Atlanta Abilities Expo Event

FREE workshops! Plan your Abilities Expo experience today!

CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services will be available at all of the workshops.

Take advantage of Free Workshops that focus on everything from tips for traveling with a disability to the steps for getting the best accessible vehicle. Discover how both dogs and monkeys help people be more independent. Find solutions for improving your relationships, whether it's dating and intimacy, or your family members, friends and caregivers. Parents – take a break and gather ideas for celebrating your life with your child. Plus there's information about fitness, assistive devices and emergency preparedness.

Friday, March 14, 2014

11:45am – 12:45pm

Helping Hands Monkey Helpers: Is a Service Monkey Right for You or Someone You Know?

Presented by Megan Talbert, Executive Director, Helping Hands Monkey Helpers for the Disabled

Capuchin monkeys are wonderful service animals for adults with significant mobility impairments as the result of spinal cord and other injuries/illnesses. Learn about Helping Hands capuchin monkeys: how they are trained, the tasks they perform, the benefits of the human/service monkey bond, and eligibility requirements for potential applicants. A film will be shown featuring a number of our clients documenting life with a monkey helper. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. More information is available at

11:45am – 12:45pm

Wheelchair Standers: Stand for Function!

Presented by Magdalena Love, OTR, Clinical Education Specialist, Permobil Inc.

Standing is an intervention that has been gaining attention recently. In addition to the physiological benefits of weight bearing (standing), the increase in functional performance that standing provides makes it a desirable feature on a wheelchair base. This session will look at the research supporting standing wheelchairs and will discuss how to use this research to support a consumer's need for a standing wheelchair. Several successful case studies of people using standing wheelchairs (both manual and power) will also be shared.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Secrets to Great Intimacy: Creativity, Adaptability, Mindfulness and Sense of Humor

Presented by Mitchell S. Tepper, PhD, MPH, Sexologist, and Rev. A. Virginia Rodes, PhD.

Nationally known sexologist Dr. Mitch Tepper together with Rev. A. Virginia Rodes, PhD. will share information and resources on improving intimacy for people with paralysis and other disabilities. Discover new ways to connect with your partner and experience emotional and physical pleasure. Attendees will be introduced to tantric techniques and how they can be made accessible based on personal circumstances. The presenters will discuss how to instruct your partner or assistant in sensate focus exercises. The use of props to increase comfort, positioning and/or confidence will also be described. Learn more about Dr. Tepper's work at

* Please note this session is for attendees 18 and older, and contains material that is appropriate only for adults.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Fitness for All Abilities: Ask Your Questions!

Presented by Nick Scott, President and Founder, Wheelchair Athletics Foundation; Abilities Expo National Ambassador

Bring your fitness questions to this workshop! This is a question and answer session that will focus on how you can gain the skills your need to improve your fitness and overall wellbeing. There is no one nutrition or exercise regimen that is exactly right for everyone. We all start with different abilities, limitations and capabilities. Presenter Nick Scott is a paraplegic who went from being overweight and discouraged to becoming a professional bodybuilder, a wheelchair ballroom dancer and a personal trainer. Nick will answer your questions and discuss the process of adapting exercises to meet your unique situation. You'll also learn about mindset, stretching, setting goals, the importance of rest, food choices, and developing your self-motivation. Learn more at

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Disaster! Planning, Preparation and Collaboration for Emergencies

Presented by Laura George, Emergency Management Disability Liaison; Corazon Ketchem, Executive Directory and Co-Founder, Noah's Ark & Co., Inc.

