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Posted on: February 20, 2020

Fishers celebrates Disability Awareness Month in March

Life Without Limits Focus 2020, Disability Awareness Month

The City of Fishers and Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability will host their fourth annual, month-long celebration of National Disability Awareness Month in March. The celebration, presented by Conner Prairie and Fishers YMCA, strives to bring awareness to what life is like for those physical and intellectual disabilities through a series of special events and initiatives throughout the city.

“As a city, we are always striving to make our community more accessible and inclusive for all of our residents,” said Mayor Scott Fadness. “Our dedicated Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability programs an entire month’s worth of initiatives to raise awareness of this important issue that extends not just in March but impacts our community all year long. I love seeing how our community comes together to support this initiative.”

This year’s theme, FOCUS 2020, focuses on the past, present, and future of disability inclusion in Fishers. The kickoff event on March 2 will feature the stories of four local caregivers and advocates—Wilbur Sutton, Tim and Karen Russell, and Todd Root. The 2020 celebration will also recognize the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

“Considering America’s dark history of services for people with physical and intellectual disabilities, it is exciting to be a part of a city that is looking forward to embrace the value in all people,” said Kelly Hartman, co-founder of Outside the Box and Co-Chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability. “Fishers continues to be a leader in innovation and inclusivity. This year’s theme, FOCUS 2020, gives us a chance to understand this movement, while celebrating local champions and caregivers that bring this story to life.”

“The Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability has accomplished so much working collaboratively with City leaders and the disability community,” said Cecilia Coble, Fishers City Councilor and Co-Chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability. “During the month of March, our committee will continue to raise awareness and strive to find solutions to the challenges facing our residents with disabilities.”

This year’s celebration is bigger than ever, with new brand-new events to accompany the usual lineup, including an inclusive reverse job fair, performing arts variety show, film screening in partnership with Heartland Film and the Indiana Filmmakers Network, an expanded athletics showcase, and more.

New this year, local businesses around Fishers will offer special promotions every Tuesday throughout March in honor of the celebration. Participating businesses include BoomBozz Craft Pizza & Taphouse, Carpenter Realtors, Chicago’s Pizza, Citizens State Bank, Foxgardin Family Kitchen, Greek’s Pizzeria, LouVino, Pearl Street Pizzeria & Pub, Pure Eatery, Roman & Leo, and Schoolhouse 7 Café. To redeem the deal, patrons are required to show the coupon flier available for download from www.fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness. The Fishers YMCA will also offer special coupons granting free admission for local caregivers all month long.

Throughout March, Fishers Arts Council will exhibit artworks by local artists with disabilities at The Art Gallery at City Hall. Additionally, the Fishers Arts Council has also organized a citywide art exhibition, partnering with local businesses throughout Fishers to display artworks by local artists with disabilities. Participating businesses along the Fishers Art Trail include Air-Tan, Carpenter Realtor, Citizens State Bank, Cynthia’s Hallmark, Fishers YMCA, Geist Coffee, Hamilton East Public Library, LouVino, MashCraft Brewing, Meyer Najem, Pearl Street Pizzeria & Pub, Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Pure Eatery, Roman & Leo, Schoolhouse 7 Café, Superior Van & Mobility, and The Goddard School. The free Play Fishers mobile app invites residents to “check in” at locations along the Fishers Art Trail for a chance to win a prize pack.

This year’s event lineup includes:

March Disability Awareness Month FOCUS 2020 Kick-Off

March 2 | 8:30 - 10 a.m. | Fishers City Hall

Free (no registration required)

Join us as we kick off the month-long celebration with a special event featuring the stories of local caregivers who care for loved ones with disabilities. Learn more about this year’s theme, FOCUS 2020, with a special video by Brian Brosmer with Brosmer Photographic. Awards will be given for the Life Without Limits Award, Cornerstone Employer Award, and Accessibility Award. This event will be lived streamed.

Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability Quarterly Meeting: Presentations on Caregiver Support & Stress Relief 

March 3 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Fishers City Hall

Free (no registration required)

In honor of Disability Awareness Month, the quarterly meeting of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability will feature guest speakers focused on caregiver support and stress relief. This meeting will feature special presentations by Kelly Fischer, MA, LMHC, from the Department of Psychological Science at Ball State University; Colleenia Korapatti, LMHC, from The Anxiety Relief Center; and the Fishers Fire Department & Emergency Services. This event will be live streamed.

A Celebration of Inclusion Through Art

March 6 | 6 - 9 p.m. | Conner Prairie

Free (no registration required)

The Fishers Arts Council, Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability, and Conner Prairie present a visual arts reception featuring artworks provided by various community partners, organizations, and local artists with disabilities.

Coffee Talk: Looking at Employment Differently 

March 12 | 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. | Conner Prairie

Free (registration required)

Local businesses are invited to attend a morning of coffee and conversation to explore how they can meet their business needs by employing individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Fishers businesses and organizations will share their own stories and discuss resources and providers that can assist with hiring and retention efforts.

 2020 Hamilton County Transition Fair: A Resource Fair of Life’s Transitions 

Thursday, March 19 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. | Carmel High School

Free (registration required)

Discover what resources are available locally for those with physical and intellectual disabilities and meet adult service provides from Hamilton County and beyond. To register, contact Kellie Freeman at KFreeman@ccs.k12.in.us.

HSE Schools Exceptional Learners Performance and Adaptive Sports Showcase: A Celebration of Athletic Achievement and Talent

March 21 | 2 - 6 p.m.| Fishers High School

Free (no registration required)

Join us for our revamped Adaptive Sports Showcase, an interactive social event bringing together adaptive sports teams and Best Buddies clubs from HSE Schools. Participate in carnival-style games facilitated by Best Buddies from 2-3 pm, and check out the adaptive sport exhibitions and activities from 2-4 pm. Engage with student learning presentations from 3-4 pm, and cap off the afternoon with a talent show in the Fishers High School Black Box Theatre, featuring Exceptional Learners from HSE Schools from 4 - 6 p.m.

Fishers Inclusive Reverse Job Fair

March 24 | 1 - 3 p.m. | Grace Church (Fishers Campus)

Free (registration required)

With local businesses strolling and candidates seated at stations, the reverse job fair connects local employers with job candidates with disabilities. Registration is now open for both employers and candidates.

Focus on Talent Variety Show 

March 28 | 3 & 7 p.m. | The Switch Theatre at the Ji-Eun Lee Music Academy

Tickets available for purchase

Enjoy a fun-filled variety show featuring local performers showing off their skills and talents, hosted by local news personality and Emmy award winner Angela Buchman. These performers share two things in common: their unique abilities to amaze and entertain, and the fact that they have overcome disability. Shows are 90 minutes each and include intermission.

Screenings of Grateful: The Jenni Berebitsky Story and 1500 Miles in partnership with Heartland Film & Indiana Filmmakers Network

March 29 | 2 - 4 p.m. | The Switch Theatre at the Ji-Eun Lee Music Academy

Tickets available for purchase

Watch screenings of Grateful: The Jenni Berebitsky Story and 1500 Miles, then hear more about the films with a panel of protagonists, filmmakers, and producers.

Community Events

The month-long celebration also includes special events from community partners around Fishers, including The Hamilton East Public Library Fishers branch, the Switch Theatre at the Ji-Eun Lee Music Academy, the Scott Long Comedy Show, and more. Information on community events is available at www.fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness.

The 2020 event is presented by Conner Prairie and the Fishers YMCA. Platinum Sponsors include Superior Van & Mobility and RELAY Indiana. For more information on Fishers’ National Disability Awareness Month celebration, visit www.fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness or download the free Play Fishers mobile app.

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