Post written by: Intern Kailee Sylvester
This year, Family Café celebrated their 20th year anniversary, with a superhero-themed, family-friendly weekend. Located in Orlando, this annual conference brings together people with disabilities, in miraculous ways. People with disabilities, and their families, have the opportunity to meet and network with the disabled community . In addition to this unique opportunity, the conference is also filled with information and resources from companies and organizations, who are actively involved in the community. My experiences ranged from meeting with park representatives from Gatorland, which I discovered has the only wheelchair accessible zipline in Florida, to specialists from financial companies like Able United, which allow thousands of people with disabilities an unprecedented way to save money. I also got to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time! And these were merely a few of the experiences that I had!
Although this conference was meant for people with disabilities and their families, some celebrities couldn’t help themselves, and had to get in on the action. I got to meet Superman, Wonder Woman, and even Elsa and Anna from Disney’s “Frozen.” I heard that there may have been some actors from the hit television show “Speechless,” as well.
My time at the conference was split into two main sections: workshops and the exhibit hall. At any given time, there were pages worth of workshops that I could’ve attended. Needless to say, I never ran out of things to do, or resources to learn about. With that in mind, I should point out that these workshops weren’t all boring lectures about funding sources, insurance companies, and paperwork. There were tons of workshops about adapting games and activities for people with disabilities, as well as interactive workshops from chair yoga, to poetry, to even karaoke.
In the exhibit hall, I spent a lot of time working my way through aisles . I loved talking to employees from a variety of companies and fields. From coffee shops and homemade honey, to dance studios and assistive kayaks, there was always something new to see, and something cool to learn about or buy!
When I wasn’t in the exhibit hall, or listening in on a workshop, I didn’t have to go far to find something to do. I only had to walk a few feet into the hallway, before I began to hear music from groups like the Pyramid Players or Royal DJs.
It warmed my heart to witness the unity of the community, to hear everyone singing along to these musicians, to watch people dancing in the middle of the hallway! Music truly brings people together, and I loved watching the performers have fun with the crowd. I noticed that people in the audience began to bond, making friends while watching the singers!
Interested in more information?
For more information, regarding Family Café, visit their website at:
Perform with the Pyramid Players! Learn more at: https://pyramidinc.org/
Learn all about the health benefits and possibilities of Chair Yoga, with Lighthouse of Manasota at: https://www.lighthouseofmanasota.org/
Tags: awareness, kaileetheintern, familycafe, complexrehabtechnology