Self-Advocates of Indiana Newsletter
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New SAI Administrator

My name is Jessica Kaneft and I am the new SAI Administrator. I have been working with The Arc of Indiana in the Advocacy Department for the last year. As the SAI Administrator, I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to work more closely with self-advocates around the state! I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming months. I am hoping to advertise special events, SAI meetings and personal stories about self-advocates on our social media sites as well as in our Nim's newsletter. Please feel free to send me information via email at or call me at 317.977.2375

SAI Board Election Results

SAI held their annual Board Elections on October 23rd, 2019 at The Arc of Indiana's 2019 Impact Awards Luncheon.

Board of Directors 2019-2020

Region 1:
Scott Hedrick, Lowell
Nick Parker, Lowell
Willie Rosendaul, Merrillville

Region 2:
Nathan Griffey, Bristol
Ryan Tingstrom, Bristol

Region 3:
Ashley Porter, Ft. Wayne
Nitaya Lewis, Ft. Wayne

Region 4:
Shawn Rector, West Lafayette—Sergeant-at-arms
Jennifer Grinstead, Terre Haute
Jonathan Wilfong, Sullivan

Region 5:
Kelsey Cowley, Avon
Melody Cooper, Indianapolis
Nicki Hinkle, Indianapolis—Treasurer

Region 6:
Shawn Fulton, Indianapolis—President
Sherry Stepp, Marion

Region 7:
Erica Williams

Region 8:
Angie Townsend, Jeffersonville
Matthew Menchhofer, Versailles
Danie’l Mize, Columbus

Board Pick:
Courtney Clark, Brownsburg—Vice President
Leann Dusenberry, Indianapolis
Erin McGuire, Lafayette

Megan Burger, Guilford/Batesville- Secretary
Erik Smith, Hartford City
Angie Smith, Indianapolis


Governor's Council Conference November 17th-November 19th

The Conference on Disability is truly an exceptional event. Offering so much in such a short time, you’ll be amazed by how much you learned, how many connections you made, and how many ideas you took away over just three days.

  • HEAR disability and civil rights pioneer, Judy Heumann, talk about how she has spent her life challenging assumptions about people with disabilities and advocating for equal rights, including leading the historic “504 Sit-in” which was instrumental in ushering in a new era of civil rights for people with disabilities. 
  • LISTEN to internationally recognized disability advocate, Sara Minkara, discuss how we should be blind to the labels that society gives us and live a life of impact. 
  • LEARN from Xian Horn and her vision to expand the world’s concept and representation of beauty which celebrates new faces and new bodies.
  • HEAR award-winning folk singer and violinist, Gaelynn Lea, talk about how she gained a greater sense of well-being when she shifted her focus from progress in the traditional sense to creating a more enriching life for herself and others.
  • CHOOSE from 35 workshops including Supported Decision-Making, housing, employment, advocacy, public policy, and education.
  • PARTICIPATE in the Independent Living Disability Listening Forum, hosted by INSILC, during Sunday’s pre-conference activities.
  • ENJOY an evening of music in an intimate concert setting with singer-songwriter and violinist, Gaelynn Lea.
  • NETWORK with friends and colleagues at our Monday Evening Reception

SAI has a table this year and we would love to see everyone, so please stop by! If you're interested in volunteering your time at our booth, please email Jessica Kaneft at

Congratulations to all of the 2019 The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana Impact Awards recipients!  Awards were presented at the Impact Awards Luncheon on October 23rd.
Thanks also to comedian Nina G and Michelle Fischer, our awards ceremony MC. 

The Arc of Indiana Membership Traveling Trophy
Noble/The Arc of Greater Indianapolis and KCARC, The Arc in Knox County
Champion Award 
Students Self-Advocates of Monroe County
Family Advocate Award
Joseph H. Langerak IV

Outstanding Professional Award
Denisse Jensen, Gigi’s Playhouse

Outstanding Direct Support Professional Award
Theresa Stanback
Darcus Nims Self-Advocate Award
Matthew Charles

The Arc of Indiana President’s Award
Nick Parker, Indiana Legal Services, PLAID Program
Self-Advocates of Indiana President’s Award
Ted Brown, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana

The Arc of Indiana Executive Director’s Award
Representative Ed Clere. Presented by Kim Dodson 
Ilene Younger Qualkinbush Achievement Award
John Dickerson and Ilene Younger Qualkinbush. Presented by Kim Dodson  

Thirty for 30!

Self Advocates of Indiana is turning 30 in 2020!

January 2020 will mark 30 years since Darcus Nims kicked helpers out of a meeting to discuss important topics alone with self-advocates. The self-advocates identified topics that were important to them: jobs, family, relationships and independence. They went back to their communities and began meeting regularly.

Today, SAI boasts 47 groups throughout the state! Over the last 30 years, self-advocates throughout Indiana have championed important issues such as deinstitutionalization, employment, transportation, affordable housing, and supported-decision making. Many self-advocates sit on Boards and work groups where they advocate on behalf of themselves and their peers for inclusion, rights and opportunities.

