Los Angeles

February 21 - 23, 2020

Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A

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

Register for Free

FREE workshops! Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services will be available at all of the workshops.

Abilities Expo presents a program of carefully selected free workshops to connect attendees with community experts. All sessions:

- Focus on a wide range of topics including travel, home access, therapies, research, and practical how-to content. 
- Are broad in nature with applicable content for people with many different types of disabilities.
- Are educational and objective. They are not intended to promote a specific product, resource, or service.

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


  • 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, February 22, 2019

10:00am – 2:00pm

The Case for Wheels: Selecting the Clinically Appropriate Base

Presented by: Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS, Pride Mobility Products Corp.

Location: Room 510 (directly above the Expo hall)

Credits: 0.4 CEU

The Case for Wheels

Individuals with chronic medical conditions and long-term disabilities who have a permanent need for a wheelchair require a comprehensive, detailed evaluation of their physical, functional and environmental needs to allow clinicians and ATP suppliers to make appropriate Assistive Technology recommendations for a successful outcome. 

There are many factors to consider when making the selection of the appropriate power wheelchair base with an end user. Providers and clinicians need a hands-on awareness of the interaction of all of these factors, and more importantly, how they will come together to either enhance, or diminish the effectiveness of the PMD for their patient.

This course will provide information about each drive wheel configuration and things that clinicians and suppliers need to think about. Participants will then enter the expo hall to experience driving different drive wheel configurations and then regroup to discuss their findings and how the different drive wheel configurations effected the wheelchairs driving in different environmental conditions (indoors, outdoors, etc..).  For more information, click here.

11:45am – 12:45pm

How the Department of Rehab can help with Job Placement

Presented by: Maureen McIntyre, Chief Customer Service Section, California Department of Rehabilitation

Location: Workshop

Department of Rehab and Job Placement

Aimed at persons with disabilities who are seeking employment, this workshop will discuss how the Department of Rehab (DOR) can help with career counseling and help individuals achieve the best vocational outcomes.
Learn more: http://www.dor.ca.gov/

1:00pm- 2:00pm

Accessible Home Design

Presented by: Mark Thompson, AIA, Paralyzed Veterans of America

Location: Workshop

Accessible Home Design

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/

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Cannabis 101: A Beginners Guide

Presented by: Felicia Carbajal, California Cannabis Advocates

Locations: Workshop

Marijuana 101

In this overview, you will learn basics necessary to navigate the emerging legal marketplace, as well as history of medicinal cannabinoid compounds used to heal both mind and body for millennia.  Discover the ABC's of cannabis, from health and wellness benefits, to various delivery methods, to the science behind the human body's endocannabinoid regulatory system. Join us and learn how to choose a shop, what to look for in products, how to manage dosing, and what the laws actually mean for patients!
Learn More: http://californiacannabisadvocates.org and http://www.smartpharmresearch.com/

3:45pm – 4:45pm

4 Keys to Maintain Sexual Intimacy After an Injury*

Presented by: Kendra Garcia, @TheOTStrategist

Location: Workshop


* This workshop is intended for audience members over the age of 18.
Sex is an important and meaningful part of a relationship. There are many myths and misconceptions when it comes to sex and disability. Sex and disability also tends to be a taboo area for many abled bodied people and is rarely discussed in the same sentence. As a result, more than 50% of disabled people do not have any form of a regular sex life. We need to change that!

Saturday, February 23, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Travelling off the Beaten Path – Make the World Accessible

Presented by: Sofia Bravo & Dominique Partarrieu, Wheel the World

Location: Workshop

Make the World Accessible

Traveling with disabilities can be challenging, but never impossible. At Wheel the World we believe that there should be no limits for exploring the world so we wont stop till we make people see the importance of having the most beautiful places accesible to all. Learn how we are achieving this and practical tips you should think before you plan your next adventure.
Learn more: https://gowheeltheworld.com 

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Critical Situations for People with SCI

