October is National Disability Employment month and also Disability History month. The ADA defines a disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of a person’s major life activities but not all disabilities are visible. Some examples of disabilities could include diabetes, cardiac disease, arthritis, mental illness, ADHD, dyslexia, cancer, among others. The Census Bureau reports that nearly 1 in 5 people self-reported as a person with a disability in 2010 with more than half reporting the disability was severe.
Most people with disabilities can work, play, learn, and enjoy full, healthy lives in their communities. While persons with disabilities are represented within all socio-economic levels and ages; according to the U.S. Census Bureau report, ‘Americans with Disabilities: 2010’, 41 percent of those ages 21 to 64 with any disability were employed, compared with 79 percent of those with no disability. Along with the lower likelihood of having a job came the higher likelihood of experiencing persistent poverty; that is, continuous poverty over a 24-month period.
Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC), Missouri Rehabilitation and Employment (MORE) Group, and Capital Mall have partnered to host a Resource Fair for persons with disabilities and caregivers in the Mid-Missouri area to gain knowledge and find valuable resources in a centralized environment on employment, education, financial, home improvement & home ownership, weatherization, assistive devices, community services, and more. Cole County Health Department will be holding a flu shot clinic and free blood pressure checks will also be available.
The Resource Fair will be located at Capital Mall, 3600 Country Club Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109 from 2 pm until 6 pm on October 23 and there is no cost to attend the fair. An ASL interpreter will be available. Attendees will have an opportunity to register for door prizes by picking up a card at the ILRC or MORE Group booths located in the JC Penney or Sears wings. Capital Mall is on the public transit route, is accessible, and Capital Mall and the associated businesses welcome the opportunity to host this event for the benefit of the community, the providers of services, and persons with disabilities within the Mid-Missouri area.
Independent Living Resource Center, Inc. (ILRC) is a non-residential, consumer-controlled, not-for-profit organization that provides services and support for individuals with disabilities, youth through the elderly, in Southern Callaway, Camden, Cole, Miller, Morgan, Moniteau, and Osage counties. ILRC works to promote greater independence and empowerment for persons with disabilities through advocacy and resources.
ILRC provides core services of Peer Support, Advocacy, Information and Referral, and Independent Living Skills training free of charge to the consumer. Additional services and programs include Accessibility Surveys, Consumer Directed Services, Children & Youth Services including MPACT Certified Parent Mentors, Youth Group, HCY, and SibShops, De-institutionalization, Equipment Loan, Home Modifications / Ramps, TAP-T (Telecommunications Access Program), and the ILRC Care Closet.
MORE Group is dedicated to serving persons with disabilities who seek self-sufficiency and independence through employment and is committed to supporting the business community. MORE Group offers employment assessment, placement and retention services through individualized services, smaller caseloads, team approach, innovative thinking, and strong business relationships in the community. Services are completely individualized and the client’s specific interests and abilities drive the process. MORE Group provides services throughout ten counties in the mid-Missouri area.