The 2nd Annual Special Needs Expo presented by Wendell Foster is coming to the Convention Center August 17 from 10 a.m – 2 p.m. The event is completely free to attend and includes several new vendors. Last year, the expo was held at Owensboro Christian Church and was so well attended that this year a larger venue was selected.
“Seeing everyone come together was awesome last year,” said Cindy Huston, director of technology and resource center at Wendell Foster. “We saw the community put aside competition and collaborating instead of competing against one another; it’s a great aspect of the event.”
According to Huston, families learn valuable information about the services and programs offered in this community, but the agents attending also learn as vendors. Wendell Foster’s mission is to be the region’s resource in disabilities so they are tailoring the event after a similar one in Bowling Green.
“After attending a special needs expo a little over a year ago, we came back and knew we had to bring the event to this community,” Huston said. “We’ve had a great response and have at least 15 new vendors this year.”
Featured performances include music by DJ Prof G, GRADSA’s star squad, Musick Studios All Abilities Class, Leland “Hammer Jammer” Isbill, and Cody Clark’s sensory friendly magic show.
Clark, a magician from Louisville, has autism and travels to perform at different venues.
Vendors will include booths set up with information on adult day services, advocacy and support, assistive technology, behavior supports and early childhood information. The expo also offers employment information, future planning help, health and rehabilitation vendors, recreation and waivers.
In addition to the performances and vendors, Ambucs trike screenings provided by Wendell Foster’s Physical Therapists will be on site. A kid’s corner offers games and face painting. Door prizes will be given away every hour and free backpacks are provided by Aetna Better Health of Kentucky. There will also be a sensory room sponsored by Theratree for those needing to take a break during the event.
“Sensory issues can be overwhelming so this is a place one can take their child if they need a break,” Huston said.
Through this event, Huston hopes to provide support to families who have a loved one with a disability. The collaboration of nonprofit organizations, state agencies and private businesses bring the opportunity to assist families in a unique way.
“I am really passionate about helping families on this journey-to make informed decisions that are best for them and their family members,” Huston said.
Registration for the 2019 Expo is open until July 31. For questions about the event, please contact Huston at 270-852-1488 or [email protected].