Event aims to change perceptions about disabled people

Disability has become a bad word in our society, said Robert Wilson, the director of program services for Walton Options.

"People think of a person with disabilities as a person that has a problem, and a stigma has been attached to them," he said. "It shouldn't be that way."

To increase the community's understanding of those with disabilities, Walton Options and the Richmond County Navigator Team will present Together We Stand, A Community Affair, on Thursday, June 14.

The event will celebrate the Americans With Disabilities Act and present services and resources available within the community. Activities will include a bicycle rodeo, car-seat safety checks and a brain injury awareness walk.

In its Going Over and Above Life's Limitations Successfully program, Walton Rehabilitation Hospital will give a demonstration of adaptive sports equipment. There will be free food and entertainment throughout the day.

Willie Jones, a peer supporter and computer trainer at Walton Options, said he hopes the event will bring the community together and help remove the mind-set of "It won't happen to me."

"I had no idea 33 years ago I was going to end up as a blind person," he said. "From having been on both sides - with sight once and blind now - I see the importance of having this community affair to bring about understanding of one another."

Mr. Wilson agreed.

"It's a minority group that anyone can join at any time, so why not learn about it and learn how to break down barriers?" he said.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.

if you go

What: Together We Stand, A Community Affair


When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, June 14


Where: Lake Olmstead Park, 2200 Broad St.


Cost: Free


Information: 706) 724-6262


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