Tamara Harder (right, with fellow organizer Kathleen Praxl) says Bridging the Gap is an important event for parents whose children living with special needs are making the transition into adulthood. (Submitted photo)

Tamara Harder (right, with fellow organizer Kathleen Praxl) says Bridging the Gap is an important event for parents whose children living with special needs are making the transition into adulthood. (Submitted photo)

Event in Abbotsford bridges the gap between youth and adulthood

Transition fair features information for families of children with diverse abilities

Each year, the Abbotsford Special Needs Advisory Committee collaborates with the Abbotsford School District to put on Bridging the Gap, a transition fair for families of children with diverse abilities as they transition into adulthood.

This year, Bridging the Gap takes place Saturday, March 2 from noon to 4 p.m. at Abbotsford Middle School. Admission is free.

The fair gives families the opportunity to talk to representatives of agencies, such as Communitas Supportive Care Society, which offer services to youth before, during and after they enter adulthood.

“This is important for parents because it is the only event in Abbotsford that brings local government agencies and service providers together under one roof,” says Tamara Harder, who works in the contracted services department at Communitas and helped found the advisory committee.

Harder says the event is an excellent opportunity for parents to become part of a new community. It links services that parents are currently using to services that will become available as their child transitions into adulthood.

Almost 40 agencies are represented, giving parents a sense of the wide spectrum of services available.

Participants have an opportunity to hear the MayDay Club Choir – an all-abilities choir – and hear from a young person who has recently made the transition to adulthood.

Throughout the afternoon, select agencies have the opportunity to make a five-minute presentation but parents are able to talk to representatives from each agency during the event.

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Bridging the Gap includes snacks, an art show, and door prizes provided by each agency.

A resource booklet that includes a description and contact information for each participating agency is also distributed that day.

Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP at eventbrite.ca.

For more information, visit facebook.com/ABBYSNAC or contact Tamara at 604-850-6608 or tamara@communitascare.com.

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