This week’s blog is all about Optimism. And what better place to find optimism than at an Abilities Expo. DinerWear® was honored to participate in the most recent Abilities Expo in the New York Metropolitan area. Even the name of this event is optimistic. Instead of the more commonly used term “Disability,” they use the term “Ability” to refer to what this Expo is all about– positive thinking.
The term “Ability” as defined in Wordsmythe.net is: the capacity or power to do something.
Well let me tell you, it was uplifting to see all the ability at the Abilities Expo. Wheelchairs of all shapes and sizes had people on the move. Joy sticks attached to motorized wheelchairs allowed those with limited hand mobility to control their movement and direction. Some wheelchairs were even operated with eye movements, and some very skilled youthful drivers maneuvered around magnificently. Adjustable height wheelchairs allowed drivers to be at eye level with people on foot. And then there were the dynamic mobility devices to allow assisted walking. Oh if you could see the look on one young girls face when she used her feet to move herself around, then you would experience optimism firsthand.
The ability to communicate even when you can’t speak was a mastered skill I had the honor to observe also. Joy, satisfaction, dissatisfaction, simple yes and nos were expressed with subtle eye movements and tiny mouth movements. DinerWear® was proud to invoke many joyful responses when attendees discovered our stylish dining scarves. We heard time and time again how kids with special needs, like any kid (or adult), doesn’t want to wear a bib. Unfortunately, many of the attendees needed one for some reason or other, and we were honored to provide them with a dignified solution.
I get my greatest joy in life when I help someone in need. The Abilities Expo gave me the opportunity to do that. The sense of community, patience, and compassion emanated throughout the expo hall. People helping people. Publications like Able newspaper, Quest Magazine, and Amplitude Magazine provide that sense of community all year round with the constant flow of information, from celebrations of events, to updates on legislation and research, as well as new products to the market.
I came away from this wonderful expo with the greatest sense of optimism. Though I’ve always been one to ignore the nay-sayers, now I’m even stronger in my belief that anything is possible. If there is an obstacle in life, go around it to get to your destination. That’s what the attendees at the Abilities Expo are doing every day.
That’s why they call it the Abilities Expo and not the disabilities expo, focusing on what can be.