State Rehab Center to Close in June

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - State officials plan to close the West Virginia Rehabilitation Center in Kanawha County at the end of June.

The center serves disabled people from all over the state. They live on the center's campus while receiving therapy and job training.

Spokeswoman Tracy Carr says financial problems left the Division of Rehabilitation Services no choice but to cut the program.

She says the agency will redirect the money used to fund the center to serve more individuals throughout the state who are in need of vocational rehabilitation.

Ken Ervin with the group Adapt West Virginia is happy to hear that. He says people with disabilities should be provided services closer to home.

But Mary Lou Wiegand, one of about 90 employees at the rehab center, says many local programs offer little more than baby-sitting services.

Ola Dulaney received help from the center in 2001 after developing an eye disease and now works in the dormitory there. She worries about what will happen to other people with disabilities.

Dulaney says those people may never develop the self-esteem that she did.

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