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    THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT DISABILITIES.
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    Mission and Vision

    Our mission 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.

    We envision a community in which people with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities are engaged fully and meaningfully in all aspects of community life.

    Priority Initiatives

    Social Enrichment Icon

    Promoting Social Enrichment

    Seeking inclusive and accessible social, recreational and creative programs that engage and inspire individuals with disabilities.

    Education & Employment Icon

    Advancing Education & Employment

    Supporting access to educational resources and activities to be successful learners, both academically and in developing life skills, that offer individuals with disabilities equal opportunity for meaningful employment.

    Transportation Icon

    Expanding Transportation

    Pursuing opportunities for accessible, affordable community transportation increasing access to locations throughout the community for individuals with disabilities.

    Early Diagnosis Icon

    Seeking Early Diagnosis & System Navigaton

    Exploring programs that recognize and diagnose disabilities early to achieve each individual’s highest potential, providing easy access and information to assist families and care givers, and gaining better understanding of effective therapies for individuals with disabilities.

    Focus Group Report on System Navigation

    System Navigation Request for Information

    Housing Icon

    Improving Housing

    Broadening opportunities for safe, secure and affordable housing that provides a variety of beneficial living environments for individuals with disabilities.

    About Us

    How did the AWS Foundation get started?

    AWS Foundation was founded in 2007. We are an independent organization created by corporate changes made in the business operations of AWS/Anthony Wayne Services, now named Benchmark Human Services. The Foundation exists as a separate not-for-profit entity in support of the disability community.

    What is the Foundation’s mission?

    Together with like-minded community partners, we 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.

    What is the vision of the Foundation?

    We envision a community in which people with enduring intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities are engaged fully and meaningfully in all aspects of community life.

    From accessible playgrounds, to adaptive sports, to special needs pre-vocational training, we want to give people with disabilities opportunities they’ve never experienced before. With your help, we want to create a community rich in resources and services where people with disabilities and their families thrive.

    How does the Foundation support this vision?

    Our primary support is to provide grants to community partners who will implement the Foundation’s vision on a practical level.

    AWS Foundation also strives to engage the community through advocacy and awareness efforts and to be a useful resource to both service providers and families facing the challenges of enduring disabilities. To that end, we encourage you to explore our website and follow us on Facebook for news, events and helpful information.

    How much has the Foundation awarded in grants?

    Since it began grant making in 2009 the Foundation has awarded grants totaling more than $38 million to more than 190 not-for-profit organizations.

    I am interested in a grant. What should I do?

    To learn more about our grants and whether you should consider applying on behalf of your not-for-profit organization, take a look at the Grant Seekers section.

    What exactly does the AWS Foundation support through grants?

    The Foundation’s grants support not-for-profit organizations with their programs, capital needs and operations in our five priority initiatives as well as related opportunities that enhance the lives of people with disabilities. For examples of previous grant recipients, see the Grantees section.

    What is InChoice Navigation?

    InChoice Navigation LLC, created and funded by AWS Foundation, offers a powerful, ADA-compliant online software platform designed to collect and organize information from providers across your community, region or state. It provides people with disabilities and those that care for them easy, 24/7 access to the programs, services and organizations in your community that are ready and waiting to help enhance their quality of life. To learn more about using this powerful platform to support your community, contact Vicki Johnson at vjohnson@InChoiceNavigation.org today.

    Imagine a world in which people of different abilities are celebrated for their unique contributions. Where communities rally around providing people with disabilities every opportunity to achieve their fullest potential. Where basic human compassion translates into innovative solutions that help everyone experience the freedom of living in a welcoming community. It’s a world that requires new ideas, a shift in attitudes and a higher level of commitment. That’s what drives the work of AWS Foundation.

    Download our introduction brochure.

    Connect with Us

    We invite you to keep in touch, share information and make a difference.

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    P. 260-222-5005 

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    AWS Foundation

    5323 W Jefferson Blvd.
    Fort Wayne, IN 46804

    260-222-5005
    877-799-5656
    Fax: 260-207-5695

    Patti Hays
    CEO
    260-207-5755
    E-mail

    Todd Jacobs
    CFO
    260-207-5620
    E-mail

    Joni Schmalzried
    Chief Program Officer
    260-207-5656
    E-mail

    Vicki Lee Johnson
    Director of System Navigation
    260-207-5728
    E-mail

    Mandy Drakeford
    Program Officer
    260-207-5794
    E-mail

    Jami Barnes
    260-489-3356
    E-mail

    Andie Mosley
    Grants & Outreach Coordinator
    260-207-5769
    E-mail

    Board of Directors

    Susan Trent, Chair
        Rothberg, Logan, Warsco LLP

    Whitney Bandemer, Vice Chair
         WB Consulting, LLC

    Joe Doust, Secretary
        Cap n’ Cork

    Nancy Jordan, Treasurer
        Bulldog Consultants

    Larry Adelman
        Deister Concentrator, LLC

    Judge Nancy Boyer
        Allen County Superior Court, Retired

    Andy Brooks
        Brooks Construction

    Dr. Phil Downs
         Trine University

    Heather Herron
         Sweetwater

    Dr. Kim Barnett Johnson
         Ivy Tech Community College

    Tom O’Neill
         Deister Concentrator, LLC

    Dr. Tommy Smith
        Manchester University

    Dr. Tasha Williams
         Fort Wayne Neuropsychology

    Dr. Mark Zolman
         Physical Medicine Consultants