By: Sandra Conchie

Video: Tauranga Special School assistant principal Andrea Andresen is encouraging people to attend an information expo today about support for young people with disabilities.

More than 25 agencies will gather at the Historic Village to share information about what support and funding they can offer young people with disabilities and their families.

The inaugural information expo is being held in the village hall at the Historic Village today from 12.30pm to 6pm, and people are encouraged to pop in to talk to the agencies.

Tauranga Special School assistant principal Andrea Andresen said working in the disability sector meant she came into contact with agencies which offered support and funding for young people aged 14 years and over.

This had sparked the idea to organise the expo.

“Once I started talking to agencies and sent out emails everyone thought it was a great idea, and at least 26 agencies have signed up to attend,” she said.

That included representatives from the Ministries of Social Development and Education, CCS, Support Employment Agency, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Deaf Aotearoa, and Support Net.

Representatives from Enrich, Special Olympics and Star Jam would also be there, she said.

“It’s about raising awareness of what support is out there for young people and their families, particularly as the young person transitions from college to life after school.”

Ms Andresen said the expo was also an opportunity for educators, health professionals and others working in the disability sector to upskill on their knowledge base.

Having lots of agencies involved in disability support in one place for people to talk to was a prime opportunity to make those connections, she said.

Tauranga Special School assistant principal Andrea Andresen has organised an information expo for young people with disabilities. Photo/George Novak

She had no idea how many people would come but hoped at least 100 members of the public took advantage of having all these agencies in the one place at the same time.

“We have limited space as far as the number of agencies, but in terms of the public attending, the more the merrier,” Ms Andresen said.

Ms Andresen said she was also using the expo as the chance to develop a template of all the agencies which she hoped would become a living legacy, which could be added to.

For more information about the expo email:

Source: Bay of Plenty Times


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