In honor of Fishers’ celebration of Fishers Disability Awareness Month presented by Old National Bank, we’re featuring community stories related to disability and inclusion throughout the month on the This is Fishers blog. Learn more about the celebration and how you can be an ally for disability inclusion at fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness.
To Kelly Hartman, Disability Awareness Month invites all people to learn how to include everyone, all the time. Kelly is the Co-Chair of the Fishers Advisory Council on Disability and keynote speaker for the 2023 Fishers Disability Awareness Month Kickoff Event on Wednesday, March 1 at 8:30 a.m. at the Launch Fishers Huston Theater.
Kelly has spent the past 33 years supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her love for helping those with complex behavioral and medical issues has led her to wear many hats, including CEO of Insights Consulting, cofounder of Outside the Box, and professional liaison to the Indiana Association of Behavioral Consultants. She has also served on several local, state, and national advisory committees progressing initiatives of advocacy, inclusion, and awareness.
Kelly notes that it is very important that we empower people to learn more about one another, especially since disability awareness may seem to be important only if you have someone in your life experiencing these challenges. “Living in Fishers means that we are all part of a city that is smart, vibrant, and entrepreneurial. Inviting our residents into this forward-thinking culture ignites an enthusiasm to include all people,” she shared.
“I love changing lives and helping people see things differently. I most love seeing people live their ‘amazingness’ despite any challenges they are faced with,” she explained.
Kelly was also integral in the opening of SouthPointe Village, an apartment complex in the Nickel Plate District offering affordable, accessible housing to people with disabilities, as she was a consultant for the project. “It’s a place where people with disabilities can live with more independence, as well as provide hope for people who want to be part of the local workforce. It has empowered in me a level of enthusiasm and pride that is difficult to describe.”
This year, Kelly will be the keynote speaker at the 2023 Disability Awareness Month Kickoff Event, where she will share the history of inclusion, how we continue to be challenged today, and what strategies we can implement in the future to value all people, regardless of ability.
The month-long March Disability Awareness Month celebration, hosted by the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability will feature special events and initiatives throughout the city. This year’s theme, Building Our Future Together, will include partners from around Hamilton County to promote disability inclusion in our community.
Learn how you can be an ally for disability inclusion and show your support for this initiative through the digital toolkits, Ally Toolkits, and a list of frequently asked questions. For the event lineup, registration details, and more information on how to champion inclusion, visit fishers.in.us/DisabilityAwareness and follow along on social media using #FishersDisabilityAwareness.
About Kelly Hartman
- NEIGHBORHOOD: Spyglass Hill
- FAVORITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: Fox Gardin Family
- FAVORITE FISHERS PARKS: Flat Fork Creek Park for its beauty; Fishers AgriPark for what it teaches our youth; Holland Park and Brooks School Park for so many memories with my kids growing up.
- FAVORITE LOCAL BUSINESS: Conner Prairie, Braden, Opportunities for Positive Growth, First Internet Bank, Meyer Najem, Parks Place Pub – all these places call Fishers home. Additionally, they each have a unique way of supporting people with disabilities in our community – whether it be through employment, service delivery, awareness, or leadership. It is local businesses like these that help ALL people, no matter what their abilities, live in a city that is truly smart, vibrant, and entrepreneurial.
- FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A SATURDAY: Nearly anything I can do to be with my kids. As Mama to two Fishers High School seniors, I am savoring every moment as they plan for the next steps in their journey. Our best memories have been made at our amazing schools, parks, bike trails, and with our neighbors who, after nearly 20 years, are our second family.
Cami McGrady is a college intern for the City of Fishers Public Relations department. She is originally from Hillsboro, Indiana, and is a senior at Butler University. Cami is majoring in marketing and is a four-year member of Butler’s Women’s Swim Team. Outside of her internship, you can find Cami exploring coffee shops, hanging out with her family, or trying new restaurants with her friends. She loves the small town feel of Fishers and is excited to explore the city further.