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

10:00am – 2:00pm

The Case for Wheels: Selecting the Clinically Appropriate Base

Presented by: Julie Piriano, PT/ATP/SMS, Pride Mobility

Location: Room 051 (First floor near entrance)

Credits: 0.4 CEU

The Case for Wheels

Individuals with chronic medical conditions and long-term disabilities who have a permanent need for a wheelchair require a comprehensive, detailed evaluation of their physical, functional and environmental needs to allow clinicians and ATP suppliers to make appropriate Assistive Technology recommendations for a successful outcome. 

There are many factors to consider when making the selection of the appropriate power wheelchair base with an end user. Providers and clinicians need a hands-on awareness of the interaction of all of these factors, and more importantly, how they will come together to either enhance, or diminish the effectiveness of the PMD for their patient.

This course will provide information about each drive wheel configuration and things that clinicians and suppliers need to think about. Participants will then enter the expo hall to experience driving different drive wheel configurations and then regroup to discuss their findings and how the different drive wheel configurations effected the wheelchairs driving in different environmental conditions (indoors, outdoors, etc..). For more information, click here.

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

Circle of Care: Virtual Physical Therapy for NeuroMuscular Disorders & Yoga for Caregivers

Presented by: Gretchen Hawley, Founder - The MSing Link & Patricia Hawley, Yoga Alliance Certified Instructor RYT-200

Location: Workshop

Circle of Care

Dr. Gretchen Hawley will guide participants in various neuroplasticity exercises to target strength and mobility in the most common areas of complaint: foot drop, balance, core strength, standing from a seated position, etc. There will be a brief Q&A to follow each 20 minute session. After a brief mindful awareness session, Patricia Hawley will lead participants through a series of gentle yoga poses that are supported by simple breathing techniques. Participants will not need any special equipment or clothing but should be prepared to practice for 15 minutes.
Learn more: https://www.doctorgretchenhawley.com 


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

Understanding Pain Medication

Presented by: Jay Gupta
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

Pain is a multi-faceted, complex experience. Control of pain is a critical part of overall health and well-being for those with spinal cord injuries. This session focuses on gaining a better understanding of pain medications and strategies for safe use. Research indicates that learning about pain medications can help in managing pain, preventing emergencies and overdoses and enhancing overall quality of life. 
Learn more: https://www.christopherreeve.org
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram: @ReeveFoundation

1:00pm - 2:00pm

Power Wheelchair Roundtable Discussion

Presented by Quantum Rehab and Pride Mobility

Location: Room 051 (First floor near entrance)

Scooter or Power Wheelchair Roundtable Discussion

What's the Buzz, Boston? We're coming to Boston and we want to hear from you! Tell us what you think about Quantum® power chairs and other technologies!  Join us and join us in a round table discussion. We're looking for 10 consumers (and their attendant/caregiver if needed) who have used any brand of power wheelchair for at least six months. 

Quantum Forum: 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

All participants in the forum will receive a $25 gift card! This opportunity is first come, first servied so email us at marketing@pridemobility.com to reserve your spot in the forum today!

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 your back, so stop letting it.
Learn More: www.mslaurendyer.com

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Cannabis 101

Presented by: Dr. Thomas Wong, MD, The Holistic Center

Location: Workshop

How Medical Cannabis Can Help People with Disabilities

What is cannabis and what can cannabis do for you?  Where and when is cannabis legal in Massachusetts? How would you get access to cannabis if you need it? Cannabis 101 will go through the basics and answer some of your questions!

Learn more: https://www.thcevaluation.com

Sunday, September 15, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Change and Reinvention

Presented by: 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

How Highly Trained Service Dogs Change Lives…

Presented by: Kevin Lambert, Program Development Administrator, NEADS World Class Service Dogs

Location: Workshop

Common Accessible Travel Challenges and How to Overcome Them

For over 43 years, NEADS World Class Service Dogs have been changing the lives of adults and children with physical disabilities; young adults and adults with hearing loss; and children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Our Service Dog Program for Veterans assists veterans with physical disabilities, hearing loss, and PTSD. Specific task work performed by NEADS Service Dogs has helped over 1800 clients increase their independence and connection to the world. The presentation will address the training of a NEADS Service dog; the application, evaluation and matching processes; and the client training provided so that NEADS clients and their Service Dogs become a highly trained and certified Service dog team.  The differences between Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs and Emotional Support Dogs and corresponding public access issues will also be discussed.  The presentation will include a Service Dog demonstration so the audience can see how our dogs help by picking up dropped items; retrieving cell phones; and "speaking".   Information about our programs is available at www.neads.org.  Bring your questions!

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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