Boston

September 13 - 15, 2019

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

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

Register for Free

FREE workshops!

Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and the accessible homes to how you can get the best accessible vehicle. Discover how both dogs and monkeys help people be more independent. Parents – take a break and enjoy two great sessions for parents of kids with special needs – both filled with laughs and ideas for thriving, not just surviving, as the parent of a child with special needs. Plus there’s information about assistive devices, clinical trials, and emergency preparedness.

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!

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.

Friday, September 13, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Home Modifications

Presented by: Mark Thompson, The Paralyzed Veterans of America

Location: Workshop

Home Modifications

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: https://pva.org

1:00pm- 2:00pm

Affordable Accessible Housing; A New Approach To Address An Old Problem

Presented by: Edward J. Walsh, Access for Opportunity, Inc.

Location: Workshop

Affordable Accessible Housing

Ed's talk will be an informative, sometimes personal, frank and passionate look at the many different problems with affordable wheelchair accessible housing. Specifically, Ed will discuss the causes for the housing shortages we see today, why many apartment units that claim to be accessible often aren't, and he will show how easily people can become trapped in the system that provides this housing. Finally, he will discuss a clever and new approach that's targeted specifically at fixing this problem once and for all called Access For Opportunity.
Learn more: http://www.access4opp.org/

2:30pm – 3:30pm

The Intensive Physical Therapy Approach - Why it's Changing Lives!

Presented by: Michelle Haney, PT, MSPT

Location: Workshop

The Intensive Physical Therapy Approach

Intensive Physical Therapy is an emerging model of PT which research is showing to be effective for learning and maintaining new functional skills! This presentation will cover the definition of intensive PT and how it compares to the other models, the population of patients that benefit, the treatment approach including use of two unique tools, research behind intensive and suit therapy, importance of a home exercise program and questions/answers. There will be plenty of video of intensive therapy within the presentation to give you a great idea of what an intensive session would be like.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Open your World with Accessible Travel

Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org

Location: Workshop

John Morris in wheelchair with elephant

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 an accessible vacation, opening your world to new experiences and possibilities. Come prepared to participate in an accessible travel Q&A with the presenter, who will bring firsthand knowledge from nearly one million miles flown with a wheelchair. 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.
Learn more: www.wheelchairtravel.org

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Live reading of Ivy the Very Determined Dog

Presented by: Authors Chris & Maureen Harrington guest appearance with Ivy the frenchie

Location: Workshop

Live reading of Ivy the Very Determined Dog

Ivy the Very Determined Dog is an inspiring true story about overcoming life's challenges and finding your inner strength.Who is Ivy? The bravest (and cutest) French Bulldog you will ever meet. On her third birthday (of all days) Ivy became suddenly paralyzed in her back legs due to a rare genetic spinal disease. That has not stopped Ivy from living life to her absolute fullest. Ivy inspires us all to never give up. Embrace your individuality. And most importantly, to always "keep on rolling whatever you do and never let your troubles get the better of you!".  Although this is a children's book, we people of any age to join as we all can be inspired by Ivy's story.

After the reading, Ivy will be available for photos. Her book will be available for purchase at a discounted rate and she will even "pawtographed" your copy!

Learn more about Ivy please visit www.ivysbook.com  you can also find the book on Amazon.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Critical Situations for People with SCI

Presented by: Nurse Linda, 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 www.christopherreeve.org

Location: Workshop

Critical Situations for People with SCI

It can be difficult to know when to call for assistance while dealing with paralysis or spinal cord injury. Messages from the body to the brain can be misdirected or misinterpreted. Recognizing a disguised significant healthcare problem can be challenging. Issues with taking medication properly, cardiac issues or infection can start as small concerns but can quickly escalate to emergently needed care. How to know when a small problem becomes huge is critical information for your health and well-being. Areas of focus include correctly taking medication, irregular heartbeats, blood clots, Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infection and sepsis. In addition, your questions will be discussed.
Learn More: https://www.christopherreeve.org
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @ReeveFoundation

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Mental Health: Live your Best Life

Presented by: Lauren Dyer, www.mslaurendyer.com  

Location: Workshop

Mental Health: Live your Best Life

Life is anything but easy. Add in the challenges of living with a disability and life becomes exponentially more difficult. In this workshop, you'll learn ways to reduce stress and anxiety caused by the struggles of living with a disability. Whether you are a young adult, single, married, have kids, or are older, you will go home with a few tools to help you in your everyday life. The tools that Lauren teaches will help you towards living your best life. Having a disability doesn't have to hold you back, so stop letting it.
Learn More: www.mslaurendyer.com

3:45pm – 4:45pm

How Medical Cannabis Can Help People with Disabilities

Presented by: Debbie Churgai, Associate Director, Americans for Safe Access

Location: Workshop

How Medical Cannabis Can Help People with Disabilities

Join us to learn more about medical cannabis and how it can be an option for a variety of conditions and symptoms. Discover how you can access medical cannabis where you live. Find out what is being done to ensure safe access to this important medicine for people with disabilities. This workshop is designed to be interactive and will include time for questions and answers.
Learn more: www.safeaccessnow.org , www.safeaccessnow.org/conditions

Sunday, September 15, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Change and Reinvention

Presented by: Dr. Ariana Vora, Asst. Professor at Harvard Medical School and Physiatrist at Spaulding Rehab, with Cindy Kolbe, Author of Struggling with Serendipity, and Beth Kolbe, Lawyer and Disability Advocate

Location: Workshop

Change and Reinvention

"We will all face changes in our bodies, whether through injury, illness, or aging." This quote by Dr. Ariana Vora describes the heart of this session on how to redefine our identities as the result of physical challenges. Dr. Vora leads this workshop with helpful strategies on finding a new normal, based on her experience and expertise. Change and reinvention are explored through three lenses: rehab doctor, parent, and patient. Cindy Kolbe shares the family connection. Cindy's daughter Beth talks about supports in the disability community that contributed to her reinvention after her spinal cord injury. Audience members will receive a free Disability Resources Guide.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

My Good Life: How to Practice Wellness and Self Care

Presented by: Eraina Ferguson MAR, M.Ed

Location: Workshop

My Good Life: How to Practice Wellness and Self Care

This interactive workshop will discuss living a good life despite the challenges of special needs, including tangible ways to practice self care and mental health/wellness. Participants will receive a wellness bag from sponsors. This is an interactive workshop where participants can discuss their needs and strategies for wellness.
Learn more: http://www.mygoodlifenow.org/

2:30pm-3:30pm

Travel Agent Tips: Common Accessible Travel Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Presented by: Sylvia Longmire, Accessible Travel Agent, Accessible Travel Writer, SpinTheGlobe.net

Location: Workshop

Common Accessible Travel Challenges and How to Overcome Them

Traveling with a disability can be scary, anxiety-inducing, and an overall unpleasant experience. However, it can also be exhilarating, liberating, and completely life-changing. One of the biggest hurdles for wheelchair users is doing the proper destination research to determine accessibility, then making travel arrangements that will ensure their comfort and safety. Unfortunately, many travelers with disabilities run into problems during their trips because they didn't know what questions to ask, what resources to draw upon, or what their legal rights are. In this workshop, Accessible Travel Agent, travel expert, and full-time wheelchair user Sylvia Longmire will discuss these issues and common challenges that wheelchair travelers may encounter. Based on her own experiences as a solo world traveler and as a travel agent working with clients with disabilities, she will then offer tips for overcoming them, to include those related to flights, hotel rooms, train travel, and cruises.
Learn more: http://www.spintheglobe.net

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