Families participate in 4th annual Disabilities Awareness Day at - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Families participate in 4th annual Disabilities Awareness Day at fair


There's something at the Elkhart County Fair for everyone and Monday was no different. Even those living with disabilities were able to join in on the fair fun.

Sheryl Kliewer's daughter may have disabilities, but Monday she was laughing and playing at the Elkhart County Fair just like any other kid. "She doesn't get to do a whole lot when she goes somewhere else and this is all adapted to her."

Kliewer says it's important for her daughter to get out and have new experiences. "In school she has time to socialize with other kids who are the same way, in the summer she's pretty much stuck at home with me so this is helpful she can socialize with other kids and she gets to have fun."

Coordinator Doug Thorne says this is the fourth year the fair hosted Disabilities Awareness Day. "What we've tried to do is provide opportunities for people living with disabilities to experience the fair."

He says they modified rides, had entertainment, and offered Special Olympic type activities for the participants who are all ages. "There are individuals with disabilities who are three and four years old up to seniors who have disabilities."

He says they team up with Elkhart Community Schools and other organizations to get the word out. "I think the Elkhart County fair is an asset for the county and we want to make sure it's an asset that's available to anybody regardless of if they have a disability they ought to have the opportunity to experience the fair."

And Kliewer says that's exactly what they are doing. "Her sisters are here to cheer her on and her friends, so she feels really good about herself."

The free event attracted a big crowd this year. Over 100 people took part in Disabilities Awareness Day.

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