Foundation fund

IndyBar: Indiana Disability Rights Named 2022 Community Empowerment Fund Grant Recipient

Advance directives are essential tools for making your wishes for medical and end-of-life care known. Unfortunately, people with intellectual or developmental disabilities are often overlooked in discussions surrounding advance directives. Thanks to a $35,000 grant from the Indianapolis Bar Foundation, a new Indiana Disability Rights program will allow these people to make their important end-of-life choices known.

With education and support, many people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (I/DD) can express their preferences, but there are currently no accessible or appropriate materials or training. As a recipient of the 2022 Indianapolis Bar Foundation Community Empowerment Grant, Indiana Disability Rights will create an accessible advanced directive toolkit for this population that includes plain language information about advanced directive options and sample legal forms with step-by-step guides on how to complete and use them. The toolkit will be available in English, Spanish, large print, and American Sign Language and will be accessible through the Indiana Disability Rights website at in.gov/idr.

Following the development of the toolkit, workshops throughout central Indiana will be held to help people with DI/DD get help understanding and completing the forms, as well as getting legalized forms. Members of the Indianapolis Bar Association will have the opportunity to serve as volunteers at these workshops, which will take place at events largely attended by people with I/DD.

About the Indianapolis Bar Foundation and the Community Empowerment Fund

The Community Empowerment Fund (originally known as the Impact Fund) was launched in 2011 as a way to maximize the financial generosity of Indianapolis Bar Foundation donors and provide opportunities for Indianapolis Bar Association members interesting to volunteer their time through a pro bono service. Since its inception, more than $380,000 has been awarded through the fund to organizations such as Reach for Youth, Center for Victim and Human Rights, Kids’ Voice of Indiana, Indy Reads, Peace Learning Center, Joseph Foundation Maley, Indiana Legal Services Inc., and the Health and Human Rights Clinic at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law with the goal of making a significant positive impact in central Indiana through the promotion of access to justice for indigent people.

The Community Empowerment Fund is an important tool in the foundation’s efforts to fulfill its mission: to advance justice and lead positive change in Indianapolis through philanthropy, education and service. In addition to the Impact Fund, the Indianapolis Bar Foundation awards $105,000 each year to a variety of community service programs co-sponsored with the Indianapolis Bar Association.

About Disability Rights in Indiana

Indiana Disability Rights (IDR) is the service arm of the Indiana Protective and Defense Services Commission (IPAS). The IDR operates as an independent state agency, operating under nine federally funded protection and advocacy grant programs. IDR’s mission is to defend, promote and advance the rights of people with disabilities through empowerment and advocacy to achieve a more equitable society.•