Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!
Here is the 2021 Abilities Expo line-up.
Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2022.
Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and the accessible homes to how you can get the best accessible vehicle. Discover how both dogs and monkeys help people be more independent. Parents – take a break and enjoy two great sessions for parents of kids with special needs – both filled with laughs and ideas for thriving, not just surviving, as the parent of a child with special needs. Plus there’s information about assistive devices, clinical trials, and emergency preparedness.
Workshops are FREE! All attendees are welcome – you don’t need to register or sign up in advance. Just arrive early to the workshop to make sure you can get a seat!
There is so much more happening at Abilities Expo! Be sure to check out the FREE Events for demonstrations of adaptive sports, dancing, assistance dogs, horse therapy – and more. Most events include time for attendees to participate!
- Certificates of participation are available for all workshops. Please see the Accessibility Help Desk following each workshop for your certificate. (Please note there are no CEU approved courses at this year’s Abilities Expo).
* 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.
Disability & Special Needs Planning Made Easy
Presented by: Andre Sam, Special Needs Education & Advocacy Project
Join us for an informative and educational workshop for family members with loved ones of all ages with physical and/or intellectual disabilities or special needs. The topics covered in this workshop include Guardianship & Alternatives to Guardianship, Microboards, Wills, Family Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, SSI, Social Security Retirement/Survivor Benefits, Social Security Disability, Medicaid/Medicare, ABLE Accounts, Budget Planning and Transition Planning. This workshop will explain why these disability and special needs planning documents are important to have and how they complement each other in an estate plan designed to protect yourself, your family and/or your loved one's current and future quality of life and care. Don't be afraid to plan, be afraid if you don't plan.
Accessible Home Design
Presented by: Mark Thompson, 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/
Accessible Memories: Defying Limits One Destination at a Time
Presented by: Kristy Durso, Owner, Incredible Memories Travel
Join me as we discuss different areas of special needs travel: physical disabilities, cognitive disabilities, food allergies, hearing and visual disabilities. Having developed both a resort accessibility evaluation and a special needs education program for the 6,000+ agents in one of America's top host agencies, I am dedicated to finding and working with partners in the industry willing to defy limitations to create a more accessible world. Whether near and far, adventurous or relaxed, I believe travel is empowering, and should be experienced by all, not just the able-bodied. Join me as we defy limits and open up the world of travel to all.
Autism and Transition Services From High School to College
Presented by: Rhonda Parker
The focus will be on preparing students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder for college and career readiness. The second training will identify resources and strategies to prepare for transition to college or career readiness programs.
What the disability community needs to know about Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response
Emergency Preparedness is a collective responsibility, failing to plan is not an option and thus promoting awareness about how to prepare is critical. Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) will provide an overview of Emergency management in in Texas and what individuals with disabilities need to know in how to prepare, what questions to ask and who to ask, to address any specific needs to be considered in a disaster response. DRTx will highlight disaster resources, our services and how we can assist in disaster response and recovery, as well as our vaccine initiative in response to COVID-19.
Learn more: https://www.disabilityrightstx.org/en/home/
Making Mindfulness Meaningful
Presented by: Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT & Terry Gupta, MSW, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT500
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
Using mindfulness, science says we have the power to effect beneficial brain changes, gene expression and chemical cascades that that can affect our blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, and cholesterol, as well our experience of stress, anxiety, depression, pain, sleep quality and PTSD. We will review the mindfulness research, including research specific to persons with paralysis, discuss how to use mindfulness capsules to enhance health-related quality of life for persons with paralysis, their caregivers and healthcare professionals, as well as provide an experiential mindfulness capsule to add to your daily routines.
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
How to get the most out of your wheelchair evaluation: Empowering people to be experts in themselves
Presented by: Lee Ann Hoffman, Clinician Task Force
This session provides an overview of all the stakeholders involved in the process related to the wheelchair evaluation. Throughout the presentation key information will be covered to assist and encourage people who are seeking wheeled mobility. Whether considering a first wheelchair or questioning a current wheelchair, this information will help you confidently engage in decisions about mobility and procuring appropriate equipment to meet your needs.
Texas ABLE: A savings program for individuals with disabilities.
Presented by: Anna Mallett
The Texas ABLE Program: the state’s new savings program for Texans with disabilities.
Come learn about the Texas Achieving A Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE®) program and how Texans with disabilities and their families can save for disability - related expenses in a tax-advantaged ABLE account without losing eligibility for certain public benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. Texas ABLE is based on federal and state legislation and is maintained by the state through the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.
Funds in an ABLE account can be used to pay for qualified disability expenses that relate to the beneficiary’s blindness or disability and are used to maintain or improve his or her health, independence or quality of life.This presentation will cover all the basics of ABLE and give you details on how to open an ABLE account in Texas. Learn more and enroll online at TexasABLE.org. 844-4TX-ABLE (844-489-2253) CustomerService@TexasABLE.org
Fine Motor Fantastic! Helping your student to develop fine motor skills on a budget.
Presented by: Polly Benson, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist, LegiLiner, LLC.
Fine motor skills are important to the development of functional grasp, handwriting, and scissor skills. Learn why fine motor skills are important to address early on so kids develop a life long love of writing. Do you have a struggling writer? This session will show you ways to motivate your student. Also, participants will leave with a list of 60+ items to get at the dollar store and free finds around your house so you can get started right away!Learn more: www.LegiLiner.com
Social Inclusion in Sports: How Adapted Sports Can Improves Lives of Individuals with Disabilities
Presented by: Travis Davis
Community is an essential part of the human experience. Sports can be a great avenue for this. Unfortunately, for many individuals with disabilities, it can be difficult to connect with like-minded people. This workshop will cover the impact of adapted sports in the lives of individuals with disabilities. Including but not limited to the types of adapted sports, strategies on getting involved, and the benefits parents can expect sports to have for their child.