Abilities Virtual Experience 2

Show dates: Nov. 20-22, 2020

Post-show dates: Nov. 23 - Dec. 6, 2020

Online Globally

New LIVE Host Channel Features Interview with Leaders from the Community

With all of the impressive people who have signed on to speak, this event is starting to look like a who's who in the disability community! Our host Paul Amadeus Lane will sit down and talk to activists like Judy Heumann, Imani Barbarin and Alice Wong, comedians, musicians, filmmakers, actors, entrepreneurs, CEOs, advocates and other heavy hitters from the disability community.

Meet the host, Paul Amadeus Lane

Meet the host, Paul Amadeus Lane

A radio broadcast journalist, tech & entertainment vlogger, video game accessibility consultant, Abilities Expo ambassador and now host of Abilities VE2, Paul will take you on an online adventure through live interviews with activists, CEOs, celebs, gamers, experts and more.

All sessions are in Pacific Standard Time.

Friday, November 20, 2020

Please click here for a time zone conversion chart."

9:00 am Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, Lew Shomer

Live message from Abilities Expo Owner, Lew Shomer

Abilities Chairman and Co-owner Lew Shomer will kick off Day One of the Abilities Virtual Experience and tease the day's exciting happenings.

10:00 – 10:45 am Pacific Time

Pathways to Success in Entertainment

Live interview and Q&A with Ali Stroker, Tony award winning actress & Chelsie Hill, founder of The Rollettes Dance Team

Pathways to Success in Entertainment

Ali Stroker and Chelsie Hill are absolutely crushing it. Ali recently became the first wheelchair user to win a Tony Award for her Broadway performance in Oklahoma. She also starred in 12 episodes of the talent competition, TheGlee Project, winning a guest role on Fox's Glee. Chelsie Hill, founder of the Rollettes Dance Team, is also an author, reality TV star and entrepreneur. Her dedication to encouraging young women to push past their challenges is reflected in her #BeBoundless social media movement. Join Ali and Chelsie as they share their journeys and some secrets to their successes. Q&A follows. 

11:00 – 11:20 am Pacific Time

New and Noteworthy with Permobil

Live interview with Chuck Witkowski, President of Permobil Americas

New and Noteworthy with Permobil

Permobil was founded with the notion that achievement should not be a question of ability when we have the technology to turn dreams into reality. The right chair makes all the difference in your life, in your independence, and in your long-term health. Join in as Paul chats with Chuck Witkowski about what's in store for Permobil. Bring your questions for the follow-up Q&A.

11:30 – 11:50 am Pacific Time

History and Future of Closed Captions

Live interview with Larry Goldberg, Head of Accessibility, Verizon Media

History and Future of Closed Captions

Closed captioning was not always a given. Join Larry Goldberg as he takes us back to how this victory in accessibility got started, how it has developed and where it is going from here. Larry is a strong believer that, "Accessible technology has the power to create a more inclusive and equitable world for the one billion people who live with disabilities," and is spearheading new initiatives to bridge the accessibility gap. Q&A follows.

12:15 – 12:45 pm Pacific Time

Social Media Advocacy & Inclusive Social Movements

Live interview with Imani Barbarin, Crutches & Spice

Social Media Advocacy & Inclusive Social Movements

Imani Barbarin is a disability rights and inclusion activist who uses her voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability community. You have probably used her popular hashtags: #PatientsAreNotFaking, #AbledsAreWeird and #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow. Born with cerebral palsy, Imani often writes and uses her popular platform to speak from the perspective of a black woman with disabilities. Translation: She is bigotry's worst enemy. Also, she can't wait to answer your questions. 

1:00 – 1:30 pm Pacific Time

Cannabis Q&A: Get your cannabis questions answered!

Live Q&A with Felicia Carbajal, The Social Impact Center

Cannabis Q&A: Get your cannabis questions answered!

Everybody wants to know more about cannabis. Can it help my condition? What is the science behind it? Will it help me need less pain meds? If it's not legal where I live, how can I take advantage of its benefits? Felicia has been a fearless advocate for medical marijuana and is extremely knowledgeable on every aspect of its us and effects. If you have questions, she has answers.

