By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Cumming Library hosting special needs resource fair Sunday
Special-needs-resource-fair WEB

CUMMING -- The Cumming Library will hold a resource fair Sunday, Sept. 18 to aid families and caregivers of individuals with special needs.

Several community groups will lead the fair, which will run from 2-4 p.m. The groups, all dedicated to helping those with special needs, include the Forsyth Autism and Special Needs Support Group, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Special Needs Awareness of Public Safety Program (S.N.A.P.S.), the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and Special Olympics of Forsyth County.

While caregivers are learning about the resources available in the area to address special needs, library staff will host a sensory storytime and other creative activities for children.

The fair will focus, in part, on what steps to take during an emergency or accident, which is when special needs children can be most uncomfortable.

“It is common for individuals with special needs to resist being spoken to or touched by first responders and public safety personnel,” a news release from the library said. “The S.N.A.P.S. program led by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office provides opportunities for individuals with special needs to interact with uniformed public safety personnel in a casual environment.”

Volunteers from Special Olympics of Forsyth County will present information on upcoming sporting events and how children of any age with special needs can get involved.

Representatives from Region 1 of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities also plan on handing out information about mental health care, crisis intervention and stabilization, peer support, supported employment and other available services.

Jennifer Forbes, information services supervisor at the Cumming Library, located at 585 Dahlonega St., said the fair will bring resources to one centralized, accessible place in the hopes of making it easier for families and caregivers to obtain information.

“As parent of a child with special needs, it seems like we usually discover resources through referrals and word-of-mouth. This resource fair is designed to connect individuals with special needs and their families or caregivers with multiple resources all at once,” she said.

Special education staff from Forsyth County Schools will be at the event, sharing information about programs available within the school system.

Christina Brinker from Red Cedar Chiropractic is also scheduled to speak about the ways chiropractic care can address chronic illnesses and conditions those with special needs may have.

The library will introduce patrons to their own resources, which include large print books, audiobooks and a “mailbox books” service for homebound patrons. Each branch also has ADA-compliant computer stations and other devices for patrons with visual impairments.

“If someone needs a specific accommodation, we invite that patron to contact us and we will make every effort possible to accommodate that need,” Forbes said.

The event is free and open to the public with no advance registration needed.

For more information, visit forsythpl.org.