The Abilities Expo showcased independent and assisted living products and services on Sept. 12 – 14th. Persons with disabilities, and their support systems—personal and professional—attended the popular event. Held at the Minneapolis Convention Center, the second annual expo included hundreds of exhibitors, many free workshops and fun special events. The event included a focus on the November election as representatives from the Obama and McCain campaigns held a political discussion.
One exciting booth showed off the first accessible race car. The vehicle, which meets National Association for Stock Car Racing (NASCAR) standards, is modified with variable effort steering, electric gas and brakes, and extra safety features. The crowds around this display reflect the growing popularity of NASCAR. For more details, go to www.accessibleracing.com
Exceptional Parent magazine hosted a booth with great resources. The magazine provides education, products, and services to people with special needs as well as parents and professionals. The magazine also offers many helpful books for the abilities community. To learn about the magazine and its resources including free online seminars, see www.eparent.com
Ben Anderson, author of “IQ of 63—So What! Going Beyond Everybody Else’s Expectations,” greeted visitors and signed autographs. To find out more about his book, go to www.benanderson.net
Aging Successfully: Health and Wellness for People with Disabilities was an interesting workshop taught by LeeAnne Carrothers from the California-based Rehabilitation Research and Training Center. She presented key ideas on the latest in nutrition, prevention, health and wellness for people with disabilities. For more information visit www.agingwithdisability.org
Some sporting events at the expo included Legsdont work.com’s golf chipping contest. Vazquez metal.com demonstrated accessible deer stand for hunting.
Visitors hope the expo will be back for a third time in 2009. Its Web site is www.abilitiesexpo.com.