Dallas

December 13 - 15, 2019

Dallas Market Center

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

Register for Free

Abilities Expo Presents Experienced, Highly Knowledgable Speakers

Allen Boyd

Director of Outreach and Education at the Southwest and Rocky Mountain Region, Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP)

Allen Boyd

As Director of Outreach and Education, Boyd has multiple responsibilities and provides leadership and support as the Regional Outreach Coordinator, the Mega Construction Projects Coordinator and he also oversees the Regional Compliant Process and conducts the Quality Audits for the SWARM Region.  He also engages and builds relationships with key stakeholders and workers most at risk of discrimination to better enable the Office's awareness of bad-acting contractors. Boyd also works with the regional leadership team to develop a strategic outreach plan that builds upon the overall agency's outreach vision.
Previously, Boyd was District Director of the OFCCP Dallas District Office, during which he led the team charged with executing the compliance and investigations programs under Presidential Executive Order 11246 (requirements for non-discriminatory practices in hiring/employment of U.S. government contractors); the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974.

Wayne W. Broadfield, III

Associate Director of Architecture & Facilities, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Wayne W. Broadfield, III

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).

Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Debra Kerper's desire to pursue a career in Travel for the Disabled came from her personal experience as a physically challenged traveler. Debra has been living with Lupus since the age of 20 and became a below knee amputee at the age of 29. She has undergone over 30 surgeries and has spent much time using a wheelchair as well as enjoying long periods of good health and short distance walking. She has a very keen understanding of medical ailments and disabling conditions resulting from excessive time spent in hospitals and outpatient rehab facilities.
In February, 2016 Debra had serious vascular problems resulting in the amputation of her left leg.  Adjusting to life as a bilateral amputee has not been easy.  Debra did not allow this new life changing event to get in her way….she continued to work full time and travel.  Since surgery, she has escorted groups to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Ireland and Hawaii. Her mantra is "Just Doing It Differently".
Debra travels extensively with a wheelchair and/or a scooter and has learned how to MINIMIZE THE FRUSTRATIONS while MAXIMIZING THE ENJOYMENT of visiting new and exciting destinations. She has visited more than 30 countries and has been on over 100 cruises. She is able to share her knowledge and expertise with other disabled persons as well as those who simply want to travel at a more leisurely pace. She possesses very strong interpersonal skills and a love of helping people.

Dr. Linda M. Schultz (Nurse Linda), Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Dr. Linda M. Schultz (Nurse Linda)

Linda M. Schultz, PhD, CRRN is a leader and provider of rehabilitation nursing for 40 years, most recently developing Activity Based Rehabilitation strategies. She has directed programs at an international level including the Christopher Reeve recovery project at Washington University in St. Louis. She is certified by the Association of Rehabilitation Registered Nurses. Dr. Schultz writes the interactive Ask a Nurse Blog, an evidence-based community forum, conducts monthly international webinars hosting discussions and questions from individuals with paralysis and has created emergency pocket cards concerning the topics of sepsis and Autonomic Dysreflexia, in coordination with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. As a researcher, Dr. Schultz focuses on the concepts of promoting bladder and bowel continence and skin integrity. She has completed a national analysis of urinary continence in the elderly population utilizing NIH data. The results of these findings have been used to establish protocols by the AHCPR.

Casey Cashman, US Pain Foundation

Casey Cashman, US Pain Foundation

Casey Cashman has been living with chronic pain for the past 8 years of her life. During her pain journey she has volunteered with multiple organizations as a patient representative to ensure that the patients' voice is always heard. She is recognized as a rising leader in the pain awareness movement. Utilizing the skills she acquired as a Human Resource manager, Casey has made it her mission to empower and support those living with chronic pain. In 2014, Casey became the Volunteer Executive Director of U.S. Pain Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions and their care providers.. Casey started the Beautify in Blue campaign in order to highlight the bravery of pain warriors everywhere. This campaign seeks to unify the pain community and raise awareness for the 100 Million Americans who live with chronic pain everyday. Casey chooses to fight everyday for the little triumphs, and she jumps over the obstacles and hurdles that are thrown her way on a routine basis. Her son gives her the strength she needs to push through all obstacles as he is her biggest supporter!

Victoria Mavis, Beyond the Disability

Victoria Mavis, Beyond the Disability

Victoria Mavis is a speaker, author and human resource (HR) professional who has had a walking disability since the age of four. She has owned her own businesses, as well as been employed by private industry ranging from privately-held companies to large international manufacturing corporations. As an individual who has had a lifetime physical disability, Victoria inspires others to stretch beyond the limitations of their comfort zone in order to achieve a higher level of personal and professional success. Victoria currently resides in Arkansas. Over the past several years, she has worked with disability agencies, educational institutions, and healthcare providers to bring work skills and her inspirational style of living to those affected by a disability.

Leah Blackwell

Leah Blackwell

Leah has been volunteering with the Lake Jackson VFD Auxiliary for the past decade. Not only is she responsible for the weekly Facebook post, but she also maintains and updates the database of bingo players' addresses and emails the Facebook post to players. In addition to being an Auxiliary member, she recently become a member of the Special Education Advisory Committee in the City of Manassas Park, Virginia. In that role, she attends all quarterly meetings, helped revise its bylaws, and offers thoughts and ideas. Victoria has a unique perspective on life and disability as a woman with Spastic\ Athetoid Cerebral Palsy. Victoria does not shy away from a challenge, and volunteering allows her to challenge herself.

