Arc of Augusta to host disabilities resource fair in Waynesboro

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 5:13 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 6:36 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) - Arc of Augusta will host a disabilities resource fair in Waynesboro on September 19 to connect people to different resources in the Staunton, Augusta County and Waynesboro areas.

Arc of Augusta partners with different government organizations and community partners to give people with intellectual and developmental disabilities access to the same resources as neurotypical/able-bodied people. The resource fair will give people with disabilities, their families and organizations the chance to network and make connections on a need-by-need basis.

Tosha Berry, executive director of Arc of Augusta, said people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities often lost their support systems during the pandemic and are working to fix those broken connections.

“It was really hard for people to not feel alone,” Berry said. “Everybody is still kind of rebuilding after it [COVID-19 pandemic]. Finding those connections and resources is essential. There is a wave or epidemic basically of more depression and mental health concerns that impacts individuals with developmental disabilities and their families as well.”

Berry said support systems and connections are often taken for granted by neurotypical people. People with developmental/intellectual disabilities need the same access to resources and they can often be overlooked.

“Finding that support and kind of the place they fit is really important,” Berry said. “Even if it’s as simple a new social network or making a new friend or getting connected to Medicaid and not having those financial stressors anymore. All of those organizations will be there to help build those connections.”

The resource fair will take place at the Best Western Plus Inn & Suites conference center at 109 Apple Tree Ln in Waynesboro on September 19. The event will go from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

At the event, people can expect to get new information and make connections, as well as receive physical handouts from the participating organizations about the resources they provide to people.

After the event, there will be a candidate forum where participating members can ask Waynesboro candidates questions about disability services in the Basic city.