While I was visiting my dad in the fall we talked about what to do for my birthday. I was lucky enough to be on one of the last flights before airports were closed in preparation for Nemo. Special shout out to the Delt@ pilot who made every effort to takeoff early to avoid having to de-ice the aircraft or other delays.
Lucky for me the final destination was somewhere warm(er)
Why did I go to Georgia?
Other than the luxury of a direct flight? And no need for checked baggage?
(All the traveling I’ve done those 2 facts alone carry major weight for a quick getaway)
For those of you keeping track this is #3 since May
(Chicago & New York)
This expo was different from the others, at least for me. I had a mission this time. There were a few things I wanted to look at either again or more closely. And there’s always a lot to see.
As luck would have it two non planners trying to plan left me at the expo for a few hours on my own. Actually it allowed me to get some business out of the way on my own.
I stopped by VPG to ask Kristina Rhoades about the hand controls she’s written about. I’ve used hand controls during diving lessons and wasn’t really satisfied with them so I wanted to look for something more up to date. Thankfully Kempf was there so I was able to pick up some info and see the hand controls up close and personal.
VSA Arts Of Georgia, Inc caught my eye as well. I bought my mother a pair of earrings from Ironhawk Forge. I wish my ears were still pierced so I could’ve gotten myself a pair as well.
The best discovery of the day was finding NCHPAD an awesome organization that aims to keep everyone, no matter their ability level, moving. You may have seen my less than successful mention of them if you follow me on twitter. I’m planning on doing more research for a more detailed post later.
I missed most of the workshops this time because I spent more time “shopping” than I have previously. It’s been a challenge to look at things in the past and know my insurance wouldn’t help me out (and I can’t afford a lot out of pocket). But I received a text from home that afternoon that will, hopefully, afford me some more freedom in terms of things that will make my life easier so I let myself go and hope a little.
I was getting pretty tired in the afternoon (it was either from getting up at 3am or not requesting an attendant in such a massive airport) so I went to the events area to see a performance by Team Hotwheelz. I’ve seen wheelchair dance performances online but it was something else to see it up close and personal. It’s really neat! If Team Hotwheelz ever comes to your area be sure to check them out.
One of the funniest moments of the weekend was when I heard my dad say, “Hey, isn’t that Stevie?” When I said “Yes.” I explained to my dad’s girlfriend just who Stevie is. It was a pretty cool moment for me, especially since we all have 3eLove shirts.
My dad and I spent most of our expo time looking at wheelchairs. My chair is still in pretty good shape (which is pretty amazing considering how long I’ve had it) but it never hurts to look around, especially when your back is still hurting from the weekend.
Other New Finds/Favorites
Backbones- I heard of it after Rachelle Friedman & I started following each other.
FODAC- Receives donated durable medical equipment, and then refurbishes it to give to another person in need, all free of charge.
The Mobility Project- I’ve been on their mailing list but I was able to speak to their representative for a few minutes, which was really nice.
New Mobility Magazine- I love this magazine and pick up a copy whenever I get the chance.
Convaid- It’s what I had before a wheelchair. It’s nice to see the company is still around and improving their product line.
Abilities 365- This is a new website launched by the Abilities Expo.
My dad’s girlfriend called me an Abilities Expo groupie for going to so many expos on my own. I pointed out that this was on the short list of ways I’d like to spend my pre-birthday weekend (especially given the alternative this year).
I like going to the Abilities Expo because I like the people I’ve met. I like the different places it’s allowed me to visit. Most importantly I like seeing the resources available in different parts of the country.
Yup, I’m a groupie.
(If I could be more involved in the Abilities Expo so I could go to all of them that would be pretty great.)
Now who’s in for Los Angeles?
*The was no compensation for any portion of this post*