Disabilities Student Associate Named

Kaely Barwick
Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) is pleased to announce the appointment of Kaely Barwick as an ADNet Student Associate for the 2010-11 academic year.  Kaely is a senior social work major at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana.  

Kaely's work with ADNet will focus on the needs of young children with disabilities and their families.  Her senior social work internship involves working for the First Steps program in Elkhart, Indiana.  Growing out of her internship experience and other course work, her work for ADNet will address the needs of families who have young children with disabilities. She plans to write about how such needs affect the spiritual life of families and their integration into the life of the church community. She has a particular interest in families who adopt children with disabilities.  
ADNet believes that Kaely's project will meet an important need in the church, given an increasing trend for disabilities to be identified in early childhood.  Her special interest in adoption will connect with a significant number of Mennonites and other Christians who have chosen to adopt children with high needs and significant disabilities.  Kaely's work will expand ADNet's resources for churches that minister to the needs of such families and invite congregations to open wide the doors of inclusion to all family members.

Kaely Barwick is originally from Newton, Kansas and grew up participating in First Mennonite Church, Newton.  She currently lives in Goshen with her husband Benjamin Barwick, where they attend Assembly Mennonite Church when they are able.  Both work for MDC Goldenrod, a Mennonite-related disabilities services provider organization in Goshen.  

ADNet is also, at the same time, appointing Kathy Dickson of Bluffton, Ohio and Sue Cassel of Auburn, Indiana as ADNet's first Field Associates.  Field Associates are longer term volunteers working in the context of their home communities and congregations on projects related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in churches.  

Organized in 2003, Anabaptist Disabilities Network (ADNet) is a national inter-Mennonite advocacy ministry dedicated to supporting families and equipping the church to include persons with all types of disabilities. A member organization of Mennonite Health Services Alliance, ADNet provides resources via print, videos, and two extensive websites from offices in Goshen, Indiana.  

ADNet's Associates Program began in 2006 with the appointment of Christine Guth who now functions as a volunteer half-time Program Associate in ADNet's Goshen office.  Since 2008, the Student Associate Program has provided college and seminary students with the opportunity to pursue projects around a disabilities theme and develop resources for the benefit of their local community and ADNet's national network.  Students can receive a scholarship of up to $500 along with their appointment.