Receiving and living with a disability diagnosis can be overwhelming. Families are asked to learn a new language and navigate a complex system of forms, government agencies and local resources.

But ADEC can help.

Not only does the nonprofit offer free help to families through its Guiding Parents to Services program, which helps families learn the lingo and matches them to the services that best fit their needs, but ADEC is also planning a free resource fair set for March 11.

The Resource Transition Fair, a partnership between ADEC and Goshen College, will showcase the many community agencies and resources available to individuals with disabilities in northern Indiana and will also provide networking opportunities for professionals in the field.

The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Goshen College’s Union Building, 1700 S. Main St. in Goshen.

“There are so many resources in this area that so many people don’t know about,” said Viv Blakeslee, program manager for ADEC’s Family Services division. “These resources could really help families in the area.”

The Resource Transition Fair is a rare opportunity for individuals to meet with representatives from several agencies all in one place. Dozens of organizations will be on site to chat with families and answer questions.

Individuals are invited to attend several breakout sessions throughout the morning:
• 9:30 a.m.: An informational program on special needs trusts, presented by certified financial planner Alan Alderfer.
• 9:30 a.m.: An explainer on Indiana Bureau of Developmental Disability Services programs and application process, presented by BDDS District Manager Jana Humphreys.
• 10:30 a.m.: A look at guardianship and alternatives with Karly Sciortino-Poulter, outreach grants administrator at The Arc of Indiana. Attendance at this session qualifies for one free ethics continuing education unit from Goshen College’s social work program.

Because ADEC believes there is no such thing as a silly question, a representative from the agency will be on-hand to have one-on-one conversations with family members who may be feeling overwhelmed or confused about disability services.

“The waiver is such a big deal to families with disabilities,” Blakeslee said, referring to the state program that provides financial help for families to pursue disability services for their children. “We’re here to walk them through the process and even help them apply for it.”

Booths are still available for the Resource Transition Fair. If your group or agency is interested in being represented at the event, contact Blakeslee at [email protected] or call 574-294-6197, ext. 3104.