CARMEL – An ADEC supporter and a staff member received special recognition at The Arc of Indiana 2015 Appreciation Luncheon Dec. 4 at The Ritz Charles in Carmel.

Cary Kelsey (pictured above, right), ADEC’s vice president of guardianship and compliance, was honored with the Outstanding Professional Achievement Award for his 45 years of excellent service at ADEC.

Former ADEC board member and Elkhart entrepreneur John Goebel (pictured above, left) received the Innovation Award for his continued dedication to developing assistive technology with ADEC.

“It truly is wonderful to have such extraordinary people connected with ADEC,” said Donna Belusar, ADEC President/CEO.

During the awards presentation, Kim Dodson, executive director of The Arc of Indiana, said of Kelsey’s contribution to ADEC,  “He continues to work hard every day to make a difference in someone’s life. This adds up to more than 11,000 working days and more than 11,000 lives touched.”

Kelsey’s wife and son were in attendance as he received statewide recognition for his life’s work. The emotion was evident on their faces as Dodson expounded upon the difference Kelsey has made in people’s lives.

Kelsey came to ADEC in 1970 to fulfill his alternative service requirements. What was meant to be a two-year detour en route to a career as a history teacher became a calling and a destination. In Kelsey’s 45 years at ADEC, he has served as a teacher, program administrator, director and vice president. He helped start ADEC’s signature day service programs in the 1980s, as well as advanced services for the blind for more than 30 years. During that time, ADEC is estimated to have served more than 8,000 people with vision impairments.

Goebel is personally responsible for financing ADEC’s assistive technology program. Six years ago, he and his wife struck up a conversation with Chris Gibson, a young man with cerebral palsy and vision loss, at a fundraising event. They were struck by his plucky attitude, but quickly realized how a few simple technological innovations could make his life better.

From this encounter grew the development of several assistive technology products with ADEC, serving the more than 300 consumers who attend ADEC’s Day Services. Goebel continues to invest in assistive technology at ADEC by signing on as a sponsor for the ADEC Technology Challenge 2.0 April 16, 2016. In total, he has donated or helped raise more than $15,000 to ADEC’s work in assistive technology.

“My initial motivation was Chris . . . trying to figure out how to get him in the mainstream,” Goebel said of his motivation to support ADEC’s assistive technology programming. “We’ve been fairly successful, and it just grew from there. My dream would be for ADEC to be the center of assistive technology for the United States.”

The Arc of Indiana exists as a uniting advocacy organization for people with disabilities throughout the state of Indiana. ADEC operates one of the more than 40 Indiana chapters of The Arc and participates as a concerned advocate for people with disabilities. Through the work of The Arc of Indiana, positive legislation and policy continues to influence the lives of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Article by Whitney Craig / Communications Specialist

Photo by Rod Tackett / Communications Specialist