1:45 – 2:00 pm Pacific Time

Keeping up with the community in a tough year

Live interview with James Weisman, President and CEO of United Spinal

Keeping up with the community in a tough year

To say 2020 has been a tough, tumultuous year may be the understatement of the century! But not even a global pandemic can keep James Weisman and his team at United Spinal from their work empowering and advocating for the community of people with SCI/D. Find out more about the organization's legislative actions, new initiatives and what's on the horizon. Q&A follows.

2:15 – 3:15 pm Pacific Time

Challenges and opportunities in pregnancy & parenting with a disability

Live interview and Q&A with Michelle Colvard and Kristina Rhoades and their families

Challenges and opportunities in pregnancy & parenting with a disability

Meet the Rhoades and Colvards, two delightful families whose moms are wheelchair users. Their frank discussion about the realities of parenting with a disability will offer insights for those who are considering having kids as well as those who have already expanded their family. Find out what have been their greatest challenges. Are those the ones that they expected? What are their favorite parenting hacks? Bring your kids as they will enjoy hearing from the Rhoades and Colvard girls, too!

3:45 – 4:15 pm Pacific Time

Accessible Travel Q&A: Get your travel questions answered

Live Q&A with John Morris of WheelchairTravel.org

Accessible Travel Q&A: Get your travel questions answered

Travel, at time like this? Yes, it can be done! John Morris has been all over the world, exploring its wonders from his power chair and has forgotten more than most people know about accessible travel. Need vacation suggestions that will allow you to stay safe from COVID? How do you handle it when your accessible destination isn't exactly accessible? Get your questions ready!

4:45 pm Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, David Korse

Live message from Abilities Expo CEO, David Korse

Tune is as Abilities CEO and Co-Owner David Korse wraps up Day One of the Abilities Virtual Experience and teases the impressive line-up for Day Two.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Please click here for a time zone conversion chart."

9:00 am Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, Lew Shomer

Live message from Abilities Expo Owner, Lew Shomer

It's Day Two and Abilities Chairman and Co-owner Lew Shomer will share what to expect on your Abilities Virtual Experience adventure.

9:15 am Pacific Time

Musical performance from singer & songwriter, Ali McManus

Join us to hear the phenomenally talented Ali McManus perform both original and cover songs.

Musical performance from singer & songwriter, Ali McManus

The phenomenally talented Ali McManus will dazzle us with her repertoire of both original and cover songs. You would never know that those powerful vocals emanate from only 30% lung capacity. Her compelling song writing has caught the ear of music legends, including Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who appeared in her video, "Roll This Way." If Ali isn't already on your playlist, she will be soon!

9:45 – 10:15 am Pacific Time

Understanding Pain Medications

Live Q&A with Pharmacist Jay Gupta, by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

Understanding Pain Management Medication

Thanks to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, Jay Gupta, Director of Pharmacy and Integrative Health at Harbor Care in NH, will answer your questions about pain management medications to support you or someone you may be caring for. It's a great opportunity to learn about topics like: tips to afford prescription medications, opioid overdose prevention, safe disposal of opioids and physician-supervised deprescription of medications that are no longer needed or serving their purpose.

10:30 – 11:30 am Pacific Time

Ask the Doctor

Medical questions answered by Dr. David Kipper with host Peter Tilden

Chess Vets

Join us as Dr. David Kipper, a renown medical expert, and Peter Tilden, a popular Los Angeles radio personality, tackle difficult questions from Abilities Virtual Experience attendees. They cover a wide range of medical issues including spasticity, COVID-19, neuropathy, best ways to manage bowel/bladder program, pain management and more. These are challenges faced by many in the disability community and we hope that Dr. Kipper's astute observations can benefit you, too. 

11:45 – 12:00 pm Pacific Time

New and Noteworthy with Quantum & Pride

Live interview with Scott Meuser, CEO of Quantum & Pride

Chess Vets

Industry leaders Quantum Rehab and Pride Mobility are responsible for the cutting-edge tech behind iLevel powerchairs, fold-and-go travel scooters and so much more. Scott Meuser will weigh in on the effects of COVID-19 on the mobility industry and how he sees the technology developing for the future.

12:10 pm Pacific Time

The Snowman Excerpt

Performance excerpt from Dancing Wheels

Chess Vets

Do not miss this jaw-dropping performance from Dancing Wheels, the nation's first professional integrated dance company. Founding artistic director Mary Verdi-Fletcher marries the talents of dancers with and without disabilities to create a unifying expression of movement for all. The result is something truly extraordinary, as you will find in this must-see dance.

