More than 1,000 people poured through the gates and tuned in to live streaming to experience the latest innovations in independent living at SCIA’s Independence Expo on 15 and 16 April.
Australian Technology Park Sydney hosted the biggest and best SCIA Expo yet, with attendees taking advantage of a diverse range of 74 exhibitors, 11 workshops and 18 speakers.
“I am blown away by what this event has become,” says SCIA CEO Peter Perry. “To the exhibitors, it’s a unique way for them to talk directly to people who buy their products. To our members, it’s an easy and comfortable way to check out all the latest products, services and information. And for our staff, it’s a great opportunity to meet our members and hear what’s on their mind.”
The Wheelchair Sports NSW Sports Arena proved popular, with many unleashing their sporting talents. Children and adults alike tried their hand at shooting hoops, returning serve, scoring tries and skateboarding. Wheelchair Rugby League Australia was also among the sports representatives, showing how Wheelchair Rugby League allows athletes with disabilities to compete with and against people without disabilities.
The quieter life was also on offer, with gentle ASDOG assistance dogs charming visitors. Heidi, an ASDOG, helped one young attendee remove their sock without nipping any toes.
But if a new or modified car was more your style, specialist vehicle modifiers were on hand. PME Auto Conversions was one of them. Among a number of conversion options, PME Engineer Bill Georgas, who has paraplegia, brought along his ‘yacht of the land’, an enormous mobile home away from home.
A number of wheelchair mobility specialists exhibited their latest technology. Permobil highlighted shoulder protection technology, exploring exercises, wheelchair set up and propulsion, and power assist technology.
Turning to continence, Wellspect Urology Nurse Julie Digger made a key contribution, answering many questions on a subject that is of utmost importance to all those with a spinal cord injury.
Quietly meandering around the Expo wasn’t an option, when SCIA threw open the doors to its brand-new NeuroMoves exercise services. The NeuroMoves crew had the whole place moving and shaking with the latest technology in treadmills, activity-based therapy, functional electrical stimulation and strength and conditioning.
The Expo also provided an opportunity to garner information on the complicated and emotional world of legal dealings, with Slater and Gordon Lawyers on hand to listen and answer questions.
More than 300 people attended the Expo’s workshops, which covered choosing the right wheelchair cushion, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), vehicle modifications, protecting your shoulders, health, lifestyle, travel, sexuality and chronic pain. All of the workshops can still be viewed online by visiting SCIA’s You Tube channel.
The spotlight also landed on established and budding artists in the Expo’s art exhibition. Daniel Savage’s photography challenged society’s preconceptions. Susan Wood’s multidisciplinary style highlighted her eclectic and diverse range. Cobie Ann Moore’s illustrations explored suffering and beauty. Sue Murray made it possible for people with limited movement to unleash their photographic creativity—many selfportraits were on display.
The craft markets also showcased the talents of several other artisans. On display were handmade products by talented artisans with disability from around the world, prints, cards, jewellery, crafted glass, needlework, children’s art prints and airbrushed artworks.
Let’s not forget the SCIA history display— a taste of what’s to come with SCIA’s looming 50th anniversary. This is just a glimpse of the two dynamic days of SCIA’s Independence Expo 2016. Stay tuned for details of the next Expo— you won’t want to miss it.
Check out the SCIA Independence Expo Photo Gallery here.
Thank you to our Sponsors
Attendance Support Fund
Exhibitors and Sponsors
Thanks to all our exhibitors who joined us at the Expo. Want to be involved at the next Expo? Register your interest in exhibiting here.
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