Athousand years ago, back in June of this year, we launched our inaugural Abilities Virtual Experience. Many of you attended this online affair, and we were as grateful for your support as we were for your candid feedback. Without that, we would not have the impressive, immersive and interactive Abilities Virtual Experience 2 coming your way in less than two weeks.
You told us that you wanted more opportunities to engage, more live experiences and greater accessibility. Check, check and check. We have pulled together a tremendous amount of life-enhancing products and resources and, on November 20-22, the dynamic #AbilitiesVE2 is all yours.
If you are not yet signed up for this free online event, now is the time! In addition to the latest products, technologies and services, you can log on for info-packed workshops, adaptive events and unforgettable live interviews.
Superstars from the disability community are coming to you
This virtual platform has given us the unique opportunity to host community leaders from all over. You'll hear from activists, entrepreneurs, experts, comedians, musicians, filmmakers, actors, advocates and others. Radio personality, tech vlogger and Abilities ambassador Paul Amadeus Lane will emcee this virtual adventure.
Disability Rights Activists Share their Experiences and Advice
These movers and shakers are the worst enemies of bigotry and ableism. Their work to make this a better world for the disability community spans decades.
Judy Heumann is an international disability rights champion, author and rebel-with-an-outstanding-cause who started fighting tooth and nail for the disability community back in the 70s and has not let up since. Her contribution to the passage and enforcement of disability rights legislation is highlighted in the critically acclaimed documentary, Crip Camp.
Imani Barbarin is a disability rights and inclusion activist who uses her voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability community. You have probably used her popular hashtags: #PatientsAreNotFaking, #AbledsAreWeird and #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow. Born with cerebral palsy, Imani often writes and uses her popular platform to speak from the perspective of a black woman with disabilities.
Alice Wong is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture. In 2020, Alice was named by Time Magazine as one of 16 people fighting for equality in America. Her activism also landed her on the cover of the September issue of Vogue.
Crip Camp directors Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham will give a behind-the-scenes look at the making of this celebrated Netflix documentary. The film follows a group of young campers with disabilities who through their toughness and bonding became vocal activists and made their impact on the early disability rights movement.
Lex Frieden is one of the chief architects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will share his unique insights into crafting the legislation designed to open doors for the disability community.
Andraéa LaVant is an activist, disability advocate, inclusion specialist and impact producer for Crip Camp. As the ADA has reach its milestone 30th year, she will share her expertise on where we can go from here.
Trailblazing entertainers break down barriers
These actors, comedians, producers, models, dancers, Broadway stars and musician will share their insights, success strategies and talents with you!
Ali Stroker's Broadway performance in Oklahoma! earned her a Tony Award, the first for a wheelchair user. She also starred in 12 episodes of the talent competition, The Glee Project, winning a guest role on Fox's Glee. Now she's sharing her journey at Abilities VE2 as well as some secrets to her success.
Ali McManus, a phenomenally talented singer/songwriter, will dazzle us with her repertoire of both original and cover songs.
Chelsie Hill is the founder of the world-famous Rollettes dance team and has dedicated her life to dance and empowering women everywhere to pursue their passions despite the challanges. Find out how she does it.
Nic Novicki is a stand-up comedian known on six continents with a zillion TV and film credits to him name. He has also paved the way for aspiring filmmakers with disabilities to showcase their work through the EasterSeals Disability Film Challenge. But for you, it's comedy and laughs all the way!
Santina Muha is a writer, actress, improviser, storyteller, comic and Jersey girl currently living and performing in Los Angeles. You may have seen her opposite Joaquin Phoenix in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot. And now her comedy stylings are coming to Abilities VE2.
Auti Angel and her hip hop wheelchair dancing instruction have always been a fan fave at Abilities events. She'll breakdown what looks like complicated choreography so that you can dance like a pro, too.
Dani Izzie is a "quad mom" of two beautiful baby girls as well as the subject of DANI'S TWINS, a documentary on disabled pregnancy and parenting slated for release in 2021. Dani leads two panel discussions at the virtual show, one on pregnancy and adaptive parenting, and the other on disability representation in the media.
