Thursday, April 5, 2012

Abilities Expo In New York May 4-6

The Abilities Expo is a national trade show event that showcases assistive technology in major cities and is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. For the past 30 years, Abilities Expo has opened new doors for people of all ages with all kinds of disabilities, their families, health car providers and service professionals. The event offers the latest products and services relating to home, auto, travel, health, fashion, sports, recreation and more. The 3 day trade show is held in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York each year.

These FREE events feature workshops, demonstrations, assistive technology and retail pavilions. In recent years the Abilities Expo has expanded its offerings to include career fairs, artists markets, performances, animal demonstrations and people with disabilities as ambassadors to link local folks to the regional event. If you haven't been to one in awhile, you might be surprised. It looks like a fantastic opportunity. I've been to locally organized assistive technology expos and they are wonderful community events where new connections thrive. Such an event on a regional scale could have a whole lot more to offer. One benefit is that there are great discounts for attendees on products.

This year's Abilities Expo in New York is coming up May 4-6 at the New York Metro in Edison, NJ. Some of the highlights for this particular show include wheelchair dance performance and workshops, quad rugby demonstrations, assistive dog demonstrations, and the Horse Boy method of working with kids with autism.

I got intrigued by this last entry, never having heard of the Horse Boy. Turns out The Horse Boy is both a book and a movie chronicling one family's journey with a son with autism and how working with horses improved his ability to communicate. From their backyard to Mongolia and back, they pioneered a new dimension to therapeutic riding now known as the Horse Boy Method, which helps those with neuro-psychiatric disorders improve their lives. Demonstrations will be offered by Allie's Kids, a horse riding stable in New Jersey that specializes in working with kids with disabilities and their siblings.

Adaptive recreation and sports organizations presenting in New York this year include Freedom Concepts (adaptive bikes), KEEN (Kids Enjoy Exercise Now), SATH (Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality), Action TrackChair (all terrain wheelchair), and Journey Forward (SCI exercise program). There are many more - check it out!

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