• New York Abilities Expo
    New York Metro
    Apr 29 - May 1, 2016
    New Jersey Convention & Expo Center
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

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 knowing your rights in the workplace. Broaden your nutrition and wellness knowledge with Tiphany Adams from Push Girls. Interested in a service dog but not sure where to start? Check out Saturday's "Service Dogs 101" for all the basic information you need to know. Plus be sure to check out the workshops on new therapies and getting the wheelchair that's right for you.

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: Certificates are available for all workshops. Please see the Access Help Desk in the main lobby at the end of your visit to pick up a certificate form.

Continuing Education: There are no workshops at this year's Expo that qualify for continuing education credits.

* 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, May 1, 2015

11:45am – 12:45pm

Exercise for Every Body: Maximize Your Potential

Exercise for people with disabilities.

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

Location: Workshop 1

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.

11:45am – 12:45pm

ADA: A Civil Rights Legacy

Navigating social media

Presented by Jennifer Perry, Access Specialist, Northeast ADA Center

Location: Workshop 2

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

Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Navigating social media

Presented by Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Location: Workshop 1

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

Accessibility Features of Smartphones and Tablets

Navigating social media

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

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.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Therapeutic Movement Workshop: Dancing Beyond Disability

Presented by Zazel-Chavah O'Garra, MSW, Performer, Motivational Speaker, and VSA National Teaching Artist Fellow

Location: Workshop 1

"Dancing Beyond Disability" is the therapeutic use of movement to improve the mental and physical well being of a person. It focuses on the connection between the mind and body to promote health and healing. Discover how movement can improve balance and coordination, develop cognitive and motor skills, and increase awareness of movements and/or body positions. This workshop includes time for attendees to enjoy executing movement to different rhythms which showcase the exploration of motion and the freedom of expressions. Zazel will be available following her event to sell copies of her DVD. Learn more at www.zazelchavah.net and www.zcodanceproject.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Assistive Technology Resources in New Jersey and Beyond!

Navigating social media

Presented by Tracy Lee, SLP/ATP, Director of ATLAS Services, Cerebral Palsy of North Jersey (CPNJ)

Location: Workshop 2

This session will highlight local assistive technology (AT) resources in New Jersey and on-line, as well as provide a forum for consumers, family members, educators and therapists who are searching for information on equipment, clinical resources, and local AT assessment service providers. NJCART, the New Jersey Coalition for the Advancement of Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology, will be highlighted. This non-profit organization established in 1987 promotes the appropriate applications of technology for individuals with disabilities, advocates for access to resources, and provides continuing education for its members and the community at large. In addition, an array of on-line informational family resources, local/national AT conferences, and web-based professional development sources will be highlighted. The goal of this session is to increase awareness of local AT resources in New Jersey and on-line tools; and to provide a forum for those who are searching for answers to technology problems and AT service needs.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Martial Arts Therapy

Family with adaptive van

Presented by Rabbi Sensei Gary Moskowitz, Martial Arts Therapy

Location: Workshop #1

Martial Arts Therapy offers emotional and spiritual support to individuals with disabilities or battling illness, and helps them to take an active role and become a partner in their own healing process. Recognized as a form of complementary medicine, discover the components and benefits of this therapy. Students learn pain management, physical rehabilitation skills, and deep relaxation techniques. An eclectic approach is used, combining several forms of martial arts, modern medicine, religion, and psychology. The program offers participants, and particularly children, a chance to play, laugh, make friends and enjoy life. Learn more at http://www.martialartstherapy.org.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well: Healthy Living for People with Disabilities

Eating Healthy with Disabilities

Presented by Colleen Roche, NJ Department of Disability Services, Health and Wellness

Location: Workshop #2

Discover tips and tools for eating healthy, delicious meals that are within your budget and easy to prepare for those with a disability. The presenter will discuss ways you can make simple but effective adaptations in the kitchen to accommodate your disability. She'll share how and where you can purchase the healthiest food possible – within a budget and within easy travel distance for you (whether using public transportation or your own vehicle). Recipe cards and a complimentary copy of the departments new cook book "Eat Well, Live Well, Be Well" will be distributed to each event attendee while supplies last. Learn more at www.Facebook.com/NJDHS

Saturday, May 2, 2015

11:45am – 12:45pm

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Family with adaptive van

Presented by Chuck Pennington, BraunAbility, with special guest Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti

Location: Workshop 1

Does the process of purchasing a wheelchair accessible vehicle seem overwhelming? Consumers and related healthcare professionals are invited to join us and learn tips to successfully navigate the purchase of accessible vehicles and modifications. The workshop will cover topics such as what mobility solutions are available, where to find them, funding options, and much more. Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti, founder of the Universal Design Living Laboratory, will share her experience researching and purchasing her personal accessible vehicle. She'll also share her perspective on important factors to consider when selecting a vehicle that will fit your home and lifestyle best. Following the session, attendees are invited to see a mobility vehicle demonstration at BraunAbility's booth. A limited number of signed books from Dr. Rossetti will be passed out in the booth following the workshop also. Learn more at www.nmeda.org or www.braunability.com.

