Dallas

DECEMBER 2-4, 2022

Dallas Market Hall

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

Register for Free

Meet the Workshop Speakers!

Meet the speakers for the Abilities Expo workshops! They are people whose individual lives are as relevant to the Community as the issues they are addressing. Our speakers have years of experience and are highly knowledgeable in their fields. 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.

Wayne Broadfield, III, AIA

Associate Director of Architecture Services, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

Wayne Broadfield Bio Photo

Wayne Broadfield joined PVA in 2018 after seventeen years of private sector architectural design and construction experience, including accessibility reviews, as an associate and senior project manager of an award-winning firm in Washington DC. He has served as president of the Potomac Valley chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 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 numerous projects throughout the United States.  He has also provided technical assistance on residential renovation projects 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).

Workshop: Accessible Home Design: The Basics

Faith Louise Cooper

Founder, Beyond Empowerment Services, Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Holistic Health Coach

Faith Louise Cooper Bio Photo

Faith Louise Cooper is an international speaker, nutritionist, coach, and founder at Beyond Empowerment who equips, educates, and empowers families facing chronic conditions to live enriching lives. She is a certified holistic nutritionist through the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA). Faith Louise equips families and children, including cancer survivors and those on the Autism Spectrum, with the tools needed to reach their full potential knowing that they have value and something the world needs, since 1996. She educates families to succeed in life physically, emotionally, and mentally to make healthy choices relieving pain and gaining energy by discovering the food that fuels their body, learning to set boundaries and rest with proper sleep, and meditating with the supportive community. Faith Louise Cooper was diagnosed with both JA (juvenile arthritis) and hEDS (Hypermobile type Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome) has given her the strength to find the inner warrior. She believes that there is a warrior inside of every person.

Workshop: Is Your Lifestyle Giving You GAS? Learn About Long-Term Stress and its Effect on the Gut

Kelly L. Green

Executive Director, Help Hope Live

Kelly L. Green Bio Photo

Kelly has been executive director of Help Hope Live since November 2017. The daughter of a transplant recipient, Kelly not only believes in the mission of Help Hope Live, but she also once used the service and it "completely changed her life." She feels honored and proud to lead an organization that provided hope and help to her family during her mother's journey to transplant in 2007.  Kelly describes herself as a mother, a daughter of her hero, a battle-tested unifier, and a thought leader. She has more than 20 years' experience working in and leading nonprofit organizations and has dedicated her life to civic engagement. Kelly has proudly served as the CEO of Variety – The Children's Charity; director of Montgomery County, PA Voters Services; and deputy director for the Institute for the Study of Civic Values in Philadelphia. In 2018, Kelly was recognized with Main Line Today's Women on the Move Award for redefining success around Philadelphia's Main Line and western suburbs. Kelly is a connector, a person who needs to infuse each day with a lesson and inspire others to be the one makes someone else's day just a little brighter. She places value in small acts of kindness. She is a self-proclaimed activist, but most people just see her as someone who believes everyone deserves dignity and respect. She knows firsthand how broken our healthcare system is and is determined to help place medical needs in reach to those in need!

Workshop: Discover How to Pay for Everything You See Today

Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT

Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT Jay Gupta Bio Photo

Jay Gupta is the Director of Pharmacy & Integrative Health at a health center in New Hampshire. He is also the President of YogaCaps, Inc. and RXRelax. Jay is a pharmacist, medication expert, DePrescription leader and international speaker. He has been recognized by Cardinal Health, by the National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations (NASPA) and by Next Generation Pharmacists/Pharmacy Times for excellence in integrative therapies. His clinical trial in 2020 studied the effects of therapeutic telehealth yoga for healthcare professionals during a pandemic and indicated significant reduction in anxiety, depression, insomnia, and PTSD symptoms.

Workshop: Polypharmacy: What Is It and Are You at Risk? Presented by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Debra Kerper

Easy Access Travel

Debra Kerper Bio Photo

Debra Kerper's desire to pursue a career in travel for persons with special needs and seniors came from her personal experience as a physically challenged traveler. Debra has lived 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 the surgery, she has escorted groups to Alaska, the Mediterranean, the Baltic, Ireland, New Zealand, the British Isles, Israel, and Hawaii. Her mantra is "Just Doing It Differently". Access resources, see photos, and ask questions at EasyAccessTravel.com.