12:25 – 1:25 pm Pacific Time

Developing Accessible Gaming: Opportunities and Challenges

Accessible Gaming with Bryce Johnson, Inclusive Lead at Microsoft Devices, Améliane Chiasson, Accessibility Lead at Square Enix West, Maïmouna Brownrigg, UI Art Team Lead at Ubisoft Montreal, and Sam Thompson, Managing Senior Producer at Sony Interactive Entertainment/World Wide Studios

The Present & Future of Accessible Gaming

Paul Amadeus Lane is not just the emcee of the Abilities Virtual Experience. He is an avid gamer and accessibility consultant who has helped to make video games more accessible for other gamers with disabilities. In this session, Paul will chat with gaming developers from several companies about current advances in gaming accessibility and how they are planning to level the future playing field.

1:30 – 2:00 pm Pacific Time

Disability Rights History & Future

Live interview and Q&A with Judy Heumann, author and activist.

Judy Heumann

Judy Heumann is an international disability rights champion, author and rebel-with-an-outstanding-cause who started fighting tooth and nail for the disability community back in the 70s and has not let up since. Her contribution to the passage and enforcement of disability rights legislation is highlighted in the critically acclaimed documentary, Crip Camp. We are absolutely giddy that she is coming to chat with Paul and answer your questions! 
 
You can purchase Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist here

2:15 – 2:45 pm Pacific Time

Rollin with my Homies interview with Mia Schaikewitz

Presented by Santina Muha and Mia Schaikewitz

Santina Muha

Join Santina Muha and Push Girls alum Mia Schaikewitz for a hilarious interview and conversation on all things disability and life in COVID times!

3:00 – 3:30 pm Pacific Time

Service Dog Q&A

Live Service Dog Q&A with Kristin Hartness, Canines for Disabled Kids

Chess Vets

Your pre-show emails and posts asking about service dogs, their legalities, what different tasks they can perform and how to get one prompted us to ask service dog guru Kristin Hartness to stop in and answer your questions. As one of the foremost experts in the field, she will offer real-world advice as you weigh whether a service dog is right for you.  
 
Kristin is also hosting a service dog demonstration (another can't-miss) on Saturday at 11:30 am.

3:45 – 4:30 pm Pacific Time

The Making of Crip Camp

Live interview with Jim LeBrecht & Nicole Newnham, Directors of Crip Camp (available on Netflix)

Chess Vets

While Crip Camp isn't required viewing to attend this interview with Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, it is brilliant and you really should watch it anyway. The film follows a group of campers turned activists, and their impact on the early disability rights movement. Jim, a former camper at the now-famous Camp Jened for teens with disabilities, said, "What we saw at that camp was that our lives could be better. The fact of the matter is that you don't have anything to strive for if you don't know that it exists." Q&A follows.

4:45 pm Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, David Korse

David Korse, CEO of Abilities Expo

What an incredible Day Two at the Abilities Virtual Experience! Co-Owner and CEO David Korse thanks you for participating in THE online event for the disability community and will preview what is in store when you come back tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Please click here for a time zone conversion chart."

9:00 am Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, Lew Shomer

Chess Vets

The final day of the Abilities Virtual Experience has an exciting program along with a ton of valuable information and resources at your disposal. Check it out!

9:15 – 10:00 am Pacific Time

Nothing About Us Without Us: Disabled Representation in the Media

Live panel discussion with Daniella Izzie of DANI'S TWINs, actress/model Angela Rockwood and actor/producer Andy Arias

Nothing About Us Without Us: Disabled Representation in the Media

Live panel discussion on disability and media representation with Daniela Izzie, subject of an upcoming documentary on disabled pregnancy and parenting (DANI'S TWINS), Angela Rockwood, model, actress and influencer, and Andy Arias, actor, producer and disability advocate Following an overview of the current disability and media landscape, panelists will share their unique perspectives of navigating and shaping media opportunities--from print and broadcast media to film. They'll share insights from their personal experiences dealing with and overcoming pitfalls to ensure accurate, authentic and where possible, compensated representation. Join the team for a live follow-up Q&A.

