• Chicago Abilities Expo
    CHICAGO
    June 29 - July 1, 2018
    Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Free Workshops

Plan your Abilities Expo experience today

Here's what we did in 2017. Stay tuned for 2018!

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

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and home modifications to the steps to getting the best accessible vehicle. See a sneak peek of an upcoming episode from Season 2 of “Push Girls.” Find out how standing is benefitting people with spinal cord injuries. Pick up some tips for dating and intimacy at the “Creating Healthy Relationships” workshop. Newly disabled? Be sure to check out the discussion session “Life After A Serious Injury.”

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!

Did you know there’s more than the Workshops 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!

Professionals:

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.

 

Making Your Home Accessible: Strategies and Solutions

Presented by: Rob Horkheimer, MPT, CEAC, ECHM, CAPS, Owner, Bridgeway Independent Living Designs

Making Your Home Accessible: Strategies and Solutions

There are more and more products available for accessibility and home safety.  It can be confusing, expensive and ineffective however if not approached with the proper strategies, or without knowing the available options.  Rob Horkheimer will share an overview in this presentation of some of the common accessibility concerns and strategies including: bathroom safety, stair management, transfer solutions and kitchen accessibility. Learn more at www.bildnow.com.

Open Your World With Accessible Travel

Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org

Open Your World With Accessible Travel

The world is more accessible than ever, and the travel industry is beginning to recognize that wheelchair users and people with disabilities want to explore it too! This workshop will provide you with information and tools to plan a wheelchair accessible vacation, opening your world to unlimited possibilities. Come prepared to participate in an accessible travel Q&A that will address a wide variety of questions, concerns and vacation destinations. The presenter, known for circling the globe with one hand, a passport and a power wheelchair, will bring firsthand knowledge from more than half a million air miles traveled with a disability. You will leave this workshop with inspiration for your next vacation and tips to make accessible travel enjoyable for all, including your friends, family members and caregivers. Read more about traveling with a disability at www.WheelchairTravel.org.

Creativity in Cooking, Nutrition, and Fitness for All Ability Levels

Presented by: Tracy Williams, Nutrition Speaker and Author, www.tracysplate.com

Creativity in Cooking, Nutrition, and Fitness for All Ability Levels

Do you want to learn the basics of universal design for people of all abilities and stage of life when it comes to learning how to cook for yourself if you have a disability? Tracy Williams, a nutritionist with cerebral palsy, with her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics will lead a discussion based on the interviews she did with occupational therapists at both Shriners Hospital for Children and Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. She also has some nutrition advice to share about wound healing, vegetarian lifestyle, food safety concerns, truths about carbohydrates and their importance in the American diet, especially healthy whole grain options. Most Americans are confused about healthy eating, because of the prevalence of fad diets promoted in traditional media, as well as social media. Tracy will give pointers on how you can best avoid fad diets and the confusion that surrounds social media. Tracy will also give pointers on how to shop for the healthiest foods in accordance to your food budget. Tracy will also give pointers on how every person add more sports and fitness to their life no matter their ability. Tracy Williams enjoys inspiring her audiences to live healthier lifestyles. Learn more at www.tracysplate.com.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Presented by: Claire Pywell, Regional Preparedness Manager, American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois and Marty Makowski, Major Gift Officer, American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

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 fires, floods, storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc. 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! For national resources visit www.disability.gov (click on Emergency Preparedness).

Collaborative Intensive Therapy: Making It Fun and Functional

Presented by: Taylor DeValk, PT, DPT, Director of Development, CI Pediatric Therapy Centers

Collaborative Intensive Therapy

The intensive model of therapy offers great promise for functional gains in the pediatric population. This presentation will highlight how a state-of-the-art pediatric outpatient clinic has incorporated the intensive model of therapy into a collaborative, individualized and play based approach. Attendees will learn about how occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech and language therapists work together to provide a unique treatment experience for the client, as well as the family. Clients with neuromuscular challenges, undergoing orthopedic rehabilitation, or those who have reached a plateau with traditional therapy models are ideal candidates for this program. Efficacy and research will be provided behind the rationale and different types of intensive therapy models available. Video demonstrations of treatment methods and case studies with outcomes will be presented. The team at CI-Pediatric Therapy Centers is proud to be the largest pediatric therapy provider in the Midwest. We pride ourselves on our unique and effective approach to collaborative therapy. Learn more at www.citherapies.com.

