This past Friday, I spent the day in Atlanta at the Abilities Expo. My dad and friend Nathan Todd went with me on the trip. There were over 100 vendors showcasing their products and services.
I had the opportunity to talk with co-owner David Korse. He mentioned that this event has been traveling the country, and even the world, for over thirty years. The Expo has become the premiere event for a variety of disability resources.
The Permobil wheelchair team was on-hand demonstrating the features of manual and power chairs. Wheelchair mechanics were also available to make repairs and I was able to get my worn-out wheels replaced. It was like pulling into a NASCAR pit-stop. The mechanics hoisted up my chair and replaced the front wheels in a matter of minutes.
As we continued around the venue, I couldn’t help but stop by the pick-up trucks that were equipped with wheelchair lifts. I was able to sit inside the cab of the truck. Both doors on the driver’s side of the truck slid outward, opening a lift platform for the wheelchair. Once on the platform, the doors close in and placed me and my wheelchair directly behind the steering wheel.
Finally, I couldn’t leave Atlanta before soaring to new heights! There was an adapted climbing wall allowing people with disabilities to pull their way up to the top of the wall. I sat in a special seat hooked to the cabling system. Since I only have the use of one arm, I used a glove that was taped to the lever ensuring that my hand wouldn’t lose grip as I pulled myself up the wall. Once all strapped in, I only needed to pull 1/5 of my body weight. It was such an exhilarating experience to get a bird’s-eye view of the Expo and go beyond the bounds of my wheelchair.
If you want to know more about products and services featured, visit http://www.abilities365.com. Registration on the website is free. Check out this video of my wall-climbing adventure.