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Advocates For Disabled To Focus On Transportation, Jobs At Mahwah Forum

The Access For All Community Forum in Mawhah will bring together advocates from throughout Bergen County to focus on issues such as transportation, job opportunities and housing for people with disabilities.
The Access For All Community Forum in Mawhah will bring together advocates from throughout Bergen County to focus on issues such as transportation, job opportunities and housing for people with disabilities. Photo Credit: Access For All - Mahwah

MAHWAH, N.J. – Advocates focused on enhancing the quality of life for Bergen County residents with disabilities will come together Saturday in Mahwah to share ideas and success stories and listen to the public’s concerns.

The annual Access For All Community Forum is an opportunity for advocates to “discuss our challenges, to share our ideas, and to create initiatives,” said Jennifer Whalen-Gares, chair of Mahwah’s Access For All Commission, which is hosting the event.

The Mahwah commission, formed about a year ago, is charged with advocating “to help enhance the quality of life for individuals with disabilities and access challenged persons so that they can participate, to the fullest extent possible, in everyday activities in the community,” according to its mission statement.

Since it formed, the commission has been focused on initiatives like creating social events for residents with disabilities, and holding open houses where people can learn about things like safety and fire prevention.

Municipalities throughout Bergen County have similar commissions, and representatives from those commissions will be on hand Saturday. Advocates from towns such as Oakland, Wyckoff, Fair Lawn, Ridgewood, East Rutherford, Ramsey, Woodcliff Lake and Cliffside Park will be participating, Whalen-Gares said.

“It’s all about working together and engaging volunteers throughout our own town and the surrounding townships,” she said.

Speakers will focus on issues such as transportation, job opportunities and housing for people with disabilities. There will also be an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns, and vendors will be on hand to provide information on available services.

“We do encourage the public to attend so we can learn what their needs are,” Whalen-Gares said.

The forum is sponsored by the Bergen County Department of Human Services, Division on Disability Services. It is taking place on Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Mahwah Senior Center, 475 Corporate Drive.

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