Abilities Virtual Experience



The Virtual Experience will be Available 24 Hours Each Day

Access Free, On-Demand Workshops

What an incredible virtual line-up of info-packed workshops at the Abilities Virtual Experience!

You can look forward to videos from your favorite Abilities Expo experts on disability issues like nutrition, financial planning for special needs families, affording the medical equipment you need, therapeutic cannabis, service dogs and more. All workshops are on-demand, fully captioned and available from June 19-21.

All Day, Every Day

Accessible Home Design: Outdoor Spaces

Presented by: Mark Thompson, The Paralyzed Veterans of America

Accessible Home Design

In this workshop Mark Thompson, Senior Associate Director of Architecture for the Paralyzed Veterans of America, discusses the basics of wheelchair accessible home design and focuses on designing accessible outdoor spaces including patios, pools, decks, and outdoor kitchens.

Creating a Sensory Room at home

Presented by: Ericka L. Polanco Webb, MBA, Master IEP Coach, The Sinking Heels of Motherhood

Sensory Rooms

Creating a sensory space in your home for your child with special needs can easily be done on a friendly budget. Learn how to create a space for your child to decompress and enjoy some of the experiences that are provided at school, or with their therapists, in the comfort of your home. You will be given resources and examples of how you can transform your child's room and/or create a designated space.

Disability & Special Needs Planning Made Easy

Presented by: Andre, Disability & Special Needs Project

Disability & Special Needs Planning Made Easy

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, 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 planning documents are important to have and how they complement each other in a plan designed to protect yourself, your family and/or your loved ones' current and future quality of life and care.  Don't be afraid to plan, be afraid if you don't plan.

Healthy Lifestyle: Connecting Mental Health to Overall Health

Presented by: Tracy Williams, Nutrition Advocate

Healthy Lifestyle: Connecting Mental Health to Overall Health

Have you heard about the connection between healthy living and mental health? Some mental health advocates feel like it is insensitive for some health professionals, like some registered dietitians to believe that healthy eating and healthy living can become the biggest solution for mental health or cure certain disabilities or chronic health conditions. Tracy Williams, who is a nutrition advocate and has a physical disability of cerebral palsy and who has a family history of mental health issues will discuss how healthy living can provide coping strategies for a daily basis. She has her degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Dominican University.  She still agrees that for serious downward spirals and challenging diagnoses you need help from credentialed and certified mental health counselors and psychiatrists to deal with any more serious mental health condition. 

Tracy Williams will discuss the Mediterranean diet and how research has confirmed that it impacts brain health as well as heart health. She will also discuss the importance of the benefits of mindful eating as well as intuitive eating. She will discuss caffeine and how it impacts the body. She will also discuss body image and how the discussion impacts boys, girls, men and women with physical disabilities as well as having a healthy relationship with food. She will discuss what are appropriate physical activities for people with various physical disabilities as well as stress management and counseling as well as debunking the myths about mental health and how friends can be an unconditional support through the healing process.

How Fundraising Can Help You Reach Your Mobility Goals

Presented by: Kelly Green, Help Hope Live

How Fundraising Can Help You Reach Your Mobility Goals

From wheelchairs to assistive technology to accessible vans, maintaining your mobility can be an expensive investment. Although most people dealing with a disability understand how significantly the right equipment can improve their lives, many cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs without assistance. Unlock a powerful way to raise funds with Help Hope Live's expert guidance.  We will discuss the many options and strategies that can be employed for raising funds to support your life.

Is Cannabis right for my condition?

Presented by: Felicia Carbajal, The Social Impact Center

Wheelchair Basketball Program

Learn the basics of cannabis use for the abilities community. You will leave this workshop with a basic understanding of the human body's endocannabinoid regulating system, best practices for consumers, and health and safety solutions for the differently abled.

Maintaining Health with Spinal Cord Injury

Presented by: Nurse Linda, PhD, CRRN

Maintaining Health with Spinal Cord Injury

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.

The amount of information regarding care after spinal cord injury can be overwhelming. What is needed to keep every individual healthy will be supplemented with strategies for improving your health after SCI. Reviewing the basics can help you incorporate needed activities. Topics highlighted include mental health, bowel, bladder, skin care, movement and medications. Nurse Linda writes a weekly blog for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Foundation. Her discussions are based on current research evidence and guidelines which are translated into easy to understand language. Questions about any SCI topic are welcome.

Open your World with Accessible Travel

Presented by: John Morris, Founder, WheelchairTravel.org

Accessible Travel

Accessible travel belongs to everyone, and in this workshop John Morris will share tips and information to help disabled people prepare for travel after the coronavirus. His Top 5 Tips for Planning Accessible Travel will set you up to make the most of your accessible vacations, and direct you to resources that will make realizing your travel goals easier. For more information about traveling with a disability, visit www.WheelchairTravel.org

Service Dogs 101

Presented by: Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, Canines for Disabled Kids


An introduction to what the ADA says about service animals, this program will talk about the dos and don'ts of service dogs use and access. Designed to expand a general understanding of these special tools and the federal law that defines them, this will introduce to the possibilities of greater independence for individuals and greater respect for the well-trained service dog.

Sharing Your Story: Top Ten Tips

Presented by: Cindy Kolbe, Author of Struggling with Serendipity, Social Media Adviser, Disability

Sharing Your Story: Top Ten Tips

Storytelling is powerful, and you have a story only you can tell. Would you like to share your story locally—or with the world? In this workshop, blogger Cindy Kolbe discusses valuable tips and innovative resources to bring your story to light. Her 2019 memoir launched with a traditional publisher, and she's passionate about the power of stories. Tapping into social media? Starting a blog? Hoping to sell an article? Dreaming of signing your own book at your favorite bookstore? Learn about new resources to support your storytelling.

Therapeutic Value of Toys

Presented by: Kendra Garcia, @TheOTStrategist

Therapeutic Value of Toys

What is "play"? Recognizing that play is an important and meaningful occupation for children.  Toys are the tools and building blocks for promoting healthy child development.  Toys also aid in facilitating gross motor, fine motor, sensory motor, cognitive and social development.

As an Occupation Therapy provider working with children, I have created this interactive workshop to provide caregivers and clinicians with the tools to recognize the therapeutic value when selecting toys. 

This workshop will assist you in:
Selecting age appropriate toys to address specific targeted development areas
Understanding labels in laymen's terms
Understanding the therapeutic value not only the toys you find in toy stores but also those cute little happy meal toys as well
Twitter, Facebook, & Instagram: @TheOTStrategist

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