ATLANTA - A metro Atlanta organization is working to help make it easier for people with disabilities to find the services they need.
Our Place started as a way to help service providers navigate Medicaid, now it's expanding to help make it easier for families who have loved ones with disabilities find the organizations they need to thrive.
"There's 26 million people in the United States who have a disability. That's just who have the disability. That doesn't include the parent, sibling, anything like that," Our Place Executive Director Megan Cortjens said. "You don't know what you don't know. And they couldn't navigate the system. They didn't know what were available options for them, what were available options for their child and so that's kind of how we got started."
Cortjens has two siblings with disabilities, so she saw the struggle her parents went through trying to find services. Our Place helps connect families like hers with others, and organizations that are out there to help.
"So working with the service providers we were able to see the gaps in people's homes, and we said ‘We need to educate families on these services as well,’" Cortjens said.
Part of their goal is educating families - guiding them from diagnosis to navigating insurance, help for schools, and programs into adulthood.
"We get our needs directly from parents so you can go on to Join Our Place and the first question we ask you when you are registering an account is ‘What are your three biggest needs right now?’" she said.
Families can also use the new Our Place Map, showing all the different businesses that help serve the disability community.
"We are so excited, we kind of say it's like Yelp for the disability community," she said. "The number one thing people come to Our Place is for people who are like ‘I cannot find services’ and it's like you were saying - how do I find a barber, how do I find a swim school, how do I find a dentist," she told Good Day's Lindsay Tuman.
Now families are able to find all of those services, making the world an easier place for people in the disability community to navigate.
"Our place is going to change the world of disability," Cortjens said.
If you want to learn more about Our Place, their website is joinourplace.com