Throughout 2010, AWS celebrated 50 years of serving people with disabilities. We are honored that so many people have invited us into their lives and trusted us to care for themselves or their loved ones.
A full 50 years: AWS milestones
In the early 1960s, AWS led the drive to remove architectural barriers in public buildings in Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana.
In the 1970s, AWS pioneered vocational rehabilitation, including using newly established Title XX funds to help hundreds of people with disabilities find employment.
Throughout the 1990s and the current decade, AWS has led and established best practices for moving and placing scores of individuals from state institutions into community settings. In the last five years alone, AWS has transitioned more than 260 individuals from large congregate living to community care in Ohio, Indiana and Missouri.
In 2003, AWS built and opened the first group home in Indiana for individuals who are medically fragile.
In 2007, AWS restructured into three entities: the newly established AWS Foundation; the existing not-for-profit organization, AWRC; and AWS LLC, a new company delivering and expanding the majority of AWS’ current services, thereby generating earnings for the AWS Foundation. The Foundation announced its first grant awards in June 2009, totaling $81,480 to five Fort Wayne-area organizations that serve people with disabilities.
Today, AWS operates the largest and most successful work place and vocational rehabilitation program in Northeast Indiana. AWS also operates vocational programs in other parts of Indiana, Michigan and New Mexico.