Chicago

JUNE 25-27, 2021

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

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

Register for FreeCovid-19 Safety Measures

Abilities Expo Presents Experienced, Highly Knowledgable Speakers

For the Abilities Expo workshop series, we select presenters whose individual lives are as relevant to the Community as the issues they are addressing. Our speakers have years of experience and are highly knowledgeable in their fields. Their accomplishments precede them and many are recognized nationally and within their state for their ongoing work with people with disabilities. All our speakers have apparent and non-apparent disabilities, work in the disability field or are the sibling or parent of a person with disabilities.

Wayne Broadfield

Wayne W. Broadfield, III, AIA is PVA's Associate Director of Architecture & Facilities.  He joined PVA in 2018 after seventeen years of private sector architectural design and construction experience as an associate and senior project manager of an award-winning firm in Washington DC.  Mr. Broadfield has been involved with local AIA component leadership as past-president of the Potomac Valley chapter in 2016 and currently sits on the board of directors of the AIA Maryland. He also is the current Mid-Atlantic region director of the Young Architects Forum, a program of AIA National's Center for Emerging Professionals.  Since being with PVA, Mr. Broadfield has successfully advocated to maximize accessibility on government and healthcare projects serving veterans throughout the United States.  He has also provided technical assistance to veterans and civilians who are planning renovations to their homes specifically focused on improving accessibility.

Mr. Broadfield is a licensed architect in Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University).

Canines for Disabled Kids

Canines for Disabled Kids

Public awareness and education are very important to CDK – so important that they travel the country to talk to students of all grade levels, civic groups, religious groups, and businesses about assistance dogs. CDK also offers different ways to help educate the public about service dogs including Educational Presentations, Booth Event Participation, Americans with Disability (ADA) consulting. Members of CDK staff and volunteers travel all over the country for these opportunities. Please contact us to learn more about how we might participate in your school, business, or community event.
Learn more at https://caninesforkids.org

Mike Carrico

Mike has 45 years of tennis and paddle teaching experience and has been with GLASA from its inception. Mike is USPTA and PPTA certified and a former tournament/men's league competitor in both sports. He has been the director at multiple clubs on the North Shore since 1990 and is currently the Director of Racquet Sports at the Birchwood Club.

Hannah Cate

In 2016 I was invited to participate in the MN Brain Injury Alliance's "Unmasking Brain Injury" event where I was introduced to using art to work through both my physical and emotional pain.  A passion was awakened and it moved even more to the forefront in 2020 during the pandemic.  Unable to go anywhere due to my state's "stay at home" order, I started making cards. My interest in this new craft form quickly developed into a passion for not only telling my story through  stamping and card making but broadened into a desire to make the craft world more accessible and inclusive.  I started my Instagram , "Coping through Craft" to share my projects with family and friends but it quickly became apparent that many others with disabilities relate to my struggles.

Jackie Gadd

Jackie Gadd

My name is Jackie Gadd, and I am proud to be an Accessible Yoga Ambassador and Instructor. I am part of a growing alliance of teachers who provide classes adapted for differently-abled yoga students. I'm proud to have guided over 2000 mind-body classes since earning my initial certification in 2012, because I am most happy when in service of others. I teach all over San Diego, in schools, and in libraries, and partner with the County and City to bring yoga where it's needed in our community.

I've been teaching chair yoga via Zoom five days a week since COVID restrictions began, and classes are up on my for everyone to try their own practice at home. My training focuses on mindful and functional movement, and includes yoga for seniors, teens, and children and different health/development conditions (e.g., Multiple Sclerosis, pre/postnatal, anxiety/trauma/pain mitigation, behavioral support).

My classes rely on student feedback to create a cooperative experience, because everyone deserves the opportunity to find the right practice for their body. I hope you'll try one of my mind/body experiences at the Abilities Expo this weekend! Both classes at the Expo will be done seated (no need to transfer from a wheelchair/scooter).

Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green

Kelly L. Green joined Help Hope Live as its executive director in November 2017. The daughter of a transplant recipient, Kelly not only believes in the mission of Help Hope Live, she once used the service and it "completely changed her life." She feels honored and proud to lead an organization that provided hope and help to her family during her mother's journey to transplant in 2007.

Kelly describes herself as a mother, a daughter of her hero, a battle-tested unifier, and a thought leader. She has more than 20 years' experience working in and leading nonprofit organizations and has dedicated her life to civic engagement.