Angela Rockwood is a model, actress and influencer who created, produced and starred in the Sundance Channel's, ''Critic's Choice Awards,'' Best Reality series Push Girls. She will share her perspectives of navigating and shaping media opportunities in a panel discussion on disability in the media.
Andy Arias is an actor, producer and disability advocate who has worked at the federal, state and local levels as a disability policy expert, seeking to create greater pathways for diversity and inclusion. He'll share his personal experiences and observations on disability representation in the media.
Dancing Wheels, the nation's first professional integrated dance company, will share a stellar performance which showcases the talents of dancers with and without disabilities to create a unifying expression of movement for all.
Kendall Renee is a singer/songwriter who uses her music to face down the obstacles that her condition has thrown at her. Give it up for Kendall as she performs her original song, "Better is Coming."
Get your accessible game on!
Paul is not just the host of this exciting event, he is also an avid gamer. And even better… he is an accessibility consultant who has helped to open video gameplay to other gamers with disabilities. In one session, he and gaming developers from several companies discuss current advances in gaming accessibility and how they are planning to level the future playing field.
In a separate panel discussion, Paul reunites the consulting team that contributed to the creation of the most accessible game in the history of everything, The Last of Us Part 2. These gamers discuss the future of accessible gaming and debate controversial issues like alternative modes for people with intellectual disabilities. If you are a gamer, or know a gamer, share and tune in!
New technologies on the horizon, straight from the big bosses
The CEOs of mobility powerhouses BraunAbility, Permobil, Quantum Rehab and Pride Mobility will log on to chat with Paul about the industry, the effects of COVID as well as what new products and technologies they are developing for the future.
For those of you old enough to remember, closed captioning was not always a given when you sat down to watch TV. Verizon Media Head of Accessibility Larry Goldberg will take you back to how closed captioning got started, how it has developed and what new initiatives will better bridge the accessibility gap.
The team at United Spinal is hard at work empowering and advocating for the community of people with SCI/D despite a tough year with COVID. Find out more about the organization's legislative actions and new initiatives.
For a little show and tell, the CEO of Mobius Mobility will present the new and improved iBOT. Don't miss the next generation of this standing, curb-hopping, stair-climbing, rough-terrain traversing power chair.
And the best part is that when your curiosity is piqued about these intriguing products, you can click over to the Exhibit Hall and visit the virtual booths to learn more. There you'll find everything from accessible vehicles to space-age mobility devices to services for those with hearing disabilities to hilarious stocking stuffers. Watch in-booth product demos and, if you have questions, you can chat directly with company reps.
Get tips, tricks and sage advice from disability experts
Think of the Abilities Virtual Experience as a vast reservoir of resources just waiting for you to tap into. And you get to do more than soak up their expertise on the following important topics…you get to ask your questions, too.
Sex & Disability: Award-winning Disability Awareness Consultant Andrew Gurza is the host of the popular podcast, Disability After Dark. At Abilities VE2, his beginner's guide to how sex and disability feels will reveal both myths and facts as well as underscore the importance of emotions, not just the mechanics.
Cannabis: Can it help your condition? What is the science behind it? Where can you get it? Join this Q&A for answers.
Ask the Doctor: Dr. David Kipper, a renown medical expert, and Peter Tilden, a popular Los Angeles radio personality, tackle difficult questions from Abilities VE2 attendees. They cover a wide range of medical issues including spasticity, COVID-19, neuropathy, the best ways to manage bowel/bladder program, pain management and more.
Accessible Travel: Travel? At a time like this? Oh yes! Travel gurus John Morris and Debra Kerper, who have forgotten more about travel then most people will ever know and, will offer their expert advice on where to vacation and how to do it safely.
Fundraising: Help Hope Live has had considerable success in helping people with disabilities afford the equipment they need through creative fundraising strategies. Two families will share what worked best for them.
Dance, cook and more at Abilities VE2
It wouldn't be an Abilities event if there were not a host of fun, adaptive activities for all ages! This online experience will feature accessible cooking, two different art events, dancing, adaptive fitness, yoga, chess instruction and even wheelchair maintenance for both manual and power chairs.
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