Transition and Resource Expo to be held at SWACC

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Southwest Area Career Center will host the second annual Transition and Resource Expo from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 27.

Fifty exhibitors have been invited to attend the event. Each exhibitor will provide information to those attending about the services that they provide.

The work group for the event includes Southwest Area Career Center, Community Support Services, Arc of the Ozarks, Joplin Regional Center of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Alternative Opportunities, Lawrence County Board for Developmental Disabilities and the Lawrence County Community Transition Team.

The Transition and Resource Expo is for individuals with disabilities of all ages, parents, educators, caregivers and for those who have experienced transitions at any age and all stages of life.

"This is what is hard to relay to the public," said Geneva Blue, work experience coordinator. "This event is for everyone. It is for those with a disability, anyone who cares for those with disabilities, all ages, all situations and for transitional changes such as divorces, singles, job changes, financial needs. It just about covers any need you can imagine and it is open to the public."

Categories of services and the exhibitors that are scheduled to attend are as follows:

* Recreation: Magic Moments Riding Therapy, Champion Athletes of the Ozarks and Wonderland Camp Foundation.

* Advocacy: Barry and Lawrence County Public Administrators, MPACT, People First of Barry and Lawrence County and The Independent Living Center.

* Lifelong learning: Crowder College Cassville Campus, Barry/Lawrence County Regional Library, Ozarks Technical Community College Disability Services and Southwest Area Career Center.

* Autism: Missouri Autism Report, Touchpoint Autism Services - Southwest and Judevine.

* Family Support/Funding: Lawrence and Barry County Family Support and Lawrence County Board for Developmental Disabilities.

* Transportation: United Access and OATS Inc.

* Employment: Vocational Rehabilitation and Alternative Opportunities, Employment.

* Case Management: Community Support Services.

*Health and wellness: ACCESS Home Health, ACCESS Family Care, MSSU Dental Clinic, Clark Community Mental Health Center, Bureau of Special Health Care Needs (DHSS) and Children's Smile Center.

* Assistive technology and therapy services: First Steps of Southwest Missouri, Drury University, Music Therapy, Jean Hamilton, OTR, Missouri Rehabilitation Center and Relay Missouri, Spring Relay.

New this year will be parent navigators.

"These parents are parents of children with disabilities of all ages," said Blue. "They will be available to mentor other parents and develop relationships with each other to offer their help and share knowledge. Parents are tremendous advocates for their kids."

The Southwest Area Career Center is located behind the Monett High School on David Sippy Drive. Sandwiches and chips will be served and prize drawings will be held throughout the evening.

"I really hope that people in the community will attend," said Blue. "This is a very beneficial event to the public."

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