People First: Fishers features month of disability awareness
By Anna Skinner
Disabilities come in all forms, and the planning committee for the Fishers March Disability Awareness wants all to know that those with disabilities are people first.
The city will be hosting various events to educate the community on disabilities and March Disability Awareness Month. This is the first year events will be offered throughout the month.
Councilwoman Cecilia Coble, who serves as co-chair for the planning committee with Stacey Oldham, has a personal connection. Her youngest daughter, Crysta, has autism and cognitive delays.
“The month of March has been designated as National Disability Awareness month, and the Fishers Disability Roundtable and City of Fishers value citizens with disabilities and are working together to organize a monthlong campaign to bring awareness about disabilities and educate the community about inclusion,” Coble said. “This month emphasizes that people with disabilities are people first that want to be included in the community just like everybody else.”
In terms of physical disabilities, Coble’s mother-in-law is wheelchair bound due to a stroke.
“That opened our eyes to physical challenges as well. Our family is touched by having family member with physical disabilities as well as intellectual,” Coble said. “As far as I know, we are the first city in Hamilton County to offer something like this. We are really proud of what we are doing. The purpose too is to build partnerships with local city leaders, business leaders, bring in (Hamilton Southeastern) schools and bringing everybody to the table so they know what they’re doing to look to see how we can work together to retain and employ people with disabilities here in Fishers.”
To assist in educating the community, the planning committee created a contest for artists to submit designs to be hung as banners around the city during disability awareness month. Margo Vallone, 34, created a graphic design piece that depicted people with disabilities are people first.
“In my piece, only two people in the design have visible disabilities, and I want to get across that a lot of people have disabilities or disorders that go unnoticed,” the Fishers resident said. “I personally don’t like to see it as a disability or disorder. I like to see them as just differences and just like we all have different tastes in music or food, I just like to see them personally as differences in ourselves.”
Valone works at Orchard Software and has a degree from Herron School of Art and Design.
“I wanted to emphasize the fact that a lot of people do have disabilities or disorders, but you might not see them,” she said.
LOCAL DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH EVENTS
- March 2– 10-11:30 a.m., city hall: Kick-off of Fishers 2017 March Disability Awareness Month
- March 3– 6 to 8 p.m., city hall: Visual and performing arts reception at featuring Opportunities for Positive Growth, Janus Developmental Services, Art Mix, Krista Darrow, Ashland Gallery Artists, Fishers Community Chorus and VIBRATIONS.
- March 10– 10 a.m., Holland Park: Glider dedication.
- March 10– 7 to 9 p.m., Pinheads: Adult Comedy Show: “A Long Night of Laughs” featuring Scott Long.
- March 16– 6 to 7:30 p.m., Fishers High School: HSE Transition Fair for people with special needs of all ages.
- March 17– 6 to 8 p.m., Fishers High School: Fishers Athletic Showcase: Adapt and Thrive
- March 21– 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Launch Fishers: Luncheon and Learn “Making Connections for An Inclusive Workforce.”
- March 22– 8:30 a.m., Shell Parking Lot (116th Street and Commercial Drive): Edge Art Unveiling by artist Warren Miller.
- March 28– 3:30 to 5 p.m., city hall: Panel discussion and March Capstone Event.