Houston 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 and the benefits of standing to how you can get the best accessible vehicle. Watch the Season 2 Finale of the Sundance Channel’s “Push Girls” and meet one of the stars, Auti Angel. Discover how to get what you need from the doctor’s office and discuss ways to improve your dating and relationships. Parents – take a small break and enjoy Karen Kain’s session packed with ideas for thriving, not just surviving, as the parent of a child with special needs.

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!

Professionals:

  • 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).

* Please note dates and times of workshops are subject to change without notice. Abilities Expo is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speakers.

Here's what we did in 2013. Stay tuned for 2014!

Friday, August 2, 2013

8:00am – 12:00pm

Cancelled: Pediatric Power Mobility

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR, ABDA, ATP/SMS

CEUs: 4 contact hours or .4 CEUs

Attention Physical and Occupational Therapists! This seminar on Pediatric Power Mobility will open your eyes to how power chairs can be utilized to accelerate key development areas in medically fragile children who lack a means of independent mobility. ATG Rehab’s Michelle Lange, OTR, ABDA, ARP/SMS brings 25 years of assistive technology experience to bear as she underscores the vital importance of early mobility to the future of a child with disabilities. (Pre-registration is required and a fee applies for this seminar only. Click here for details.)

Please note, the Pediatric Power Mobility session is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. If you have already registered for this session, you will be contacted directly.

11:45am – 12:45pm

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Presented by BraunAbility

Select the Right Vehicle for you.  Image of accessible vehicle.

Are you feeling challenged by the process of purchasing adaptive equipment for a vehicle? 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 #100.

11:45am – 12:45pm

Improve Your Health Through Alternative Treatment: The Benefits of Chiropractic Care

Presented by Dr. Brandi Griffin, Chiropractor, Dr. Lance Jackson, Chiropractor and Kevin Jacobs, LMT, Spinal Health Chiropractic

Chiropractic care is rooted in the belief that the human body naturally strives to maintain the highest level of health. When obstacles get in the way the result is disease. At this workshop you'll discover what chiropractic treatment is, how it is used, and how it works to improve your health. The presenters will also discuss other alternatives to the typical medical model including preventative health care, massage and rehabilitative exercise. Attendees will leave with ideas for how they can improve their health without drugs as well as home and recreational recommendations.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Wheelchair Standers: Examining the Evidence

Presented by Amy Morgan, PT, ATP, Pediatric & Standing Specialist, Permobil, Inc.

Standing is an intervention that has been gaining attention in recent months. 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

Moving Through the Medical System: How to Get What You Need from the Doctor's Office

Presented by Guruatma Khalsa, Teacher, Speaker and Yogic Therapist

When you are challenged with a chronic or critical illness, it becomes your job to take care of yourself. Part of that self care is learning how to get the most out of your doctor appointments. Guruatma Khalsa has spent much of her adult life dealing with a severe autoimmune disease. In this presentation, she will share tools she has developed over the years to become the best manager of her own health care. In addition, she will give you insights and tips about how to respectfully and effectively interact with your doctors and nurses, medical personnel and the office staff. Whether you are an occasional visitor to the doctor or have ongoing medical issues, this topic offers a valuable and empowering perspective. If you have ever felt overwhelmed, fearful, under-educated, frustrated or confused at the doctor's office, this presentation will help you develop new skills to get what you need.

More information available at www.yogic-tools.com

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Dating and Relationships

Presented by Margaret R. Mauzé, PhD, Board Certified Pediatric Psychologist, President, Pediatric Psychology & Family Wellness

As the proliferation of dating websites proves, finding someone to love is no easy task. Add to that the challenges posed by disability, both the visible kind and the hidden kind, which each pose their own dilemmas. This workshop will focus on the unique issues of forming and sustaining relationships for individuals with chronic illness or disability: stigma, disclosure, body image and self-esteem, sex, and managing the swirl of emotions that come with falling in love and recovering from heartache. This talk is relevant for both those who are dating or plan to begin, and those who are parenting young adults. This session is made possible by Disability 101.

Learn more at www.disability101.org.

* This session features mature content and is not appropriate for children under the age of 18.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Financial Planning: For a Lifetime

Presented by Steven C. Rhatigan, Chartered Lifetime Assistance Planner and Certified Estate Planner, Partner, Archer Consulting Group

Caring for someone with a disability or chronic disease creates multiple challenges, not the least of which is the question of how to make sure that he or she is cared for financially, as she moves into adulthood. Comprehensive planning is built on a foundation of financial and legal security, encompassing all aspects of life. Our speaker will introduce the audience to the basics of creating a Lifetime Care Plan, including anticipating and planning for what comes next, maximizing benefits and resources, and managing unexpected crises. This session is made possible by Disability 101.

Learn more at www.disability101.org.

3:45pm - 4:45pm

Sitting Pretty: Understanding Your Child’s Seating Needs

Presented by Lee Johnson, Manager Planning, Production and Control, Kids UP by Quantum

The world of seating and positioning is full of “clinical” language and concepts that can be difficult. This session is designed to help bring clarity through a fast-paced hour of real-time, rubber-meets-the-road information and training for you, the front line players caring for a person with mobility challenges. Bridging the gap between the intentions of clinicians and the day-to-day challenges faced by caregivers, this workshop will bring you a new perspective and practical tools to help achieve both comfort and therapeutic outcomes. Learn the basics of how the body actually “sits” properly, the most common “positioning” enemies of healthy sitting, strategies and creative ways to address specific challenges. You will leave with a framework for how you can partner together with your care team to give your loved ones some of the best of both worlds!

