• Los Angeles Abilities Expo
    LOS ANGELES
    March 6 - 8, 2015
    Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm
    Set your clocks one hour ahead for Daylight Saving Time on Saturday night, March 7!

FREE workshops!
Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

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 getting the best accessible vehicle to celebrating the legacy of the ADA. Discover how to get more from your smartphones and tablets. Learn how therapeutic cannabis is helping people with many different conditions. Ramp up your emergency preparedness knowledge. Find out how you can improve the intimacy side of your life.

Workshops are FREE and there’s no need to register. Just arrive early to get your seat!
Check out our FREE Events for more information and activities.

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).

* Please note dates and times of workshops are subject to change without notice. Abilities Expo is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speakers.

Friday, March 6, 2015

11:45am – 12:45pm

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Presented by Justin White, Area Sales Manager, BraunAbility

Location: Workshop 1

Family with adaptive van

Does the process of purchasing adaptive equipment for a vehicle leave you feeling challenged and frustrated? Consumers and related healthcare professionals alike are invited to join us to learn the tips to successfully navigating the purchase of vans and accessible modifications. This workshop will cover such topics as what solutions are available and where to find them, key terminology, the shopping and evaluation process, funding options and much more. Following the session attendees are invited for a hands-on van demo at BraunAbility's Booth #101. Learn more at www.nmeda.com.

11:45am – 12:45pm

ADA: A Civil Rights Legacy

Presented by Erica C. Jones, MPH, Director, Pacific ADA Center

Location: Workshop 2

The ADA Legacy Tour coming to Los Angeles

The ADA National Network in collaboration with the ADA Legacy Project invites you to join this session as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the passage of the ADA. Use this opportunity to gain a better understanding of the history of the ADA and civil rights for people with disabilities. This session will provide a discussion of the events that led up to the ADA's passage and will provide an overview of how the ADA is structured, including how it is enforced and where technical assistance is available. Learn more about the various initiatives that support the ADA's legacy and history and what the future challenges and opportunities are under the ADA and its promise of equal access and opportunity for citizens with disabilities. Learn more at www.adalegacy.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Traveling Curb Free: How to Explore the World in a Wheelchair

Presented by Cory Lee, Founder and CEO, curbfreewithcorylee.com

Location: Workshop 1

Travel in a Wheelchair

Do your days consist of dreaming of exotic places, but you are not sure how to turn those dreams into reality from a wheelchair? Cory Lee has traveled throughout the world as a wheelchair user and wants to show you how to do the same thing in this educational and entertaining workshop. Learn how to properly prepare for accessible travel, what destinations and modes of transportation are suitable for your needs, and even how to deal with those unexpected circumstances that often arise while traveling in new places. Cory will share his humorous first-hand experiences and photos, while interacting and answering any travel related questions that you may have. Don't just dream about seeing the world; learn how to make it happen in this workshop and start your own adventure. Learn more at www.curbfreewithcorylee.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Nutriton and Wellness

Presented by Jeanne Allen, Founder, incredibleACCESSIBLE

Location: Workshop 2

Nutrition and wellness

Four years ago, after 26 years of living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Jeanne Allen finally decided to give nutrition a try for her health and symptom management. Oddly, she received lukewarm encouragement from her neurologist. She embarked on an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan, and for the first time in her life stuck with it, eliminating gluten, dairy and sugar. Jeanne will share with attendees what happened next, including the resources she used to make her nutrition decisions, what she encountered during the process and the benefits, both expected and unexpected. Among the results? Noticeable mobility improvement, and most dramatically, her MS fatigue went away. A few bonus benefits included loss of insomnia and the unexpected but quite welcome side effect was that she lost 50 pounds. Nutrition strategies for management and resolution of symptoms are gaining credibility as more research is devoted to the topic. Learn more at www.incredibleaccessible.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Exercise for Every Body: Maximize Your Potential

Presented by Kristin McNealus, PT, DPT, ATP, Owner, SCI Total Fitness

Location: Workshop 1

Exercise for people with disabilities.

