New York Metro

May 3-5, 2024

New Jersey Convention & Expo Center

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

Register for Free

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

For the New York Metro event, Abilities Expo has appointed Ambassadors—members of the local community of people with disabilities—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.

Ian James Brown

Ian James Brown Bio

Ian James Brown graduated from the United States Air Force Academy. Extremely active, he played football, rugby and volleyball as well competed in boxing, power lifting and martial arts.

Ian became a paralyzed veteran during his service in the United States Air Force.

Undaunted, Ian began a post-baccalaureate program to finish the pre-requisite courses in preparation for medical school.

Ian is heavily involved in neuro-spinal research and volunteers at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and the James J. Peters Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center. He focuses on the consequences and rehabilitation of spinal and traumatic brain injuries. Ian has worked for Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs in order to help fund responsible medical research.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Ian also works to help fit customized wheelchairs to the disabled population as a representative for Lasher Sport, LLC. As a volunteer for Lasher Sport for more than a year and a half and an ambassador to the Abilities Expos, Ian meets local clients, and travels abroad to meet patients with varied diagnoses to help find and suggest durable medical equipment, disabled resources and medical research programs.

Ian is also affiliated with the Accessible Racing program where he not only competes, but he helps design and develop the arrive and drive experience which enables people of varying disabilities to learn autocross and race driving in a fully accessible race car.

Ian is a model, spokesperson and representative for LegaWear where he helps to provide custom tailored fashion for people with varying levels of ability.

Though a retired military officer, Ian hopes to rejoin the working force in Neuro-spinal research—specifically in neuro-technology and cure research—following medical school.

Ian is also a wheelchair athlete and competed for the first time post-injury in power lifting and archery at the 2008 Veteran’s Wheelchair Games in Omaha, Nebraska where he brought home gold medals in archery and weightlifting.

Sarah Best

Sarah Best

A native New Yorker with Cerebral Palsy, Sarah resides in Westchester County, just outside of New York City. She is determined and driven to go places and do things that she is passionate about. She says, "I get things done because I have learned that nothing in life comes easy. Everything requires work. Sometimes the work is very, very hard, like physical therapy. It is difficult for me to walk because of my CP, but I try.  I work on my muscles and coordination." Sarah currently works in the Marketing Department for Convaid Products, a pediatric mobility equipment manufacturer. She loves to spend time with her family and friends and her service dog, Edison. 

"I am so thrilled to be part of Abilities Expo and love the strong sense of community it creates," she said. "I truly enjoy meeting all the people who attend the expo and have made great friends along the way!"

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