Free event helps students with disabilities

The Daily Times staff
Dina Tingley, an employee of disability services at San Juan College, talks with students on April 24, 2015, during the Youth Transition Fair at the San Juan Center for Independence in Farmington.

FARMINGTON — For the eighth year in a row, The Youth Transition Fair will help students with disabilities find activities that aid their transition to life after high school.

The San Juan Center for Independence will hold the fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday at San Juan College in the Henderson Fine Arts Center in rooms 9006, 9008, 9010 and 9012. The free event — which will offer information for students with any type of disability and their family members on how to transition from academic life to independent living — also includes a free lunch. Parents, teachers and school administrators are also encouraged to come.

Kalee Wilmer, SJCI independent living specialist and youth coordinator, said the event is geared toward helping young people learn about everything from jobs to recreational opportunities.

"Our hope is to be able to link them with services and support in the community following their leaving the education system," Wilmer said.

Officials from about 25 agencies will share information on subjects that also include health care and community programs in an effort to connect students with opportunities to keep them engaged and active instead of "falling through the cracks," she said.

Established in 1999, the nonprofit center operates multiple programs throughout the year as part of that effort, including a free summer youth program for middle and high school students. The SJCI also hosts youth support group meetings, for ages 15 to 25, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. every third Friday of the month.

As of Wednesday, 237 people had registered for Friday's event, up from 216 people who attended last year, Wilmer said.

To reserve a spot, call Wilmer at 505-566-5837 or email her at