Ft. Lauderdale

October 18-20, 2024

Broward County Convention Center

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

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Local disability activists lead Abilities Expo’s community outreach efforts through ambassador program

Abilities Expo has appointed Ambassadors—members of the local community of people with disabilities and their families—to spearhead community outreach initiatives. These individuals will meet face-to-face with rehab institutions, independent living centers, local manufacturers, service providers and local associations to generate excitement and increase attendance at each event.

Meet the impressive individuals who have chosen to represent Abilities Expo to the Community.

Lorry Burgr

Lorry BurgrLorry, a woman with Spina Bifida, became involved with disability causes in college. She saw the need for advocacy so started a group called Breaking Down the Barriers. It was designed to support and encourage accessibility and acceptance throughout campus.

Upon graduating, she moved to Florida and worked with those with developmental disabilities for many years as an instructor at a sheltered workshop.

After an illness which caused an amputation of her leg, her attention turned to physical fitness. It seemed that the majority of fitness avenues were not geared toward working out and seemed more like therapy. She then got her Personal Trainer Certification and helped found a Facebook group for other young disabled people to have fun and figure out their fitness goals. She also was asked to intern at WOW Fitness to become more confident as a live instructor.

Now Lorry is focusing all her attention on the group, her personal fitness classes and personal one-on-one training. She wants to make physical fitness available to the entire disabled community.

To find out more about physical fitness and perhaps pop on a free live class with Lorry, please check out the group, Wheelchair Based Health and Fitness.

Ryan Gebauer

Ryan Gebauer has led a very interesting life. In June 1995, when he was only 16 years old, Ryan and his friends were climbing a tree in his Ryan Gebauerneighborhood, as teenagers often do. When Ryan jumped out of that tree into the lake below, his world was changed forever. Ryan lost balance, landed in the water breaking his neck at the C3-4 level and leaving him paralyzed. He was hospitalized for six months following his injury. During that time, he had numerous surgeries, went through rehabilitation, and generally learned how to live as a quadriplegic.

Since that day, he has been a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the neck down. While many would simply give up, Ryan made another choice. He chose to get better rather than bitter. With that positive attitude, in 2008 he received a Masters in Business Administration after receiving a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science, Criminal Justice and Business, a real estate license in 2004, became an advocate for the disabled, and a pillar of the community. Ryan was forced in the harshest manner and at a very early age to learn to overcome obstacles and with that knowledge he helps people.

While Ryan was mentoring, volunteering and building the Spinal Cord Injury Support Group of South Florida, he learned of the hardship's members were encountering while trying to obtain accessible properties.

It was at this time Ryan saw an opportunity to put his education and energies to use by working for a local real estate brokerage to change the perception of an industry consisting of able-bodied agents.

This "NEVER GIVE UP!" quality pushed Ryan to another challenge; Ryan started the first real estate brokerage in the U.S. that specializes in assisting individuals with a disability to obtain a property, additionally, it's the first brokerage to be run by an individual with a disability.

Today, Ryan is the principal broker to Ryan Realty Group located in Coral Springs, Fla., where he works with sellers, buyers, landlords and tenants throughout South Florida. Ryan Realty Group specializes in working with disabled clients and seniors, and has an in-depth knowledge of properties that meet the specialized needs of the disabled and aging communities.

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