In the last decade, Kelly has proudly served as the CEO of Variety – The Children's Charity; director of Montgomery County, PA Voters Services; and deputy director for the Institute for the Study of Civic Values in Philadelphia.

In 2018, Kelly was recognized with Main Line Today's Women on the Move Award for redefining success around Philadelphia's Main Line and western suburbs.

Kelly is a connector, a person who needs to infuse each day with a lesson and inspire others to be the one makes someone else's day just a little brighter. She places value in small acts of kindness. She is a self-proclaimed activist, but most people just see her as someone who believes everyone deserves dignity and respect. She knows firsthand how broken our healthcare system is and is determined to help place medical needs in reach to those in need!

Jay Gupta

Jay Gupta

Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT is the Director of Pharmacy & Integrative Health at a health center in New Hampshire. He is also the President of www.YogaCaps.org and www.RxRelax.com.  Jay is a pharmacist, medication expert, DePrescription leader and international speaker.  He has been recognized by Cardinal Health, by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) and by Next Generation Pharmacists/Pharmacy Times for excellence in integrative therapies. His clinical trial in 2020 studied the effects of therapeutic telehealth yoga for healthcare professionals during a pandemic and indicated significant reduction in anxiety, depression, insomnia and PTSD symptoms.

Terry Gupta

Terry Gupta

Terry Gupta, MSW, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT500 is a social worker, nonprofit leader, national speaker and nationally certified educator of yoga teachers. She is the Executive Director of www.YogaCaps.org and the Managing Director of www.RxRelax.com. Her adaptive yoga and mindfulness programs have been recognized as best practice models by the Citizens Bank Foundation, the State of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Business Review.  She received a 2021 AmplifiHER Community Impact Award from the NH Women's Foundation for fostering resilience in the state of NH during the pandemic.

Jason Hartsfield

Jason Hartsfield

Jason Hartsfield is a career advisor, social worker, and disability advocate. Jason has a Bachelor's Degree in History from the University of Arkansas and a Master's Degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.

Jason has made improving the lives of people with disabilities his mission throughout his career. As someone living with both a visual impairment and a chronic mental health condition, Jason knows first-hand the challenges facing people with disabilities living in an able-bodied world. Dedicated to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace and wider community, Jason's expertise includes adult education, professional development, accessibility, and best practices for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities.

As the Disability Inclusion Lead Consultant and Career Advisor with Starkloff Disability Institute, Jason divides his time between teaching career advancement courses to job seekers with disabilities, providing one-on-one career consultation, and delivering workshops on disability inclusion in the workplace to Starkloff's community and corporate partners including Ameren Corporation, the Missouri Rehabilitation Association, Centene Corporation, Nestle Purina Petcare, Permobil Seating and Positioning, Wells Fargo, and the Society for Human Resource Managers. Jason developed and led workshops accredited by SHRM that attracted more than 1000+ attendees throughout National Disability Employment Awareness Month during the pandemic in 2020, to ensure diversity and inclusion professionals could leverage their roles during a time of crisis.

Samantha Lopez

Jason Hartsfield

My name is Samantha. I was injured in 2012 when I fell from a 3 story apartment and as a result, I have a T12 spinal cord injury. I have been on the dance team since 2014. Joining the dance team was and has been the best choice I have made. Dance was something that I always wanted to do and always caught my attention before my accident, but it was never something I actually pursued. About after a year into my injury, I realized how short life is and how I should be spending it by doing what I love and basically just taking chances in life. I don't think I could have fallen in love with dance if it weren't for the girls on the team. They have made this journey unforgettable & the bond that we have is unbreakable.

Conner Lundius

Jason Hartsfield

Conner Lundius has been a dancer since the age of 5. She started choreographing in high school for her dance team, and didn't stop there. As a captain and choreographer for her university's dance team, she thought that's where her dance career would end. At the age of 22, she was injured in a car crash and sustained an L2 spinal cord injury. It was then that she found the Rollettes and decided to keep dancing! Since 2019, Conner has been dancing and choreographing for the Rollettes. Most recently, Conner has been teaching virtual classes biweekly for women and girls with disabilities! She loves to push the boundaries of wheelchair dancing!

