TAYLOR — The second regional Resource Fair for Children with Special Healthcare Needs drew 180 people Sept 14, to the Our Lady of the Snow, to listen to presentations and visit vendors of services for special needs individuals.

The keynote speaker, Charlotte Merrill, a 15 year-old of Taylor with cerebral palsy, received a rousing applause for her upbeat presentation about overcoming the perceived limitations of her cerebral palsy and unifying communities and schools.

Other experts presented legal rights and state sponsored services, communication with special needs individuals, and eating better.

Thirty-two vendors demonstrated their services in all areas of care and participated in a written resource guide listing over 50 providers of services for special needs individuals.

Widespread community support was demonstrated by the numerous Fair supporters including: Navajo County Health Department, White Mountains Autism Foundation, First Things First, Sunrise Ambulatory Surgical Center and Arizona Office for Children with Special Health Care Needs.

The fair is the direct result of the activities of the community Special Needs Coalition made up of over 80 parents, teachers, healthcare providers, civil servants and interested individuals who meet quarterly for expert education to help and plan the needs of our community. This coalition has received statewide recognition for its proactive activities with other communities interested in developing their own local fairs and developing community wide resource lists.

The fair was organized by Allison Hephner and Dr. Tom Barela. ThecSpecial Needs Coalition is always seeking interested individuals and organizations. For more information, call Allison at 928-243-1332 or Tom at 602-319-8194.

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