At a time when obesity and diabetes is on the rise, it is important to take control of your health! The good news is that exercise really is the best medicine. Kristin McNealus has her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has been practicing for over 10 years. She started SCI Total Fitness to promote exercise and wellness for people with mobility limitations. She'll share with you the benefits of exercise, and give you all the reasons to start or continue your workout routine. You'll learn the many different types of exercise available to you and how to exercise safely. She will connect you to local resources and help you get started on a path to a healthier, stronger you! Learn more at www.scitotalfitness.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Turning Adversity and Obstacles into Opportunity

Presented by Ellen Stohl, MS in Counseling

Location: Workshop 2

You can't always control the circumstances you find yourself in but you can control how you react and what you do. The concept of positive thinking can not only improve quality of life but according to Yale University researchers, "Positive self-perceptions can prolong life expectancy." Gain a better understanding of preconceived social ideas about perfection and their impact on self-concept and self-esteem. Individuals are not born in a vacuum and self-esteem is developed as a result of interactions between self and society. Theorists refer to this as the "Looking Glass Self". For individuals with perceived imperfections, such as a disability, the sense of self can be negatively impacted by social stereotypes and preconceptions. Historically people with disabilities have been seen as "less then" and more like passive recipients of life rather than active participants. These viewpoints are often reinforced by families, the media and society at large. Too often individuals with disabilities are underestimated especially in the arena of work, societal contributions and personal relationships. My presentation explores the many obstacles I encountered in discovering who I am after sustaining a spinal chord injury at 18. Let me share with you the secret of positive thinking and how it helped me transform a tragic accident into an amazing life! Learn more at www.ellenstohlstory.com.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Regain that Feeling: Secrets to Sexual Self-Discovery (regainthatfeeling.com)

Presented by Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH, Sexologist and Author

Location: Workshop 1

Exercise for people with disabilities.

Surviving a serious injury or illness, or living with a chronic condition or disability, brings a host of physical changes, emotional responses, and relationship challenges. Often you are left feeling like less of a man or woman, defective, undeserving of love, fearing rejection, and avoiding sex. However, disability or illness doesn't have to end your sex life. Through sharing his own story after breaking his neck and what he has learned from others as a sex researcher and coach, Dr. Tepper will dispel the top 7 myths that create barriers to emotional and physical intimacy. He will also introduce you to basic tantric and sensate focus techniques; props to help with positioning and to increase comfort; devices to amplify sensations; and solutions to compensate for dysfunctions. He is the author of the new book "Regain that Feeling, Secrets to Sexual Self Discovery" (available for purchase at the Expo). Learn more about Dr. Tepper's work at www.mitchelltepper.com.

* Please note this workshop is for attendees 18 and older, and contains material that is appropriate for adults only.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Adaptive Gardening

Presented by Wendy McPherson, Farm-Raised and Lifetime Organic Gardener

Location: Workshop 2

Adaptive Gardening

Would you like to get into gardening? Or get back into gardening when you didn't think you could do it anymore? Join us to learn adaptive techniques for wheelchair users and people with mobility challenges. Discover how inexpensive household items can be modified to improve your leverage, grip and reach. Find out how to easily set up a barrier-free gardening plot in your yard, or on your porch or balcony. Geared to first timers and the experienced, the workshop will include both adaptive techniques and hands-in-the-soil gardening skills to successfully grow vegetables, flowers, and herbs year round. 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

11:45am – 12:45pm

Emergency Preparedness: Partners in Planning

Presented by Jeanne O'Donnell, Senior Program Manager, Los Angeles County Office of Emergency Management

Location: Workshop 1

This workshop will address an individual's role in improving community emergency planning. Attendees will gain insight on how to can assist in developing inclusive emergency planning practices in their communities. This session will also include information and resources for assessing your needs when creating your personal and family emergency preparedness plans. Learn more at www.lacoa.org.

11:45am – 12:45pm

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101

Presented by Zayd Ratansi, ND and Shannon Kenitz,Executive Director, International Hyperbarics Association

Location: Workshop 2

Being Normal

At this session, Dr. Ratansi, who has administered hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to his patients for over 17 years, will share with attendees what the therapy is, how it helps, and how you can access this treatment. Discover how HBOT can benefit numerous conditions including autism, cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, chronic inflammation, spinal cord injury, sports-related injuries and more. Dr. Ratansi will explain the physiological responses of increased levels of oxygen throughout the body and how it has helped hundreds of thousands of people, world-wide, improve their quality of life. Also, he will present how patients are able to obtain HBOT and what to expect from treatments. Shannon Kenitz joins Dr. Ratansi to share how HBOT saved her special needs daughter's life, and lead to Shannon's own work starting an HBOT clinic and becoming a recognized advocate for HBOT on a global platform. Learn more at www.shannonandgrace.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Presented by Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Location: Workshop 1

Travel around the world with a disability.

