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MEO hosts second Abilities Awareness Fair

The late Ruth Kuloloio was recognized for her work as a caregiver and supporter of persons with disabilities at the second Abilities Awareness Fair, a livestreamed event held on Jan. 22. Accepting the certificate on Kuloloio’s behalf is David Tallant, her companion and recipient of her caregiving. He is shown with Maui Independent Living Center Program Coordinator Nani Watanabe. — Photo courtesy Maui Economic Opportunity

Maui Economic Opportunity’s Maui Independent Living Center hosted the second Abilities Awareness Fair, an informational gathering for persons with disabilities, on Jan. 22.

This year’s event was held virtually with vendors, partner organizations and supporters showing one-minute video “commercials.”

The Abilities Awareness Fair aims to connect people with disabilities and their families and caretakers to community resources and opportunities.

“Instead of focusing on what their disabilities are, the program allows individuals instead to show off on their abilities,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe.

The Lions Club of Maui and the late Ruth Kuloloio were honored at this year’s fair for their service to persons with disabilities in the community.

The Lions Club of Maui has consistently volunteered and provided labor and assistance for persons with disabilities.

Kuloloio was honored for her dedication and commitment to serving the persons with disabilities community. She was a full-time caregiver for her lifelong companion, David Tallant, and worked at Mastercare and ‘Ohana Health. She served as a member of the Maui Independent Living Center’s support group and organized training sessions, program meetings and community events, while ensuring Tallant’s participation in events. Kuloloio lost her battle with cancer in August.

MEO’s Maui Independent Living Center serves able or special needs clients in Maui County. Clients include those with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, blindness, hearing impairment, intellectual challenges and paralysis from birth defects, strokes or accidents.

To learn more about the Maui Independent Living Center, call 249-2990 or email evalina.watanabe@meoinc.org.

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