For Disability Awareness Month, we had people with disabilities fill out a questionnaire so that we could get to know them and share their stories with the community. It’s a great insight into the daily lives of disabled people and how they value the same things as those who don’t have disabilities. While these are the only people featured in the newsletter, we are going to continue to share stories on our social media for as long as they keep coming. If you or someone you know would like to share your story, fill out the online form.
Six-year-old Nolan lives in Fort Wayne with his family. His favorite thing to do in his community is see Pat and Emily at the news station (WANE 15), and see the TinCaps and Komets play. He says that his family is who supports him most and when he grows up, he would like to work at the news station.
Max is a 14-year-old who lives in Fort Wayne. He most likes about himself that he is a physically fit athlete with a good personality. His favorite thing to do in the community is play sports and go to the movies or other events with friends. Max describes his greatest challenge to be motivation to do things that he does not like are that challenge him too much. To him, disability is something that makes up a small part of who he is. His mom and dad, teachers, and community are who support him most. One thing he has never tried but would like to do someday is to jump out of an airplane!
Josh is 40 years old and lives in Pleasant Haven Court with 2 roommates in Bluffton. He likes that he is always smiley, nice, and loves music and sports. His biggest challenge is having to wait for others to take him to do things. He’s looking forward to learning how to use Wells on Wheels (WOW) transportation so that he can travel on his own. In his community he likes to work, go for walks around town and meet new people. He is currently looking for his next girlfriend to play music to as he would like to one day get married and buy a home for them. While he currently does not have employment due to just moving to his current residence, he is working with a coach to put out a resume and cannot wait to find a new job. To Josh, disability means that it may be hard for him to understand what the word ‘autism’ means, but he thinks he does ‘pretty good.’
19-year-old Audrey lives with her parents in Columbia City. She is creative and her favorite thing to do is go to church. The greatest barrier she faces daily is her walking ability. To her, disability means people who have unique abilities and are not limited because of it. Her family is who supports her most. She currently works at PLEX at Huntington University cleaning workout equipment but hopes to someday work at a coffee shop.
Alysa is a 20-year-old that lives in Huntington. When asked what she likes most about herself, she says, “everything.” Alysa says her greatest support comes from her mom with whom she likes to take walks. She says that disability means it takes a while for her to understand things. Alysa would like to try eating healthier.
Cody lives on his own in an apartment. His favorite thing to do in his community is to help out, he even volunteers on Huntington’s campus. Cody loves to make people laugh. He believes that disability means being able to do things you can’t by yourself and his current daily challenge is life in college. Cody’s family is a great support to him. Something he would like to try someday is traveling to Australia.
Garrett is 20 and lives with his parents in Fort Wayne. What he most likes about himself is that he is good at drawing. His favorite thing to do in the community is go out to eat with his friends, and his parents and therapist are who support him the most. Garrett works at Pizza Hut and does the dishes and sometimes makes the pizza. To him, disability means that you can’t do certain things and his greatest daily challenge is trying to not worry about having a relationship. Someday he would like to try and do graphic art and make awesome stickers. *Fun fact: Garrett received his first sticker commission for the Disabilities Expo. Come to the event on May 13th at the Coliseum and you can get one!
At 19, Corbin lives with his parents in Fort Wayne. Currently his biggest challenge is trying to get his driving permit. He volunteers on campus doing maintenance and enjoys helping people. Corbin most likes about himself that he is kind, friendly, and athletic. He would like to hit a home run in baseball. His family is who supports him the most.
21-year-old Rebecca lives in Huntington with her parents who she says are her biggest support system. She works in a local downtown bakery where she opens boxes, does dishes, and sometimes stocks the coffee bar. Rebecca says that she is an awesome person with a contagious laugh and likes to help others. Her favorite thing to do in her community is hang out with her friends. To her, disability means doing things you aren’t able to do on your own. Her biggest daily challenge is that she overthinks or thinks too hard about things. She’s currently working on taking things in and out of the oven and improving her diving when she goes swimming. She would also like to be able to paint her own nails.
22-year-old Maddie lives with her family in Wabash. She says her greatest challenge is not having enough money for fun things. While she’s currently in college, she hopes to have a job after graduation working at a coffee shop or Pizza Hut. Her favorite thing to do in the community is to go swimming and bowling. Those most supportive of her are her pals at school, her parents, and her grandparents house. She loves staying the night with her grandma and grandpa. Something she’s never tried but hopes to someday is to go skydiving!
Bryce is a 26-year-old that lives in Claypool, Indiana. He most likes about himself that he is encouraging of others. The biggest challenge Bryce faces daily is going places that are not wheelchair accessible. To him, disability means not being able to do some things, but what he can do, he does to the best of his ability. His parents are who supports him the most. He likes to serve on the worship team at his church and volunteers as a paper shredder for the business office of his college. One day Bryce would like to try traveling outside of the country.