In the year 2020, the SAI Executive Board would like to visit 30 SAI Chapters throughout the year. Please contact Jessica Kaneft at or Shawn Fulton at to invite us to your meeting. We can also schedule a presentation on a variety of topics including Sexuality Matters, Preparing for your PCISP, SAI Making Your Waiver Work For You, Employment, Guardianship and Alternatives, and Self-Advocacy and Self-Determination. If there are any other topics that you might be interested in, please feel free to reach out!

Look out for all kinds of 30th Anniversary fun!

SARTAC Fellowship Opportunity

Paid Fellowship opportunities for people with developmental disabilities!

What is a Fellowship?
A SARTAC Fellowship is a one year project designed by a self advocate. Each Fellow works with a Host organization to complete their project. The project might work on finding new ideas to help solve problems many people have. The Fellows work on their projects about 6 hours each week. SARTAC pays Fellows $5,000 to complete their projects. Six Fellows will be chosen this year. To see a list of current and former Fellows’ projects, visit

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, December 18, 2019, 5 pm (Pacific time)
The online application is at
More information and a copy of the application is attached to this email.
You may want to join the “How-To” webinar with live closed captioning:
“How To Apply for a SARTAC Fellowship Webinar”
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

11:00 am | Central Standard Time (Chicago) | 1 hr 30 mins
By computer, smart phone or tablet:
or dial by closest location: +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) or +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
Use meeting ID: 197 207 637

What is SARTAC?
The national Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) was created to assist regional, state, and local self advocacy groups across the country. It is funded by the Administration for Community Living* (ACL). SARTAC serves as an online clearinghouse for information about the history of the self advocacy movement and best practices, and provides training, technical assistance, and Fellowship opportunities. The lead organization is Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE). Other partners in this effort include UMKC Institute for Human Development (MO-UCEDD), TASH, Southwest Institute for Families and Children, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and Green Mountain Self-Advocates.

Don’t miss the chance to Be The Voice
and share your experiences with your peers!


Disability Listening Forum

November 17th | 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Indianapolis Marriott Downtown
The Indiana Statewide Independent Living Council (INSILC) is hosting its statewide Disability Listening Forum at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown (350 W. Maryland St. Indianapolis, IN 46225) on Sunday, Nov. 17 at 1:30 p.m.
The purpose of the INSILC Disability Listening Forum is to hear directly from our peers with disabilities on their needs to live independently in the community. INSILC seeks feedback on disability-related issues and barriers its peers face when attempting to live independently (with or without supports/services) to help guide its future advocacy and legislative efforts and for the development of the next 3-year State Plan for Independent Living in Indiana.

Please note: Additional disability stakeholders are encouraged to attend the event, but, INSILC’s primary goal is to capture input directly from its peers within the disability community on their wants, needs and experiences.
This FREE event is part of the pre-conference activities for the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability. Individuals DO NOT need to be registered for the 2019 Indiana Conference on Disability to attend the INSILC Disability Listening Forum. However, individuals are required to complete a registration for the INSILC Disability Listening Forum, as space is limited.

To secure your spot to take part in the INSILC Disability Listening Forum -
Register here:
For any reasonable accommodation needs, please note these in your INSILC Disability Listening Forum registration. CART will already be provided for this event.

Any questions regarding the INSILC Disability Listening Forum may be directed to the INSILC Executive Director, Amber O’Haver, at
For more information about INSILC, visit
A FREE Informational Meeting for Hoosiers with Disabilities and their Supporters*— Families, Direct Support Professionals, Case Managers

The ABCs of


November 20, 2019                                                         

Easterseals Crossroads 4740 Kingsway Drive Indianapolis, IN
9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Eastern Time; Registration begins at 9 a.m.
Be your own boss. Set your own schedule. Develop a personal relationship with your customers.
Sounds good, but what does that really mean? And how does that work for individuals who may be receiving state and federal supports? The “ABCs of Self-Employment” will help you answer those questions. You’ll hear success stories from Hoosiers with disabilities who are self-employed or who have started their own business.
Sponsored by the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities, the ABCs of Self-Employment is FREE. After attending, if you are interested in learning more and want one-on-one support to pave your road to self-employment, you’ll have the opportunity to enroll in a two-day, in-depth “Road to Self-Employment” workshop, scheduled for later in the year. This workshop, presented by experts, is interactive, intensive and is specifically designed for people with disabilities. You’ll learn about business plans, marketing, benefits, funding, financing, and more.

The ABCs of Self-Employment: Registration
To register for the ABCs of Self-Employment, click on the link below and follow the instructions. Seating is limited, so register now! Deadline for registration is November 14.

If you have questions about the training, contact Sandra Block: or call 812-855-8243.
More information!

Space is limited!

Can’t make it to this session?
We’ll be back in 2020!
Save the dates:
January 22, 2020, South Bend
March 24, 2020, Indianapolis
May 27, 2020,
New Albany
*Attendees are welcome to bring one (1) support person. Registration is first come, first served.
Need training accommodations?
Contact Lori Pierce at the Center on Community Living and Careers at least three (3) weeks prior to training. Email Lori at or call her at 812-856-0169.

Self-Advocates of Indiana
143 W. Market Street, Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46204
317-977-2385 — Fax

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Self-Advocates of Indiana · 143 W Market Street · Suite 200 · Indianapolis, IN 46204 · USA

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