Would you like to travel the country or the world, but believe you cannot because of your disability? At this workshop you will learn that travel by air, sea and car is a real option for you. The presenter, a professional travel agent who has a disability and has travelled extensively, will share with you how to plan a trip, including what to expect form hotels, rental car companies, cruise lines and the airlines. Learn about the common challenges, methods for addressing them and what the law requires. Attendees will receive recommendations for disability-friendly destinations and accessible travel resources. Be sure to bring your pressing questions and a list of places you'd like to visit. Learn more at www.easyaccesstravel.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Medical Marijuana: Benefits and Legalization

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

Location: Workshop 2

Benefits of Marijuana for disabilities

The last decade has brought incredible progress to the science of cannabis medicine. There are now a myriad of options besides inhalation for almost any condition, including dosed liquid extracts, edible oils, medicated foodstuffs, patches, tablets, lozenges, and more!  Discover what research is telling us about the positive medicinal impacts of therapeutic cannabis for people on the Autism spectrum and with other types of disabilities, including spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS) and more. With the advent of inexpensive potency testing for cannabis, you can now be confident of your dosing, as well as titrating the amounts of THC and CBD and changing your ratio (for pain vs inflammation).  Also learn how to use cannabis topically with salves, balms, and creams. Learn more at www.californiacannabisadvocates.com and www.facebook.com/CACannAdvs.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Care for the Caregiver: Why It Is Important and How to Make it Happen

Presented by Karen Kain, Author, Abilities Expo Parent Ambassador

Location: Workshop 1

Care for the Caregiver

Being a caregiver is like running a marathon … except you never finish. When faced with the demands of caring for a loved one with a disability how do you find time for you? How do you give yourself permission for self-care? Karen will share her personal journey of caring for her medically fragile daughter for 15 years, and how she discovered that it by taking care of herself she could be the best parent possible for her daughter. Discover ideas for how you can meet your physical, emotional and spiritual needs. A must-attend workshop for caregivers and healthcare professionals alike. Learn more at www.lorrinsworld.com and www.karenkain.com. Karen's book, "Living a Unique Live Experience" is available for purchase at the Expo. See the events schedule for times and location.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Accessibility Features of Smartphones and Tablets

Presented by Ben Lippincott, Project Director, Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies; and Kendra Cox, Compliance & Outreach Manager, Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, AT&T

Location: Workshop 2

Smartphone Accessibility

The workshop explores the many accessibility features found on today's most current smartphones and tablets. Uncover features that are helpful for people who use hearing aids, use text and video services, have communication difficulties, have difficulty seeing, have dexterity or mobility impairments, or have attention, concentration or sensory difficulties. Caregivers and professionals will also benefit by understanding these features as they assist people with disabilities. This workshop will focus on the latest Apple (iOS8) and Android (5.0) Operating Systems, as well as previous systems. Attendees will also discover resources for services, devices and mobile applications. This workshop is part of the "Wireless Independence Now!" workshop series presented by AT&T and Wireless RERC. Learn more at www.wirelessrerc.org.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

To Be Announced

3:45pm - 4:45pm

The Business of Show Business

Presented by Gail Williamson, Agent, Diversity Department, Kazarian, Measures, Ruskin & Associates

Location: Workshop 2

Care for the Caregiver

Gail presents information on the state of the media/entertainment world and performers with disabilities. If you have ever considered trying to break into this world, Gail will share her experience with you. If you got sucked into this world, Gail will help you make sense of it. You will learn about what it takes to be in the industry; headshots, resumes, training, representation, casting websites, background performing and more. She will address the industry for adults and for children. Gail raised a son who is an actor with a disability. He started as a child actor and now as an adult has credits that include NIP/TUCK, SCRUBS, ER, CSI and others. You may be familiar with Gail's work in everything from Target and Nordstrom ads to GLEE, AMERICAN HORROR STORY and FAKING IT. www.kmrtalent.com and www.dsiam.org.

There are no workshops on Sunday, March 8.

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