Abilities Expo Rides Into LA Convention Center

Abilities expo

People with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, wounded vets and healthcare professionals attending Abilities Expo on March 15-17, 2024 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A will discover the latest products, education and fun for all ages.Angel City Sports, an LA-based non-profit that provides year-round adaptive sports opportunities, will feature a multitude of adaptive sports all day, every day in one high-energy Sports Zone right on the Expo show floor.

Main Photo: Marquise Bailey and his dog Cleon at Abilities Expo in 2023. (PHOTO: Christopher Floch)

There will be equipment and experts, including Paralympian Erza Frech, on hand to encourage both rookies and seasoned sports enthusiasts to test their skills.

Abilities Expo is the one and only event designed to bring products, technologies, resources and adaptive activities together under one roof to provide greater independence for people with disabilities,” said Lew Shomer, Chairman of Abilities Expo.

“We can’t wait to share everything at the Expo with the Southern California disability community. We have an all-inclusive climbing wall, the Rollettes dance team, a meet-and-greet with a disabled Disney star, adaptive sports, service dog demos and that’s just for starters!”

Expo-goers are eagerly anticipating the chance to scale “Mini El Capitan” with adaptive climbing equipment that makes the experience inclusive for all.

Admission to Abilities Expo is free and show hours are Friday and Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm and Sunday, 11 am – 4 pm. Complimentary loaner scooters, wheelchair repair and sign language interpreters are also available during show hours. Parking at the LACC is $25 per day.

Angel City Sports will showcase a host of different adaptive sports geared for a wide variety of disabilities Sports Zone and the Auti Angel Events Arena. There will be adaptive basketball, football, sitting volleyball, amputee soccer, table tennis, boccia and so much more. Once attendees find their new favorite pastime at the Expo, they can learn how to continue it year-round with Angel City Sports.Erza Frech, the youngest member of the U.S. Paralympic Track and Field Team and the current world record holder and 2023 World Champion in T63 High Jump, will be there to share his story and expertise with attendees.

Ezra Frech was born with congenital limb differences, missing his left knee and left shin bone, and with only one finger on his left hand. Now 18 years-old, Ezra has used a prosthetic leg since he was 11 months and a running blade since he was 4 years old.

Regardless of their level of ability, attendees can scale the Coloplast-sponsored Adaptive Climbing Wall. The experience is led by Paralympian Mark Wellman of No Limits, the first paraplegic to summit El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Mark’s innovative adaptive climbing techniques and equipment will support any Expo-goer who wants to reach the summit.

Jennifer Kumiyama, renowned for her film, stage and advocacy work, will host a meet-and-greet at 4 pm on March 16 at Abilities Expo Los Angeles!

You don’t want to miss this chance hear about her role as Dahlia from Disney’s hit animated film Wish, her performance in Aladdin at Disney California Adventure, her experience as Ms. Wheelchair California and her success as Accessibility Coordinator for the City of Long Beach.

Attendees experience cutting-edge products and services for people with a wide range of disabilities. They will find mobility products, devices for people with developmental disabilities, medical equipment, home accessories, essential services, low-cost daily living aids, products for people with sensory impairments and more. A variety of assistive technologies will be available for testing at the AT Showcase, sponsored by Ability Tools.

A series of compelling workshops on travel, fundraising for disability equipment, driving with a disability, life after stroke, therapeutic cannabis, workplace accommodations, complex caregiving, financial planning, wheelchair seating solutions for kids, emergency preparedness and more is offered free-of-charge.

Expo-goers can let loose with dance demos led by the world-famous Rollettes dance team and Straight Up Abilities. There’s even an opportunity to learn to tap dance with you hands! Attendees will also enjoy service dog demos and play adaptive sports. The Ms. Wheelchair California competition will take place at 2:30 pm on Sunday, March 17. Talented wheelchair users from around the state will vie for the coveted crown, but only one will emerge Ms. Wheelchair California 2024.

Marquise Bailey and his dog Cleon attended their 1st ability fest in 2023 with his will trained Assistance\Emotional support dog gifted to him by his aunt from his hometown Memphis, Tennessee.

“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.

Abilities Expo is the nation’s leading event for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals. For more than four decades, the disability community has gathered at Abilities Expos all over the country to discover the latest, life-enhancing products & services, access experts in info-packed workshops and engage in fun, adaptive activities like sports, fitness, dance, service dog demonstrations and more.

This event is designed to increase independence for people with disabilities and admission is always free.Abilities Expo is a truly inspiring event, where disabled people and their families find hope and community.

Author: Christopher Floch

Sports Writer l flochchristopher1@gmail.com