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AWS Foundation Awards $250,000 to Benefit Erskine Green Training Institute

Muncie – The AWS Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Erskine Green Training Institute to be used for student scholarships, commissions to artists for artwork that will be displayed at the institute’s adjoining Courtyard Muncie at Horizon Convention Center, and research and data collection on the impact the training institute has on its graduates.

The Erskine Green Training Institute, scheduled to open in January, 2016 in Muncie, Indiana will provide vocational training to individuals with disabilities for jobs in the hotel, food service, and healthcare environments.

The mission of the AWS Foundation is to help children and adults with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live as independently as possible, be included in the community and function at their highest potential.

Patti Hays, AWS Foundation Interim CEO said, “We’re pleased to award this grant to provide scholarships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This training offers real-life job skills that will help individuals compete in the job market and increase employment opportunities.”

“Having a job leads to higher self-esteem, an opportunity for independence, and greater community inclusion.  For employers, studies show there are business benefits of employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well. It’s a win for everyone involved,” Hays said.

Kim Dodson, The Arc of Indiana Foundation Executive Director said, “We are extremely grateful for the support of the AWS Foundation.  With their generous support, we will be able to offer scholarships to students to attend the Erskine Green Training Institute. In addition, the grant will provide commissions to artists with disabilities whose art work will grace rooms at the Courtyard Muncie at Horizon Convention Center.  And finally, thanks to their support, funding will be available for ongoing research and data collection to follow students after they leave the institute and enter the job market.”

“We are deeply honored by the AWS Foundation’s support of this truly unique venture that will change the lives of people with disabilities throughout Indiana,” Dodson concluded.

For more information about the AWS Foundation, please visit www.AWSfoundation.org or contact 206-207-5728.

For more information about the Erskine Green Training Institute, please visit www.erskinegreeninstitute.org or contact 317-977-2375 or 800-382-9100.

Sally Morris
Assistant Director of Advancement
The Arc of Indiana
Achieve with us.

September 2015

ADA 25 September

The 7th vignette in the year long campaign to celebrate the ADA’s 25th anniversary is now complete. You will also be able to view this during newscasts on WANE TV and on WFWA.

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AWS Foundation grants $200,000 for riverfront accessibility

Fort Wayne (September 10, 2015) – The board of the AWS Foundation has awarded $200,000 to the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne to support riverfront development efforts. The funding will be used to make the new project accessible to individuals with disabilities.

“We want to see this project exceed ADA requirements,” said Don Steininger, AWS Foundation Board Chair. “Our goal is to help make Fort Wayne’s riverfront a welcoming and exciting destination for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their families and friends.”

A portion of the funding will be used to ensure that planning for riverfront development includes consideration of unique amenities that will make the riverfront development responsive to the needs and interests of the disability community. The remaining funds can be used for the additional costs incurred for capital improvements to enhance the riverfront experience for individuals with disabilities.

Along with the $200,000 grant, a 50% match from Lilly Endowment under the Giving Indiana Funds for Tomorrow program will provide an additional $100,000 for projects funded with the AWS grant.

“We are thrilled that the AWS Foundation is providing this support,” said Chris Rupp, board President of the Community Foundation. “This will help to make sure riverfront attractions become the destination of choice for persons of all abilities.” Founded in 2007, the mission of AWS Foundation is to help children and adults with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live as independently as possible, be included in the community and function at their highest potential.

READ MORE BELOW:

News Sentinel

Journal Gazette

 

Business People "The Power of Inclusion"

Business People “The Power of Inclusion”

More than 45,000 people with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities live in Allen County, yet they represent one of the most overlooked segments of the community. Rather than focusing on their disabilities, people should recognize their capabilities and the contributions they can make instead. “We are better because of our diversity,” says AWS Foundation longtime board member and interim CEO Patti Hays. “We need to make sure we support and nurture a variety of abilities in the workforce and throughout the community.”

READ THE WHOLE STORY

 

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ADA25 August

The 6th vignette in the year long campaign to celebrate the ADA’s 25th anniversary is now complete. You will also be able to view this during newscasts on WANE TV and on WFWA.

