New Talladega VR office to better serve area residents with disabilities

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The Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services will formally open its newest office Friday, Feb. 6, to better serve adults with disabilities in Talladega and 10 other surrounding counties.

ADRS Commissioner Cary Boswell, along with state and local dignitaries, will be on-hand at 10 a.m. to cut the ceremonial ribbon on the 11,790 square-foot facility. The new home for Vocational Rehabilitation for the Talladega area is located at 31 Arnold St. just off of the Ashland Highway on the southern end of town, and it triples the size of its previous location.

Commissioner Boswell said he is excited that area residents with disabilities have a fully updated and modern facility to come to for services.

“By constructing a new facility in Talladega, ADRS is reinforcing its long-term commitment to serve the blind and deaf community in that area,” Boswell said. “For many years, the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind (AIDB) has been a big partner of ADRS. This new building allows ADRS to better contribute to continue to grow our fruitful partnership with AIDB.”

Cayla Lackey, VR unit supervisor for Talladega, called the new facility a “model ADRS office.”

“The new home for Talladega VR is world-class,” Lackey said. “Not only is the building completely modern, and fully accessible, it was built from the ground up with accommodations and accessibility in mind.”

In addition to a better location and room to grow, the new VR office in Talladega has many improvements over the old facility, which had been in continuous use since 1970. In addition to improved energy efficiency, the facility houses a resource room to directly connect partners and consumers to possibilities and opportunities in the workplace. The acoustics of the facility are designed to benefit persons with hearing impairments and large televisions have been hung to assist persons with vision impairments. The lobby may also be used as a meeting space for different groups connected to ADRS.

“Our office is designed to facilitate job-readiness,” said Lackey. “We put the people we serve first when we built this office. It is functional. It’s convenient. And ultimately, it is beneficial for the Talladega community.

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