• Bay Area Abilities Expo
    October 27-29, 2017
    San Mateo County Event Center
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

FREE workshops!
Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

Here's what we did in 2016. Stay tuned for 2017!

Please check back three months
before the Expo for the new schedule.

CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services will be available at all of the workshops.

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and finding clinical trials to the steps for getting the best accessible vehicle. Hear tips on living well from Tiphany Adams, star of Sundance Channel's critically acclaimed docu-series Push Girls. Discover the best local accessible trails and learn how to advocate for the right wheelchair.

Workshops are FREE! All attendees are welcome – you don’t need to register or sign up in advance. Just arrive early to the workshop to make sure you can get a seat!

There is so much more happening at Abilities Expo! Be sure to check out the FREE Events for demonstrations of adaptive sports, dancing, assistance dogs, horse therapy – and more. Most events include time for attendees to participate!


  • Certificates of participation are available for all workshops. Please see the Accessibility Help Desk following each workshop for your certificate. (Please note there are no CEU approved courses at this year’s Abilities Expo).

* Dates and times of workshops are subject to change without notice. The opinions presented at the workshops are those of the presenters and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Abilities Expo. Workshop content should not be considered as a replacement or substitute for the services of trained professionals in any field, including, but not limited to, financial, medical or legal matters. We encourage you to seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding the evaluation of any specific information presented in these workshops.

Solving Tech Problems Using the Makeathon Concept

Presented by: Daniel Stickney’s Makeathon Team: Pierre Karaschchuk, Kelly Peng, Oscar Segovia, Corten Singer, Ryan Sternlicht, Daniel Stickney, Stanford Stickney, Stephanie Valencia, Tomás Vega

Living Well with Chronic Pain

Meet Daniel who has CP, a cortical vision impairment and a big challenge. His low vision meant he had challenges navigating his surroundings from his wheelchair. Accidents would happen because he could not see edges - falling off the side of a ramp, down some stairs. Enter the Makeathon and a solution! A Makeathon is where a group of individuals come together to collaborate and solve a specific challenge. At this workshop you’ll hear Daniel’s story, and discover how a weeklong Makeathon designed a new type of edge detection system that notifies Danny when he drives near stairs or other ledges. The Makeathon team will be on hand to tell the story and share how you can use a Makeathon to create solutions to similar problems. View the documentary of Daniel’s Makeathon.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Presented by: Earthquake Country Alliance

Earthquake Preparedness

Join emergency management officials and disability advocates at a vital workshop for individuals with disabilities and their caregivers on personal and community preparedness strategies for hazards like earthquakes, wildfires, flooding, and more. Regional experts will provide information and resources on drafting your own emergency plan that incorporates your disability needs, establishing personal support teams, personalizing disaster supply kits, evacuation/shelter-in-place considerations, and community stakeholder engagement opportunities. Join us and become more resilient in the face of disaster!
Learn more at www.earthquakecountry.org/disability. For national resources visit www.disability.gov  (click on Emergency Preparedness).

The Healing Power of Nature: You Don’t Have to Go Far to Feel Great!

Presented by: Bob “4 Wheel Bob” Coomber, America’s #1 Wheelchair Hiker

Bob Coomber Hiking

Cabin Fever they call it – when you can’t, or won’t get out of the house, and feel closed in. With a few simple tweaks to your day, you can discover the power of Nature’s ability to lift you from those four walls to a new place, where you can join in and be a part of your natural community. Learning to find out what’s going on around you, every day, does much to stimulate and motivate. Bob Coomber, America’s #1 Wheelchair Hiker, will share known benefits of the outdoors, what motivates him, and how you can get outside yourself, regardless of your ability level. Includes a sneak peek of the upcoming documentary film featuring Bob’s story! Learn more at www.4wheelbob.com.

Adaptive Fashion 101 with Frill-Ability

Presented by: ElleJay Volpe, Frill-Ability

Bob Coomber Hiking

Discover tips for finding clothes that you love, that look great on your body, and achieve a look that you can celebrate. Adaptive clothing will be explored, including the fact that all bodies are different, so "adaptive" will mean something different to everyone. Some of the latest adaptive garments on the market will be available for you to see and talk about. Other important tips to be discussed include how to make mainstream garments work for you, how to have a comfortable day out, accessories to live by, and your unique self expression. Learn about the presenter’s favorite adaptive garments and share your own as well. Learn more at www.frill-ability.com.

