Dr. Richard Mehrenberg hosts the first ever Disability Resource Fair

On September 30 Dr. Richard Mehrenberg of the Special Education Department hosted 22 local organizations for the first ever Millersville University Disability Resources Fair.

The fair was held in Stayer Hall and ran from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The 22 organizations were all from central Pennsylvania, with most coming from Lancaster County.

Pre-service special-ed teachers talk with Lauren Denlinger, Reginal program Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Foundation.  GORDON BEECROFT/SNAPPER
Pre-service special-ed teachers talk with Lauren Denlinger, Reginal program Coordinator for Make-A-Wish Foundation. GORDON BEECROFT/SNAPPER
“It allows special education teachers to familiarize themselves with the community and gets them involved. It’s a great way to make contacts with people from local schools,” said Dr. Mehrenberg, a second year professor at Millersville University.

He also stated that he hopes to make the disability fair an annual event.

Crystal Moore represented Goodwill Mission Services Keystone area at the fair. Goodwill offers a number of services; such as helping disabled people become more independent, and helping them get jobs in the community.

“We allow them to interact with peers so they know that there are other people who share their struggle” Moore said.

Millersville University also had representation at the fair. The Office of Learning Services offers a number of services for disabled students, everything from text enlargement to assistance in getting employment. The office is located in room 352 of Lyle Hall and all of their services are free to Millersville students.

Aaron’s Acres is a non-profit organization that offers recreation programming to nearly 200 children in Berks, Lancaster, and Dauphin Counties.

They aid people from five to 21 with a range of disabilities, who attend their summer recreational program or their respite program during the school year.

The camp boasts a 1:1 or 1:2 staff to child ratio ensuring safety. “Our goal is to provide a typical child experience for all children regardless of ability or disability,” said Risa Paskoff, director of Aaron’s Acres.

Sarah Katuran is a senior Special Education major at Millersville University and she also works as an intern at Aaron’s Acres.

Katuran said her main reason for attending the Disability Resource fair was for all of the resources and for all of the information she could use toward projects in the future.

“It’s good networking,” Katuran said, “I hope to be able to use some of these services for my students when I start to teach.”

The Millersville University Disability Resources fair was a great success in bringing together Millersville students and members of the community who all have similar goals in helping those with disabilities.