2023 marks nearly 40 years for Abilities Expo Los Angeles and if you could not make it, stay tuned we have the full scoop on what you missed!
The Ability Tools Team attended the Los Angeles Abilities Expo to represent all the amazing things the Ability Tools Network offers. The 3-day event was jam packed with vendors, makers, live demonstrations, performances, an art gallery showcase, and even a specially adapted rock-climbing wall.
Allow us to take you on a tour of the Ability Tools Showcase Booth.
Ability Tools Assistive Technology Showcase Booth
At the Ability Tools Showcase booth visitors were able to get hands-on experience with AT designed to improve daily living. The Ability Tools team was there to answer questions about devices and AT services.
Abilities Expo crowd favorites:
Learning and Cognition Table
The Ability Tools Team had the opportunity to discuss the capability of modifying battery-operated devices into switch adapted devices for a variety of disabilities up-to, but not limited to, individuals that may have disabilities related to fine motor skills, have Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI), or are living with Alzheimer’s.
Ability Tools Pro Tip:
The process for adapting the devices is actually easier than you may think, requiring only a device,
In addition, the battery interrupter allows you to easily reuse the adapter and button for multiple toys without the need to purchase any other special tools. You can follow a tutorial on how to make devices switch adaptive posted by Occupational Therapist, Jennifer Sopka
Makers Space Table
As part of the Ability Tools Makers Space visitors were also able to interact with products like moldable plastic pellets to create their own personalized adaptable AT. By adding the pellets to hot water, a user can shape and create hundreds of tools. The best part, if your creation isn’t what you imagined it would be, you soften the plastic and try again!
Expo Visitors couldn’t get enough of our sample of 3D printed AT devices for daily living, learning how anyone can print items at a significantly lower cost than their manufactured counterparts. The exhibit included two styles of nail clippers, a nail polish holder/applicator, a key holder, a table vice grip holder for your cane, and even a gas cap opener! These prints were created on an Ender 3 Pro which retails on Amazon.com for between $200-250.
Ability Tools Pro Tip:
If you are unable to invest in your own 3D Printer, you can also reach out to your local library. Many offer 3D printing services that typically only charge the cost of the filament (material the printer uses to make your device) which is fairly cheap, our nail polish holder/applicator only costs 55¢ to print. You can also check out social media and join one of the many 3D print groups who often share prints, tips, and tricks.
One of the most impressive new devices on the market was the 2023 Solax Transformer Scooter. This scooter is a game changer with its impressive foldable design make it ideal for travel.
- Approved for airline travel
- Recommended by cruise lines
- Transport in a car, SUV or van
- Foldable & Travel Ready
- Can be pulled like luggage
- No ramps required
The Ability Tools Showcase Booth was also able to provide resources and tools from our one of our partner Programs, Cal Agrability, who focuses on AT that pertains to farming and gardening, and CFILC sister programs like the Digital Access Project; The Freedom Tech Loan Program, Disability Organizing Network (DOnetwork), YO! Disabled And Proud, and our newest program, the Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR)
Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR)
As visitors arrived at our interactive booth, the team answered questions, provided recommendations, and demonstrated how AT can support you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency!
Abilities Expo Crowd favorites:
Special shout out to our partners at CALIF, one of DDAR’s Disability Disaster Access and Resource Centers, for their fabulous presentation on the DDAR program and great tips for Emergency Preparedness.
DDAR Pro Tip:
Scan your family’s vital documents to a flash drive. Keep this in a safe but easy to find location so in the event of an emergency you quickly have everything you need if you need to evacuate your area. Consider adding a lanyard or a magnet for easy storage on your refrigerator. Information you might want to include:
- Photo ID, School ID’s
- Birth Certificates
- Social Security Cards
- Home Owners Insurance Policy
- Auto Insurance Policy
- Emergency Contact Phone Numbers and Emails – who and what relationship to family
- List of Medications
- List of Doctors
- Photos of Pets, names of pet
- Vet records, shot records