AUGUST 2-4, 2024

NRG Center, Hall E

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

Register for Free Hotel Directions

FREE workshops!

Here is the 2023 Abilities Expo line-up.

Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2024.

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on many topics from how to pay for everything you see at the show to being healthy on your own terms, dealing with medication overload, and the benefits of outdoor sports and recreation.

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

There's a lot going on at Abilities Expo! Be sure to also check out the Exhibitors and Events.

Certificates of participation are available for all workshops. Please see the Accessibility Help Desk during the show for information on how to obtain a certificate. Certificate recipients must be registered attendees at the show.

* Workshop dates, times, topics, and speakers 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.

10:00am – 11:30am

Best Practices in Home Modification For People with Disabilities

Presented by: Russell Klein, Certified Aging in Place Specialist (C.A.P.S. / National Association of Home Builders), Director of Community Engagement of 101 Mobility of Houston

Best Practices in Home Modification For People with Disabilities

This 60-minute workshop—designed for those working as, or studying to be, an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Social Worker or Case Manager—will address:

  • Fall prevention Strategies for People with Physical Disabilities Involving Balance or Coordination
  • Considerations and Project Costs Related to Modifications and Devices Installed to Reduce Fall Risks in the Home, e.g. lifts, ramps, elevators, roll-in showers, etc.
  • Best Practices for Successful Aging in Place
  • Services and experiences of 101 Mobility of Houston

The session is complimentary, but registration is required. Attendees can earn 1.0 CEUs/CCUs/CEs. For more information, click here. Please note that while there is no charge attend, one of the accrediting partners—University of Houston's Graduate College of Social Work—will charge Social Workers $20 to issue them a certificate.

Accessible Home Design: The Basics

Presented by: Rachel Krishnan, AIA, Project Manager - Architecture, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA)

Location: Workshop Area

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 at pva.org/accessibledesign and the popular book from PVA: Accessible Home Design: Solutions for the Wheelchair User, Second Edition (available for reading online).

Traveling with a Disability

Presented by: Jenny Smith, Speaker and Author

Location: Workshop Area

Traveling with a Disability

Do you want to travel but think it's impossible? Don't dismiss the thought! While working with nonprofit organizations to distribute wheelchairs to people in developing countries, Jenny Smith has traveled to Mexico, Afghanistan, Latin America, the Middle East, and several European countries. In this workshop, Jenny will share nine tips on how to get the most out of your travel experience. With the proper preparation and an open mind, it's possible to experience an incredible adventure!

Learn more at jennysmithrollson.com.

Book Signing Follows! 2:15pm - 2:45pm
Meet Jenny Smith at the workshop area between 2:15pm and 2:45pm to purchase signed copies of her book, Live the Impossible: How a Wheelchair Has Taken Me Places I Never Dared to Imagine. A limited number of copies will be available for purchase at the show. Copies can also be purchased in advance at Jenny's website and via Amazon.

Maximizing Function in Joystick Driving

Presented by: Heather R. Price, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, Central South Regional Manager, Stealth Products

Location: Workshop Area

Maximizing Function in Joystick Driving

This hands-on workshop will provide a basic to intermediate level understanding of how joysticks are used to communicate with the mobility base of your wheelchair. Explore how product variations and configurability are used to maximize function, and considerations for adapting to your changing needs. Topics we will discuss include:

  • Intro to basic joystick function
  • Joystick styles and application
  • Configurability
  • Adaptability to change

Learn more at stealthproducts.com.

Do You and Your Loved Ones Know What To Do In an Emergency?

Presented by: Logan Perkes, Management Analyst and Portfolio Disability Integration Specialist, FEMA Region 6 | Texas Integration and Recovery Office

Do You and Your Loved Ones Know What To Do In an Emergency?

An emergency plan is critical to being prepared for not jut weather-related disasters but emergencies that can happen every day. Join the FEMA Disability Integration Team and Disability Rights Texas to learn how to develop your Emergency Plan and/or how you can improve your current plan.

Learn more! National resources available at ready.gov/disability. Texas resources available at https://texasready.gov/.

What You Wish You Knew About Your Manual Wheelchair, But Were Afraid to Ask

Presented by: Curt Prewitt, MS, PT, ATP, Director of Education, Ki Mobility

Location: Workshop Area

What You Wish You Knew About Your Manual Wheelchair, But Were Afraid to Ask

Every manual wheelchair user wants their chair to perform well. While optimal performance means different things for each user, all wheelchairs should be reliable, responsive, and well set up for function within your environment of use. For manual wheelchair users, a basic understanding of what you're using and how it works can help you obtain a wheelchair that meets your definition of optimal performance. This workshop will examine real-world scenarios of manual wheelchair use. We'll investigate the science involved in adjusting your wheelchair - and how this can affect how easy or difficult it is to move your chair around. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how their wheelchairs can be "tuned" - set up to get the most efficient translation of their movement into the chair's movement. The more optimal the set-up, the less work required to operate it, and the less taxing it can be to your body over time.

