Service agencies network on issues for disabled

Representatives from multiple businesses and nonprofit organizations in the Jefferson City area met at the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC) to rub elbows and share pastries on Wednesday morning.

Around 30 people were there from groups such as Central Missouri Community Action, Handyman Solutions and the Veteran’s Commission. Before the attendees were turned loose on each other, they each gave brief introductions under the hum of hard fluorescent lighting.

“It’s an opportunity for service agencies in the area to come together, network and learn about what services and programs are available and how to access those services,” said Susan Roemer with the with Missouri Rehabilitation and Employment (MORE) group that helped the ILRC host.

Roemer addressed the group and informed it about what the MORE group does, and about its next event, the Second Annual Service Fair. The event is at the Capital Mall on Oct. 22, and is for the disabled, their families and caregivers.

The ILRC and the MORE group have held these meetings quarterly for two years.

“It is to enhance our partnerships,” Roemer said about the quarterly meetings. “It is difficult to keep track of what everyone else is doing, so when we come together in this kind of a setting we can go around and talk about upcoming events and new grant opportunities or services that are available. It is just a great way to share information and collaborate.”

The meeting was smaller than previous ones, said Jeremy Murray, the Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator for the ILRC. But there were some new faces in the crowd; one Murray cited was Align Chiropractic.

“We are a nonprofit organization, and we are not advertised,” said Trish Luther of the Central Missouri Area Agency on Aging. “(We are here) just to let them know we are out there, because they (other agencies) get people who are seniors who need assistance.”

Luther also said the meetings help her know who she can refer to when she receives calls from people seeking assistance.

The next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8. The ILRC and MORE group meetings are open to the public. People with disabilities, people who work with the disabled, or any businesses that are curious about working with the disabled are welcomed, said officials from the ILRC.

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