11:45am – 12:45pm

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

Travel in a Wheelchair

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

Location: Workshop 2

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

Autism Answers with Dr. Andy

Presented by Andy McCabe, Psy.D., Host, Autism with Dr. Andy

Location: Workshop 1

Andy McCabe is the host of Autism with Dr. Andy, a part of the HealthyLife.net radio station. In the last two and a half years, he has interviewed over 120 experts in the field of autism. Topics included: etiology; medical, educational and alternative healing practices; as well as a wide variety of treatments such as occupational and physical therapy, music, dance, hippotherapy, yoga and diet restriction. He has also interviewed architectural experts who specialize in developing housing for the autistic and businessmen who provide jobs for young man and women on the spectrum. Dr. McCabe's workshop will provide a sampling of his most informative and practical interviews, as well as contact information for a wide variety of program guests.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

6 Reasons to Consider Intensive Physical Therapy (PT) for Children and Young Adults with Gross Motor Disorders

Presented by Melissa McGinnis, PT, MPT, Senior Pediatric Intensive PT, Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT

Location: Workshop 2

Intensive Pediatric PT has transformed the way we look at therapy for children and young adults with gross motor disorders (i.e., Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Down Syndrome, and other non-progressive neuromuscular disorders). In this presentation, consideration is given to the top 6 situations in which a child will most benefit from this emerging therapy, such as before or after certain surgeries, spasticity procedures, or when the child is on the verge of learning a new life skill that will lead to more independence and self-esteem. This presentation will also provide definitions and video of European-inspired Intensive Pediatric PT, and highlight benefits beyond physical that are based on increased activity levels. The speaker is a licensed PT who has specialized in this progressive pediatric therapy for over ten years. Learn more at www.europeds.org.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Presented by Shannon Kenitz, Executive Director, International Hyperbarics Association

Location: Workshop 1

At this session attendees will learn about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, what it 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. 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 will be discussed. Attendees will find out how patients are able to obtain HBOT and what to expect from treatments. Shannon Kenitz will also 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.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Creating Future Care Planning Unique to Your Journey

Presented by Mary Anne Ehlert, President and Founder, Protected Tomorrows

Location: Workshop 2

As family members of a person with a disability, we so often tend to view life in light of the challenges presented to us. This workshop offers a way to look at our lives in a whole new light as Mary Anne Ehlert provides a passionate glimpse of her life with her sister, Marcia. This presentation will uplift and entertain … as well as provide a good basic understanding of some important future care planning facts. Participants will develop the foundation for their family's own personal Eight Step Future Care Plan. Some topics of discussion included in creating a care plan for your loved one with a disbaility: how to create a map of the future; how to prepare legally and financially; how to incorporate and maximize government benefits; how to prepare for transition; and how to communicate your Future Care Plan to your family. Learn more at www.protectedtomorrows.com.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Dancing in My Dreams: Changing the Way We View Dancing with Disabilities

Dancing Dreams

Presented by Mary Verdi-Fletcher, President/Founding Artistic Director, The Dancing Wheels Company & School

Location: Workshop #1

35 years ago Mary Verdi-Fletcher founded a dance company, the first of its kind. Join us as she shares a retrospective of the journey to create the world's first physically integrated dance company. As they developed the art form of inclusive dance, The Dancing Wheels Company & School changed the face of dance and the lives of thousands with and without disabilities. Through videos and stories Mary's presentation will bring to life the way in which this inclusive art form has changed stereotypes and opened the minds of over 5 million people globally. This workshop includes time for questions and answers, and, if time permits, hands-on experience with audience members. Learn more at www.dancingwheels.org.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Game Changer: How to Get into Gaming Despite Your Disability

Adaptive gaming

Presented by Steve Spohn and Craig Kaufman, AbleGamers Charity

Location: Workshop 2

Video games bring joy to millions of people around the world every day. As an active activity, some wonder if gaming is right for them. In a world filled with barriers, virtual worlds can offer a level playing field as a window into an otherwise inaccessible world. Discover the assistive technology available to people with disabilities that can make video games feasible and enjoyable for just about anyone who wants to game. Give us an hour and we'll show you how video games can be accessible, and how they can improve the quality of life for you and your loved ones. Learn more at www.ablegamers.com

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There are no workshops on Sunday, May 3.

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