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ADA 25

When President George H. W. Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, he said, “Let the shameful wall of exclusion finally come tumbling down.” While there is still work to be done, great progress has been made to remove barriers to education, transportation, employment and other aspects of daily life. Read more

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Arts for All featuring Zot Artz – Mural Painting and Graffiti Art Festival Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Fort Wayne, IN ─ On Saturday, July 25, the AWS Foundation, in collaboration with Artlink, will host Arts for All a mural painting and graffiti arts festival on Barr Street between Berry and Main from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Admission is free.

“This is a one-of-a-kind outside art event for kids and adults with and without disabilities to create art together,” said Lynne Gilmore, Executive Director of the AWS Foundation. “It’s designed to be fun for all abilities and all ages.”

Using creative tools such as a Super Squirt, Art Roller, Popo Paint Poles and the Chalk Walk and Roll, a 20×30 foot blank canvas will become a colorful art mural. Also, a “wall” of clear plastic will be transformed into an elaborate painting all commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An accomplished artist, Dwayne Szot has combined his passion for arts, mechanics and disabilities to make art accessible to everyone. His premise is “that creative expression is a primary human need, necessary for self-fulfillment and self-esteem.” For the special needs population, the benefits of creating art are not only joyful but enhance motor skills, social skills, concentration, sensory input and processing and self-esteem.

Feature Image

ADA25 July

The 5th vignette in the year long campaign to celebrate the ADA’s 25th anniversary is now complete. You will also be able to view this during newscasts on WANE TV and on WFWA.

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AWS Foundation Announces $474,855 in Grants

Fort Wayne, IN – The AWS Foundation recently awarded $474,855 in grants to 14 area non-profit organizations in northeast Indiana that benefit individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities. These organizations include:

Achieva Resources: $39,900 for expansion of the Guardianship program

Anthony Wayne Rehabilitation Center for Handicapped and Blind: $55,000 for the Earn and Learn program for special needs high school students

Bi-County Services: $25,000 to build the first inclusive playground for the city of Bluffton and the Dream Team

Children’s Choir of Huntington: $10,000 to create an inclusive choir for teens and adults with and without disabilities

East Allen County Schools: $29,955 to upgrade the READ 180 intervention program for middle school special needs students and teacher training; and $34,500 to develop an online professional development program for Special Education teachers

Easter Seals ARC: $25,000 for the year-round recreation program

Fort Wayne Civic Theatre: $15,000 for two sensory-friendly performances

Goodwill Industries: $25,000 to expand the retail training program with the purchase of a new point-of-sale system

HearCare Connection: $25,000 for audiology care and hearing aids for low-income individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities

R.I.S.E: $20,500 to create an accessible commercial-quality kitchen for skills training and food production

RSVP of Allen County: $25,000 for the I CAN Volunteer Service Team program

The League for the Blind and Disabled: $20,000 for the Youth Service program for low-income youngsters

Town of Winona Lake: $25,000 for an accessible playground

Turnstone: $100,000 to purchase fitness, aquatic, recreational and athletic equipment for individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities

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AWS Foundation to Host People with Disabilities at TinCaps Game

Fort Wayne, IN ─ Wednesday, July 1, the AWS Foundation, an advocate for individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities, will host nearly 1,000 people with disabilities and their caregivers at the Fort Wayne TinCaps day game against the Bowling Green Hot Rods at Parkview Field.

“This is our seventh year sponsoring a TinCaps game,” said Lynne Gilmore, Executive Director of the AWS Foundation, “and attendance has increased every year. Because the TinCaps understand the varying needs individuals with disabilities have, they make every effort to accommodate those needs.” She goes on to state that the design of Parkview Field is very accessible to people of all abilities making it a wonderful asset to the community as a whole.

The Foundation extended an invitation to area disability service providers who invited their clients to attend the game beginning at 12:05 pm at Parkview Field, 1301 Ewing Street. After the game, attendees are invited on to the field to walk, run or wheel around the bases and meet the players.

“Too often people with disabilities lack the necessary resources to attend events and participate in the community,” Gilmore said. “For many, this is a highly anticipated outing and may be the only time it’s possible to attend a game. This activity supports the Foundation’s mission of funding programs and activities that will benefit people with disabilities.”