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Meet Your Neighbor: 2024 Accessibility & Inclusion Award Winners

The City of Fishers celebrates National Disability Awareness Month in March with a series of events, workshops, and initiatives. These events aim at engaging the community and celebrating inclusion, collaboration, and acceptance in Fishers. 

This year, the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability is honoring three outstanding individuals through the annual 2024 Inclusion and Accessibility Awards. All recipients have been nominated and selected for their commitment to inclusion and exceptional contributions to the community. Join us in recognizing each award winner!   

Life without Limits Award Winner, Stacey Oldham 

The recipient of the Life Without Limits Award is an individual with physical and/or intellectual disabilities who has demonstrated outstanding contributions to the community of Fishers by promoting inclusion, independence, and eliminating barriers. The honoree has been nominated and selected for their devotion to inclusion and contributions to the community. 

Stacey Oldham is a Fishers resident and a board member of the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability. She sees this month as an opportunity to highlight the experiences people with disabilities have, as well as share her journey of 40 years with Multiple Sclerosis.  

Tell us about yourself. 

I am an Indiana Hoosier, born and raised. I grew up in Noblesville and graduated from Noblesville High School. Between Noblesville and Fishers, I lived in Hamilton County 50 years. I have three adult children and my motto is, “I don’t have a Bucket List. I have a To-Do List for others.”  

What inspires you? 

I’m inspired to contribute to the quality of life for those with disabilities because I live this challenging life with each day. The most amazing thing was watching the building for Southpointe Village apartments go up (an apartment complex in the Nickel Plate District offering affordable, accessible housing to people with disabilities). Now, because of our committee and its many partners, some very special people have independence and support their best life. 

What do you love most about Fishers? 

My family is all nearby. It has been fun watching Fishers go from a small town to a bright and entrepreneurial city. It is a safe place to live with so many good people.  

Why is Disability Awareness Month Important? 

Hopefully, people see that the Fishers Advisory Committee on Disability is a group of volunteers working on disability topics year-round. March is our opportunity to educate and raise awareness for disability topics, focus on the work necessary to accommodate those with disabilities, and most importantly, celebrate those with disabilities for the amazing people they are.  

Accessibility Award Winner, Jillian Mack 

The Accessibility Award recognizes an individual, business, or organization in the Fishers community that has made exceptional contributions to advocate and eliminate barriers in all aspects of community life, to ensure that persons with disabilities can access and participate in programs, activities, and events.

Jillian Mack is a 4th grade teacher at Thorpe Creek Elementary School, as well as the Director of the Southeastern Swim School. She is constantly inspired by all her students and their curiosity, enthusiasm, inclusivity, and eagerness to learn!  

Tell us about yourself. 

I have been a resident of Fishers for 8 years and am recently married to my husband, Garrett. I have been a 4th grade teacher at Thorpe Creek Elementary for 8 years, but also serve as the Director of Southeastern Swim School based out of HSE High School. In addition to my teaching and administrative roles, I am also an Adaptive Lesson Teacher, providing specialized instruction to students with diverse learning needs. Furthermore, I am a senior Coach at Southeastern Swim Club, where I play a crucial role in not only developing the skills and talents of competitive swimmers but developing the lifelong skills that students/athletes will need for years to come.  

What inspires you? 

The things that inspire me are my parents, being an elementary teacher, coaching swimming, and being an adaptive swim lesson teacher. My parents are my biggest supporters and have instilled in me the values of hard work, perseverance, and kindness. Their unwavering belief in me and their constant encouragement have shaped me into the person I am today. Lastly, seeing my students progress and witnessing their “aha” moments is incredibly fulfilling and witnessing their determination, courage, and progress in the water inspires me to create an inclusive environment where everyone can feel successful.  

What do you love about Fishers? 

I love that the City of Fishers offers a wide variety of opportunities and camps for individuals with varying abilities.  

Why is Disability Awareness Month important? 

This month serves as a platform to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities for all individuals. Instead of focusing on labels, this month encourages everyone to see the unique talents and skills that each person possesses, highlighting the fact that everyone has something valuable to offer to the world.

Cornerstone Employer Award, Lauren Hayes, Heartland Church 

The Cornerstone Employer Award is given to an individual, business, or organization in the Fishers community who has demonstrated an exemplary commitment to providing inclusion, career training, employment, and/or advancement opportunities to persons with disabilities.   

Lauren Hayes and her team at Heartland Church have demonstrated inclusivity and community engagement for the past three years while opening their doors for students and giving them opportunities to learn practical job skills. Over the last few years, Lauren has shown her love for helping support the Exceptional Learners at HSE by hosting the Best Buddies prom. She is passionate in sharing how important inclusion and job training is to students with disabilities.  

Tell us about yourself. 

I get the awesome privilege to be part of the Heartland Chruch staff as the Elementary and Special Needs Coordinator. I was a special needs teacher for seven years before taking on my current ministry role. It’s everything I love about teaching combined with the beauty of ministry. My husband, Kolin, and I have a beautiful little girl that will be turning one this summer. We look forward to visiting all the beautiful parks in Hamilton County! I am a self-proclaimed “foodie” and love to bake in my spare time. 

What inspires you?   

I am inspired by the strength and the unique perspectives of the people in our community. It’s such a beautiful thing when we all come together to rally around each other regardless of our backgrounds or our perceived capabilities. Eph. 3:20-21. 

What do you love most about Fishers?  

I love that Fishers is a vibrant and growing city that provides many opportunities for the community to connect. `   

Why is Disability Awareness Month important?   

Disability Awareness Month allows the community to place a spotlight on the beautiful stories of determination and inclusion. This month creates a lasting positive change for the future generations to come. 

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, we’re “Fueled for the Future” as we partner with Indy Fuel to showcase their upcoming move to the new Fishers Event Center and the inclusive amenities it will provide to our community. 

For the event lineup and more information on how to be an ally to champion disability inclusion, visit and follow along on social media using #FishersDisabilityAwareness.