Accessible and Affordable Home Ownership for People with Disabilities and Their Families

Presented by: Stephen Beard, ABR, e-PRO, Real Estate Consultant and Accessibility Specialist, Better Homes and Gardens Mason-McDuffie Real Estate

Have you ever felt home ownership was out of bounds because of your disability and/or lack of income or cash? Are you tired of living at home or paying someone else's mortgage? Have you ever felt that real estate agents just don't understand disability and the impact it has on a home search? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then this is a presentation you will not want to miss. Stephen Beard is an Accessibility Specialist Realtor from Berkeley. He will speak about the Buy Vs. Rent decision; Working with an Accessibility Specialist, Financing, Down Payment Assistance Programs, Section 8 Home Ownership, current market conditions, and many other topics. By the end of this presentation, you will know whether buying your own home is the right move for you! Learn more at www.accessiblehomesforyou.com and www.facebook.com/AccessibleHomesForYou.

Travel: Access Your World

Presented by: Ashley Lyn Olson, CEO & Founder, wheelchairtraveling.com

Travel the World

Welcome to the world of accessible travel! Wheelchairtraveling.com works to empower people with limited mobility, their friends, and loved ones to access and experience the world of adventure and leisure travel both locally and internationally. There is a lot to see and do in this world, and you know what’s best for you. This workshop is an open discussion to explore the many options available worldwide, including activities, attractions, accommodations, transportation, tours, equipment and more, but also the laws that define your rights. Topics on the outdoors, cruising and flying on an airplane will also be discussed. Learn more at www.wheelchairtraveling.com.

Exoskeleton Technology: A Step For Healthy Living

Presented by: Colin Buchanan, Market Development Manager, ReWalk Robotics

Exoskeleton Technology

Whether we were born with a mobility impairment condition or face one later in life, the diagnosis is often the same: You will live your life with impaired mobility and/or rely on a wheelchair full time. Exoskeleton technology has come a long way to assist in altering this diagnosis to allow individuals to live a life upright, more mobile, and gain health benefits all in one! Join us to learn about the past, present, and future of exoskeleton technology, and most importantly, the profound effect it has had on the lives of individuals with spinal cord injury. See the ReWalk in action, and hear about how this technology. Learn more at www.rewalk.com.

Medical Marijuana: Benefits and Legalization

Presented by: Felicia Carbajal and Andrew Kuebbing, Co-Founders, California Cannabis Advocates

Medical Marijuana Symbol

You may have heard about medical marijuana from friends or relatives. Now come learn from the experts! With new cannabis regulation from the California legislature and on the ballot, know where you stand legally. Cannabis medicine has come a long way--new dosed and non-psychoactive options give patients a range of ways to replace or augment pharmaceutical regiments. There's no need to smoke your medicine anymore with lots of non-smokable products available in the marketplace. Learn the basics of the medicine and your best guide for dosing.

Caregiver Day at Abilities Expo

The following workshops are presented by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and are geared for the loved ones who give so much. Learn more at www.christopherreeve.org.

Caring Together: How to Make it Easier for Family and Friends to Help with Caregiving

Presented by: Yosaif August ACC

Help for Caregivers

This presentation will outline how caregivers can overcome common barriers like discussing task preference, getting past beliefs that hold them back and how to affirmatively ask for help with caregiving.

Relax Your Mind and Body

Presented by: Jay Gupta RPh, MScIM, MTM, RxYT and Terry Gupta MSW, RxYT, RMT

Relax Your Mind and Body with Yoga

The presenters will demonstrate several science-smart techniques around mindfulness and yoga that will help caregivers rejuvenate their mind and body. 
* No special clothing or flexibility level is required for the yoga portion.

Care for the Caregiver: Take Charge of Your Health Through Self-Care

Presented by: Regina Rosenthal PT, MA

Take Charge of your health

This presentation will outline acupressure techniques and other self-care practices as well as an action plan for these practices.

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