Workshop: Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Codi Mendenhall

Student and Disability Advocate

Codi Mendenhall Bio PhotoCodi is in 10th grade at Grand River Academy - an online school. Codi enjoys hanging out with her friends, shopping, swimming, adaptive snowboarding, doing crafts, social media, and riding her tandem electric tricycle ("eTrike" for short). Codi and her mom Jen were presenters for TEDx Grand Junction in March of 2020. Their talk, "Codi's Life: From Coding to Communication Technology", was selected to be on TED.com.  Codi was interviewed on Colorado Public radio using her AAC to speak about going back to school after Covid. She used her AAC in a commercial for Code Ninjas, a National Coding Program, as well as two Mesa County Valley School District #51 School Board meetings to advocate for Adapted PE teachers and give an informative presentation about the yearbook group at her school. She was featured in the Center for Inclusive Design and Engineering Newsletter, Ride Designs Newsletter and Move United and Directions magazines. Most recently she was in an ATAP National AT Awareness Day video.

Workshop: A Technology Journey - Discover How AT and AAC Devices Help!

Jen Mendenhall

Mom and Disability Advocate

Jen Mendenhall Bio Photo

Jen is 53-year-old mom of a very determined and sassy 15-year-old daughter, Codi. Codi has Cerebral Palsy and uses many forms of assistive technology (AT). Jen and Codi were presenters for TEDx Grand Junction in March of 2020. Their talk, "Codi's Life: From Coding to Communication Technology", was selected to be on TED.com. Both are current members of the Colorado Technology First Council and the Colorado Assistive Technology Coalition. Jen is a parent member of the Colorado Governor's State Rehabilitation Council, the Parent/Family Lead for the Colorado Office of Employment First Curriculum Training grant and member of the Colorado Department of Education Sequencing of Services Pilot Program for their local school district. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University and a MS in Public Administration from the University of AK.

Workshop: A Technology Journey - Discover How AT and AAC Devices Help!

Sonny Mullen

Director of Outreach, Help Hope Live

Sonny Mullen Bio Photo

Sonny Mullen is from the Philadelphia area and spent the first part of her career in New York City working in television. She joined Help Hope Live in 2016, first working in the Finance Department and now proudly serves as the Outreach Manager. In this role she has helped build the Outreach department with the goal of bringing Help Hope Live's mission to a wider audience. Growing up with a younger brother living with GRIN1 Disorder, Sonny has a personal connection to Help Hope Live's mission. She is happy to use her experiences, both at home and with Help Hope Live, to connect and speak with individuals in the disability community all over the country, with the goal of helping them safely fundraise for their medical and related expenses.

Workshop: Discover How to Pay for Everything You See Today

Nick Skov

Operations Director, OxyLife Hyperbarics

Nick Skov is the Operations Director for OxyLife Hyperbarics, a company that is dedicated to redefining health and wellness using hyperbaric oxygen therapy and associated products. Nick oversees installation of chambers in clinics and residential settings. He can speak to the physical mechanics of the different types of chambers and how they function as well as reviewing HBOT research. He is Level 1 Safety Director Training certified with IBUM (International Board of Undersea Medicine) and holds the Hyperbaric Training Certification from Hyperbaric Excellence.

Workshop: Introduction to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Jordan Smelley, MHPS

Mental Health Peer Specialist, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction

Jordan Smelley, MHPS Bio Photo

Jordan Smelley is a certified Mental Health Peer Specialist in Texas, and currently works for the Association of Person's Affected by Addiction in Dallas Texas as a Mental Health Peer Specialist. Jordan uses his lived experience with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities with Co-Occurring Mental Health Diagnosis(es) due to Chung-Jansen Syndrome to help support and provide resources to others, so they obtain the supports needed to become a contributing member of the community at large. Jordan is also involved with an Austin based nonprofit called Imagine Art since April of 2021. Jordan is assisting Imagine Art with their Training 4 Transformation project which seeks to create a Peer Support Certification pathway specifically for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. You can learn more about Jordan Smelley and his accomplishments by visiting his website at www.jordansmelleyprss.com.

Workshop: Self-Awareness for Job Accommodations

Brittney Walters, BA

Assistive Technology Instructor, East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind

Brittney Walters, BA Bio Photo

Growing up blind herself, Brittney has been using assistive technology (AT) for over 20 years. She joined the Lighthouse team as the Assistive Technology Instructor after obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Texas at Tyler. Brittney has experience teaching one-on-one and group AT classes to people of all ages and all levels of vision loss. She brings extensive knowledge of the technology used by individuals who are blind and visually impaired along with a passion for teaching. Brittney is JAWS and ZoomText certified, a graduate of the Professional Mastery of Office Technology for Employment Program, a graduate of ETLB's Assistive Technology Instructor Program and is an approved AT Trainer through UNT's Assistive Technology Unit for the Texas Workforce Commission Vocation Rehabilitation Services. In her spare time, Brittney enjoys being with family and spending time with her dog, Holly.

Workshop: Out of the Box Accessibility: Windows and iOS features for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!

Sign up for the Abilities Buzz

Stay in the know on disability news and info.