Join Us For The Living Well With A Disability 2013 Conference & Expo!

Two events at one location in Lancaster, PA – All to challenge people with disabilities to discover their very best lives.
Conference: August 23 – 26, 2013 • FREE Expo: August 24 - 25, 2013
Register and make hotel reservations now!

One-armed man holding bicycle

Premier Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo, a Pennsylvania First

Celebrities with Disabilities, National Speakers & Disability.gov among Participants

(Harrisburg, Pa.) – Pennsylvania is taking center stage in the disability community, hosting the premier Living Well With A DisabilitySM Conference & Expo from August 23-26, 2013 in Lancaster, Pa. Presented by the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP), PA Statewide Independent Living Council (PA SILC) and Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL), the first-of-its-kind event will challenge people with disabilities to pursue dreams that previously might have seemed impossible. Attendees will test new assistive technology, gain knowledge from national speakers, dive into the action of adaptive sports and have the rare opportunity to meet celebrity guests with disabilities.

“In 1993, Pennsylvania led the way with ‘Power Through Knowledge,’ the first statewide conference for people with disabilities in the nation,” said Theo Braddy, executive director of the Center for Independent Living of Central PA. “Now, we are excited to bring an even bigger opportunity to people with all types of disabilities throughout the mid-Atlantic to take living well to the next level.”

“Our mission is to help people with disabilities and their families get connected to the information, programs and services they need to live independently in their communities,” said Kevin Connors, the federal program director of Disability.gov. “We are very excited to be a participant at this unique event in Pennsylvania – working together we can make ‘living well’ a reality for everyone.”

Held at the Lancaster Marriott and Lancaster County Convention Center, the four-day conference, August 23-26, and free two-day expo, August 24 and 25, will give people with disabilities and their caregivers, educators and parents the opportunity to connect with others facing similar challenges, while discovering resources to achieve lifelong dreams. A few of the must-see presentations include:

  • Tiphany Adams, a fitness and wellness advocate who uses a wheelchair and is a star of Sundance Channel’s original docu-series “Push Girls,” will lead a conference session on nutrition and creating a healthy and active lifestyle. She also will meet with expo attendees.
  • Josh Blue, known as the comedian who puts the “cerebral in cerebral palsy,” and winner of NBC’s “Last Comic Standing” television show, will keep attendees laughing with a premier presentation during the conference.
  • Christine Ha, author and winner of “MasterChef” season 3, will lead a conference session on her cooking journey as a chef who is blind and detail the motivation behind her book. She also will do a book signing at the expo.
  • 4 Wheel City, a hip-hop musical group from Bronx, New York, will share its story of pursuing music to overcome spinal cord injuries caused by gun violence. The group will perform a concert at the conference and meet guests at the expo.
  • Deborah Pierce, an architect and critically acclaimed author of “The Accessible Home,” will show how to remodel a home for aging or living with a disability, autograph books and greet guests at the expo.
  • The Employment Forum will focus on pressing issues that impact employment for people with disabilities. Currently, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 12.9 percent, which is almost twice the rate for people without disabilities at 6.9 percent. Facilitated by Stacy Kyle of AHEDD and the Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network, the Employment Forum will offer voices from across the industry and state including: Renee Holloman, director of workforce development & retention for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts; Stan Holbrook, president and CEO of Three Rivers Center for Independent Living in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Stevie Hopkins, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of 3E Love; John Miller, vice president of AHEDD; and Keith Williams, director of advocacy at the Center for Independent Living Northeastern Pennsylvania in Scranton, Pa.

The expo is free and open to the public, and attendees can register online. A list of exhibitors dedicated to mobility, assistive technology, home modifications, adaptive vehicles and more can be found on the Exhibitors page.

Conference registrations will be accepted until August 2, 2013, and people can find more information on the Registration page. For full details about the Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo, visit www.livingwellwithadisabilityexpo.org. For the latest updates on presenters and activities, connect with Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo on Facebook and follow updates on Twitter (@LivingWell2013).

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About Living Well With A Disability

Living Well With A Disability is a free resource that is available to individuals with any type of disability living in certain counties of Pennsylvania. By calling the hotline, 1-877-TO-LIV-WELL, the Living Well With A Disability initiative connects people with disabilities to qualified Living Well specialists who will conduct a survey, identifying the needs and goals of the person, to then develop a plan for meeting them. It is an initiative of the Center for Independent Living of Central PA (CILCP), a consumer controlled, cross-disability, nonresidential 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency founded in 1988 and dedicated to assisting people with disabilities achieve and maintain independent lifestyles. The CILCP’s mission is to eliminate and prevent barriers that people with disabilities experience by providing ongoing advocacy and offering innovative programs and services.

About Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council

The Pennsylvania Statewide Independent Living Council (PA SILC) is a nonprofit, cross-disability, consumer-controlled organization dedicated to securing public policies that ensure civil rights for people with disabilities by supporting the independent living philosophy. Established in 1992, PA SILC’s mission is to use their collective power and legal mandate to develop and secure public policies that ensure civil rights and expand options for all people with disabilities in all aspects of life.

About Three Rivers Center for Independent Living (TRCIL)

TRCIL is a non-residential, nonprofit, community-based human service organization. Its purpose is to assist people with disabilities to lead self-directed and productive lives within the community. The center’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to enjoy self-directed, personally meaningful lives by providing outstanding consumer-controlled services and by advocating for effective community change. They envision a world in which all physical, attitudinal, communication and systems barriers are eliminated and people with disabilities have equal opportunities and the right to full participation in society.

Christine Ha

Christine Ha, “MasterChef” Season 3 Winner, Named a Premier Presenter at Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo

Like many college students, when Christine Ha moved into apartment-style living, she quickly realized the need to learn to cook more than fried eggs and Ramen noodles. She began experimenting with mixing new ingredients and soon discovered her passion to not only cook, but also prepare meals for others.

Christine HaHa continued to perfect her skills, and was discovered in 2012 by Fox Broadcasting Company’s “MasterChef” television show through her blog, The Blind Cook.

You see, in 2003, Ha was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called Neuromyelitis Optica, which attacks the optical nerves.

As she explains, “After several bouts of optic neuritis, the network of nerves connecting my eyes to my brain atrophied, and my vision deteriorated to what the doctors call ‘counting fingers.’ What I see can best be described as shadows and extreme blurriness like I’m eternally walking through a cloud. Or, imagine staring into a mirror foggy with steam right after a hot shower–that’s my world.”

The diagnosis, however, did not stop Ha from pursuing her dreams. With her acceptance to appear on the show’s third season, she soon won the hearts of viewers across the country. Ha prepared all dishes herself, using her keen sense of taste, smell and touch to create masterpieces. On the season finale, she won the season 3 “MasterChef” title, a $250,000 grand prize and a cookbook deal.

“I couldn’t see what anyone else was doing. I was solely focused on myself, and I think that helped me… When I came out of it, it was the most stressful, intense experience of my life – it was amazing,” she told ABC News.

In addition to her blossoming culinary career, the 34-year-old Houston native has a Master of Fine Arts degree in fiction/creative nonfiction from the University of Houston. She is currently working on a memoir.

To Ha, Living Well With A Disability “means achieving your dreams in spite of disabilities. It’s not about compromising the dream but just about finding alternative routes to getting there,” she said. “I am a living testament that a person can achieve his/her life dreams no matter what hardships are faced, and I want my story to inspire others to do the same. Don’t be afraid to dream big.”

Ha will offer a premier presentation at the conference on Sunday, August 25, starting at 7 p.m., treating attendees to dinner selections from her new cookbook, “Recipes from My Home Kitchen.” She also will meet with guests and autograph copies of her cookbook following the presentation. To stay up to date with Ha, follow her on Twitter at @theblindcook.

For additional information about the Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo, visit www.livingwellwithadisabilityexpo.org. Guests can register online for the conference through July 26, 2013, as well as register for the expo and request to receive updates.

4 Wheel City

Hip-Hop Sensation 4 Wheel City to Perform at Living Well With A Disability℠ Conference & Expo

Living Well With A Disability℠ Conference & Expo is excited to announce that the hip-hop stars of 4 Wheel City will join the list of presenters at the event this August 23-26, 2013. The artists will provide great entertainment with their hip-hop beats, while sharing their mission to inspire, educate, advocate and entertain.

4 Wheel City4 Wheel City is comprised of two artists from Bronx, New York who discovered their mutual passions after unexpected events. Namel “Tapwaterz” Norris began pursuing his musical dreams with a group of friends trying to make it in the rap industry. Living just one building away, was Ricardo “Rickfire” Velasquez, an aspiring musical producer who had a passion for hip-hop.

The two met when Norris’ mom saw Velasquez in their neighborhood and asked if he would be her son’s friend; he didn’t know anyone else who used a wheelchair. Both shared many similarities, including having sustained spinal cord injuries and passions for the music industry. Just like that, a simple request transformed their lives and gave them a new purpose.

In 2006, they officially launched 4 Wheel City, a broader, non-profit movement to “inspire, educate, advocate and entertain.” Their lyrics reflect the obstacles they had to overcome. For example, in one of the group’s songs, “Welcome to Reality,” Norris and Velasquez rap about the importance of finishing school and making the right choices.

