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Abilities Expo: A Great Venue for REquipment!

By eanderson

September 25, 2017

You might not think an expo that’s all about the latest and greatest in mobility equipment would be a logical place for REquipment. After all, our durable medical equipment reuse program is about getting gently-used DME, like rollators and shower chairs, to people who can’t afford cutting-edge products. We make sure that valuable equipment finds a second (or third) home and nothing needed ends up wasted in a landfill. Conversely, Abilities Expo is home to robotic arms.

Surprise! We had a great day.

With over 114 exhibitors, 11 workshops and 6 all-day activities, Abilities had a little bit of everything for people with mobility disabilities and their families. Exhibits ranged from adaptive sports equipment and exoskeletons to daily living aids, therapy horse info and inclusive dance. With so much going on and such a range of ages and interests, REquipment fit right in!

Two smiling men in wheelchairs at the MassMATCH Abilities Expo booth.
Ken MacDonald (left) and an Abilities Expo attendee

Program Coordinators Ken MacDonald and Ginny Morse worked the booth we shared with MassMATCH, the Massachusetts state AT program. Ken and Ginny engaged over 300 people, informing them about DME reuse and signing them up for our electronic newsletter. REquipment Program Director Jennifer Baker did a presentation on Friday about low-cost options for durable medical equipment in Massachusetts and attracted 40 participants!

Best of all, I had a great time walking around the expo area and networking with other exhibitors. As result, REquipment received a donation of 10 wheelchairs and an adaptive bike from Rehabilitation Equipment Associates, a DME company in Haverhill that was turning over some of their inventory. Additional DME company representatives offered us their gently-used showroom equipment as well. Bonanza!

Also happening at the MassMATCH booth was the demonstration of a portable wheelchair-accessible scale and the new pressure mapping technology now available to borrow, free of charge, from the MassMATCH device loan program. REquipment program staff encouraged visitors to try them out. We’re delighted that the MassMATCH Weight and Seating Independence Project, funded by the Reeve Foundation, will mean our community of wheelchair users in Central and Western Mass can better manage their weight and prevent pressure injuries.

Abilities Expo has become an annual event each September in Boston. So mark your calendars for next year and remember to seek us out!