Expo explores disability resources


Photo courtesy of Jim Mayer

A person in a wheelchair poses for a photo during the disABILITY Resource Expo in 2017.

The 11th annual disABILITY Resource Expo, a project of the Champaign County Mental Health Board and Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board, will be held at the Vineyard Church in Urbana on April 7.

“The CCDDB wanted to develop a one-stop-shop where individuals and families could learn about various resources and how to access them, so that those individuals with a disability could live the most independent life possible,” said Barbara Bressner, disABILITY Resource Expo coordinator, in an email.

The Expo made its debut in 2007 with 53 exhibitors and has grown significantly since, Bressner said. This year, the Expo has more than 100 exhibitors and will see between 1,500 and 2,000 visitors.

Bressner said she and her team have worked to ensure their aim’s audience is much broader than just those with developmental disabilities.

“We strive each year to bring together a wide range of services, resources and technology aimed at all types of disabilities,” she said. This includes physical disabilities, mental illness, hearing and visual impairments, elderly services and substance abuse services, among others.

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    Bressner said the Expo plans to showcase available resources including transportation options, wheelchair and other equipment options, recreational services, attorneys and insurance agents specializing in disability services and employment support services.  

    “Individuals with disabilities are no different than anyone else,” she said. “They want to live the most independent life possible and the resources found at the Expo can help them to do just that.”

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