January marks the fourth annual Special Needs Provider’s Fair

The fair will take place on Jan. 28 at the Church Street Recreation Center.

By: Amy Filippone, Dept. of Parks & Recreation

The fourth annual Special Needs Provider’s Fair is on Jan. 28. It will be held at Moorestown Church Street Recreation Center on the 3rd floor from 1 to 3:30 p.m. It’s a great opportunity for any organization that provides products or services for individuals with disabilities and their families.

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Theresa Miller, director of Moorestown Parks and Recreation, realized that families needed to find organizations that serviced special needs children and adults. Together with Darlene Altschuler, a volunteer well-versed in special needs resources and Moorestown Parks and Rec., the annual Moorestown’s Special Needs Providers Fair began.

Providers vary from state agencies, non-profits and companies that provide training for employment or help find a battery for a child’s scooter. The special needs community is varied and complex, and finding help can be overwhelming but help is out there and the provider’s fair is just that platform.

The fee for providers is $35 and includes a table at the event. What is really special is that each year a “Provider’s Packet” is created. Providers are listed with a brief description, contact information and website. This packet can be obtained at the fair as a hard copy or sent electronically. This gives families future access to what they may have seen at the fair or if someone can’t attend they will have all the resources at their fingertips.

There are a myriad of services and products for both children and adults with developmental and physical disabilities and respite support for families from: preparing for and maintaining employment; providing housing support services; advocacy assistance; legal advice; therapies; prevocational skills training and support groups — to name just a few.

The Provider’s Packet is something anyone can obtain, not just those in the special needs community. It could spark some volunteer ideas for you or your family. There are some really wonderful organizations out there that we just don’t know about.

“The fair has a huge impact because it widens the network and makes the special needs community circle bigger,” Altschuler said.

The Special Needs Provider’s Fair is free for anyone wishing to learn about what services are available, and if you would like to register your company or organization please visit www.moorestownrec.com and email Darlene Altschuler at salt27@comcast.net.

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