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Sunday May 24th, 2015 3:08AM

Expo helps students/families

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - High school students with learning challenges and disabilities descended on First Baptist Church in Gainesville Tuesday.

The students and parents were part of the fifth annual Resource/Transition Expo.

In addition to career opportunities, the expo provided resources for parents, often left with tough decisions when their student finishes high school.

"That bus doesn't come by and pick them up anymore, and take them anywhere. Parents have to try and figure out how they're going to make those arrangements and arrange those schedules," Scott Crain said.

Crain is a Parent Mentor with the Special Education Department for Hall County Schools.

Crain said the expo has grown from 30 vendors the first year to 57 this year. It included J & J Foods.

Justin Twiggs oversees human resources for the company.

"Even though they may not spend their entire career with us, they may actually be able to go on to do something better, because of the opportunities that we've been able to provide," Twiggs said.

Exhibitors weren't limited to work, but community resources and higher education as well.

"They'll pick up the information, become really interested, and as they transition out of high school, we try to help them get set up with that and refer them to vocational rehabilitation services. They help move that process along," Special Education Coordinator for Hall County Schools Jason Hobbs said.

The expo was sponsored by the Gainesville-Hall County Interagency Transition Council, Georgia Mountains Regional Workforce Development and North Georgia GLRS.

Organizers introduced some educational sessions this year for both parents and students.

Student sessions focused on employment rights, resume building, work opportunities and post secondary disability services.

Family session topics included Medicaid waivers and wills, trusts and guardianship.
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