In its inaugural year, the Jay County disABILITY Awareness Expo will seek to educate residents on community integration.
Jay Community Partners, a year-old group of residents and representatives from different agencies in Jay County, decided to host the event after the Indiana Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities said it would help promote such an event in an effort to promote disability awareness month. The expo is free and will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Jay County Public Library, 315 N. Ship St., Portland.
It was formed to help people with disabilities engage with the community. An event, such as the upcoming expo, seemed the perfect place to bring vendors and educators together with residents.
“We believe in Jay County and this community, and we want to see it improve. And we believe to do that means integrating all people of all age and backgrounds and that includes people with disabilities,” said community partner member Andrew Davidson, who sees the expo as a way to give resources to those with disabilities or those who assist others with disabilities.
Their first mission was in recruiting vendors with aims to provide information about resources and agencies in Jay County that can help network among the disabled community.
The response from businesses and service agencies was overwhelming, said Davidson. With more than 17 vendors already signed up to participate, including Kaup Pharmacy, State of the Heart Hospice, Jay County Hospital, Meridian Health Services and Jay-Randolph Development Services, Davidson is hopeful residents will respond in the same way and attend the event, whether they’re an individual, family member or caregiver of a person living with a disability.
“We hope to be able to grow … provide networking for agencies to serve this population,” said Davidson. “We’re hoping for a decent turnout. … We hope people will leave there more educated, with more tools to help them