Potomac News Online | Services for the Disabled

The Prince William area offers several organizations that provide services such as day care, support group sessions and job training for the disabled.

The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 helped spawn awareness and additional support for people with disabilities.

The federal act requires that public buildings remove any obstacles to access. Offices, for example, must be accessible to wheelchairs by ensuring doors have bars that are easy to open.

Disabilities Services Boards complement the Community Services Boards which address services, in part, for people with needs related to mental health or mental disabilities.

Localities’ services

Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park have different groups.

? The Prince William Committee for Persons with Disabilities is chaired by Maurice Hill, (703) 792-7649.

? The Cities of Manassas/Manassas Park Disability Services Board serves the two cities. For information, call Community Partnerships Manager Brenda Knowles at (703) 361-8277, Ext. 328.

Other organizations

The following organizations also offer help to the disabled and can answer questions about disabilities:

? Didlake Incorporated, at 8621 Breeden Ave., Manassas, enriches the lives of people with disabilities through employment, training, education, community inclusion, advocacy, day support, and transportation. Services are nationally accredited. For information, call (703) 361-4195.

? Endependence Center of Northern Virginia, a regional Arlington-based group, (703) 525-ECNV (3268); TTY: (703) 525-3553; fax: (703) 525-3585.

? The Virginia Department of Rehabilitative Services, local office, (703) 335-5550.

? The Virginia Department of Health, in Woodbridge, (703) 792-7300; in Manassas, (703) 792-6300.

? The Department of Social Services, in Prince William, (703) 792-7500; in Manassas, (703) 361-8277; and in Manassas Park, (703) 335-8880.

? Community Residences, which provides services for people with mental retardation, mental illness and physical disabilities, (703) 841-7768 or?http://www.comres.org?on the Internet.

? The Prince William Community Services Board, Manassas and Manassas Park, (703) 792-7800, Woodbridge (703) 792-4900.

Headed by Executive Director Tom Geib, the board offers a variety of programs for the mentally and physically disabled and those with other needs.

A listing of services can be found at the agency’s Web site,?http://www.pwcgov.org/csb.

? The Association for Retarded Citizens of Greater Prince William, offering programs for mentally retarded people and their families. Its director is Karen Smith. ARC operates two day-care centers for those between the ages of 6 months and 22 years. It also runs seven group homes: two in Manassas, two in Dale City, one in Woodbridge, one in Dumfries and one in Triangle.

The group’s programs include bowling and other fitness endeavors, special events and dances.

It also offers two vocational programs, a retail shop in Occoquan called Spinaweb that trains people with disabilities to be weavers and a mobile crew program that trains people to do janitorial and lawn service work for area churches and businesses.

The association also runs a day-support program for people with more severe disabilities. The Vocational Skill Advancement Center is at 19143 Fuller Heights Road in Triangle.

It occasionally has a family support program that provides activities for mothers, fathers and siblings. Center and home-based respite care and a parents-night-out program, educational workshop and an annual conference for family members are also offered. Call (703) 730-3124 for more information.

For all other programs, call (703) 670-4800.

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