• Los Angeles Abilities Expo
    February 23 - 25, 2018
    Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A
    New Hours: 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.

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.


  • 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.

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Presented by: Justin White, Director of Sales West, BraunAbility

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

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.

Accessible Home Design: The Basics

Mark Lichter, AIA, Director of Architecture & Facilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Living Well with Chronic Pain

Can I retrofit my master bathroom to include a spacious roll-in shower? What must I do to install an elevator in my two-story home? How can my flower garden be made more accessible? Who should I hire to make sure my home renovation project will fit my needs? Accessible Home Design: The Basics will address improving the accessibility in each specific area of a home, as well as what you need to know before taking on a renovation project. Whether it's a new accessible residence or retrofitting your existing home, information will be presented with real examples and case studies. Subject matter will include entering your home; residential elevators and lifts, kitchen design, bathrooms and plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, outdoor areas and gardens, and much more. Learn more at www.pva.org

Look Your Best: Accessible Fashion Tips

Presented by: Stephanie Thomas, Founder, Stylist and Editor in Chief, Cur8Able


Discover fashion recommendations that suit any body and lifestyle from a pro in the industry! Stephanie Thomas of Cur8Able will teach attendees her three-point Disability Fashion Styling System which states that  products must be: 1) Accessible, 2) Smart, and 3) Fashionable. Accessible is easy to put on and take off, Smart is medically safe, and Fashionable is desirable to the wearer, and fits the wearers body type and lifestyle. Stephanie will discuss both accessible fashion lines as well as off-the-rack clothing. You'll come away with great ideas for dressing with confidence, dignity, and self reliance. Learn more at the Cur8Able website (https://www.cur8able.com). 

Registered Therapy Dogs 101

Presented by Richard Katz, Founder and Executive Director, Pet Therapy Advisors

Therapy Dogs

Anyone who has felt a connection with an animal and experienced that joy of unconditional love, understanding, and acceptance, knows the value of their companionship. These qualities make animals, particularly dogs, ideal therapeutic visitors that bring smiles to patients in hospitals, calm travelers at airports, calm child witnesses during court proceedings, make good listeners for children learning to read, help victims of natural and man-made disasters, and newer emerging applications. At this session, you'll learn about therapy dogs and how they differ from service dogs. Discover what it takes to become a therapy dog handler, working with either your service dog or a pet dog, and find out how to get certified to provide this type of service. Learn more at http://pettherapyadvisers.com.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Presented by: Earthquake, Fire, and Disability Preparedness Experts from Earthquake Country Alliance, Government Agencies, and Non-Profit Organizations

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 earthquakes, fire, flooding, severe storms, 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! For national resources visit www.disability.gov  (click on Emergency Preparedness). For local resources visit www.earthquakecountry.org/disability.

Travel: The Quest for Accessible Adventure

Kathy Shoaf, RN, BSN, ATP, Travel Professional, Owner - Cruise Planners/ American Express Travel Agency, Elite Cruises and Vacations LCC

Location: Workshop #2

Travel: The Quest for Accessible Adventure

Would you like to travel but have concerns about accessibility and managing medical care? At this workshop, you'll discover how to make your travel possible! Increase your knowledge of travel options, boost your confidence in available solutions and establish your ability to locate the resources and people to provide the services you need. The presenter will also address multi-generational, adventure and bucket list trips as well as travel challenges specific to certain disabilities and conditions like Parkinson's, ALS, CVA, ASD, MD, MS and more.  As an RN and an ATP, the presenter is passionate about the reality of ENJOYING LIFE. Her professional life has led her through Home Health Management, Accessibly Housing Management and Custom Mobility / ATP Neurological care. With 10 years as a Travel Professional, her focus is on facilitating Travel experiences with NO EXCUSES. Let's Live Life, Enjoy Opportunities and Create Situations that enable FUN…Adventure and New Horizons Her current cruise project is a Dementia / Alzheimer's support/ education conference with early dementia clients participating in the educational forum.  Learn more at http:// www.EliteCruisesAndVacationsTravel.com

Run, Hide, and Fight: Options for Surviving an Active Shooter

Presented by: Mona Curry, Valley Bureau Emergency Manager, Emergency Management Department, City of Los Angeles

Beat the Odds. Stay safe during an active shooter event.

Active shooter situations are real and can happen anywhere, anytime. We all have different abilities to surviving an active shooter. This workshop will help you understand what your options can be for all abilities. There are no guarantees for anyone but know your options and have a chance to stay alive.

Wellness for People with Disabilities

Presented by: Craig J. Newsam, PT, DPT, Assistant Professor, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, Mount Saint Mary's University

The global wellness industry is a multi-trillion dollar industry; however, how well do traditional definitions of "wellness" apply to people with disabilities? This session will explore past and current definitions of wellness, and will discuss the movement toward a more inclusive model of wellness. This new model will include a holistic approach to the individual including occupational, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. Wellness can then be viewed as an active process on the part of any individual striving to improve regardless of their current state. The session will help to identify key aspects of wellbeing specific to persons living with a disability and provide insight to the process of seeking wellness.

