played soccer for 15 years, competing for both his club teams and the US National team. He has been a part of two Team USA World Cup teams, winning a gold medal in 2011 in Paris, France, and a silver medal in 2017 in Orlando, Florida. He is still playing for Team USA will travel to Brazil later this year to compete in the Copa America, a qualifying tournament before the 2021 World Cup in Sydney, Australia.

This event is free and open to the public.

Think Differently, Shifting the Perspective: A Conversation About Fear, Stigma, & Assumptions in the Workplace 

Thursday, March 7 | 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. | Conner Prairie Museum 

Employers are invited to join Kathy Bernhardt, Managing Director of Tangram Business Resourcing, for coffee and conversation around how employers can meet their employment needs by employing individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Bernhardt will focus on implicit bias and how it affects recruitment of people with disabilities in the workplace. Breakfast is provided.

Businesses and organizations throughout Fishers will share their stories on how they have employed people with disabilities and what resources and providers were available to assist in their hiring and retention efforts. Attendees will have the opportunity to network with Fishers businesses, many whom are members of the Disability Inclusion in the Workplace Business Networking Group. Registration is required.


Visual & Performing Arts Reception: A Celebration of the Arts & Community Unity

Friday, March 8 | 6 - 9 p.m. | Conner Prairie Museum 

The Fishers Arts Council invites you to a visual arts reception featuring works of art provided by Opportunities for Positive Growth (OPG); Janus Developmental Services; Art Mix; Indiana School for the Deaf; Indiana School for the Blind and Visually Impaired; clients from the Behavioral Analysis Center for Autism (BACA); clients from Outside the Box; Bosma Enterprises; VIPS – Visual Impaired Preschool Services; Best Buddies; Fortune Academy; and the Monon Community Center (Carmel-Clay Parks). Individual artists, including Jimmy Kiefel, Krista Darrow, Nick Mangos, Olivia Graham and John Tran, will also display their work.

Fishers Music Works will bring the Fishers Community Chorus to share songs inspiring story sharing, compassion, and community unity.

Some artwork will be available for purchase. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided. This event is free and open to the public.

2019 Hamilton County Transition Fair: A Resource Fair for Life's Transitions at All Ages 

Thursday, March 14 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. | Hamilton Southeastern High School Cafeteria, Door #1

This annual resource fair features 80 representatives from various organizations that provide services and resources for those with physical and intellectual disabilities of all ages. Attendees can learn where to find mobile assistive equipment, social opportunities, employment, transportation, continuing education, and other services for people transitioning into the Hamilton County community.

This event is free and open to the public.

City of Fishers Adaptive Sports Showcase: Celebrating Athletes & Friendship

Saturday, March 23 | 2 - 5 p.m. | Fishers High School Gym, Door #6   

Tour exhibitions by Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) Indy Edge Beep Baseball Team; Indy Premier TOPSoccer; Unified Track from HSE and FHS; Special Olympics of Hamilton County Basketball and Cheerleaders; and high school athletic groups. Enjoy performances from FHS Electrum Choir, Deveau’s Showteam by Gymroots, the Pacemates, and 31Svn Street Dance Academy. This event will also feature a raffle.

The showcase is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door. Proceeds will be divided among the various non-profit organizations involved in the event.

Movie Showing of “Intelligent Lives”

Presented by the Ball State University Department of English Immersion Learning Course, Disability Representation in Children's & Young Adult Literature

Tuesday, March 26 | 6:30 p.m. | Fishers High School Auditorium

Award-winning filmmaker, Dan Habib, follows the lives of three young adults with intellectual disabilities who challenge the perceptions of intelligence while navigating high school, college, and the workforce in the 70-minute documentary. A discussion will follow the film.

This film is free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged, but not required.


Community Events

The Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers will celebrate National Disability Awareness Month with the following events:

Introduction to American Sign Language

Monday, February 21 & 28, Thursdays, March 7 & 14 | 6:30 - 8 p.m. | Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers, Ignite Studio

Join us for an ASL series for beginners. Please sign up only if you are able to attend all four weeks. There will be a lot of hands-on activities, plus practice work to completed between sessions. Ages 18 and over. Registration required.

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Dementia Friends Training

Monday, March 11 | 6 - 8 p.m. | Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers

Dementia Friends Training (DFI) info sessions are a brief, but very impactful way of learning about dementia, understanding and appreciating the perspective of someone living with dementia, and having the knowledge you need to better communicate and interact with those living with the disease and their family caregivers. Attendees of DFI info sessions will also learn actions they can take to advance the DFI movement and mission of creating better understanding and awareness of dementia, reducing the associated stigma, and creating more welcoming, safe, and conducive community environments for those living with the disease. Upon completion of the DFI info session, attendees will be registered as a Dementia Friend in Indiana. Ages 18+. Registration required. 

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Traveling with A Disabled or Special Needs Family Member

Monday, March 18 | 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.| Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers

This workshop will provide travel tips for taking a person with a disability along on a family vacation. Topics include air travel, wheelchair accommodations, renting handicap accessible vehicles, and more. No registration required. Learn more.

What’s Your Sign? Understanding the Deaf Community and Culture

Thursday, March 21 | 7 - 8 p.m.| Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers

Join us for the community sharing and learning workshop “What Is Your Sign?” Understanding the Deaf Community & Culture.  Practice American Sign Language and learn with other members of the community. Light refreshments will be provided.  No registration required. Learn more.

Rethinking Children’s and YA Lit: Disability Representation Matters! 

Saturday, March 23 | 11 a.m. – noon | Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers

Students in the Disability Representation in Children's & Young Adult Literature Immersive Learning course at Ball State University will showcase their new website, which features book talks, book trailers, book critiques, and a free downloadable new series of stories that showcase positive and accurate disability representation in children's and young adult literature.  
No registration required. Learn more.

Memory Café

Thursday, March 28 | 10 - 11:30 a.m. | Hamilton East Public Library- Fishers

Join us for a Memory Café - a welcoming gathering for individuals with Alzheimer's or dementia and their family members. This event is in collaboration with Dementia Friends Indiana. Each month will focus on a different theme. March is "Wedding Stories". Please feel free to bring a photo or story from your wedding, or just join us for company and coffee. Please register everyone who will be attending. Contact the library at 317-579-0307 to sign up or to get more information. For easiest access to the meeting room, please park on the east side of the building and use the side entrance. Registration required.


Citywide Celebration

Along with special events throughout the month, the citywide celebration includes the return of Unity, a public art installation on The Edge parking garage in Fishers’ Nickel Plate District. The series of seven large banners were designed by local artist Warren Miller, whose artworks illustrate his views of deaf culture and the deaf experience.

Fishers Arts Council will host a disabilities awareness exhibition as part of their monthly Art in City Hall program. The organization has also partnered with businesses around the Nickel Plate District to display artworks from local artists with disabilities. Participating businesses include Four Day Ray, The Well Coffeehouse, Citizens State Bank, Sunblest Apartments, Carpenter Realtors, Spavia Day Spa, The Wine Guy, Meyer Najem Construction, Purdue, Braden, and Supreme Lending.


Your words and actions have power. Learn more about how you can show respect to your neighbors with disabilities with this free resource from the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

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