It is easy to find information on what basics (such as water, food and flashlight) to pack in your emergency preparedness kit. What is not so easy, is designing the plan so it incorporates your disability (and its components) as well as those you care about. This does not need to be an overwhelming task. This workshop will provide the knowledge and education needed to create a comprehensive emergency preparedness kit that will speak for you after a disaster, especially if you cannot speak for yourself. Learn how to gain detailed knowledge of your community resources and the people who help you with everyday tasks. It's equally important to know the types of first responders who could be involved, in what order they come, and how they might help you. Putting together these resources will make your preparedness kit that much more helpful, useful and empowering in a disaster.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

How To Fund Assistive Technology (AT)

Presented by Naomi Walker, Staff Attorney, Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO)

The power of assistive technology (AT) is exciting, but it is daunting to consider how a person can obtain what he/she needs. The funding process is often difficult and confusing. The presenter will discuss strategies that you can utilize as you seek funding for the AT you need. She will focus on the following three areas. First, there are several possible funding sources that can be pursued, including traditional and non-traditional funding sources. Second, in order to pursue funding, you have to learn about the program and how to document your need accordingly. Discover what questions to ask the funding source so that your request is received and processed correctly. Finally, there must to be "follow through" on the funding request.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

What's Next? Rebuilding After Being Diagnosed with a Disability

Presented by Yvette Pegues, MEd

This workshop will take attendees through the signature "4/4's" program, whereby the presenter will carefully detail four critical yet practical steps to be taken for newly diagnosed, disabled or simply disconnected persons in search of a clear process to answer the commonly asked question: "Where do I start?" The "4/4's" self-guided playbook offers family relationships and dynamics solutions and will be covered in the workshop to insure entire families are living life fully with a disability. Visit her online at

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Reinventing You for Employment & Beyond!

Presented by Kelly Green, Founder, The Abilities WORKS! Project

After a successful 15-year career as a music-marketing executive, Kelly Green was forced to re-invent her life around progressive Multiple Sclerosis – she calls it her "New Normal!" For many people, living with a disability means having to consider alternatives to traditional careers, employment and everyday life as usual. Kelly now uses her background, expertise and personal experiences to inspire others with a disability to leverage their own innate talents to go after what they want in life. During this workshop, learn how to "re-brand" yourself and "re-invent" your idea of what it means to live your most authentic life. Attendees will identify ways to use skills they already possess in their new life with disability. Discuss the challenges of this "reinvention" process and learn tips for describing yourself beyond your disability.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

11:45pm – 12:45pm

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Presented by Chuck Shiery, Regional Sales Manager, BraunAbility

Does the process of purchasing adaptive equipment for a vehicle leave you feeling challenged and frustrated? Consumers and related healthcare professionals alike are invited to join us to learn the tips to successfully navigating the purchase of vans and accessible modifications. This workshop will cover such topics as what solutions are available and where to find them, key terminology, the shopping and evaluation process, funding options and much more. Following the session attendees are invited for a hands-on van demo at BraunAbility's Booth #101.

11:45am – 12:45pm

Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Adaptive Sports Initiative: Helping and Healing Through Sport

Presented by David M Popoli, MD, Medical Director for Telemedicine, Sports Medicine Physician, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Erica Baptiste, MA, ATC, LAT, Physician Extender and Certified Athletic Trainer, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Kim Reed, Manager of Marketing, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

Able to Travel logo for planning accessible travel.

The purpose of this workshop is to both describe adaptive sports and to share a unique program offered through Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The workshop will begin with an overview of adaptive sports including a discussion of available sports as well as the health and psychological benefits of being involved. The workshop will also identify barriers to participation, and Dr. Popoli will explain how the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Adaptive Sports Initiative seeks to overcome these barriers through a unique web portal and close collaboration with the community.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Service Dogs 101: The Basics on Bringing a Dog into Your Life

Service Dogs: bring a dog into your life!

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

Have you considered getting a service dog for you or a loved one? Not sure of the process or if a service dog can assist you? Did the ADA Amendments Act change the definition of a legal service dog? At this session you'll find the answers to those questions and more. Learn the legal definition of a service dog, the wide range of skills they can be trained to provide to people with disabilities, where you can obtain a dog, how to select a training program, along with a solid understanding of what to expect from a service dog team working in public places. Limitations of service dogs will also be discussed along with other consideration to be aware of, especially related to schools. The session is presented by an organization focused on public awareness and education about service dogs. A brief demonstration of skills will be shared if time allows. Learn more at

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Walking with Kpeasey & The Kyle Pease Foundation on racing today!

