LOS ANGELES—”I am so excited to be here, I’ve heard about it but being here is so much more than I expected,” gushed Marquise Bailey. The annual Abilities Expo was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center March 10-12, giving the disabled community an opportunity to create and discover new hobbies in a thrilling and inclusive environment.
Featured annually in eight North American cities, the Expos are free, three-day, all-access passports to the latest products, cutting-edge tech, informative workshops and adaptive activities.
Marquise Bailey And his dog Cleon attended their 1st ability fest with his will trained Assistance\Emotional support dog gifted to him by his aunt from his hometown Memphis, Tennessee.
Wall to Wall products as well as services across the sprawling West wing of the LA Convention Center was a flurry of noise and fun.
Bailey was paralyzed 3 years ago however, he attributes his inspiring recovery to Rancho Los Amigos rehabilitation hospital located in Downey.
Cleon is a beautiful part Chihuahua terrier mix: The dog is so white Marquise needs to apply sunscreen to its muzzle and his ears.. It is a protective dog who was very caring for Marquise. Cleon appeared to be standing guard between people and marquise at the crowded Convention Center.
Marquise and Cleon were there to attend the All About Service Dogs seminar. Presented by Kristin Hartness, assisting with all types of tasks, from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability to counting money, and more.
Service dogs are available for people with many different disabilities, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, Autism, and seizure/allergy alert. Kristin showed how one acquires a service dog, support available to assist with covering the costs, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.
Next, it was off to the Sports Zone to view the new Los Angeles Rams wheelchair football team. A full contact sport blending the best parts of Murderball and Chariot races in this high-intensity sport!
These Rams, won the inaugural Wheelchair Football Super Bowl last season, just like the LA Rams of the NFL who captured Super Bowl LVI. Our gridiron heroes participated and coached kids on some drills and throwing the pigskin.
Also, several booths were on site to improve and enhance the lives of disabled individuals. One such company based out of Simi Valley is EazyHold. An innovative adaptive aid for children and adults who have limited to no grip.
The soft, flexible universal cuffs attach securely on the hands of eating utensils, grooming aids, toys and more.
Abilities Expo encourages the disabled community to get outside, everything from Summer camp to traveling the world.
Airbnb has added an adapted category to discover unique homes with verified accessibility. This wonderful amenity will literally change people’s lives. Visit: www.airbnb.com/accessibility for more information.
Abilities Expo was a wonderful weekend offering resources, legal assistance and this year’s models of shiny brand new wheelchairs. More importantly, it offers an opportunity for disabled people, caretakers and their families to connect.