My Future My Choice Community Links Expo is on again this year, with an amazing line up of providers, services and more. FOCUS talks with Lorraine Legge, who tells us more about it.
When and where is this year’s Disability Expo?
Wednesday 13th September 2017, 9:30am – 2:30pm at the Armidale Ex Services Memorial Club.
For those unfamiliar with the Expo, what is it all about, and who is it targeted at?
The My Future, My Choice, Community Links Expo is an annual event that has been on local Armidale residents’ calendars for nearly ten years. The expo offers a place to showcase organisations that provide services to increase independence and quality of life.
The expo is targeted at people with disability, friends, families and carers who are looking to talk to different service providers. People will also be able to talk to businesses that provide aids, equipment, innovative technology and services, which may not have been available to them in the past.
Why is it so important that potential clients get the right information?
In this changing world with NDIS, it is really important for people to know all the options that are available to them. People are now able to access services and receive supports that they have only dreamt about in the past. A big thing I always tell customers is that they can mix and match many different options. If people like a certain provider with some supports and another with other supports, they can easily set up their plan to achieve this – which is fantastic, as it emphasises “choice and control”.
What can people expect to see on the day?
People can expect to see helpful stall holders displaying a range of products and services. This year, due to the NDIS roll out, we are expecting a larger range of different service providers giving information around services, aids and equipment.
People attending the expo can also expect a BBQ and drinks available. Entertainment will be provided by a number of local groups throughout the day.
How many businesses are expected to attend?
Similar to previous years, we are expecting around 40 – 50 businesses. A number of local providers will attend, along with other businesses that have entered the region as a direct result of the NDIS. The expo will be great for people to see first hand what services are in the region, compared to previous years.
With the NDIS now rolling out, how important is an expo like this in our area?
Hugely important; the reason is that people are so used to traditional service providers, as many services were unavailable to people with disability. Now there are new services that businesses can provide and people can access under the NDIS.
I always say how important it is that people choose the best provider for them and to remember that they are in control of their plan and how services will be delivered to them.
Plans for the future?
Each year we intend to hold an expo to showcase local and known services and to highlight new services in the region. Over the last two years we have seen growth in the expo due to the NDIS; it will be very interesting to see who comes out of the pipeline for 2018!