San Mateo

October 25-27, 2019

San Mateo County Event Center, Expo Hall

Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Register for Free

FREE workshops!
Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

Here's what we did in 2018. Stay tuned for 2019!

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.

Access in the National Parks

Presented by: Richard De La O, Accessibility Program Manager, Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Location: Workshop

Disability and National Parks

The Golden Gate National Recreation Areas has done many improvements to accessibility in the past few years. We are highlighting those improvements to bring awareness to everyone. As part of the park's commitment to accessibility, Golden Gate National Recreation Area has a full time Accessibility Program Manager, an Accessibility Media Specialist and an Accessibility Specialist. One big goal is to ensure that individuals from the disability community are aware of all the upgrades that have been made and to ensure everyone is aware that they can enjoy their National Park! The National Park Service as a whole has a strategy to improve accessibility for everyone. Richard will share with you the strategies that have allow the NPS to move forward with implementation. We hope the information will assist you in planning your trip to your National Park!

Learn more: 

Park Accessibility Information:

1:00pm – 2:00pm

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

Presented by: Vance Taylor, Chief, Office of Access and Functional Needs, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services

Location: Workshop

Active Shooter Survival Workshop

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.

Learn more:

LED Light Therapy

Presented by: Dr. Sherry A. Fong, D. C.

Location: Workshop
Light Therapy

Learn more about LED Light Photon therapy and how it can be used to heal cells naturally.  LED Light Therapy is a form of phototherapy that produces a beam of infrared light and is applied over the injured area to reduce pain and stimulate healing, repair, and recovery. During treatment, the warm comfortable infrared beam reduces pain, swelling, and inflammation, and enhances lymphatic drainage, muscle and ligament release, joint mobility, and soft tissue and bone repair. Laser therapy safely complements chiropractic care, acupuncture, physical therapy and muscle rehab to effectively and efficiently restore an injury to a near or pre-injury condition. This pain relief and accelerated healing treatment is FDA cleared and enables patients to have an alternative to pain medications, surgery in some cases, and improve their quality of life.
Learn more: 

Bay Area Sexuality and Disability Network: Creating a Safe Space

Presented by: Ligia Andrade Zuniga, MA and Shauna Farabaugh

Location: Workshop

Making Intimacy Accessible

There is no easy way to address the topic of sex and sexuality, while having a disability. Especially when everyone around us and most of society mutes the volume around sexuality and everything that comes with it. Join us for an open and safe conversation around sex, sexuality, and whatever that means to you. Receive answers to questions you may not have access to the answers for. You probably are not the only one thinking and wondering the same thing…The Bay Area Sexuality and Disability Network (BASDN) is a network of sexuality and disability professionals creating a standard of access to education, information, and services around sexuality for individuals with disabilities in the Bay Area. More information here: 

* The content at this session is designed for adults 18 years and older. It is not appropriate for children.

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, Keller Williams Realty

Location: Workshop


Have you ever felt home ownership was out of reach 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 you won't want to miss this presentation. Stephen Beard is an Accessibility Specialist Realtor in the East Bay. 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:,

Dealing With Practical Issues Due to Paralysis or Spinal Cord Injury

Presented by: Nurse Linda PhD, CRRN (Linda M. Schultz, PhD, CRRN)
The following workshop is presented by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and is geared toward anyone who lives with paralysis from disease, injury or birth condition and their loved ones. Learn more at

Location: Workshop

Spinal Pain Workshop

Immobility due to paralysis or limited function can affect every aspect of living. Discussing practical adaptations to daily living and personal care can help reduce restrictions and complications as well as to improve overall health. The session will open with specific activities to avoid the complications of immobility from paralysis. The emphasis of the session is about ways to improve health and deal with common problems using readily available resources and how to request additional support. A professional rehabilitation registered nurse will discuss your individual questions about mobility, bowel and bladder function, skin care, wellness and other healthcare issues. This will include ways to improve complications of aging with paralysis. Nurse Linda writes a weekly blog for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Her discussions are based on current research evidence and guidelines that are translated into easy to understand language. Questions from the audience are welcome.
Learn more:

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101

Presented by: Shannon Kenitz, Executive Director, International Hyperbarics Association and Kenneth Stoller, MD

Location: Workshop

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:,

Accessible Travel

Presented by: Ashley Lyn Olson,

Location: Workshop

Accessible Travel

Join and friends to discuss the world of travel. What is it like to take a flight, and what if something goes wrong? What is adventure travel all about? Are there accessible tours? What about equipment to make travel easier? Let's share with one another what we have learned, and how we have overcome obstacles. Become a travel advocate and help make the world a more inclusive place. started in 2006 and aims to empower people with limited mobility and their friends and family to travel and experience the world.
Learn more:

IEP Workshop: Effective Advocacy for Your Child's Education

Ayesha Williamson, Executive Director, Variety - The Children's Charity of Northern California

Sponsored by Variety – the Children's Charity of Northern California

Location: Workshop

IEP Workshop

You are your child's Advocate: "Effective Advocacy for Your Child's Education" At this workshop you will learn Steps to get informed, organized, and empowered for more effective advocacy for your student, Methods to build stronger and more effective teams, Problem solving strategies, Tips to get organized with school and medical/clinic records and documents, Tips for Parents and Q & A. Workshop attendees will be given handouts and support documentation to aide in the advocacy of their child's IEP. Don't miss this opportunity to learn how you can be a more effective advocate for your student!

Learn more: 

You Can Garden for Life with Adaptive Gardening

Presented by: Toni Gattone, Adaptive Gardener,

Location: Workshop

Adaptive Gardening

This informative and inspirational 'how-to' Adaptive Gardening seminar delivers dozens of tips, tools and techniques enabling you to be more aware how to adapt and be resilient, working with your abilities so you can garden for life. Learn how to cultivate new ways to garden to save time, money and above all, energy. Re-envision your garden's size and accessibility for greater comfort and ease, and re-think your garden design to include containers, raised beds and vertical gardens. Gardeners love their garden tools! You will see how to adapt your favorite garden tools for little or no cost and discover new ergonomic tools to make gardening more comfortable and easy on your hands, wrists, arms and your entire body.
Learn more:

Medical Marijuana: Benefits and Legalization

Presented by: Deidra Bagdasarian, Owner/Operator, Bliss Edibles; Edibles Professor, Oaksterdam University

Location: Workshop

Medical Marijuana Workshop

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.

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