The City of Fishers and Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability will kick off their annual celebration of National Disability Awareness Month this Friday. The month-long celebration, presented by Conner Prairie, strives to bring awareness to what life is like for those physical and intellectual disabilities through a series of special events and programs throughout the city.
This year’s theme, Empowering Fishers: Ask How, engages the community to learn more about the accommodations for those with disabilities, shares the value of those with physical and intellectual disabilities in the workplace, and celebrates the talents and contributions of those with disabilities.
“Fishers is a community where all ages and abilities are celebrated,” said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness. “We are always working to enhance inclusivity and accessibility in our city. This month-long initiative is a call to action to our community to learn more about physical and intellectual disabilities, and to celebrate the diversity of our residents.”
The Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability was formalized in 2017 and is co-chaired by Fishers resident Stacey Oldham and Fishers City Councilor Cecilia Coble.
“As a committee, we strive to create a community where my daughter and others with disabilities have an opportunity for social acceptance, employment, and a high quality of life,” said Coble. “We want ‘life without limits’ for people 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
Local Paralympians Noah Malone and Jordan Dickey will share their stories of challenges and triumph at this kick-off event for National Disability Awareness Month in Fishers.
Think Differently, Shifting the Perspective: A Conversation About Fear, Stigma and Assumptions in the Workplace
Thursday, March 7 | 8:30 - 10:30 a.m. | Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Employers are invited to join Kathy Bernhardt, Managing Director of Tangram Business Resourcing, for coffee and conversation around how employers can meet their business needs by employing individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. Registered required.
Visual & Performing Arts Reception: A Celebration of the Arts and Community Unity
Friday, March 8 | 6 - 9 p.m. | Conner Prairie Interactive History Park
Fishers Arts Council will host a visual arts reception featuring artworks by local artists with disabilities. The reception will also feature musical performances by the Fishers Community Chorus and Miss Indiana, Lydia Tremaine.
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
This annual resource fair will feature 80 representatives from various organizations that provide services and resources for those with physical and intellectual disabilities of all ages.
City of Fishers Adaptive Sports Showcase: Celebrating Athletes and Friendship
Saturday, March 23 | 2 - 5 p.m. | Fishers High School Gym
At this annual sports showcase, guests can tour exhibitions by Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI) Indy Edge Beep Baseball Team; Indy Premier TOPSoccer; Unified Track from Hamilton Southeastern High School and Fishers High School; Special Olympics of Hamilton County Basketball and Cheerleaders; and high school athletic groups. The event will also feature performances from FHS Electrum Choir, Deveau’s Showteam by Gymroots, and 31Svn Street Dance Academy.
Movie Showing of Intelligent Lives
Tuesday, March 26 | 6:30 p.m. | Fishers High School Auditorium
Presented by the Ball State University Department of English Immersion Learning Course, Disability Representation in Children's & Young Adult Literature
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. Registration recommended.
The Hamilton East Public Library Fishers branch will also host a variety of workshops and events related to National Disability Awareness Month including a memory café, introduction to American Sign Language course, and program on traveling with a family member with special needs.
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, Supreme Lending, Purdue, and Braden.
For more information on Fishers’ National Disability Awareness Month celebration, visit fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness.