Local Programs & Events Throughout March Will Promote Disability Awareness & Inclusion
When first elected to the Fishers City Council in 2015, Cecilia Coble approached Mayor Scott Fadness about her passion for disability awareness.
“Disability is near and dear to my heart,” says Coble, who is now the Fishers City Council president and co-chair of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability (FACD). “I have a daughter in high school, and she has autism and cognitive delays. My mother-in-law had a stroke and is now in a wheelchair. She has a disability and is unable to use half of her body.”
Given her own experiences, Coble wants to ensure that other Fishers families dealing with disabilities have a support network.
“Our family was affected in so many ways,” she says. “One of the things I wanted to do was help advocate and build the city where there could be opportunities for people with disabilities – more inclusion, accessibility and awareness.”
The FACD was established in 2017. After finding community stakeholders, one of the committee’s first initiatives was to establish a series of events as part of Disability Awareness Month in Fishers.
“Every year Fishers has put together month-long events to provide awareness, educate the community, highlight the contributions and talents of people with physical and intellectual disabilities, celebrate the successes we’ve had here in Fishers, and highlight some of the opportunities that we’re working on for the community,” Coble says.
Each year the FACD selects a theme for its Disability Awareness Month programs in March. This year the theme is FOCUS 2020, where the city will focus on the past, present and future of disability inclusion in Fishers. FOCUS is also an acronym for the following:
- Fun events throughout March that celebrate the contributions and talents of those with physical and intellectual disabilities in our community.
- Discover Opportunities and resources for education, inclusion, employment, accessibility and accommodation.
- Honor the role of our local Caregivers and those who serve as direct support providers.
- Explore how we Unite with community partners to advocate and support the needs of our residents.
- Help us acknowledge our Successes as a community dedicated to making Fishers an inclusive, accessible community for all abilities.
The FACD has put together several events throughout the month of March as part of Disability Awareness Month in Fishers. Read on for event details.
March Disability Awareness Month FOCUS 2020 Kickoff
March 2 from 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Fishers City Hall
In addition to the unveiling of the 2020 FOCUS theme, this kickoff event will highlight three Fishers caregivers who will share stories about what they do to advocate for disability awareness in Fishers.
“They’ll talk about their loved one with disabilities, how things have evolved in Fishers, and how that’s impacted their lives,” Coble says. “It’ll be very personal and impactful.”
Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability Quarterly Meeting: Presentations on Caregiver Support and Stress Relief
March 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Fishers City Hall
In keeping with its scheduled quarterly meetings, the FACD invites the public to join for a special installment featuring presentations on caregiver support and stress relief.
Guest speakers will include Kelly Fischer from Ball State University and Colleenia Korapatti from The Anxiety Relief Center in Fishers.
A Celebration of Inclusion Through Art
March 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Conner Prairie in Fishers
The Fishers Arts Council, the FACD and Conner Prairie will present a visual arts reception featuring artwork provided by various community partners, organizations and local artists with disabilities.
“It’s going to be a wonderful reception at Conner Prairie,” Coble says. “The artwork will be hung all month long. We’ll also have artwork in City Hall for the month of March and at surrounding businesses.”
Coffee Talk: Looking at Employment Differently
March 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Conner Prairie in Fishers
Local Fishers business representatives 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.
“We’re trying to get more employers and businesses to join the efforts in trying to hire more people with disabilities, understanding that it’s not very hard,” Coble says. “There are job coaches and organizations that do all the job training, and help to place good workers into jobs that are much needed.”
Other events include the 2020 Hamilton County Transition Fair on March 19 at Carmel High School, Reverse Job Fair on March 24 at Grace Church, Focus on Talent Variety Show on March 28 at The Switch Theatre at the Ji-Eun Lee Music Academy, and Screenings of “Grateful” and “1500 Miles” in partnership with Heartland Film on March 29 at The Switch Theatre.
For more information on Disability Awareness Month in Fishers, visit fishers.in.us/999/March-Disability-Awareness.