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Noblesville names members to its new Advisory Council on Disabilities

Noblesville creates its first disability council

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Noblesville has made its first appointments to a new disability council that’s designed to shine a light on the needs and interests of individuals with disabilities.

Jennifer Sell is the executive director and founder of the nonprofit Same As U. It provided full-day programming for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a college-like atmosphere.

Sell said of the council, “It’s a critical piece that I’m excited Noblesville is bringing.”

Sell knows the challenges people with disabilities face. She has a daughter with Down syndrome. “As a mom who’s been driving my daughter around for 22 years, just easier movability, so sidewalks, some improvements to the crosswalks. Drivers don’t pay attention. If the lights say ‘walk,’ they don’t see that.”

Sell is a member of Noblesville’s first Advisory Council on Disabilities. The seven members each hopes to make the community more inclusive. Plans for the inaugural council were first announced in March.

The leader of Same As U says she wants to advocate for more job opportunities and resources for her students. “Most of our students just come to us two days a week, so we want, and I mean we get excited about, jobs. We want our students to have jobs. We want them to have more than what they can get at Same As U, but we know here we’re just doing a lot of great things to help them live that life that they imagine.”

She says she’s looking forward to helping bring change.

Noblesville Deputy Mayor Matt Light said of the council’s members, “It was important for us to have a cross-section of service providers, nonprofits, as well families and individuals that are successfully navigating some of these challenges.”

Light says the council will help the local government address issues so that the city becomes more accessible and supportive to people with disabilities. “With our infrastructure management for the city, we look at how we can improve sidewalks safety, accessibility to city buildings and facilities, and really get community input and ideas about how we can do better.”

The deputy mayor says the city plans to have a webpage that offers resources and tools for these individuals by the end of the year. “Create a website that kind of houses resources as a one-stop shop for referrals to information that might be of value. We’ve also talked about parent information workshops to provide information for parents and caregivers.”

The city government on Thursday shared a news release listing the new members:

  • Carrie Hobbs Guiden, appointed by Mayor Chris Jensen, a Republican.
  • Jeff Huffman, appointed by the Noblesville City Council.
  • Yolanda Kincaid, appointed by Jensen.
  • Jennifer Kugler, appointed by Jensen.
  • Sean Mason, appointed by Jensen.
  • Sell, appointed by the City Council.
  • Jennifer Wiese, appointed by Jensen.

According to the latest census data, around 8% of Noblesville’s 70,000 residents have one or more disabilities, according to the release.

The release did not say when the council might have its first meeting.