People with disabilities, as well as those who care for people with disabilities, will soon have the opportunity to browse local resources at a free event sponsored by the Valdosta Mayor's Council for Persons with Disabilities (MCPD). The 2017 South Georgia Resource Expo will take place on Saturday, June 24, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts, located at 527 N. Patterson Street.
This year’s event has increased in size from its inaugural event in 2016 and will serve as a one-stop shop for information from dozens of local organizations who serve people with disabilities in areas such as employment, housing, equipment, education, counseling, community and family support, legal service and advocacy, and more.
“There are so many individuals in our area that experience everyday limitations to due to their disabilities,” said Heather Frederick, event coordinator. “We want to provide an opportunity for people needing quality of life services to connect with the individuals or organizations that can help change their lives. Networking is so important, and that is what we are preparing to provide at the Expo.”
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 51 million adults in the U.S. live with a disability, and states in the South tend to have some of the higher rates of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes, which may also be associated with disability.
At the June 24 event, the MCPD also seeks to educate residents who are not disabled, providing them with information on issues that persons with disabilities face. Their hope is that this exchange of information will help improve the quality of life for all residents in our community.
The MCPD was created in 1988 by former Mayor James H. Rainwater, as one of the first committees he formed. The council continues to serve as it was intended by raising awareness and educating the public in an effort to provide life resources and increase employment opportunities for citizens with disabilities.
“I’m grateful to have a Mayor’s Council for Persons with Disabilities who diligently works to address the real quality of life issues faced daily by those in our community,” said Mayor John Gayle. “We serve all residents of this great community, and each—whether abled or differently-abled—should feel that he or she is a valued member of our society. I invite all residents of this community to attend the Expo this year and to equip themselves with the knowledge of these local resources."
The 2017 South Georgia Resource Expo is sponsored by Pepsi, Chick-fil-A, Subway Norman Drive, Publix, Sam’s Club and Fresh Beginnings. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.valdostacity.com/mayors-council-for-persons-with-disabilities.