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Palm Beach County expo this weekend for persons with disabilities

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Posted at 3:09 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 18:48:31-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Finding activities and resources for a loved one who has a disability can be challenging. But a local expo is hoping to help.

"I hit the bottom and shattered the disk between my 5th and 6th vertebrae," said Doug Goddard.

Goddard has used a wheelchair since he was 15 years old following a diving accident.

"I have use about half of my arms," said Goddard. "I don't have use of my fingers and then from my chest down. I had a change in attitude, where I really felt God calling me to do the most and be the most with what I had."

This is the 10th year that Goddard and his wife Leanne are hosting the Access Life Expo at John Prince Park in suburban Lake Worth.

Last year, more than a thousand people attended the expo.

"We have people with physical disabilities, cerebral palsy, spina bifida. We have people like myself with spinal cord injuries," said Goddard. "They may feel invisible, they may feel negative about their disability or embarrassed about it. And so hopefully to be cheered for will help them realize real quick that we are glad that they are here and we just want to have a good day with them."

Along with free entertainment and food, Goddard said families can connect with local churches and two dozen organizations.

"Connecting for families with disabilities is difficult. You have to really network. It's a lot of grassroots and it's getting connected with different agencies and groups," said Goddard.

"To be honest, I would rather watch people who are special needs like me, or more lower functioning, to enjoy their time and to see how they react to things," said Darling Malacko, a volunteer at the expo.

The Access Life Expo will take place on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at John Prince Park, located at 4759 S. Congress Avenue in suburban Lake Worth.

To learn more about the expo, click here.