JUNE 23-25, 2023

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

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 home modifications to the trends impacting accessible vehicle innovation.

There's no need to register - just arrive early to get your seat! w


Certificates of participation are available for all workshops. Please see the Accessibility Help Desk following each workshop for your certificate.

* 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.

Insights from Moms: How to Support Our Kids Through Challenges

Presented by: Cindy Kolbe, Author of Struggling with Serendipity, Disability Advocate and Mentor

Location: Workshop Area


Is parenting easy? Rarely. If you add a disability to the mix, the challenges multiply. Parents navigate caregiving, medical care, supplies, access, finances, and so much more! In this workshop, Cindy Kolbe shares the insights of moms from across the country who have struggled to find the best ways to support their kids with a disability. Cindy is a Reeve Foundation Peer Mentor for other moms, and she writes about what she learned from her teenager with a C6-7 spinal cord injury. A movie version of her memoir, Struggling with Serendipity, is in the works. Do you know about all the great resources for parents of kids with a disability? Don't miss this opportunity to hear valuable insights from veteran moms!
* Please Note: This workshop considers that kids may be present.

Learn more! Visit

Disability and Special Needs Planning Made Easy

Presented by: Andre Sam, Disability & Special Needs Project

Location: Workshop Area

Disability & Special Needs Planning Made Easy

Join us for an informative and educational workshop for family members with loved ones of all ages with physical and/or intellectual disabilities or special needs. Topics covered in this workshop include guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, micro boards, wills, family trusts, special needs trusts, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Social Security Retirement and Survivor Benefits, Social Security Disability, Medicaid/Medicare, ABLE Accounts, budget planning, and transition planning. This workshop will explain why these disability and special needs planning documents are important to have and how they complement each other in an estate plan designed to protect yourself, your family, and/or your loved one's current and future quality of life and care. Don't be afraid to plan, be afraid if you don't plan.

Learn More! Visit

No Landfills: The Greening of DME-Recycle, Refurbish, Redistribute

Presented by: Jessica Presperin Pedersen OTD, MBA, ATP/SMS, Executive Director, Devices 4 the Disabled and Research Scientist, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Location: Workshop Area

The Greening of DME-Recycle, Refurbish, Redistribute

What happens when a person grows out of, replaces, or no longer needs durable medical equipment? Many times, it ends up in a corner of a room, garages, storage spaces, or in a landfill. Devices 4 the Disabled wants to help with keeping things green. DME (Durable Medical Equipment) recycling programs in the Chicago area are determined to keep DME out of the landfill and redistribute it to those who can use it. At this workshop you'll learn about two programs: The Kids Equipment Network and Devices 4 the Disabled. One is specifically designed for children with a warehouse in the near west suburbs and the other focusing mainly on adults with some pediatric equipment in the city. A special 0-3 power intervention program using loaner power toys and wheelchairs will also be demonstrated. Find out what DME is recyclable, how to donate used equipment and keep it out of landfills, and how to procure needed equipment!

Learn more! Visit Watch a video about their work.

All About Service Dogs

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, CDK

Location: Workshop Area


Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. Find out the many ways service dogs can help achieve independence in people's lives – from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability, even counting money! Service dogs are available for many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism, and seizure/allergy alert. Learn about funding support, the process to acquire a dog, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.

Learn More! Visit

Making Mindfulness Meaningful

Presented by: Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT and Terry Gupta, MSW, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT500

Location: Workshop Area

Making Mindfulness Meaningful

This 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.

Using mindfulness, science says we have the power to effect beneficial brain changes, gene expression and chemical cascades that that can affect our blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, and cholesterol, as well our experience of stress, anxiety, depression, pain, sleep quality, and PTSD. We will review the mindfulness research, including research specific to persons with paralysis, discuss how to use mindfulness capsules to enhance health-related quality of life for persons with paralysis, their caregivers and healthcare professionals, as well as provide an experiential mindfulness capsule to add to your daily routines.

Learn More! Visit

How to Pay for Everything You See Today. Come Fundraise with Help Hope Live!

Presented by: Sonny Mullen and Kelly L. Green, Help Hope Live

Location: Workshop Area

Funding Workshop

Learn how you can fundraise to cover costs of everything you see at the Abilities Expo, from power chairs to adaptive bikes, and more. Help Hope Live wants to help! Come to our workshop to hear more about how we work closely with our Abilities Expo partners to get our clients on their way to independence!

Learn More! Visit

Mastering Your Potential

Presented by: Wesley Hamilton, ADA and DEI Consultant; Public Speaker; Inclusive Training Specialist and WHILL Ambassador

Location: Workshop Area

Mastering your Potential

Are you ready to take control of your life? Become more aware of who you are? Learn better time management, and goal setting? This workshop is for you. Wesley will take attendees on a journey of learning who they are inside and out, addressing wellness, nutrition, well-being, and personal and professional development. Wesley shares his stories on how he started a successful non-profit organization; how he stays fit, even winning bodybuilding competitions; how he never lost hope or accepted failure – and teaches his listeners how to do the same. Wes also has a culinary passion and shares his success secrets on how he lost over 100 pounds. Attendees will gain key insights, tools and action steps so that anyone can master their full potential no matter their abilities or circumstances.

Learn more! Visit

Accessible Home Design: The Basics

Presented by: Wayne W. Broadfield, AIA, Associated Director of Architecture, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Location: Workshop


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.

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How to Support Social and Emotional Growth for Dating and Healthy Relationships for People with Disabilities

Presented by: Kathy O'Connell, LMHC, Director, Radiant Abilities, LLC

Location: Workshop Area

Dating and Healthy Relationships for People with Disabilities

Living in a society where people with disabilities are treated equally and fairly is the goal of any good organization. There is a huge element that is rarely addressed if at all in many groups that is stifling the equality of people with disabilities. If we want to see holistic success we have to address dating and healthy relationships. Many uncomfortable and harmful circumstances, stemming from people not having relationship skills, can arise. Sometimes in not knowing how to address such issues, they get "swept under the rug" so to speak. Imagine if you were told these feelings were wrong and should be avoided? There is a way to address the social and emotional challenges of dating and relationships for people with disabilities so they can expertly navigate them. This will not only enhance relationship skills, but also help develop boundaries, increase self-esteem and confidence, and improve mental health for pursuing their goals.

Learn more! Visit

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