Pease Brothers Racing

Presented by Kyle and Brent Pease, The Kyle Pease Foundation

Meet long distance road racing team and hometown favorites, Kyle and Brent Pease! The Pease Brothers have gained the national spotlight by doing what they love, competing together in road races and Ironman triathlons across the country. Kyle has Cerebral Palsy and participates using an adaptive racing chair and bike, which will be on display at this workshop. Brent is the arms and legs of the team, and Kyle is the heart! Stop by to hear all about their experience at the Ironman Wisconsin competition and how they hope to support others who wish to race with them in the future. Learn more at

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Making the Impossible Possible: Overcoming Roadblocks, Challenges and "Nos"

Presented by S. Barton Cutter and Megan M. Cutter, authors of "Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll"

Have you ever found the perception of your disability discourages your from reaching for your dreams? Often, roadblocks, challenges, and being told "no" can stop you in your tracks. The courage for youth, adults with disabilities, and their families to dream can easily be overshadowed by perceptions of the "realistic." With humor and edgy honesty, Barton and Megan Cutter, authors of Ink in the Wheels: Stories to Make Love Roll, will redefine the perspective throughout which you see possibilities by sharing specific strategies to achieve your dreams. Rediscover your capacity to believe in what can become possible. This workshop will leave you inspired, motivated and ready to jump into action. Learn more about the Cutters and their story at

2:30pm – 3:30pm

6 Reasons to Consider Intensive Physical Therapy (PT) for Children and Young Adults with Gross Motor Disorders

Michelle Saunders Haney, PT, MSPT, Director, Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric PT

Intensive Pediatric PT has transformed the way we look at therapy for children and young adults with gross motor disorders (i.e., Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Down Syndrome, and other non-progressive neuromuscular disorders). In this presentation, consideration is given to the top 6 situations in which a child will most benefit from this emerging therapy, such as before or after certain surgeries, spasticity procedures, or when the child is on the verge of learning a new life skill that will lead to more independence and self-esteem. This presentation will also provide definitions and video of European-inspired Intensive Pediatric PT, and highlight benefits beyond physical that are based on increased activity levels. The speaker is a licensed PT who has specialized in this progressive pediatric therapy for over ten years.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

The Parent's Journey: Ideas for Celebrating Life with Your Child

Presented by Karen Kain, Author, Abilities Expo Parent Ambassador

Karen Kain's daughter Lorrin was medically fragile with significant disabilities from the age of 2 months until her death at 15. Without the Internet or parent connections that exist today, Karen made her own way and created a lifetime of loving memories for herself and her daughter. Lorrin lived a full life surrounded by friendships, travel and typical childhood activities. Karen will share her story of the ideas given to her by other parents, of what she and Lorrin discovered together, and how she found a way past societal assumptions to get creative and enjoy her daughter no matter her perceived abilities. This is a must-attend workshop if you are a parent of a unique child and whether you are new to this journey or more experienced. Caregivers, healthcare providers and all others are welcome also. Learn more about Karen at and Lorrin and Karen's story is the subject of a new book, "A Unique Life Fully Lived", available for purchase at the Expo. See the events schedule for times and location.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Love Beyond Limits: Finding Love, Healthy Relationships and Dating with a Disability

Presented by Monica J. Foster, CC CPSS MVBC RM - The Life Beyond Limits Coach® & Inclusionista

It's a basic human right to date, be in a relationship, experience and satisfy the needs for intimacy. Participation in healthy and constructive dating relationship is an important and meaningful part of life. When you have a disability, dating presents some unique challenges. As you gain confidence, maintain a healthy self-esteem, and understand your intimacy needs, you will begin to increase your comfort with dating, discovering that your emotional and intimacy desires are the same as individuals without disabilities. It's likely you may face certain challenges as you seek a dating partner, enter into a relationship, and feel comfortable expressing intimacy. The focus of this workshop is to normalize dating, relationships, and intimacy among people with disabilities. Participants will learn about barriers to intimate relationships and how to work around them, the difference between unhealthy and healthy relationships, how disability affects dating, and ways to adapt your healthy, positive relationships within the context of life with a disability.

* Please note this session is for attendees 18 and older, and contains material that is appropriate only for adults.

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