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The Journal Gazette

Friday, June 02, 2017 3:50 pm

New IndianaPop.org website simplifies information searches

CODY THOMPSON | The Journal Gazette

With the website displayed on a screen behind them, members of a local disability network gave a working presentation of their new disability services database, IndianaPop.org.

This website streamlines the search for disability services. While it has been working for a while, it was officially launched Friday with a demonstration at the Holiday Inn.

Alan Paulding, who is board chairman for disability network Fifth Freedom, uses a service dog and said he found the website useful.

"I found some things I never even think about," he said.

Douglas Schmidt, director of communication for Fifth Freedom, compared the website to searching through a library.

"It's the difference between stumbling around the library, going up and down the aisles, trying to find something remotely useful and asking the librarian where to get started," he said.

The website, which is colorful and easy-to-use, allows a user to plug in any disability into a search box. Once he or she presses the search button, the website retrieves the results.

When one types the word "deaf" the website produces 141 results, "blind" produces 78 and "wheelchair" produces 39. Above the search bar is a message: "Finding disability services online can be like digging for a needle in a haystack. But with IndianaPop, now you have a magnet."

Each result is a link to a service with contact information, maps and other tools. The website is part of Indiana's Fifth Freedom Network, which is designed to help improve or seek resources for people with disabilities.

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 1 a.m. Saturday.

cthompson@jg.net