Houston

AUGUST 4-6, 2023

NRG Center, Hall E

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

Register for Free

FREE workshops!

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and home modifications to methods for funding and ideas for using AT and AAC in your life.

There's no need to register - just arrive early to get your seat!

Professionals:

Certificates of participation are available for all workshops. Please see the Accessibility Help Desk following each workshop for your certificate.

* 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.

Friday, August 5, 2022

11:45am – 12:45pm

Accessible Home Design: The Basics

Presented by Mark Thompson, AIA, Senior Director of Architecture, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

Location: Workshop

Accessible Home Design: The Basics

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! Visit pva.org/AccessibleDesign.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Disability and Special Needs Planning Made Easy

Presented by: Andre Sam, Disability & Special Needs Project

Location: Workshop Area

Disability and Special Needs Planning Made Easy

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. Topics covered in this workshop include guardianship, alternatives to guardianship, micro boards, wills, family trusts, special needs trusts, SSI (Supplemental Security Income), Social Security Retirement and 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.

Learn More! Visit projectdsnp.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

The "CURE" to Inclusion

Presented by: Ruth Rathblott, MSW, DEI Certified, TEDx Speaker

Location: Workshop Area

The "CURE" to Inclusion

Discover the power of living authentically through connection (C), understanding (U), representation (R), and empathy (E). Attendees will have the opportunity to explore their own differences through personal reflection and small group activities, as well as having presented current language and curated conversation on inclusion. The C.U.R.E. model engages attendees on 4 dimensions:

1) Connection through courage and commitment.
2) Understanding by uncovering those parts of ourselves that are different and creating safe places for
conversation about difference.
3) Representation by making sure all voices are recognized and have a seat at the table.
4) Empathy and evolving to create an amazing workplace.

Learn more! Visit ruthrathblott.com.

Saturday, August 6, 2022

10:00am – 12:00pm

What's the Difference? Clinical Applications for Standard and Complex Power Wheelchairs

Presented by: Alex Chesney, OTR, ATP/SMS, Quantum Rehab

Location: Room 108

Travel the World: What are the Most Accessible Destinations?

A power wheelchair is a power wheelchair, right? While many power wheelchairs are controlled by a standard in-line joystick, as complex rehab equipment professionals, we should not assume most power wheelchairs are similar. This course will discuss key performance characteristics of the 2 most common power wheelchair groups (Group 2 and Group 3), considerations for drive wheel configuration, the need for non-expandable versus expandable controllers, and considerations for suspension.

The session is complimentary, but registration is required. Attendees can earn .2 CEUs. For more information, click here.

11:45am – 12:45pm

Travel the World: What are the Most Accessible Destinations?

Presented by: Wheel the World

Location: Workshop Area

Travel the World: What are the Most Accessible Destinations?

Discover accessible destinations! Places in the United States and around the world that offer the best accessibility to travels with disabilities. You'll also find out how some destinations can become accessible – even when they don't appear to be – using the right services, equipment, and support. As the world opens back up to travel, consider the places you've always wanted to see. From cities and popular landmarks to beautiful locations in nature and including places to stay and methods of travel. Everyone has different needs and levels of independence, and the travel industry continues to expand its abilities to ensure you can see the amazing destinations the world has to offer.

Learn More! Visit wheeltheworld.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Polypharmacy: What Is It and Are You at Risk?

Presented by: Jay Gupta, RPh, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT

Location: Workshop Area

Polypharmacy: What Is It and Are You at Risk?

This 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 as well as their loved ones.

Medications are intended to improve our health and well-being. Some medications present more risks and adverse reactions than others. Persons who live with disabilities often take multiple medications to treat secondary/other chronic conditions which may escalate risks and reactions. This session will:

  • Outline the incidence of polypharmacy and discuss who is at most risk.
  • Explore the implications of polypharmacy and changing impact of COVID-19.
  • Provide inspiration and strategies to minimize the risks and reduce polypharmacy where possible to enhance health and resilience.

Learn More! Visit christopherreeve.org.

1:00 – 3:00 pm

Balancing Function and Independence: Clinical Considerations for Power Positioning

Presented by: Alex Chesney, OTR, ATP/SMS, Quantum Rehab

Location: Room 108

Balancing Function and Independence: Clinical Considerations for Power Positioning

Power wheelchairs are designed to augment function when functional mobility is compromised or lost. For end users with complex needs, the power wheelchair can also augment repositioning and pressure relief. This course will dive into the various options for power positioning, clinical benefits, various access methods, and the research supporting the need for power positioning technology.

The session is complimentary, but registration is required. Attendees can earn .2 CEUs. For more information, click here.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: An Introduction

Presented by: Houston Hyperbaric Oxygen Center

Location: Workshop Area

An Overview of Medical Cannabis

An introduction into hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Find out what this therapy, commonly called HBOT, is. Learn how it works in the body. Discover how it can help you or your loved ones, including a list of conditions shown in research to benefit from this modality. The session will include time for questions, together with information about how you can access the therapy.

Learn more! Visit houstonhbocenter.com.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

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

Presented by: Jen Mendenhall, Mom and Disability Advocate, and Codi Mendenhall, Student and Disability Advocate

Location: Workshop Area

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

Come meet Codi. She's a typical but not-so typical teenager. Codi is a vibrant and determined fifteen-year-old with Cerebral Palsy. She uses many forms of assistive technology to increase her self-sufficiency.  Journey with Codi and her mom Jen to discover about various forms of Assistive Technology (AT) and Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). Learn how they have incorporated this technology into their lives over the past 15 years. Find out how this technology can help you in your life!

Learn more! View Codi's Life - From Coding to Communication Tech, Jennifer and Codi Mendenhall TEDx Talk.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Creative Movement

Presented by: Houston Ballet

Location: Workshop Area

Creative Movement

A movement class for students of all abilities and ages. Discover how to build strength, flexibility, and balance through creative movement.

Learn more! Visit the Adapted Dance section of the Houston Ballet website.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Texas ABLE: A Savings Program for Individuals with Disabilities

Presented by: Anna Mallett, Program Specialist, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Educational Opportunities and Investment Division

Location: Workshop Area

Texas ABLE: A Savings Program for Individuals 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! Visit texasable.org or call 844-4TX-ABLE (844-489- 2253).

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