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AWS Foundation Announces $636,333 in Grants

Fort Wayne, IN ─ The AWS Foundation recently awarded $636,333 in grants to 16 non-profit organizations that benefit individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities in northeast Indiana. These organizations include:

About Special Kids: $25,000 for parent education programs in northeast Indiana

Camp PossAbility: $25,000 for camperships for summer camp

Canine Companions for Independence: $25,000 for companion training and placement follow up in northeast Indiana

CORE: $35,000 for prevocational skills training for high school students

Community Transportation Network: $25,000 for expanded transportation services

Easter Seals ARC of Northeast Indiana: $50,000 for a Care Transition Nurse and $60,000 to train and prepare consumers for community-based employment

Fort Wayne Curling Club: $25,000 for adaptive curling instruction and leagues

Fort Wayne Dance Collective: $50,263 for Dance with Disabilities program

Fort Wayne Dance Collective: $8,740 for a three-day residency featuring AXIS Dance Company

Fort Wayne Housing Authority: $15,000 for a chair lift for the new Resource Center

Junior Achievement: $25,000 for BizTown and financial education programs for students with special needs

McKinney-Harrison Elementary School: $25,000 for a new accessible playground

Riverfront Fort Wayne: $15,000 to implement a public civic community art project engaging under served populations

Passages: $35,000 for the Spotlight Avenue performing arts program

Pathfinder Services: $25,000 for Summer at Last day camp

Wellspring: $25,000 for the Older Adult Program

YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne: $142,330 for staffing, programs, and equipment for adaptive services

ADA 25 December

Meet Zach McConnell, diagnosed with Autism at the age of 2.

AWS Foundation icon

AWS Foundation Announces $353,220 in Grants

Fort Wayne, IN ─ The AWS Foundation recently awarded $353,220 in grants to 12 non-profit organizations that benefit individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities in northeast Indiana. These organizations include:

Arts United: $25,000 to support the Arts Campus planning initiative

Cardinal Services: $25,000 for a new arts program

Caring About People: $10,000 to provide affordable mental and behavioral health services

Citilink Access: $50,000 for increased on-demand Access service needs

Community Transportation Network (CTN): $15,000 matching grant for a new lift-equipped van and fuel costs

Fort Wayne Community Schools Foundation: $25,000 for the “b instrumental” program

Fort Wayne Park Foundation: $50,000 for the Freimann-Botanical Conservatory Walkway Connection

Headwaters Counseling: $15,000 to cover counseling costs

Interdisciplinary Community Autism Network (ICAN): $25,000 for “Feed the Senses” comprehensive sensory program

SCAN: $63,440 for an assessment tool and online training program for staff working with families with undiagnosed intellectual disabilities

Science Central: $11,780 to host four Special Abilities Days and enhance the virtual tour tool on the website

Volunteer Lawyer Program: $38,000 for Guardianship Program

PBS 39

AWS on PBS 39 Primetime

PBS 39

PBS 39 Primetime ran a program on Friday, December 11 featuring the 25th anniversary of the ADA. Local guests to the show discussed the great progress our community has made to remove barriers for individuals with disabilities, as well as the work that remains. The AWS Foundation is very proud of their many ADA videos featured throughout the show.

Click here to watch the program.

Halie Smith

ADA 25 November

Meet Halie Smith, born with cerebral palsy.

Patti Hays

AWS Foundation Names Patti Hays as CEO – effective December 1

Patti HaysFort Wayne, IN — November 11, 2015 — AWS Foundation announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Patti Hays as Chief Executive Officer effective December 1, 2015. Hays has served as interim CEO since June.

“After a national search and meeting with a number of exceptional candidates, we are confident we’ve selected the best leader to achieve the Foundation’s mission,” states Don Steininger, AWS Foundation’s Chairman. “With Patti Hays taking the role of CEO and the full support of the Board of Directors, we have the leadership needed to realize our vision. Patti’s significant experience, passion and drive will play a pivotal role in expanding the Foundation.”

Previously, Ms. Hays served as Sr. Vice President of Business Health Development for Lutheran Hospital and most recently as an independent consultant for organizations seeking assistance with strategic growth initiatives. Hays holds a Master’s of Nursing degree from Louisiana State University Medical Center and serves on numerous nonprofit boards.

“I’m honored and excited to have the opportunity to be part of such a meaningful mission,” states Ms. Hays. “Through our initiatives, grant-making activities and community partners, AWS Foundation has the ability to address the needs of children and adults with disabilities.”

“Northeast Indiana is a welcoming community with even more we can do to be inclusive of everyone. I believe the Foundation’s vision and assets will enable us to ensure that those with enduring disabilities have the same opportunities to experience all that the region has to offer from education and employment to social and recreational activities,” says Hays.

Ms. Hays succeeds Mike Cahill who recently left the position to assume the role of President and Chief Executive Officer at Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana.

“Patti is a strong and persuasive advocate who knows the Foundation and where it wants to go,” says Mr. Cahill. “She is passionate about the Foundation’s mission and a good choice to challenge the community to think differently about disabilities. I look forward to seeing what comes next.”

A place for everyone

Fort Wayne Living “A Place for Everyone to Thrive”

Building a community of inclusion encompasses more than race, gender, religion and political belief. It also means ensuring that people with disabilities find a place not only to become involved, but also to thrive.

Read the whole story >>

AWS Foundation icon

AWS Foundation Announces $818,500 in Grants

Fort Wayne, IN ─ The AWS Foundation recently awarded $818,500 in grants to 12 non-profit organizations that benefit individuals with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities in northeast Indiana. These organizations include:

Autism Society of Indiana: $25,000 for CareerAlly job placement program and an additional $25,000 for the rural outreach program for person-centered care coordination

Byron Health Center: $20,000 for a sensory room

Gigi’s Playhouse: $25,000 start-up funds for a new Achievement Center for individuals with Down syndrome

McMillen Center for Health Education: $25,000 to create an Improving Oral Health curriculum and training program, and an additional $25,000 to expand their Body Talk program

Mental Health America in Allen County: $30,000 for the Kids On The Block™ program and an additional $38,500 for the Volunteer Advocates for Seniors and Incapacitated Adults (VASIA) program

PBS 39: $25,000 for primetime programming and an additional $5,000 for HD remote equipment

Riverfront Development: $200,000 to support riverfront development accessibility planning

Sara’s Garden: $25,000 to add a fence around their new accessible playground

Scherer Resources: $50,000 to pilot an integrated vocational skills training program for high school students

Summit Equestrian Center: $25,000 for riding equipment, therapeutic riding scholarships, and professional development

The Arc of Indiana Foundation: $250,000 for Erskine Green Training Institute student scholarships, commissions to artists with disabilities for artwork, and research and data collection on the impact the training institute has on its graduates.

Town of Waterloo: $25,000 for an accessible playground surface

AWS Foundation icon

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.