Organizations share resource information with Disability Awareness Day attendees

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Moises De Santiago came to Lorenzi Park on Saturday morning to find information about available low-income housing from the dozens of local organizations that had set up tables.

It was the first time the Las Vegas resident, who has suffered from epilepsy for more than 30 years, has participated in Disability Awareness Day.

De Santiago said it was good to see so many resources available for community members.

“It gives me hope and a sense of faith that there are people who actually care,” he said. “Who are willing to help others.”

De Santiago, a sponsor of the Hundley Foundation, a local epilepsy support group, also offered some advice to others.

“Don’t judge a book by its cover, of course. Everyone goes through some kind of difficulty,” De Santiago said. “You don’t have to have a disability. Just try to be kind, understanding, and patient with each other.

The Southern Nevada Center for Independent Living organized the event in coordination with the city and other organizations. SNCIL Executive Director Mary Evilsizer recalled how far the event had come since its first year when “we had like three people in attendance.”

This year marked the 31st Disability Awareness Day, and organizers expected between 350 and 400 people to attend the event, which was held each October as part of National Jobs Awareness Month. people with disabilities.

In addition to providing information on resources for people with disabilities, the event included food and beverages, snow cones and entertainment, and a COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

“I think it’s always been a big hit and it not only gives them resources, but it helps them to mingle with other people, that they’re not alone with this disability. There are other people in the community,” said Alicia Santiago, Chief Commercial Officer of SNCIL. “It helps them with their social ??because many of them don’t socialize, they stay at home.

Elaine Triplett, who has lived in Las Vegas since 1982, attends the event every year. For a long time, few resources were available in Las Vegas, said Triplett, who has cerebral palsy.

“I like it because I get to socialize with people who have the same needs as me and find out what’s out there when it comes to agencies and services,” he said.

Triplett is heading to the DRIVEN NeuroRecovery Center, a provider for Saturday’s event, as part of his recovery from spinal cord surgery.

“People need to speak up so people can understand, ‘This is what I need, this is what I need help for.’ We are growing as a community and people need help with other programs like Social Security, Independent Living,” Triplett said.

The Southern Nevada Down Syndrome Organization also set up a table at the event. It works with other organizations in the area to provide better care for those it serves, said council chairman Peter Whittingham.

“That’s what we exist for. Make sure our members are aware of the resources. Where they are and how to access those resources and it’s a wonderful place to do that,” Whittingham said.

The organization hosts events and programs focused on education, job readiness and job placement, and independent living.

“It’s essential,” Whittingham said of Disability Awareness Day. “It is essential that people not only know that the resources exist, but also how to access these resources. Since I’ve been here today, I’ve met some people, some of the different organizations that I’m going to be working with even more closely.

For more information, visit dsosn.org.

Contact David Wilson at [email protected] Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.

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