Learn more at kimobility.com/.

Self-Care in 10 Easy Doses

** This workshop is CANCELLED due to weather impacting the speakers’ travel. **

A Workshop for Caregivers Presented by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Presented by: Jay Gupta, RPh, 340B ACE, MTM Consultant, C-IAYT and Terry Gupta, MSW, C-IAYT, YACEP, E-RYT500
Location: Workshop Area

Photo of post-it notes showing the text "Self Care is No Selfish".

Every single person we know understands what it means to be a caregiver in some capacity or another, and how it feels to need self-care while in the middle of caring for someone else. In this workshop, attendees will learn from experts at RxRelax about how to build their own self-care prescription pad, manage physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual stressors, and replenish their energy throughout the day. Each of the ten doses of self-care provided will be based in scientific research that's focused on our body's stress response. Learn how to build resistance to stress - a true superpower, at the ease and speed of light. 

Learn more at christopherreeve.org and rxrelax.com.

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

An informative and educational workshop for family members with loved ones of all ages with physical and/or intellectual disabilities or special needs! Many topics will be covered in this workshop. Including: 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. Learn 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 at projectdsnp.com.

Tell Your Story, Let the National Paralysis Resource Center Hear Your Voice - Caregiving Listening Sessions

Presented by: Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Location: Room 108

Illustration shows four people sitting in a circle and talking. One person uses a wheelchair. Another wears glasses. The speech bubbles show images that convey caring and collaboration.

Our country faces a caregiving crisis that is forcing many of our loved ones into institutionalized settings while bankrupting families. What has caused this? What needs to change? How did our country get into this crisis? And how can our voices end this crisis once and for all?

In this one-hour facilitated listening session, you will have the chance to discuss the caregiving experience, your concerns and questions, and share stories in a judgement free zone that's inclusive and accessible. In return, the National Paralysis Resource Center (NPRC) will listen and record the session, connect you with NPRC resources, and learn what exactly caregivers and people who rely on care need to thrive.

A Spanish interpreter will be available at this workshop, as well as Spanish materials.

Learn more at christopherreeve.org/todays-care/living-with-paralysis/.

The Texas ABLE Program: The State's Savings Program for Texans with Disabilities

Presented by: Vanessa Goodson, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts-Texas ABLE

Location: Workshop Area

The Texas ABLE Program: The State's 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), or CustomerService@TexasABLE.org.

Wheelchair Fitness Class

Presented by: Justin Graham, Certified Personal Trainer, Creator, W.O.W. Fitness & Wellness

Location: Workshop Area

Wheelchair Fitness Class

Ready to learn about fitness, have fun, and work out at the same time? Come learn from Justin Graham about how you can achieve fitness as a wheelchair user. Plus you will experience a WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class featuring movements for seated students and taught by a seated instructor (standing participants are also welcome). The workout will feature elements of weight training, Zumba, and pom-pom dance. Learn how you can adapt fitness for your needs and discover how regular workouts can yield long-term benefits!

Learn more at wowwheelchairfitness.com.

Artificial Intelligence (Ai) & the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Emerging Questions & Issues Related to ADA Civil Rights

Presented by: Diego Demaya, JD, Legal Specialist, Southwest ADA Center and Marisa Demaya, Training Coordinator, Southwest ADA Center

Location: Workshop Area

Picture of AI hand shaking hands with a human

Automation technology occupies our daily lives! There is an app for everything, and we can order anything, and it arrives immediately. We can ask Alexa to raise the thermostat, ask SIRI to turn off the lights, and a "Black Box" decides which resumes make for a "best culture fit." Employees must wear wristbands that track and report where they are and vibrate when they do something "wrong." We allow algorithms to evaluate our facial expressions, count daily steps, and scan our retina to unlock the door. We want everything fast and convenient, but seldom give much thought to how AI works and the sacrifices along the way. AI is promoted to enrich our lives and help us make fewer mistakes. Does it? This session will briefly review questions and issues related to the widespread adoption of "artificial intelligence" technology and its intersection-- both positive and possibly adverse--with the civil rights of people with disabilities. 

Learn more at southwestada.org.

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