Open Your World With Accessible Travel

Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org

Open Your World With Accessible Travel

The world is more accessible than ever, and the travel industry is beginning to recognize that wheelchair users and people with disabilities want to explore it too! This workshop will provide you with information and tools to plan a wheelchair accessible vacation, opening your world to unlimited possibilities. Come prepared to participate in an accessible travel Q&A that will address a wide variety of questions, concerns and vacation destinations. The presenter, known for circling the globe with one hand, a passport and a power wheelchair, will bring firsthand knowledge from more than half a million air miles traveled with a disability. You will leave this workshop with inspiration for your next vacation and tips to make accessible travel enjoyable for all, including your friends, family members and caregivers. Read more about traveling with a disability at www.WheelchairTravel.org.

Pediatric Therapies, Activities and Resources

Presented by: Michelle Haney, PT, Director, Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT

Pediatric Therapies, Activities and Resources

This workshop is about promoting optimal physical function and mobility, which enables children with neuromuscular disorders to reach their full potential! Explore several specialized pediatric therapy programs, activities and resources that can benefit children with gross motor challenges such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, traumatic brain injury, genetic syndromes and other developmental delays. Euro-Peds Intensive physical therapy, conductive education, and therapeutic bike riding along with their health, emotional and psychological benefits will be some of the topics covered during this enlightening workshop. Many videos, case studies and research, and take-home materials for further exploration will also be shared. Presented by the Director of Euro-Peds National Center - America's pioneer of intensive pediatric physical therapy. Learn more at www.euro-peds.org.

The A-B-C's of American Sign Language

Presented by: Timothy Thomas, Account Manager, Accessibility, Karasch & Associates

Sign Language Basics

Have you always wanted to learn American Sign Language? This fun interactive workshop will teach you the ABC's and a few short easy to learn phrases! Then you will learn a few easy to remember songs in American Sign Language! Adults and Children of all ages come and discover how to open up a new world of communication possibilities with over 3 million individuals that use American Sign Language to communicate!

Chris and Dana Reeve Foundation LogoThe following workshops are presented by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and are geared for the loved ones who give so much.

Acupressure for Stress Relief: The Seva Stress Release Program

Presented by: Regina Rosenthal PT, MA, RYT-200

Acupressure for Stress Relief: The Seva Stress Release Program

"Acupressure for Stress Relief: The Seva Stress Release Program" is a presentation where you will learn and experience how to use a simple, easy to perform acupressure program, which will help you to: manage and relieve stress; reduce anxiety, pain, and tension.

Putting Insomnia and Other Sleep Issues to Sleep

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

Putting Insomnia and Other Sleep Issues to Sleep

"Putting Insomnia and Other Sleep Issues to Sleep" is a unique seminar that brings the best wisdom of the west and the east to help you enjoy a deeply restorative sleep. The presenters will help you to recognize the causes and complications of sleep issues, learn more about the important cautions for prescription sleep medications, OTCs and herbal remedies and be empowered to use tested strategies and practices to bring your body to a stage of deep rest.

Protected Tomorrows: Future Care Plans

Presented by: Mary Anne Ehlert, Expert in Special Needs Planning and Services

Future care

"Protected Tomorrows: Future Care Plans" is a presentation that will be uplifting, educational and provide important facts families need to know. Participants will walk away with a foundation for their family's personal future care plan. Topics of discussion include: preparing legally and financially, maximizing government benefits, healthcare (Medicare/Medicaid), employment, housing, and social outreach.

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