Education

Motivational Speaker to Discuss Turning Adversity into Opportunity at Abilities Expo in Livingston

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LIVINGSTON, NJ – The Livingston Public Schools (LPS) Department of Student Services, in conjunction with the Livingston Advisory Committee for Disabilities (the LACD, helmed by Chairman Bob Gebroe) will host its first Abilities Expo at Livingston High School (LHS) this Sunday, April 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Livingston High School (LHS).

Families of children and adults living with disabilities are invited to attend and explore resources that are available in the community by visiting the more than 20 vendors that will be exhibiting.

Jack (and master)-of-all-trades, and self-described “entrepreneur, author, syndicated columnist, and Seton Hall business professor” Bruce Freeman—a Livingston resident and motivational speaker who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) nearly a decade ago—will kick off the event in the LHS auditorium at 12:30 p.m. with the keynote address “Turning Adversity into Opportunity.”  Using personal anecdotes and storytelling that shine the spotlight on the inspirational themes of perseverance, hope, perspective and sense of humor, Freeman will take the audience through his journey and impart his recommended techniques for transforming adversity through a positive mindset and a steadfast refusal to be defined by disability.

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“I don’t use my legs to make a living,” said Freeman, now wheelchair-bound. “I still use my brain and my mouth and my education. I go to places by myself. There’s hope.  Hope is such an important tool.”

Following Freeman’s speech, a series of other helpful presentations and demonstrations focused on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, art therapy, music therapy, mindfulness and yoga will help round out the Expo experience from 1:15 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Vendors on hand will include: Kids Together, YoungLiving, Lighting Wheels, Prentke Romich Co., Ottobock, Rabson Rehab, Easy Walking Inc., Tobii Dynavox, ProxTalker from LoganTech, YogaChild NJ, ShopRite of Livingston Dietician, Essex County Special Olympics, Paper Mill Playhouse, YMCA, Livingston Public Library, DIAL - Center for Independent Living, The Arc of Essex County, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Division of Disability Services, Disability Services & Advocacy, and NJ TIPS.

“We’ve spent the past seven months planning what we believe to be a powerful opportunity for families of children and adults with disabilities to find resources; collaborate with professionals in the field; and explore the many supports available in and around our community,” said Lisa Capone-Steiger, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. “This has been a dream of mine for decades. I am truly grateful to the LACD and the staff in LPS for the commitment of their time, creativity and energy in making this dream a reality.”

Attendees of the Abilities Expo are requested to enter at the LHS cafeteria entrance closest to the teacher’s parking lot.  For more information, contact Erin Crookhorn at 973-535-8000 ext. 8032 or ecrookhorn@livingston.org.

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