Plan your Abilities Expo experience today
Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and the benefits of standing to how you can get the best accessible vehicle.
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.
Friday, August 6, 2021
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Hierarchy of Power Wheelchair Drive Controls: Maximizing Access and Independence
Presented by: Alex Chesney, OTR, ATP/SMS, Quantum Rehab
There are many considerations to make when assessing an individual for power mobility use. The decisions made will impact not only the individual's mobility, but also how they reposition themselves, interact socially, and access their environment. With so many options for drive controls on the market today, how does the assistive technology professional choose a device when the standard joystick is not an option?
This course is designed to introduce the participants to the wide array of specialty controls available on the market and provide insight on the clinical decision-making process of drive control choice. The course will include case studies and a hands-on component for participants to assess the various alternative drive control options.
11:45 – 12:45
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/
1:00 – 2:00
Protecting Your Work Place Rights
Presented by: Karen Hyman, Houston District Director, 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 discrimination including disability as well what you can do if you believe that you or someone you know is a victim of workplace discrimination.
2:30 – 3:30
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.
3:45 – 4:45
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.
Saturday, August 7, 2021
11:45 – 12:45
Transitions - Tips for Launching your Special Needs Teen into Adulthood
Presented by: Allison Schaberg, Consolidated Planning Group
As special needs children transition to the teen and young adult years, their needs change significantly. You can prepare your child (and yourself) for a successful transition to independence. Special Needs Financial Planner Allison Schaberg will help you understand the key steps you can take to make the transition as smooth as possible.
1:00 – 2:00
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 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.
2:30 – 3:30
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.
3:45 – 4:45
Metro Travel Training Program
Presented by: Brandy Arojo, Mobility Coordinator & Jamie Williams, Mobility Coordinator
Travel Training is a free program that shows you "How to Ride" METRO and get the most out of our bus and light-rail services. Group and specialized trainings are also available.
Sunday, August 8, 2021
11:45 – 12:45
Gaining the Competitive Edge: Defining Your Personal Brand within the Job Search Process
Presented by: Michael T Sanders, NTI@Home
The way we present ourselves inside and outside of work, can either hinder or enhance our chances of obtaining the job that we want to attain. People reinvent themselves all the time to take on a new challenge, find a new job, or start a new career. Controlling your personal brand could mean the difference between an unfulfilling job and a rewarding career.
A personal brand is how you promote yourself and your unique skills, experience, and personality you would like to display to the world. Whether it's how you present gaps in employment, keeping up with the latest skills and knowledge, or simply brushing up on your job search process, improving your personal brand leads to career success.
By the end of this session, you will learn new techniques and discover resources within your job search process to:
- Define Your Focus
- Leverage Your Differences
- Develop Your Story for Your Audience
- Reintroduce Yourself
- Live Your Brand
1:00 – 2:00
Presented by: Dr. Oga Obie, MD, Co-founder The Hemp Works(.)™, ACHEM President
This workshop is an opportunity to learn about cannabis and its potential benefits for all of us.
Learn more: https://www.achemed.org