Elizabeth Harrington, disabilities community hero.

Community Heroes

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Community Heroes:
They Inspire Us to Aspire

The community of people with disabilities is not short on heroes. There are people who, by letting nothing stand the way of achieving their goals, inspire others to meet their own obstacles head on. There are people who take action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of cause worth fighting. more

Honoring the Life and Legacy of Disability Activist Judy Heumann

March 15, 2023

It is with great sadness and never-ending admiration that we say a final farewell to Judy Heumann, a decades-long leader in the fight for disability rights. We should all strive to make such a difference.

Abilities Expo Impacts Boston Marathon Bombing Survivor

April 22, 2024

After the bombings, Marc Fucarile found support through Abilities Expo and others to regain his active lifestyle. Now, he has established the M.A.R.C. Network to provide an invaluable resource for people living with mobility impairments.

WATCH NOW: Abilities Zone Podcast Launches with Jennifer Kumiyama of Disney's WISH

March 5, 2024

The new Abilities Zone podcast kicks off with singer, actor, advocate and former Ms. Wheelchair California Jennifer Kumiyama, a star of Disney's new animated hit, Wish. It's a must-see…tune in!

Escaping Ukraine: Saving my Child with a Rare Disease

February 23, 2024

The Bilous family already had their hands full with a GRIN2B disorder diagnosis for their oldest son. But when the bombs started dropping in their hometown of Kyiv, the international community rallied to get them to safety.

We Miss You, Stevie!

January 26, 2024

It breaks our heart to share the loss of Stevie Hopkins, founder of 3E Love and the ubiquitous Wheelchair Heart. In remembrance, every Sunday of the 2024 Abilities Expos will be Stevie Hopkins Day, and we invite everyone to wear their 3E Love gear.

A Million Nerves: Mark Maloney's Fight to Walk and the Tech that Helped Him

June 21, 2023

Mark was an active octogenarian until an accident changed it all. Thanks to the Lite Run Gait Trainer gait trainer, he's back on his feet and wowing his PTs.

Abilities Expo Orange is the new Ms. Wheelchair California

May 9, 2024

Abilities Expo's own Julienne Dallara was crowned Ms. Wheelchair California and aims to galvanize advocacy groups in their support of the disability community…all while wearing a tiara.

Adaptive Bike Donation to Gift Fun and Freedom for Child with Cerebral Palsy

February 27, 2023

Little Austin is about to get the biggest surprise in his young life. Thanks to the non-profit Help Hope Live, he is going to receive a Freedom Concepts bike, fully customized to his abilities. Look out, world!

Hope for the Holidays with Help Hope Live

December 20, 2022

With millions raised to fund their clients' needs, the things that this hard-working non-profit accomplishes for the disability community is…well…maybe a little magical.

Reeve Summit 2022 Keynote Leon Ford Finds Grace by Acknowledging Pain

September 25, 2022

Leon Ford's life changed the day the police mistook him for a criminal. Now he shares his story at Reeve Summit 2022 to encourage others to work through trauma and move on.

Leverage Adaptive Fitness to Stay DRIVEN with Steph The Hammer

August 3, 2022

Adaptive fitness guru Steph "The Hammer" Roach is bringing her virtual fitness experience into the real world AND hosting a book signing for her new memoir, DRIVEN, at Abilities Expo

Finding Purpose in a Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Diagnosis

March 30, 2022

It breaks our heart to say goodbye to our friend, our Dancebassador Auti Angel. In the last decade, we had a front-row seat to the wonderful impact that she had on the community at large, and especially on others with disabilities. We will miss you. RIP.

The Journey of a Hip-Hop Diva

March 25, 2022

Enjoy this piece, written last summer, on the adventurous life of Auti Angel. Her impact on the everyone she touched was as profound as the spirit that drove her, and we thought it was the perfect memorial to our friend, gone too soon.

NEADS Needs Your Support to Train Service Dogs

August 5, 2020

NEADS taught Edison to be a stellar companion for his human partner, Abilities Expo ambassador Sarah Best. Now they are paying it forward with a fundraiser to help the organization create more service dog teams.

Rest in Peace, Angela Madsen

June 25, 2020

The world was rocked this week with the sad news of the passing Paralympian and Guinness record holder Angela Madsen. She died halfway through her solo ocean row from California to Hawaii.

