Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!
Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability and the accessible homes to how you can get the best accessible vehicle. Discover how both dogs and monkeys help people be more independent. Parents – take a break and enjoy two great sessions for parents of kids with special needs – both filled with laughs and ideas for thriving, not just surviving, as the parent of a child with special needs. Plus there’s information about assistive devices, clinical trials, and emergency preparedness.
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, September 10, 2021
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
Open Your World with Accessible Travel: Tales from the Road with Disabled Globetrotter John Morris
Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org
The world is more accessible than ever, and the travel industry is beginning to recognize that wheelchair users and people with disabilities want to explore it too! This workshop will provide you with information and tools to plan and prepare for an accessible vacation, opening your world to new experiences and possibilities. Come prepared to participate in an accessible travel Q&A with the presenter, who will bring firsthand knowledge from more than one million miles flown with his power wheelchair. You will leave this workshop with inspiration for your next vacation and tips to make accessible travel enjoyable for everyone, including your friends, family members and caregivers.
Learn more: www.wheelchairtravel.org
2:30 – 3:30
A Day in the Life with 24 Hour Positioning
Presented by: Linda Bollinger PT, DPT, ATP, Sunrise Medical
24-Hour postural management is a planned program that considers all relevant positions a child uses throughout the day and intervenes to improve or maintain body shape while promoting the child's function and development. Positioning can be incorporated into the child's everyday life at home, school, and social activities. This course will discuss the three core postural orientations and how to use positioning equipment to incorporate postural management strategies during a child's daily activities.
3:45 – 4:45
4 Keys to Maintain Sexual Intimacy after an Injury*
*This workshop is intended for attendees over the age of 18*
Presented by: Kendra Garcia, @TheOTStrategist
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 tends to be a taboo area for many able-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.
Let's talk about sex!
Saturday, September 11, 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
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 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
How to Pay for Everything You See Today. Come Fundraise with Help Hope Live!
Help Hope Live wants to help you fundraise for everything you see at the Chicago Abilities Expo, from power chairs to adaptive bikes. Come to our workshop to hear more about how we work closely with our Abilities Expo partners to get our clients on their way to independence!
Learn more: www.helphopelive.org
3:45 – 4:45
Cannabis for Well Being
Presented by: Felicia Carbajal, The Social Impact Center
Recent studies have affirmed that humans have been exploring ways of balancing the bodies for millennia. Homeostasis has always been our body's goal. Through the advancement of science and research of the cannabis plant, we have learned that homeostasis is easily achieved with the support of cannabis. From physical and mental exercise to maintaining a healthy diet, we've all explored ways of elevating our well-being. What if a plant could help your body achieve homeostasis naturally? Did you know your body has a vast pain alleviating network known as the endocannabinoid system? What if your diet and exercise routine could be amplified with microdosing cannabis?
We invite you to join us, the Social Impact Center, as we explore an ancient medicine rooted in the present in this 1 hour informational workshop that explores the benefits of cannabinoid medicine.
Learn more: https://www.thesocialimpactcenter.org
Sunday, September 12, 2021
11:45 – 12:45
The Power of Adventure: Strategies to Ensuring Success Traveling with Your Autistic Child
Presented by: Sarah Marshall, Accessible Adventures Consultant, TravelAble
Travel with a child can be difficult, but with the right planning and an open mind, anything is possible! Join Sarah Marshall, Certified Autism Travel Professional and Accessible Travel Advocate with TravelAble, to learn about her 3 strategies for ensuring success while traveling. This inspiring open discussion will address sensory strategies, success on the airplane, how to overcome general fear, and the movement in the travel industry towards more inclusive destinations. Sarah will provide lots of time for questions so that you too are ready to take your next extraordinary vacation!
1:00 – 2:00
Manage Your Mind: Building Executive Function Skills to Help You Manage at Work and Home
Presented by: Sarah Kesty, The Executive Function Podcast
Executive Function skills are a broad, interconnected network of skills we use to positively impact our futures, like organizing, planning, and emotional regulation. They are nuanced, layered, and often areas of need for individuals with disabilities. They are also in high demand by employers! Join executive function coach and educator, Sarah Kesty, in exploring strategies to learn—and use—the executive functions that will help you or your loved one live and work more efficiently and with less stress. Learn things like: how to backwards plan so you're never late; how to use prompting systems to keep track of appointments and medications; strategies for memorizing multi-step procedures on the job.
2:30 – 3:30
Dealing with Difficulties Getting the Equipment You Need
Presented by: Mickae Lee, NCART
Getting the assistive equipment you or a loved one needs can be challenging. This can be especially true for individuals who depend on Complex Rehab Technology (CRT). Join Mickae Lee, Associate Director at NCART, to discuss common obstacles faced when searching and submitting for needed medical equipment, learn about resources available to support you in ensuring access to what you need, and ask any questions you may have about the process involved.
Learn more: https://www.ncart.us