Self-Advocates of Indiana Newsletter
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From The President

As the year comes to an end, we wish you Happy Holidays from Self-Advocates of Indiana. We are grateful for all that we've accomplished because of your support and advocacy efforts. This year brought threats to Medicaid and healthcare for people with disabilities, but we saw many of our chapters and members speaking out and advocating on these issues.

Recently, we had over 400 individuals attend The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana Conference on November 15, which was one of our largest turnouts ever. We also participated in several presentations and community outreach events, including presentations to medical school students, hosting an activity booth for over 500 Girl Scouts from around Indiana, and a presentation to a group of educators from Turkey about self-advocacy. 

In addition, several SAI officers attended The Arc National Convention in San Diego, California and several SAI members attended the 2017 Indiana Conference on Disability hosted by the Governor's Council for People with Disabilities.These educational opportunities strengthen the advocacy knowledge and leadership of our members. 

As we approach 2018, SAI has a lot to look forward to. Please take the time to look at the 2018 SAI Calendar and mark these dates. We hope to see as many of you as possible at our statewide meetings and events this year starting with our 2018 Valentine's Day at the State House event on February 13. 

Once again, Self-Advocates of Indiana will be joining The Arc of Indiana for our annual Valentine’s Day at the State House. This annual event helps us connect with our state legislators and thank them for their work. The goal is to make our legislators feel special and remind them that people with developmental disabilities and their families throughout the state are real people with real needs and dreams. Last year, SAI had one of its biggest turnouts ever for this event and we hope to repeat that this year. 

Please save the date for our annual Valentine's Day at the State House event happening Tuesday, February 13, 2018. The theme and final schedule for this year's event are still to be determined, but more information will be coming soon. 

SAI plans to hold our first quarter statewide meeting at the Indiana Government Center on the morning of the event. Once we receive the legislative schedule for that day, we will announce the time for the statewide meeting, 

2018 SAI Calendar

all dates are subject to change

Tuesday, February 13

Valentine's Day at the State House

Thursday, April 5

Regional Meeting (Central)*

Thursday, April, 12

Regional Meeting (North)*

Thursday, April 19

Regional Meeting (South)*

Friday, July 20

2018 SAI Picnic

October/November 2018 (Date TBD)

SAI Conference & Annual Meeting with Board Elections
*You only need to attend ONE of these meetings, the one in your region. Specific locations TBD. If your group or agency is interested in hosting one of these regional meetings, please contact Amanda at  

2017-2018 Elected SAI Board of Directors

Region 1: Scott Hedrick, Nick Parker, Willie Rosendaul
Region 2: Nathan Griffey, Ryan Tingstrom
Region 3: Ashley Porter, Nathaniel Boutelle, Brent Weidler
Region 4: Shawn Rector, Craig Cunningham, Jonathan Wilfong
Region 5: Kelsey Cowley, Leann Dusenberry, Nicki Hinkle 
Region 6: Shawn Fulton, Erik Smith, Sherry Stepp
Region 7: Erica Williams
Region 8: Angie Townsend, Matthew Menchhofer, Danie'l Mize
At-Large: Megan Burger, Betty Williams, Tim Townsend
Board Selected: Courtney Clark, Jennifer Grinstead, Nitaya Lewis

Board Officers 2017-2018

President: Kelsey Cowley
Vice President: Nicki Hinkle
Secretary: Courtney Clark
Treasurer: Shawn Fulton
Sergeant-at-arms: Erik Smith

Looking Ahead to the Legislative Session

The Indiana General Assembly's legislative session begins January 3, 2018. As we approach this upcoming session, we want to keep you updated about important bills and updates so you can speak out and advocate for these important issues. Be on the lookout for updates via email, newsletter, and our social media pages throughout the session and make sure to sign up for The Arc of Indiana's Legislative Action Alerts.

You can also receive updates on federal legislation from The Arc US by signing up for their Disability Advocacy Network.

You can find The Arc of Indiana's 2018 Public Policy Agenda and Executive Summary at the links below.

2018 Public Policy Agenda
2018 Public Policy Agenda Executive Summary

Fellowship Opportunity for Self-Advocates

Applications are now available for the 2018-2019 Self-Advocate LEND Fellowship through the Riley Child Development Center (RCDC). The RCDC provides interdisciplinary diagnosis, treatment and follow up of children from infancy to adulthood that have known or suspected developmental delays, behavior and/or learning problems and stressful life situations. The center is located at Riley Hospital for Children, and is a program of the IU School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics.

The RCDC is part of a national network of Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) training programs. The LEND fellowship is a nine month (August 2018-April 2019) fellowship to strengthen knowledge, skills, and leadership in the field of developmental disabilities. Each fellowship is made up of individuals from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines, including individuals with disabilities and family members of individuals with disabilities. Two years ago, the RCDC established a position in the fellowship for a self-advocate fellow. Self-Advocates that have participated in this program include: Betty Williams, Melody Cooper, Nicki Hinkle, and Kelsey Rumschlag. 

Self-Advocate trainees must commit to attending monthly day-long learning sessions at Riley Hospital in Indianapolis, IN, completing required coursework, and to planning and implementing a project over the course of the fellowship. A small stipend is available to trainees to help with the cost of participation in the program (i.e. transportation). Supports and accommodations are available to self-advocates that wish to participate but may need extra assistance. 

Interested self-advocates should submit an application by February 15, 2018. Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled with applicants. Application and additional information can be found at the links below. 

Self-Advocates LEND Application
2018 LEND Training Flyer

2017 Self-Advocates of Indiana Conference

Thank you to everyone who attended the The Arc of Indiana and Self-Advocates of Indiana Conference on November 15. We had over 400 attendees at this year's conference. Attendees heard from national disability public policy advocate, Sharon Lewis and author, comedian, and YouTube star Zach Anner. We hope you enjoyed hearing from these speakers as well as our many workshop presenters and were inspired to return to your communities and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

Thank You to Our Conference Sponsors 

Presenting Sponsor
Governor's Council for People with Disabilities

Diamond Sponsors
Indiana Family & Social Services Administration

Platinum Sponsors
Indiana Disability Rights
Advocacy Links

Gold Sponsors 
Schmidt Associates

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors
Achieva Resources
Damar Services
Opportunities for Positive Growth
Rest Assured
Therap Services

Are you interested in learning more about Erskine Green Training Institute (EGTI)? EGTI provides a one of a kind post-secondary training opportunity for people with disabilities. It gives students the opportunity to learn skills in hospitality, food service and healthcare.

To find out more about about the opportunities offered at EGTI, the application process and requirements, and hear success stories from graduates, sign up to receive EGTI's e-newsletter. You can also visit the website at
Erskine Green Training Institute E-News Sign-up
Three representatives from the Self-Advocates of Indiana Board of Directors attended the 2017 Arc National Convention in San Diego, California. The attendees heard from national leaders about important disability issues and public policy updates, and from keynote speaker and author Deepak Chopra, actress Jamie Brewer, and some of the cast and crew from ABC's Speechless
Self-Advocates of Indiana
107 N. Pennsylvania Street, Suite 800
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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