John Morris

John Morris

John Morris is one of the foremost experts in the field of accessible travel, drawing from his experience of nearly one million miles flown as a wheelchair user and triple amputee. He educates people with disabilities through his accessible travel website WheelchairTravel.org and advises companies through his consultancy, Accessible Development Group. Known for traveling the world with one hand, a passport and his power wheelchair, he has become a strong advocate for accessibility and inclusion within the travel industry. John is an accessible travel thought leader who shares his vision for an open world with both travel providers and the community at large.

Bonnie Jensen, MAMMA

Bonnie Jensen, MAMMA

Bonnie Jensen is from Houston, Texas and is the Research Analyst for MAMMA - Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism. Her youngest son has autism as well as intractable epilepsy and recently qualified for the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP). Bonnie has been active in advocating for medical cannabis reform at the local and state level in Texas. Texas MAMMA's involvement in the legislative process the last 5 years contributed significantly to the progress and expansion of TCUP.

Lainie Ishbia, MSW, Founder of Trend-ABLE.com

Lainie Ishbia, MSW, Founder of Trend-ABLE.com

Lainie is on a mission to help people with invisible disabilities look & feel their best. She holds a MS in Social Work from The University of Michigan and has been a well respected speaker and educator for over 20 years on all topics relating to self-esteem and body image. Lainie, who has an inherited neuromuscular disorder, wears AFOs (leg braces) and once struggled with extremely low self-esteem and depression. In 2017 she founded Trend-Able.com, a Fashion + Lifestyle blog & resource website. Her articles, fashion boards and posts help others with disabilities, find hacks, adaptiveclothing, and tools for living their best lives. Her savvy and witty articles have been featured on The Mighty, MDA.org, LER Magazine, Getbackuptoday.com and more!

Estela Lugo

Medical Outreach Director, Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation

Estela Lugo

Estela was diagnosed with a progressive form of neuropathy called, Charcot-Marie-Tooth at 4 years-old. Her younger sister followed 3 years later. From that point forward, their parents became heavily involved in advocacy and fundraising for CMT & Muscular Dystrophy throughout New York. "I was lucky enough to be thrown into the non-profit world at a very young age. We were raised in a community that was incredibly passionate and dedicated to improving and saving lives. Returning to the disability arena has been a 'Full-circle Moment' for me; I'm back where it all began." Estela's professional background in interior & product design, marketing, and creative direction brings an unexpected approach to connecting the disability community to wellness, empowerment and health. She is the moderator for the CMT-Connect webinar series and recently testified in front of the FDA this past September to bring awareness and patient perspective to stakeholders and rare disease policy makers.

Dorey Petty

Director of Development, Service Dogs, Inc.

Dorey Petty

Dorey joined Service Dogs, Inc. in 2016 when she retired from the pet industry after 20 years to pursue her passion of serving in the animal nonprofit sector. It was a natural transition to Service Dogs, Inc. to help lead new and major projects, to manage the grant department, corporate relationships, endowments, capital campaigns and to foster relationships within the community. Dorey's own challenges following a stroke in 2017 has pushed her to encourage others to embrace the help available in a Service Dog especially after getting her own Service Dog this year. Service Dogs, Inc. has grown from providing Mobility and Hearing Service Dogs to adding First Responder and Courthouse Facility Dogs to our resume. In 2020, we will start taking applications for PTSD Service Dogs as well to better serve Texans in need at no cost to them. Dorey can see both sides of the door and empathize with both clients and supporters and enjoys speaking to those who want to hear about Service Dogs. She is dedicated to help others find their independence, their voice and a healthy way of life. "I want to share my passion for animals and compassion for people living with a disability."

Event Presenters

In order to bring you a stellar conference program, we have selected presenters whose individual lives are as relevant to the Community as the issues they are addressing. The majority of our speakers hold advanced degrees in their field. 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.

Daniel Carroll, One World Karate

Daniel Carroll, One World Karate

Daniel Carroll is a former Special Education teacher and has been teaching martial arts since 1994. After 7 years of teaching and working closely with special needs children ages 11- 18, he developed a Martial arts program utilizing some of the most forward thinking in Physical and Occupational Therapy.
Dan is intimately aware of the need for, and the power of, positive outlets and mentoring for the social, emotional, and physical growth of individuals; especially those with special needs. Sayagyi Dan has two special needs siblings and has long believed that Martial Arts offer a fantastic platform for individuals like his sister and brother. Dan's younger brother and older sister humble him with respect for their success in life.  Sayagyi Carroll opened his school, One World Karate, in May, 2012, in Austin, Texas, with the express goal of bringing the benefits of Martial Arts training to all. He teaches programs utilizing the Theories, Principles, and Philosophies of traditional martial arts as the base of a true Academy style of Martial Arts instruction. His school also utilizes the most modern and contemporary educational concepts developed for working with students of varied abilities.  In addition to his classes, and at the urging of his wife, Elizabeth, he has founded the non-profit organization Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation to provide educational materials and training to other programs and activities in order to create a more inclusive world.

Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation & One World Karate

Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation & One World Karate

Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation is a 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to creating superlative adapted and inclusive programs throughout Texas, America, and the world. TxASR teaches seminars on disability awareness, special education pedagogy, and classroom / behavior management to existing sports and rec programs, facilitates the creation of new programs, and provides continuing support to build a culture of inclusion while maintaining the highest standards of instruction and service in the programs.
One World Karate is the first Martial Arts school in the world to take programs for students with special needs and fully integrate classes to the highest possible extent.  All students are invited to participate in age appropriate classes regardless of disability or special needs, and all receive curriculum designed for the individual.

VSA Texas

Brandy Arojo

VSA Texas challenges perceptions of how people contribute by creating an arts-inspired, inclusive community of individuals with diverse abilities. They are an expert resource on inclusive arts – creating and maintaining an accessible and open community where everyone can participate. Their goal is to provide support and training to the public, enhance personal growth, and offer Texans access to the creative work of people with diverse abilities. Learn more: www.vsatx.org.

Ainsley's Angels of America

Ainsley's Angels of America

Perhaps you used to run. Perhaps you have never ran. Either way, Ainsley's Angels of America aims to ensure that everyone can experience the joy of going for a run. In addition to ensuring everyone can experience endurance events, Ainsley's Angels of America aims to build awareness about America's special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life. Serving as advocates to providing education and participating as active members in local communities, we believe everyone deserves to be included. Stop by our booth to experience this today and together, let's counter the claim that it is impossible and remove "can't" from the equation! Deal? Can you envision it now? The positive energy, the other athletes smiling from ear to ear, the togetherness of every member preparing to 'roll with the wind', the normalcy of the family, and the love everyone shares ... it is a therapy like no other! Oh, and the impact reaches the entire family, as many have discovered first-hand the therapeutic effects of these races. Learn more at www.ainsleysangels.org.

Texas Technology Access Program

Brandy Arojo

TTAP is dedicated to increasing the access for people with disabilities to AT that provides them more control over their surroundings and an enhanced ability to function independently. They develop programs to improve access, advocacy and awareness of assistive technology to meet the needs of Texans with disabilities.
Learn more: http://techaccess.edb.utexas.edu

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.

Rollettes Dance Team

Rollettes Dance Team

Founded in 2012 by Chelsie Hill, the Rollettes are a group of young women making a difference -  breaking new ground and inspiring the next generation. They are a community, a sisterhood, a family. Role models and trail blazers in dance, fashion, make-up and fitness. These women have created a community that redefines what it means to be strong, female, and resilient. With dance they dazzle and push the boundaries that others place in the way.
Learn more at www.rollettesdance.com.

Ayita Wheelchair Dance

Ayita Wheelchair Dance

Ayita is a dance class for children who use wheelchairs. Their mission is to inspire, encourage, and build confidence! Abilities Expo is thrilled to welcome these talented young dancers to the show. They will be treating the crowd to thrilling performance. Then it's your chance to join them on the dance floor and learn some new moves at their dance class. Ayita is located in Fort Worth, TX.
Learn more: www.facebook.com/Ayitadance/

RISE Adapted Sports

RISE Adapted Sports

RISE stands for Recovery – Inspiration – Success – Empowerment.  We aim to assist persons with physical challenges to Recover, Inspire, Succeed and Empower themselves and others by providing inclusive adaptive recreational sports programs. RISE Adventures was formed March 13th, 2007. RISE serves both kids and adults with a primary diagnosis of a physical disability. Individuals need to be able to understand directions in order to comprehend the safety precautions and instructions that come with participating in sports. Individuals with secondary disabilities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Physical disabilities that RISE serves include: Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Cerebral Palsy, Amputee, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Neuromuscular Disease, Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Blind/Vision Impaired, Ambulatory, and all other physical disabilities.
Learn more: http://www.riseadaptivesports.org/

SWAA

SWAA

Southwest Wheelchair Athletic Association is the regional organization for Wheelchair & Ambulatory Sports USA.  The regional area includes: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma & Texas.
We are a non-profit 501c3 organization that provides sport competition for those individuals with a physical disability.
Learn more: http://www.swaasports.org

ParaCheer

ParaCheer

ParaCheer is the inclusive sport of CHEER and DANCE for athletes with and without a disability. 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

Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence

Canine Companions for Independence is a national nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing expertly trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. Trained in over 40 commands, Canine Companions assistance dogs are matched with children, adults and veterans with a wide variety of disabilities, completely free of charge. New logo attached below.

We Adorn You

We Adorn You

Painters from "We Adorn You" have been face painting for Abilities Expo shows since 2009! They are based out of Los Angeles and New York City and have been in operation since 2007. Their experienced artists will travel to your home or event site. Each event is unique and they can tailor to any theme, style or idea; children and/or adult birthday parties, bar/bat mitzvahs, company picnics, photo shoots, trade shows and many more!
Learn more at www.weadornyou.com

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