Plan your Abilities Expo experience today
Here is a past Abilities Expo line-up.
Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2021.
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!
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.
Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability
Presented by: Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel
Would you like to travel the country or the world, but believe you cannot because of your disability? At this workshop you will learn that travel by air, sea and car is a real option for you. The presenter, a professional travel agent who has a disability and has travelled extensively, will share with you how to plan a trip, including what to expect form hotels, rental car companies, cruise lines and the airlines. Learn about the common challenges, methods for addressing them and what the law requires. Attendees will receive recommendations for disability-friendly destinations and accessible travel resources. Be sure to bring your pressing questions and a list of places you'd like to visit.
Learn more: www.easyaccesstravel.com
Accessible Home Design
Presented by: Wayne Broadfield, Paralyzed Veterans of America
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: http://www.pva.org/
Fundraising for Medical Care and Equipment
Presented by: Kelly Green, Help Hope Live
From wheelchairs to assistive technology to accessible vans, maintaining your mobility can be an expensive investment. Although most people dealing with a disability understand how significantly the right equipment can improve their lives, many cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs without assistance. Unlock a powerful way to raise funds with Help Hope Live’s expert guidance. We will discuss the many options and strategies that can be employed for raising funds to support your life.
Learn more: www.helphopelive.org
How to Get Connected in Your Employment Search
Presented by: Sarah Bennett, Chicago Lighthouse & Martha Younger, Chicago Lighthouse
Are you looking for employment? Do you want to enhance your employability? Do you want to learn about assistive technology? We can help! This workshop will cover some of the benefits and resources to meet your employment goals.
Learn more: https://chicagolighthouse.org
Home Modifications: 5 Common Solutions to Improve your Home Access
Presented by: Stephen Crandall, Co-Owner, Extended Home Living Services and To the Top Home Elevators
Living at home, you may be challenged by the requirements of daily activities. One of the major challenges you may face is how to live independently in your home
This workshop will present some creative solutions for a better life at home that follow ADA guidelines and preserve one’s dignity. Thousands of products and many design modifications have been developed specifically to assist those with physical limitations. These products provide for personal freedom, ease of living, and safety.
Learn More: https://www.ehls.com/
Maintaining Health with Spinal Cord Injury
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
The amount of information regarding care after spinal cord injury can be overwhelming. What is needed to keep every individual healthy will be supplemented with strategies for improving your health after SCI. Reviewing the basics can help you incorporate needed activities. Topics highlighted include mental health, bowel, bladder, skin care, movement and medications. Nurse Linda writes a weekly blog for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Her discussions are based on current research evidence and guidelines which are translated into easy to understand language. Questions about any SCI topic are welcome.
Learn More: https://www.christopherreeve.org
Wheelchair Accessible Travel
Presented by: Cory Lee, Curb Free with Cory Lee
Description to come.
Learn more: https://www.curbfreewithcorylee.com
An Introduction to Medical Cannabis
Presented by: Rick Niksic, Greenhouse Illinois
This educational program will help you gain knowledge and an understanding of the Medical Cannabis Program in the state of Illinois. The presentation will cover basic medical cannabis facts, and misconceptions, as well as the science behind medical cannabis and how it works in our bodies. We will also take an in-depth look at the law, including recent updates, and the application process.
Learn More: https://www.greenhouseil.com
How to Study or Volunteer Abroad with a Disability
Presented by: Justin Harford, National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange
It is a big wide world out there, with so much to experience, and more opportunities than ever for people with disabilities to partake. Join Mobility International USA Program Coordinator Justin Harford to learn about opportunities for adventurous people with all kinds of disabilities to study or volunteer overseas. The workshop will touch on planning, negotiating reasonable accommodations, whether and how to disclose your disability, and choosing a program that works for you. You will also learn about The National Clearinghouse on Disability and Exchange, a resource where you can get the answers to all of your burning disability-related questions so that you can discover why international exchange is such a life changing experience.
Learn more: www.miusa.org
Healthy Lifestyle: Connecting Mental Health to Overall Health
Presented by: Tracy Williams, Nutrition Advocate
Have you heard about the connection between healthy living and mental health? Healthy eating and healthy living can be a significant part of treatment for mental health issues or certain disabilities and many chronic health conditions. Tracy Williams, a nutrition advocate with a physical disability due to cerebral palsy, still struggles with depression and anxiety. For serious downward spirals and challenging diagnoses people will need help from credentialed mental health counselors and psychiatrists, but healthy living can help provide coping strategies on a daily basis. Tracy will discuss the Mediterranean Diet’s influence on brain health and heart health, the benefits of mindful and intuitive eating and how body image affects boys, girls, men and women with physical disabilities and their relationship with food. Additional topics will include caffeine, herbs and spices for extra flavor as a way to decrease salt intake, appropriate physical activities for people with physical disabilities as well as stress management.
Learn more: http://www.tracysplate.com