Dave Michael

Dave Michael is a National Exercise Sport Trainer with certifications in biomechanics, functional movement, core conditioning, Crossfit, and is a certified inclusive trainer. He is also a GLASA athlete who plays sled hockey and competes in field events.

Momentum Dance Studio

Momentum Dance Studio

Born out of The Dance Studio, Ltd., Momentum Dance Studio has a unique and innovative, as well as dependable approach to dance instruction.We teach solid dance techniques founded in classical ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip hop hand-in-hand with concepts of preparation, practice, focus, team work and conduct. These concepts are vital to child development from preschool through the critical teenage years. Many of our students, even those not planning a career in dance, stay with us through their high school years, because we celebrate all of our students, regardless of their level of achievement.

Our dancers learn professional-level technical skills in their field of dance with our expert instructors. They develop a more creative imagination and a respect and joy for all art forms. But most of all, they develop confidence, strength of character and self-esteem.

Momentum Dance Studio will make a positive, lasting difference in your child's life, and will always be a place they call home.

Rick Niksic

Rick left a brief retirement to go to work doing Outreach and Education for the Greenhouse Medical Cannabis dispensaries in Illinois. 

In a little over three years Greenhouse grew from 100 employees and four locations in Illinois to over 1000 employees throughout the United States.  By 2020 Illinois legalized Adult Use Cannabis and Greenhouse entered an acquisition agreement with Curaleaf, a leader in the Cannabis industry.  We still have a commitment to education and will now be able to serve our patients at an even higher level than before.

Rick's role continues to provide an introduction to medical professionals and the public on the benefits of Medical Cannabis and to clear up misconceptions and myths about this amazing medicine.

Paul Moran

Paul Moran is a five-time Paralympian (four times in sitting volleyball and a singles and doubles competitor in wheelchair tennis at the 2008 Games in Beijing). He is a long-time instructor at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center in Winnetka and coach with the GLASA Adaptive Tennis programs

Sonny Mullen

Sonny Mullen

Sonny Mullen is from the Philadelphia area and spent the first part of her career in New York City working in television. She joined Help Hope Live in 2016, first working in the Finance Department and now proudly serves as the Outreach Manager. In this role she has helped build the Outreach department with the goal of bringing Help Hope Live's mission to a wider audience.

Growing up with a younger brother living with GRIN1 Disorder, Sonny has a personal connection to Help Hope Live's mission. She is happy to use her experiences, both at home and with Help Hope Live, to connect and speak with individuals in the disability community all over the country, with the goal of helping them safely fundraise for their medical and related expenses.

ParaCheer

ParaCheer

ParaCheer Spirit Wolves are cheerleaders and dancers with and without disabilities, working together, side by side, to promote the visibility of ParaCheerleading as a new division and para sport of Cheer.

ParaCheer Spirit is a nonprofit organization based in the Midwest providing opportunities for athletes to work together in a mainstream activity for all abilities and strengths and spirit. Seeing a need for energetic, outgoing persons to have an outlet for their abilities, we formed our ParaCheer organization to provide that spirited opportunity. In 2019, we achieved the ultimate honor - becoming World Champions and winning the Gold Medal for the USA! We focus on making the maximum of strengths and abilities of all our members. Our members and volunteers provide the momentum that helps us show the power for all activities.
Learn more: https://paracheerspirit.org

Rhonda R. Parker

Rhonda R. Parker

Ms. Rhonda R. Parker is a retired certified EC-12 Educator, currently a doctoral candidate in
Organizational Leadership(2020), holds a Master's Degree in Special Education, B.S. in
Rehabilitation Studies emphasis (psychology and sociology). She received a Resolution from the
State of Texas as an Outstanding Contributor to Education in Dallas Independent School District.

Rhonda completed a Fellowship with the Department of Education. Nominated for Teacher of Year in Dallas Independent School District and Irving Independent School District. She has served as an Employment Consultant, Mentor/Lead Teacher, and Transition Specialist.

Subsequently, Ms. Parker is the Founder and Executive Director of Parker Autism Center (PAC), a 501 © 3 nonprofit dedicated to addressing the variety of complex needs of individuals and families impacted by Autism and Asperger's. As well as, Parker Transition Services, PeopleFirst Training Solutions, and Baking to ImPACt. Her Motto "Everyone Deserves an Opportunity".

