April 24, 2024

OrthoIndy Foundation Success Story: Joseph Maley Foundation

OrthoIndy News

OrthoIndy Foundation is celebrating over $10 million in grants to organizations throughout the state who make a significant impact in the health, mobility and overall well-being of individuals and their communities. These are some of their stories.

Joseph Maley Foundation, established in 2008, celebrates differences and
cultivates an inclusive community through education and service of youth in Greater
Indianapolis. Through four education programs, including Disability Awareness, and
three service programs, the Foundation is serving youth through innovative curriculum,
direct service for families who have a child with a disability, and leadership
opportunities for high school students and young professionals.

When one of her student’s approached her with a bright look in his eyes, Middle
School Inclusion Teacher, Kayla Baker, knew a special connection had been made.
“He’s just like me!” Kayla’s student told her. Kayla’s class had just finished listening to
Foundation speaker, Gabriel Lehman’s, presentation. Gabriel, an accomplished artist
who has dyslexia, has volunteered in our programming for years. “It was a really special
moment for me,” Kayla said. “For this student to see himself in a positive light.” Later,
when her student went on to share with his classmates about his experiences with
dyslexia, the impact of the programming we were able to provide through the
generosity of OrthoIndy Foundation, was more than clear.

Disability Awareness, the Foundation’s cornerstone program, is designed for
grades pre-k through twelve, and teaches youth to celebrate differences, and foster
inclusivity in their community. Kayla, a teacher at Butler Lab 55, has been an advocate
for implementing Disability Awareness at her school, pushing for its inclusion after
she’d worked with the Foundation at her previous school. “We brought the program to
Butler Lab 55 for the first time this year…I saw a big need for Disability Awareness.”
This need is multi-faceted, as Kayla shares, she’s had students with disabilities tell her
that they’re “ashamed”, and loves that the program has the capacity to make those
students feel less alone, and more confident in who they are. She’s also hopeful that
the programming will encourage all students to be more thoughtful with their words,
and kinder to one another.

As an educator, Kayla knows how many responsibilities teachers have to juggle. Even
so, she feels that the Foundation’s Disability Awareness programming is sought after by
schools. She believes educators value the program because they feel there is a gap in
their curricula, and that their students need the kind of support and education provided
by this program.

“OrthoIndy’s support is helping to build a more inclusive and welcoming
community for all,” said Lead Education Manager, Stephanie Becher. “Once a school
has implemented Disability Awareness, they come back year after year, and the effect
of repeat programming is apparent through the inclusive-rich language that students
use during speaker and puppet performances.”

“We are incredibly grateful for the vital support from OrthoIndy Foundation.
Because of this ongoing support, we are currently serving more than fifty schools in the
Greater Indianapolis area annually,” shared Executive Director, Vivian Maley. “We see
the impact of our work daily, and we are thankful that OrthoIndy Foundation sees the
value in empathy-building, and inclusive programming like Disability Awareness.”

The OrthoIndy Foundation

In December of 2012, OrthoIndy established and funded the OrthoIndy Foundation, whose Mission Statement reads as follows:

The mission of the OIF is to improve mobility and function, specifically for the residents of Central Indiana –with a particular emphasis on veterans and the elderly– by benefiting the end users to increase self-sufficiency, promote wellness, and improve the quality of life for those affected by orthopedic issues.

Since it’s founding, OrthoIndy Foundation has been there for hundreds of people. Learn more about the foundation here, and learn how you can contribute and become a volunteer by clicking here. You can read more of our success stories here.

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