Join YouTube Sensation Richard Corbett for Wheels2Walking Adventures

August 29, 2019

If you aren't watching Wheels2Walking videos, you are missing out! Richard's fun, high-energy is advice is helping the global wheeling community learn new and better ways to enjoy life post injury.

Abilities Leaders to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award from Rollettes

May 15, 2019

The world-famous Rollettes dance team honors Abilities Expo owners Lew Shomer and David Korse for their contribution to the disability community.

Apple iWatch Star Andrea Dalzell Shares Advice for Professional Success

April 4, 2019

TV star turned Ms. Wheelchair New York turned NYC's first wheeling nurse speaks from experience about chasing your dreams.

Improve Self-Health Through Meditation and Mindfulness

July 13, 2018

Holistic health expert and rolling mama Kristina Rhoades shares thoughts on why self-health so often begins with your perspective.

Ladies Who Roll: Win a Trip to La to Dance with the Rollettes

June 14, 2018

This Rolling Sisterhood is committed to creating a community through dance, one that redefines what it means to be strong, female and resilient.

Get Fit with Rollettes Star Maria Muscle

May 25, 2018

It's easy to see how Maria "Muscle" Rabaino got her nickname when you get to know her commitment to fitness, both her own and others with disabilities.

The Gift that Changed My Life

April 25, 2018

Read a first-hand account of a woman whose sense of independence and adventure has been super-charged by her furry friend.

Reinventing Yourself After a Life-Changing Event with Andrew Angulo

January 15, 2018

Disabled Life Media's Andrew Angulo discovers his inner creative genius after his injury.

My ER Close Call, and Why it Never Should Have Gotten so Bad

November 21, 2017

Doctors have go-to tests for patients with disabilities that may not always tell the whole story. Kristen's experience is further proof that you are your own best advocate, and regular checkups can save your life.

Cure Medical Pushes to End Paralysis

March 21, 2017

Cure Medical's active and ongoing commitment to reversing SCI has led them to back the cutting-edge research of scientists around the world.

NBA Star Develops Device to Help with Chronic Pain

November 18, 2016

His knees may have truncated Jonathan Bender's NBA career, but they were also the impetus for an invention to help people with chronic joint pain and mobility issues.

Got Lemons? Make LEMONADE

November 18, 2016

Catch Fusion's new series about people with disabilities who have achieved greatness, obliterating all obstacles in their path.

Becoming Invictus

October 8, 2016

The life of Steve Simmons went sideways when a degenerative illness resulted in SCI. With the support of family, he is back and fighting for his country again, this time as an athlete.

We find inspiration and heroism in the actions of people of all abilities—Paralympians, teachers, caregivers, scientists, performers, activists, innovators, families, artists, medical professionals and in regular people making extraordinary gestures.

Mountain climber Mark Wellman was the first paraplegic to scale Half Dome and El Capitan and now brings the adaptive climbing equipment that helped to make the feat possible to Abilities Expo where anyone can use it to scale a rock wall. Filmmaker Narcel Reedus created a poignant documentary to raise awareness that, even today, children with developmental disabilities are institutionalized. Karen Kain of Lorrin’s World, devoted mother to a unique child, now teaches others how to thrive as parents to children with special needs.

Elizabeth Harrington, disabilities community hero.

At Abilities Expo, one of our favorite inspirational stories is the one of young Alexander, an adorable five-year-old with Cerebral Palsy who visited the Expo with his mother and uncle. As they perused the aisles, the bright green KidWalk from Prime Engineering caught their eyes. This pediatric walker is designed to support much of the body weight, allowing a child to walk hands-free.

Alexander had to try it and, once he was strapped in, there was no stopping him. His mother was in tears as she watched her son walk hands-free for the first time. Everyone lucky enough to witness was moved by sight, including the guys from Sleepsafe Beds in a nearby booth who went ahead and bought the walker for little Zander.

Who are the heroes? The gentlemen from Sleepsafe who recognized the opportunity to make a profound difference in child’s life and acted without hesitation? The unstoppable Zander who, undaunted by his physical limitations, couldn’t wait to try something that would open up this world? Or Zander’s family whose love and support created new possibilities for their little guy.

We say all of them are heroes. It’s why we like the story so much.