10:15 – 10:45 am Pacific Time

The iBOT is Back— Where wheelchairs meet technology

Live Interview with Lucas Merrow, CEO of Mobius Mobility

Chess Vets

The iBOT is back and not a minute too soon! The next generation of this standing, curb-hopping, stair-climbing, rough-terrain traversing power chair is eye-poppingly cool. This device was revolutionary when it first hit the scene in the late 90s. Now hear from Lucas Merrow about the power of the iBOT to change the game again. Q&A follows.

11:00 – 11:15 am Pacific Time

New and Noteworthy with BraunAbility

Live interview with Staci Kroon, President & CEO of BraunAbility

Braunability Traverse

Ever since Ralph Braun designed the world's first wheelchair lift back in the 60s, BraunAbility has continued to blaze new trails when it comes to making the open road accessible. Offering both driver and passenger access, their conversion vehicles have catapulted the independence of the disability community around the world. Join us as Staci Kroon talks about what is down the road for BraunAbility. 

11:45 – 12:00 pm Pacific Time

Comedy stylings and interview with Nic Novicki

Live comedy routine and Q&A with Nic Novicki

Chess Vets

Nic is a stand-up comedian known on six continents with a zillion TV and film credits to his name. He has also paved the way for aspiring filmmakers with disabilities to showcase their work through the EasterSeals Disability Film Challenge. But for you at Abilities VE2, it's comedy and laughs all the way!

12:15 – 1:15 pm Pacific Time

Past, Present, Future: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) turned 30. Where do we go from here?

Live discussion with Dr. Lex Frieden, a chief architect of the ADA, and Andraéa LaVant, Inclusion Specialist and Disability Advocate.

Chess Vets

It's been three decades since Lex Frieden and his compatriots helped craft the legislation designed to create a more accessible world for Americans with disabilities. From the helm of her communications firm, Andraéa LaVant continues that fight for inclusion and promotes disability as a social justice issue. Join us for a retrospective look at the ADA's impact as well as a lively discussion on where we go from here. Q&A follows. 

1:30 – 1:45 pm Pacific Time

Disability on Screen

Live interview with David P. White, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director

Chess Vets

David White weighs in on the hot-button issue of disability representation on big and small screens. How are roles expanding for the disability community? What can be done to increase the odds of casting actual people with disabilities when the character also has a similar disability? Q&A follows.

2:00 – 2:30 pm Pacific Time

The Disability Visibility Project

Interview with Alice Wong, Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project

Chess Vets

A strong voice for the disability community, Alice is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture. We are honored to have her join us to discuss the genesis and impact this project has had on the community at large. 
 
In 2020, Alice was named by Time Magazine as one of 16 people fighting for equality in America. Her activism also landed her on the cover of the September issue of Vogue. Her book, Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the 21st Century, is available for purchase here

2:45 – 3:15 pm Pacific Time

Comedy stylings and interview with Santina Muha

Live comedy routine and interview with Santina Muha

Chess Vets

"NJ Queen, LA Princess" Santina Muha has been making a name for herself since she made the cross-country move to the left coast. If you haven't seen her on One Day at a Time or in Don't Worry, He Won't Get Far on Foot opposite Joaquin Phoenix, get yourself over to Netflix! In the meantime, tune in for her unique brand of observational comedy here at Abilities VE2.

3:20 – 4:15 pm Pacific Time

Gaming for All: A discussion with Disabled Gamers

Accessible Gaming discussion with Joshua Straub, Morgan Baker and Brandon Cole.

Chess Vets

PlayStation's The Last of Us Part 2 has the distinction of being the most accessible game EVER. How would you like to meet the team of accessibility consultants that contributed to that epic success? Representing multiple disabilities, this team of friends discuss the future of accessible gaming and debate controversial issues like alternative modes for people with intellectual disabilities. If you are a gamer, or know a gamer, tune in!

4:15 – 4:30 pm Pacific Time

Better is Coming: Musical Performance and Interview with Kendall Renee

Music and interview with singer & songwriter Kendall Renee

Chess Vets

Kendall credits music as a guiding force in her life, helping her to face down the obstacles that her condition has thrown at her. Believing that music is the universal language that helps everyone feel less alone, she is on a mission to leverage her sound to create a better, more inclusive world. Give it up for Kendall as she performs her original song, "Better is Coming."

4:45 pm Pacific Time

Live message from Abilities Co-Owner, David Korse

Chess Vets

What do mean, it's over? Thank you for coming out to our Abilities Virtual Experience and we hope that you enjoyed the latest products, education, activities and fun.

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