Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!
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.
Here's what we did in 2019.
Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2020.
Choosing Your Independence
Presented by: Mickae Lee, Director, Advocacy & Communication, National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology
Independence is achieved differently for everyone because no two people are the same. Countless configurations, meticulous measurements, and ongoing adjustments are all part of the process when it comes to pairing someone with the best mobility and communication systems for their unique needs. One constant that applies to all individuals- no matter their level of ability- is the need for the equipment and services to be available and to be covered appropriately by Medicare, Medicaid, and other payers. Without the opportunity to select the most medically appropriate options, independence becomes limited to “the next best thing”; whatever is covered by insurance. This session will arm you with information about policy changes that have had negative consequences for individuals with disabilities, what advocacy work is being done to protect access, what organizations are available to assist you, and what actions you can be taking to preserve your ability to achieve maximum independence.
Learn more: www.ncart.us
Protecting Your Work Place Rights
Presented by: Allen Boyd, Director of Outreach and Education, Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP)
The presentation will introduce the audience to the agency, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs or OFCCP, and provide an overview of employee's workplace rights under the laws that OFCCP enforces. We will also discuss how to recognize employment discrimination including employment discrimination based on disability, and what you can do if you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of workplace discrimination.
Learn More: www.dol.gov/ofccp
Presented by: Wayne W. Broadfield, III, AIA, Associate Director of Architecture Services, 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/
A New Way for Texans with Disabilities to Save: The Texas ABLE Program
Presented by: Anna Mallett, Outreach Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
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 administered 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: TexasABLE.org
Volunteering: It’s More Than What You Give
Presented by: Leah Blackwell
Being a volunteer is extremely important for people with disabilities because volunteering teaches job and interpersonal skills, while also belonging to a team. It gives you a chance to meet new people who live within your own community and form new relationships. In addition, volunteering looks good on a resume. We'll discuss the benefits of volunteering and some volunteer opportunities in your community!
Understanding Pain Medication
Presented by: Jay Gupta
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
Pain is a multi-faceted, complex experience. Control of pain is a critical part of overall health and well-being for those with spinal cord injuries. This session focuses on gaining a better understanding of pain medications and strategies for safe use. Research indicates that learning about pain medications can help in managing pain, preventing emergencies and overdoses and enhancing overall quality of life.
Learn more: https://www.christopherreeve.org
Open Your World With Accessible Travel
Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org
The world is more accessible than ever, and the travel industry is beginning to recognize that wheelchair users and people with disabilities want to explore it too! This workshop will provide you with information and tools to plan an accessible vacation, opening your world to new experiences and possibilities. Come prepared to participate in an accessible travel Q&A with the presenter, who will bring firsthand knowledge from nearly one million miles flown with a wheelchair. You will leave this workshop with inspiration for your next vacation and tips to make accessible travel enjoyable for all, including your friends, family members and caregivers.
Learn more: www.wheelchairtravel.org
Medical Marijuana: Making an Informed Decision
We'll be giving a brief overview of the endocannabinoid system, how CBD/low-THC cannabis (what's legal in Texas) helps the body, choosing quality CBD products, the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP, which is our medical marijuana program) and its recent expansion, and how to research and advocate for your condition.
Learn more: http://www.mammausa.org
Speak up!: How to talk to anyone about your disability effectively
Presented by: Estela Lugo, Medical Outreach Director, Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation and Lainie Ishbia, MSW, Founder of Trend-ABLE.com
We all know that communication is an essential part of our relationships and well being. Expressing ourselves can be challenging but expressing the unique needs related disabilities can pose extra challenges. Have you ever felt misunderstood because of your disability? Has miscommunication ever interfered in your relationships?
Being able to effectively communicate can be tough in general. For those of us with disabilities, expressing our unique wants and needs, in a way that feels good for everyone, can be extra challenging. In this interactive workshop participants will discuss and role play different everyday situations. They will learn the differences between passive, aggressive, assertive and passive-aggressive communication styles, while gaining tools for communicating in a healthy and productive way.
Learn More: https://trend-able.com and https://www.hnf-cure.org
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 Free Money for the Products and Services your Child Needs That Insurance Won't Pay For!
Presented by: Tammy Simmons, Author and Founder of The Funding Guides & Founder and Executive Director of The Funding Project with Melissa Copp, Founder and Executive Director of the Raising Wheels Foundation
Parents of children with disabilities often face significant financial burdens trying to cover the cost of items their children need. This presentation will connect families with proven, step-by-step techniques for raising funds to cover these costs. Discover how you can apply to funding sources (organizations that provide funding to families), and run successful community fundraisers and crowdfunding campaigns. Features the expertise of Tammy Simmons, author of the Disability Funding Guide, and Melissa Copp, whose family started with funding by requesting a small grant to cover a piece of equipment and ended up receiving a new home on the popular TV show Fixer Upper.
Learn more at: https://disabilityfundingguide.comand https://raisingwheelsfoundation.org