Meet Your Neighbor forum on disabilities TuesdayNeighbor forum on disabilities Tuesday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 4, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY ó The fifth Meet Your Neighbor forum will offer a public discussion about understanding people with disabilities.
Covenant Community Connection will host ěNeighbors with Disabilitiesî from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Salisbury Civic Center. The event will feature several panelists with disabilities.
Meet Your Neighbor forums aim make people aware of those who may be considered ědifferent,î as well as help to improve understanding in the community, said Betty Jo Hardy, chairwoman for the Covenant Community Connection, which organizes the forums.
People have so much in common, Hardy said.
Covenant Community Connection wants people to connect with the sameness they share ěrather than distance ourselves because of perceived differences,î she said. ěWe know that when we diminish any other person we diminish ourselves.î
Mark Ritchie will moderate Tuesdayís forum. Everyone is invited to share in the evening of education and fellowship.
Panelists will be Wanda Foil, an instructor at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College who is blind; Monica Foster, member of the Human Relations Council who uses a wheelchair; Darryl Bolt, who is deaf; Daina Fredrick, adult services supervisor with the Rowan County Department of Social Services; Dr.Crystal Vail, Rowan-Salisbury Schools director of exceptional children; John Mitchell, Equal Employment Opportunities manager at the VA Medical Center; Dr.Shanyn Aysta, recovery coordinator at the VA Medical Center; and Jane Jackman, supervisor for Arc of Rowan.
ěOur purpose is to help our community become aware of the value of every citizen, regardless of the many challenges life may have dealt them,î Hardy said.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.