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Latino Disability Summit and Resource Fair Recap
By Gabe Trujillo
Photos courtesy of E. Mari Herrera
This September, Ability360 hosted the Latino Disability Summit and Resource Fair.
Presented by Chicanos Por La Causa, Inc. on Sept. 17, the event aimed to provide valuable information and resources to individuals and families affected by a disability.
The event, the first of its kind in Arizona, was a day filled with culturally-relevant information, inspiration and resources to attendees.
In the morning workshop sessions, attendees learned about important topics that included living a healthy lifestyle, how to be an effective advocate, special needs planning, support systems for the caregiver and mental health and civil rights.
A particularly interesting workshop was run by Clayton Guffey, Assistive Technology Specialist for the Arizona Technology Assistance Program. He discussed the various programs and resources offered through AzTAP (Arizona Technology Access Program). If you’re interested in learning about how you can take advantage of the various programs they offer, including seed loans and assistive technology exchanges, visit their website at www.aztap.org.
After the workshops, the public was invited to attend the resource fair in the afternoon. There were more than 60 exhibitors at the fair, including Mercy Care Plan.
“This is a great event,” said Henry Blanco, Long Term Care Manager for Mercy Care Plan. “Having all these organizations together is a great way to help spread the word about the resources for those with disabilities.”
Many attendees made their way around to the various exhibitor booths to learn more about the numerous resources available to those people with disabilities who need assistance with anything from applying for a job to inquiring about Supplemental Security Income.
One of those who attended Saturday’s fair was Antonio Qunitanilla. He said he heard of the event while doing therapy at Good Samaritan Hospital.
“Right now I’m looking to get a new job,” said Quintanilla. “There’s a lot of good information here to help me prepare for finding the right job for me.”
When asked if Ability360 should continue this event, Quintanilla said yes and urged others with disabilities to take advantage of this event.
“It’s awesome to see all these community members here to help empower those with disabilities,” said Quintanilla.
It looks like the event was a great success and many hope to see this inaugural event become a yearly mainstay for years to come.