This movement, as they call it, is more than just music. The two first started performing their “rap therapy” at nursing homes and rehab centers. They also grew their impact by mentoring young people who are transitioning to life with disabilities.

Conference guests are invited to join the movement and feel their passion at the conference’s opening reception on Friday, August 23, 2013, starting at 7 p.m. at the Lancaster Marriott and Lancaster County Convention Center. 4 Wheel City also will be at the FREE expo to meet attendees and offer advice for aspiring artists.

For additional information about the Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo, visit www.livingwellwithadisabilityexpo.org. Guests can register online for the conference through July 26, 2013, as well as register for the expo and request to receive updates.

Conference

Living Well With A Disability Conference & Expo Exhibitors Bring Resources Under One Roof

If you’ve ever wanted to visit one place to find all of the resources available to help you reach your goals, the Living Well With A DisabilitySM Conference & Expo could be the solution! The FREE expo, designed with all disabilities in mind, will feature a wide array of educational, medical and mobility resources, as well as entertainment and activities for the entire family to enjoy.

To help illustrate the scope of the event, we’ve compiled a sampling of exhibitors. A full list of to-date exhibitors can be found on our website, and we’ll share more updates with you in the weeks to come.  Please send us a message on our Facebook page if there is an exhibitor you’d like to see added to the list. If your company or organization is interested in exhibiting, please visit the exhibitor page on our website.

Exhibitor Sneak Peek

  • 3E Love: The 3E Love movement strives to change the perception of disability through the International Symbol of Acceptance, its wheelchair heart logo. From T-shirts and hoodies to car decals, the company hopes to ignite conversations of change and acceptance. Its mission is to help people embrace diversity, educate society, and, most importantly, to love life. Join the movement atwww.3elove.com.
  • ABC Medical: ABC Medical encourages people to lead healthier, more active lives through its brand-name urology, ostomy and wound care supplies, as well as other durable medical equipment. The organization’s commitment to adaptive sports can be seen through its support of both national and local teams and leagues. For more information, visit www.abc-med.com.
  • CaptionCall: This unique, state-of-the-art phone enables individuals with hearing loss to communicate more easily with friends, family and colleagues. With its voice recognition technology and transcription service, CaptionCall provides users with written captions of what callers are saying on a large, easy-to-read screen. See if CaptionCall is right for you at www.captioncall.com.
  • Hershey Jr. Bears Sled Hockey: Designed for hockey fans ages 6 and older, Hershey Jr. Bears Sled Hockey gives people with mobility disabilities the opportunity to take the ice! Players sit on the sleds’ bucket seats and work with their teammates to score the winning goal. To learn more, visit http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hershey-Jr-Bears-Sled-Hockey/285599821501104.
  • Keystone Mobility: Starting as an electric mobility repair service company, today Keystone Mobility offers a wide range of mobility equipment.  From canes and crutches, to power wheelchairs and home safety equipment, Keystone Mobility is dedicated to helping its customers achieve independence. Learn more about the products and services offered atwww.keystonemobility.com.
  • Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF): PATF’s goal is to make independence more accessible and affordable. Through various loan programs, PATF helps people with disabilities and individuals who support them to acquire the assistive technology devices and services they need to improve the quality of lives. For more information, visit www.patf.us.
  • Permobil: For more than 45 years, Permobil has been developing products that positively impact the mobility and daily lives of people with disabilities. Its products offer people with disabilities the opportunity to lead active, independent lives.  With many wheelchairs designed for children and adults to use both indoors and outdoors, at the heart of every one of its designs is the person who will be using the product.  Learn more at www.permobil.com.

Conference

  • A premier disability conference for the mid-Atlantic!
  • Four days (August 23 – 26) to experience what it means to live well! From learning simple cooking techniques and dating tips to finding resources to achieve your goals, you will enjoy this event!
  • Participate in premier presentations given by Tiphany Adams, Josh Blue, Christine Ha and more!
  • Expo admission included in conference registration.

Expo

  • FREE admission on August 24 & 25!
  • Visit exhibitors for resources relating to traveling, technology, fitness, employment and more!
  • Find resources for traveling, technology, fitness, employment and more!
  • Participate in live demos!
  • Meet a star of the Push Girls!
  • Receive prizes and giveaways!

Sponsorship, Exhibit and Advertising Opportunities

  • Connect with people with disabilities in the Mid-Atlantic Region!
  • Reach 500 conference attendees and 1,500 expo attendees!
  • Be a part of Pennsylvania's tradition of top disability consumer events!

Platinum Sponsor

Gold Sponsors

 

Created by people with disabilities FOR people with disabilities. Achieve goals, meet challenges, fulfill dreams and live well!

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