Living With Disabilities: Inspirational And Life Changing Abilities
Living well with a disability is a tough task for many people that struggle to find access to resources.
Then there are those that simply don’t have the social support they need.
Without the sense of fulfillment that comes from a life lived well, disabled people can struggle with issues of self-worth and depression.
The disabled community needs a service where they can be given the opportunity to shine and make positive changes.
This is where the Abilities Expo comes in.
What Is The Abilities Expo?
Gamers have E3. Techies have CES and the disabled community has the Abilities Expo. This traveling show off products, demonstrations and social interaction are a chance for people to come together, learn and improve their lives.
Living well with the disability is a difficult task and disabled people can always use a lifeline where possible. Traveling expos like this provide a chance for people with disabilities to see products and adaptations that may help them in life.
There are also workshops, sporting activities and there is a great sense of community and socialization. At the company put it, “it’s about introducing opportunities that can enrich your life…especially ones that you never knew were out there.”
The Abilities Expo Connects People With Products To Ensure They Are Living Well With The Disability.
The expo lets disabled visitors learn more about new technology and access what the organizers call “game-changing” products. Of course, it is not just about the flashy chairs, computerized gadgets and new inventions.
The Assistive Technology Showcase is a must for anyone heading to the Chicago conference. This hands-on interactive experience will show people what AT products are on the horizon and the way they can improve their lives. Key exhibitors this year include KEMPF, with their adaptive cars, and Sprint.
There is also the chance to talk with manufacturers about more basic products that could have a big impact on the home and the well-being of the user.
This could be something as simple as a memory foam mattress that conforms to the shape of the user and supports spinal injuries.
The Abilities Expo Is Just As Much About Ensuring That Families And Caregivers Are Living Well Too.
There is an emphasis on the value of community with this expo. The “care for the caregiver” talk is an excellent example of the breadth of topics here. One of the interesting elements that the company is promoting this year is the section on animal assistance for people with a disability.
This is another Chicago experience. The tagline is that “animals have a way of finding the people that need them”. This could be a child with learning difficulties in need of a friend, a wheelchair user that wants to be around horses in a safe, secure way or a struggling career that needs a little emotional support.
The Abilities Expo also offers child-focused and pediatric services to ensure that kids are living well with the disability. Examples include therapy horses, music and face painting. There are also workshops on pediatric care, such as talks on traditional vs. alternative therapies.
The creators of the shows have tried to ensure that this is a family friendly event with a message. You can bring children here for some fun and meet other disabled children, but you can also learn and gain support.
The whole set up is very laid back with an emphasis on enjoyment as much as learning. There are meet-up zones, hands-on activities, talks, and demos. Some centers are even holding cosplay competitions.
All participants also get the chance to see important ambassadors of the Expo, and some impressive names are appearing. The ambassador for the first Canadian Expo in Toronto is para-Olympian Boccia player, Alison Levine. These roles give prominent stars and figures with disabilities the chance to inspire others.
The Abilities Expo Provides Sports And Physical Activity For Adults Living Well With The Disability.
One of the key features this year is the dance workshop. The creators of the expo know that it is important for disables to stay fit and active for physical and mental health. These workshops teach dance for those with disabilities in a range of styles.
There are line dancing, hip-hop dancing and Latin and ballroom styles for wheelchair users. At the New York show, there is an impressive range of sporting events and fitness demonstrations as part of the Adaptive Sports program. This includes yoga sessions and demonstrations from the US power soccer association and The New York Warriors Wheelchair Rugby Team
Where Can People Attend This Abilities Expo?
The expo will be heading across America and Canada between September 2016 and August 2017. The current dates are as follows:
- Boston from September 16-18, 2016
- Bay Area from November 18-20, 2016
- DC Metro from December 2-4, 2016
- Toronto from January 20-22, 2017
- Los Angeles from March 24-26, 2017
- NY Metro from May 5-7, 2017
- Chicago from June 23-25, 2017
- Houston from August 4-6, 2017
These events have been running for forty years and are showing no sign of stopping. In fact, they are only getting bigger and better. The expansion into Canada highlights the appeal and the audience for this event. Living well with the disability is a struggle, but the workshops, demonstrations, and opportunities at the expo can make a big difference.
It could be small as finding a simple aid that improves your sleep, or as big as learning about a whole new vehicle adaptation that could improve your independence. Experiences could offer gentle fun, such as watching wheelchair rugby and meeting other people. At the same time, they could be life changing by allowing people to learn new skills or have once in a lifetime experience.
There are few places where carers receive the same love as the disabled, where kids can play with therapy horses for free or where adults can try top-of-the-line AR tech. The Abilities Expo could prove to be a valuable lifeline for families living well with the disability. Any family dealing with disabilities should make the trip if the Expo comes to town.