Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition Announces Abilities Abound Event on March 9th

The Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition (NIDAC), which consists of not-for-profit service providers and advocates for people with disabilities in northeast Indiana will be holding an Abilities Abound Awards Reception on Friday, March 9th beginning at 5:30 at the Holiday Inn at IPFW and the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne.

 The event will be honoring Embolden Enrichment Grant recipients. Up to three $1,000 grants will be awarded on March 9th, the grant must be used for a post-secondary or enrichment class, employment or life skills training, or an activity or life experience designed to enhance skills. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The applicant should complete as much of the application as independently possible and the application package can be found at: ____________________.

 The application for Embolden Enrichment Grant nominations should include the following: application form and questionnaire, materials to get to know the applicant better, one-page essay explaining what the applicant wished to pursue with the grant and why, parent/guardian information, two letters of recommendation and an optional statement of support. All applications for the Embolden Enrichment Grant should be sent to: Northeast Indiana Disability Advocacy Coalition, C/o Fifth Freedom, 4606-C East State Blvd., Suite 102, Fort Wayne, IN 46815 or e-mailed to [email protected]with Embolden Enrichment Grant as the subject line.

  NIDA is also holding a Disability Awareness Month essay contest which is open to elementary, middle and high school students in northeast Indiana. The essay is limited to 500 words and has students write an essay that depicts the Indiana Governor’s Council on Disabilities theme “Celebrating Community” based on one of the following: 

  • An interview with a child or adult with a disability describing his/her experiences with the attitudes of others, 
  • A book read about people with disabilities describing the impact of attitude on their lives, 
  • Writing about their own observations or feelings about attitudes toward people with disabilities.

  Essays will be judged on the use of creativity to project the theme, clarity in outlining the theme, originality of the essay, sensitivity to issues facing people with disabilities, and knowledge of issues about disabilities. More information can be found by visiting _______________________________

 Essay entries must be received by Friday, February 24th and mailed to: Lynne Gilmore-Executive Director, AWS Foundation, 8515 Bluffton Road, Fort Wayne, IN 46809 or e-mailed to:

[email protected]

 Award notifications for the Embolden Enrichment Grant will be made by March 1st and for the Disability Awareness Month Essay Contest by March 2nd.

 The Abilities Abound Award Reception will feature award-winning author and nationally known public speaker, Rachel Simon as the keynote presentation. Her newest novel, The Story of Beautiful Girl, debuts in paperback in February. Ms. Simon is best known for her critically acclaimed bestselling memoir, Riding the Bus with My Sister, which was adapted for a hallmark Hall of Fame movie of the same name. The reception will also feature the presentation of the first annual Above and Beyond Business of the Year Award honoring an outstanding business for their employment of individuals with disabilities or their work to make their place of business fully accessible to individuals with disabilities.

 Tickets for this event are $10 per person and can be purchased by calling Fifth Freedom at (260) 426-8789 or ordering online at: ____________________.