Bacharach Institute’s inaugural Ability Fair at Stockton University last week brought nearly 500 people together to learn about services and products for the physically challenged.
Over 65 exhibitors filled the Event Room at the Campus Center, making it seem like a festive, noisy street fair with wheelchairs.
Two accessible vehicles were stationed at the entrance to center, including an MV-1. This vehicle has space for a wheelchair up front where the passenger seat would be found, a simple but revolutionary change in the way people in wheelchairs can travel.
Inside the Event Room, exhibits ranged from communication devices like Dynavox to Bath Fitter, a company that makes modifications to bathrooms making them safer and more accessible.
Bioness and Malinkrodt both exhibited products for people with spasticity. Bioness makes wearable devices that remind muscles to contract with a gentle pulse. Malinkrodt makes a medication that can be administered intrathecally to relax muscles that are too rigid.
The scope of exhibitors and services was wide ranging there was little or no duplication.
There was fun, however, in the presentations of the three therapy dogs Lucy, Harry and Baxter and awe when a young man who belongs to the spinal cord group put on a ReWalk exoskeleton, and walked around the room to the sudden hush of the very large audience.
Mary Ann Prudhomme from Bayada Nursing said, “This is the best health fair I have ever been to, and I have done hundreds.” Paul Reeses of Lincoln Medical agreed. “This event is every bit as good as the three-day event held in Edison each year.”
Attendee Jayne Bray said, “I attended the expo with no expectations and came away with many new contacts for the things in life that are totally necessary. Thank you to Bacharach for putting this together!”