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'They deserve the same': Baylor hosts transition fair for people with developmental disabilities

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Posted at 6:42 PM, Mar 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-25 19:42:51-04

WACO, Texas — The Baylor Center for Developmental Disabilities hosted its first-ever Oso Able Transition Fair on Friday. They hoped to reach 50 people, but the event got so popular more than 200 showed up.

Tommy Huff and his wife attended the event to hear about opportunities for both of their children. With his daughter Jenna Leigh having big plans for her future, he said Friday's event showed a clear path to her dreams a reality.

"One day after college I'm probably going to go to Alaska and live there because I heard it's beautiful and everyone who goes there feels a lot of freedom," she told 25 News.

"They deserve the same opportunities any of us have," Tommy said. "I have learned a lot. I was amazed at the opportunities that my son and my daughter are going to have."

The event touched on different college or trade programs and potential career paths for people with developmental disabilities.

"I'm hoping it instills hope, faith, encouragement that they can walk out of this conference with information, resources, areas of support to say 'hey this is something we can strive for and now I can develop a plan,'" BCDD Director Dr. Kristen Padilla said.

Dr. Padilla started the event this year to highlight those community members and show anything is possible for them.

"They have unique gifts and talents, knowledge and skillsets and we just have to tap into those and shine a light on them," she said.

The event was so popular, Dr. Padilla said they are already talking about bringing it back in 2023.