Presented by: Nurse Linda, PhD, CRRN

Location: Workshop

Critical Situations for People with SCI

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

It can be difficult to know when to call for assistance while dealing with paralysis or spinal cord injury. Messages from the body to the brain can be misdirected or misinterpreted. Recognizing a disguised significant healthcare problem can be challenging. Issues with taking medication properly, cardiac issues or infection can start as small concerns but can quickly escalate to emergently needed care. How to know when a small problem becomes huge is critical information for your health and well-being. Areas of focus include correctly taking medication, irregular heartbeats, blood clots, Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD), pneumonia, Urinary Tract Infection and sepsis. In addition, your questions will be discussed.
Learn More: https://www.christopherreeve.org

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Hands on Banking®: Building Blocks for Financial Success

Presented by: Kathy Martinez, Senior Vice President, Disability Segment Market Brand & Strategy Enterprise Marketing, Wells Fargo, Bonnie Wallace, Vice President, Channel Manager, Hands on Banking, Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion & Strategic Philanthropy, Wells Fargo, & Robert Shumate, Branch Manager-Villa Park California, Consumer Banking, Wells Fargo

Location: Workshop

Hands on Banking

Gaining the skills, knowledge, and confidence to manage your money and finances are essential to gaining financial independence and freedom. It's easy to say but far more challenging to do. A recent study from the Federal Reserve shows that about 2/3 of Americans are not considered financially healthy and about 4 in every 10 Americans can't handle a $400 emergency expense.  In addition, the National Financial Capability study released in 2017 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the National Disability Institute indicates that people with disabilities face unique challenges related to managing their money. Their financial stress can be as much as 3 times higher than those without disabilities. Whether for yourself or for someone you care for, attend this workshop and take a step toward improving your financial health. The workshop will provide information about the Hands on Banking® program, a free financial education program that is offered as a public service by Wells Fargo, and will share how Wells Fargo, in collaboration with the National Disability Institute and Communication Service for the Deaf, is working to make financial education more accessible and inclusive for all people, including people with disabilities.  
Learn More: https://handsonbanking.org

3:45pm – 4:45pm

A Legal Overview Workshop

Presented by: Mayra M. Fornos, Esq., Fornos Law Firm, apc

Location: Workshop

Have you or a loved one sustained a spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, loss of limb, or other serious injury as a result of of someone else's wrongdoing? Do you have a potential legal case? We will discuss the things you may need to know to pursue this.  We will also discuss what you need to know if you or someone you know has been injured as a result of an ADA violation.
Learn More: http://www.fornoslaw.com

Sunday, February 24, 2019

11:45am – 12:45pm

Access the World: Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Presented by: Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Location: Workshop

Tips for Traveling with a Disability

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


The Art of Inclusive Design

Presented by: PlayStation

Location: Workshop

Tips for Traveling with a Disability

Accessibility features help empower all gamers. Join Sam Thompson, Sr. Producer from PlayStation's Worldwide Studios, as he has an open conversation with Paul Amadeus Lane, gaming accessibility advocate and Bureau Chief with ABC News Radio. They will discuss how game developers are working to make games enjoyable for all fans and share powerful stories about the broader impact of accessibility in gaming.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

The A List: Raw Hemp Alleviates Multiple Conditions at Dietary Levels

Presented by: Dr. Brandie Cross, PhD, Founder and Director of Research and Development for The Pot Lab

Location: Workshop

Medical Cannabis

THCA and CBDA are the raw cannabinoids in Cannabis, which become THC and CBD when heated. In an independent study, we have found that these acids (THCA and CBDA) are even more powerful than their commonly touted counterparts. We found that both THCA and CBDA are effective at the per milligram level, for a multitude of symptoms of common conditions. While epilepsy, autism and other conditions seem to be treated well-- depression, anxiety and other co-existing conditions were also drastically decreased by small amounts of these raw cannabinoids.
Learn More: https://thepotlab.com

Pre-Register for Abilities Expo Today...It's Free!
Sign up for the Buzz stay in the know on disability news and info