Ask the Doctor

Presented by: David Kipper, MD, Renowned physician, and Peter Tilden, TalkRadio 790 Talk Show Host

Ask the Doctor

Get answers to your questions on any heath-related issues from Dr. David Kipper, radio celebrity and doctor to the stars, in this audience-driven question and answer session. As a renowned authority on internal medicine, Dr. Kipper's knowledge and experience spans multiple medical disciplines and has earned the trust of both his patients and listeners. Dr. Kipper has been practicing medicine for nearly four decades, is the co-founder of the Medical Group of Beverly Hills, and has frequently appeared as an expert commentator on medical matters on major networks. He has appeared on the Today show and contributes to the Huffington Post. He joins Peter Tilden's morning show with the KABC Health Feature every week. Learn more at http://davidkippermd.com.

The Intensive Model of Therapy: An Interdisciplinary Approach

Presented by: Lynette LaScala, Founder and CEO of NAPA Center; and Lisa Murphy OTD, OTR/L, SWC, Doctor of Occupational Therapy, Director of Rehabilitation of NAPA Center

Napa Center

With a focus on global development, NAPA Center will utilize case examples of real patients to demonstrate how occupational, physical and speech therapists work together within the intensive model to provide comprehensive treatment and help children maximize their progress towards goals. Presenters will discuss how therapists collaborate and educate one another to implement specific discipline strategies and goals in a child's therapy sessions to provide repetition and facilitate learning across contexts.

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 will review several pediatric therapies, activities and resources that would benefit those having gross motor challenges. Learn about intensive physical therapy, conductive education, therapeutic bike riding, their health, emotional and psychological benefits and how you can access these services where you live. Learn more at www.euro-peds.org.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101

Presented by: Shannon Kenitz, Executive Director, International Hyperbarics Association, and Daniel Rossignol, MD, FAAFP, Rossignol Medical Center; Wisconsin Integrative Hyperbaric Center; and Member, Physician Advisory Board, Talk About Curing Autism

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101

At this session attendees will learn basic information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy, what it is, how it can help, and how to access this treatment. Extensive research supports that HBOT can benefit numerous conditions including: cerebral palsy, stroke, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, chronic inflammation, spinal cord injury, sports-related injuries, Autism and more. While this therapy is a standard of care in some developed nations, its use in the United States is sporadic and faces controversy challenges. Hear from Shannon Kenitz who will share her own personal story about how HBOT saved her special needs daughter's life (Grace has a rare mitochondrial condition). A physician co-presenter will detail key research findings, what individuals can expect from treatments, and will answer questions from the audience. Find resources, research links, and learn more at www.ihausa.org and www.shannonandgrace.com

Exoskeleton Technology: A Step For Healthy Living

Presented by: Colin Buchanan, Associate Product Manager, ReWalk Robotics

Exoskeleton Technology: A Step For Healthy Living

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 this life-changing technology. Learn more at www.rewalk.com.

Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Presented by: Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel


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.

Nutrition: Change Your Life with Your Food

Presented by: Kylie James, B.Sc, (O.T.), CNP and Joanne E. Smith, B.A., BRT Dip, CNP of Eat Well, Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury

Nutrition for every type

Discover the potential nutritional changes have for changing your life. This session will include research, case study examples and tips geared to people with disabilities. The presenters are regular columnists for New Mobility Magazine and are the authors of the book, Eat Well Live Well with Spinal Cord Injury. Learn more at www.eatwelllivewellwithsci.com.

* Join the presenters for a book signing and question and answer session following their workshop. 4:15pm – 4:45pm in the Meet Up Zone, Booth #617.

Medical Marijuana: Benefits and Legalization

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

Medical Marijuana

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.

Becoming the Brand: How to Turn Your Story Into a Business

Presented by: Margarita Elizondo, Founder of Just Roll With It!; Producer/Host of Wheel Talk Wheel Issues; Model; Author; Ambassador, Abilities Expo Los Angeles and Wheel:Life.org/Comfort Medical

Your Story into a Business

Some of the most well-known and celebrated names in American business aren't even businesses. They're people: Kenneth Cole,  Kim Kardashian, and Oprah Winfrey. These people have virtually nothing in common except for the fact that their names have become synonymous with distinctive brands. The stories of their lives have formed the core of their brand messaging. We all have a story to tell and a need to hear others share their stories. It's how we: learn to communicate, gain perspective, to get through struggles, create awareness, advocate a cause, or share a passion. In business it is a key tool we use to create and sell a brand. Learn tips on how to turn your story into a brand and create a business that reflects your lifestyle. Learn more at http://www.margaritaelizondo.com

Caregiver Day at Abilities Expo

Evermind LogoThe Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation welcomes caregivers and families for a series of three workshops geared to the specific interests and needs of those who are living together with disability.

Acupressure for Stress Relief: The Seva Stress Release Program

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

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

"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

Pediatric Therapies, Activities and Resources

"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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