To learn more visit www.pridemobility.com/quantum/manualwheelchairs/kidsup.asp.

3:45pm - 4:45pm

I Can Hear You, But I Cannot Understand You

Presented by Teri Wathen, Hearing Loss Resource Specialist, DAARS-DHHS and CAAG

Do you strain to hear the TV or miss half of conversations? You may be dealing with hearing loss. Hearing loss can strike at any age, from childhood through older adulthood, and can be caused by anything from an illness to a head injury. A very common challenge for people with hearing loss is that you can "hear" people talking, but sometimes you have trouble "comprehending" what is said. The reasons for this issue are many but the end result is that communications are weakened. It can cause tensions and frustrations at home and in the workplace. The presenter will demonstrate and discuss technology that is available for people with hearing loss and will help ensure they are fully integrated in conversations. Attend this session if you or someone you live or work with has any level or hearing loss. You’ll leave with a better knowledge of these issues as well as the solutions and resources that are available.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

11:45am – 12:45pm

How to Select the Right Accessible Vehicle for You

Presented by BraunAbility

Select the Right Vehicle for you.  Image of accessible vehicle.

Are you feeling challenged by the process of purchasing adaptive equipment for a vehicle? 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 #100.

11:45am – 12:45pm

Finding "Normal"

Presented by Major Kim Rossiter, USMC, President, Ainsley's Angels of America

Disability frequently gets in the way of participation in "normal" activities. Often those activities or places are not truly accessible - physically or attitudinally. Add to this challenge the time, effort and resources involved in managing a disability, and you may find that you or your child is missing out on "life." At this session discover how you can get some normalcy back in your life. The presenter will share his specific experience running races with his daughter Ainsley, who is significantly disabled due to Infantale Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). Running, participating in races, being at the start line, and getting to the finish produces a shared "normal" experience with everyone else at the event. Learn more about how this type of program is bringing "normal" to other families and how you can make something similar happen for yourself and your family. Learn more about their work at www.ainsleysangels.org.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Travel the World! Tips for People with Disabilities or Who Are Aging

Presented by Debra Kerper, Easy Access Travel

Workshops

Would you like to travel the country or the world, but believe you cannot because of your disability? At this workshop you will learn that travel by air, sea and car is a real option for you. The presenter, a professional travel agent who has a disability and has travelled extensively, will share with you how to plan a trip, including what to expect form hotels, rental car companies, cruise lines and the airlines. Learn about the common challenges, methods for addressing them and what the law requires. Attendees will receive recommendations for disability-friendly destinations and accessible travel resources. Be sure to bring your pressing questions and a list of places you'd like to visit.

Learn more at www.easyaccesstravel.com.

1:00pm – 2:00pm

Seeing, Hearing, Sensing, Service: There's A Dog For That!

Presented by Allie Keaton, My Service Dog

Service Dogs

More than ever services dogs are meeting the needs of people with various disabilities. Learn more about how dogs can assist people, and see a few of the tasks dogs can perform as they work with their human partners to achieve independence. The presenter will discuss the process for obtaining a service dog for yourself or someone you love. She’ll discuss working with accredited assistance dog organizations, the topic of training your own dog, and the types of dogs used including rescues and dogs bred specifically for the purpose.

Learn more at www.myservicedog.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Thriving, Not Just Surviving, as the Parent of a Special Needs Child

Presented by Karen Kain, Founder, Lorrin's World and Abilities Expo Ambassador

Workshops

Karen Kain, mother of Lorrin who was grievously vaccine injured in 1994, shares her story of how she went from being a broken-hearted, desperate mother who was isolated and alone to accepting, enjoying and even thriving as the parent of a unique child. Karen will tell the process that led her to a loving and fulfilling parenting experience, as she learned life lessons from Lorrin. Karen will describe how she found success in getting from despair to discovery to love of self. She brings you tips she learned from others along the way – parents, health-care workers, and more – along with discoveries of her own. If you are new to this journey, join Karen for this workshop to gain support and ideas for thriving in your new life.

Learn more about Karen at www.lorrinsworld.com.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

The 4/4’s for the Newly Disabled, Family Members and Healthcare Providers

Presented by Yvette Pegues, MEd

Yvette Pegues

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 YourInvisibleDisability.com.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Push Girls: Season 2 Finale and Meet Auti Angel

Presented by The Sundance Channel

Push Girls

“Push Girls,” the boundary-breaking docu-series returned to Sundance Channel for a second season on Monday, June 3rd at 10pm ET/PT. Following the series debut last year, “Push Girls” drew widespread critical and audience acclaim for its authentic and unprecedented depiction of four beautiful, intelligent and inspiring women who, by accident or illness, have been paralyzed from the neck or the waist down. In the highly-anticipated second season, Executive Producer Gay Rosenthal ("Ruby," "Little People, Big World") will continue to document the lives and friendship of Angela, Auti, Mia and Tiphany, as they explore new romances, tackle longstanding issues, mentor newly injured patients, and try out modern technologies that will allow them to pursue happiness and independence on their own terms.

More Info

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