Andre Sam

Andre Sam

Andre Sam is a comprehensive Disability & Special Needs Planner with SilverTree Special Needs Planning. Upon earning a Bachelors Degree in Economics from the University of Arizona, Andre began a career in comprehensive Disability & Special Needs Planning.  Andre has been in the industry for 7 years now working with individuals and families with special needs and disabilities. Andre is currently part of a non-profit organization called the Special Needs Education & Advocacy Project.  Through this non-profit organization, Andre gives back by donating his time during evenings and on the weekends sharing his knowledge by providing complimentary educational presentations to organizations and groups who have loved ones that are part of the special needs and disability community.

Jill Sparacio, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, ABDA

Jill Sparacio, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, ABDA

Jill Sparacio, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, ABDA is an Occupational Therapist with over 39 years of experience. She provides OT services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities, medical complexity and aging issues specializing in seating and wheeled mobility. Jill has presented extensively on the clinical applications of seating and wheeled mobility throughout North America and internationally. She has consulted with many manufacturers to provide clinical education as well as for product development. She is a member of the Clinician Task Force and has been actively involved in funding and delivery issues on the state and national levels. Jill is a co-author of the Seating/Wheeled Mobility Assessment that is used by many funding sources, both domestically and internationally. She has authored many articles related to seating and positioning, dealing with "difficult" clients and the Postural Support and Pressure Management for Prop Sitters chapter (5) in the book titled Seating and Wheeled Mobility: A Clinical Resource Guide.

Joan Steltmann

Ainsley's Angels of America

Joan Steltmann is proud to serve Bounce Children's Foundation as CEO where she passionately transforms the lives of chronically ill children, and their families. Under her leadership, Bounce has consistently grown at double digit rates and now serves more than 2,000 Kiddos, Siblings, and Parents. Achieving the highest level of accreditation from GuideStar, Better Business Bureau, and Great NonProfits, Bounce also earned the highly coveted Social Innovator from Chicago Innovation led by renowned expert and Kellogg Professor, Tom Kuczmarski.

Prior to founding Bounce, Joan served as Executive Director for Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest where she grew funding four-fold in less than five years. She has served as Vice President at Lake Forest Graduate School of Management leading development, governance, alumni relations, and community outreach. Joan launched her career at IBM in sales leadership, business development, digital marketing and strategic planning and was an active leader in the re-invention of the company.

Joan has been featured as Executive of the Month by Chicago Business Women magazine and cited in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Chicago Tribune. Joan served on the board of directors for National Runaway Safeline, Lake Forest/Lake Bluff Chamber of Commerce, and the Wish Ball Board for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Illinois. Joan earned an M.B.A. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a B.B.A. (highest honors) Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program

SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program

Jodie Diegel RN, MBA is the Founder and current President of the SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program, as well as past President and Founder of Mane in Heaven. The SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program, located in Barrington, is a non- profit organization whose mission is to enrich lives by promoting the unconditional love and healing of the human-animal bond, while advocating for animal therapy standards of excellence. We offer the Barrington-area's most experienced animal-assisted miniature therapy equine teams who have been visiting since 2013.

"I believe a difference is made when there is a soul-to-soul connection" (between humans and animal) said Jodie and it is through her passion for animal therapy that individuals throughout the Chicagoland area are able to receive care and experience that incredible soul-bond with her animals.

Through working with volunteer animal handlers, Jodie and her team bring miniature horses and dogs to locations such as Rush University Medical Center, The Garlands, Markland, GiGi's Playhouse and Barrington High School.

Martha Younger-White

Martha Younger-White

Martha Younger-White is an accomplished social service professional with over 35 years of experience overseeing public sector programs that impact the lives of people with disabilities. She manages Employment Services and Rehabilitation Programs at The Chicago Lighthouse where her key responsibilities include helping clients find and retain employment, meet developmental milestones and lead independent lives. Previously, she was employed as Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Accessibility and Job Accommodation at the Illinois Department of Human Services where she was responsible for assuring statewide compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. She is proficient in American Sign Language. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Illinois-Chicago with a Master's degree in Urban Planning and Policy.

Areta Verschoor

Areta Verschoor has years of teaching adaptive yoga with certifications in Adaptive Yoga for Disabilities, Trauma & Loss, Eating Disorder Recovery, Body Alignment and Injury Recovery. She is also certified in Vinyasa Flow, Gentle Yoga, Sports Yoga, Teen/Tween Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation. Areta is a parent of a GLASA athlete.

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