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Broward County Convention Center to host CIL Broward ADA Expo

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Ft. Lauderdale, FL--The Center for Independent Living of Broward County will be showcasing the talent of people with disabilities on July 12th-13th at the at the 2014 CIL Broward ADA Expo in the Broward County Convention Center in Ft. Lauderdale. This expo is an opportunity for you to discover what we can do and be enlightened by a full featured showcase of educational workshops, adaptive sports demonstrations, artwork, employment opportunities, cutting edge technology and equipment designed for assisting us with living independent and self-sufficient lives being the best we can be.

Wearable Bionic Suit Demo With Ekso Bionics
Ekso Bionics, Inc. has commercialized an exoskeleton product that is being used in over 60 centers worldwide to enable neurologically impaired persons to stand and walk as part of their therapy. We have worked with over 3000 persons following a spinal cord injury or stroke and logged over 5 million steps.

This revolutionary technology has assisted everyone who passed a physical examination and was medically cleared to walk in their very first session.

Ekso™ is a wearable bionic suit which enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device, which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function.

  • Enables people with as much as complete paralysis, and minimal forearm strength, to stand and walk
  • Helps patients re-learn proper step patterns and weight shifts using a functional based platform

Ekso is a gait training exoskeleton intended for medically supervised use by individuals with various levels of paralysis or hemiparesis due to neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury and more. With medical clearance, it typically facilitates walking for people with a broad range of motor abilities and sizes; which may include up to C7 complete, any level of incomplete SCI, and non-or pre-ambulatory individuals post-stroke.

  • Accommodates an unprecedented spectrum of patients in motor ability
  • Everyone medically cleared who has passed physical examination has walked in their first session
  • Designed for utility and ease-of-use in a clinic setting

We are in the midst of one of the greatest technological revolutions in history. Since 2005, Ekso Bionics™ has been pioneering the field of robotic exoskeletons to augment human strength, endurance and mobility. We are committed to applying the latest technology and engineering to help people rethink current physical limitations and achieve the remarkable.

Originally Berkeley Bionics, Ekso Bionics was founded in Berkeley, California in 2005. Since inception Ekso Bionics has forged partnerships with world-class institutions like UC Berkeley, received research grants from the Department of Defense and licensed technology to the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Today Ekso Bionics continues to pioneer the field of exoskeletons, designing and creating some of the most forward-thinking and innovative solutions for people looking to augment human mobility and capability.

Fashion Show
For the third year in a row, the Center for Independent Living of Broward will offer a fabulous fashion show, giving kids and young adults with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their abilities and individuality on the runway. The purpose of this show is to increase self-confidence while embracing our unique abilities and show that persons with disabilities are able regardless of their different abilities. Last year’s show spotlighted 40 models of different abilities, ranging from cognitive, physical, and developmental disabilities. The theme of this year’s show is “Through the Decades,” with music and and fashion that will take you back in time as you watch the model showcase fashion from the 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, and today.

The show will take place at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina on July 13th from 4:30 – 6:00 PM. The Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina is across the street from the Broward County Convention Center. Doors will open at 4:00 PM. Registration for the Fashion Show is $15 in advance and $20 on July 12th and 13th.

This year’s CIL Broward ADA Expo Fashion Show will feature performing artist, Jalen Depew, as a feature act. By the time he was eleven, he had already performed at Cruzan Amphitheater, Hard Rock Live, (backing up Foreigner), The Big Easy, Kitchen 305, Jada Coles and Upstairs at the Van Dyke on Lincoln Rd. accompanying the Jacob Jeffries Band as well as venues throughout South Florida. He had made it through to the 3rd round of America’s Got Talent and has done shows with School of Rock at The Dubliner, Lucky’s, Original Fat Cats, Exit 66 and more. Jalen plays several instruments including keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, drums, and his favorite: a 4 and 6 string bass. Plus, he’s even a singer! Now at thirteen, he is a 7th grade student at Seminole Middle School, where he is a part of Seminole Middle School’s Band, as well as the Seminole Middle School Jazz Band.

Before the Fashion Show, there will be a Meet & Greet with Ms. Wheelchair Florida, Stephanie Woodward, from 3 PM to 4 PM on Sunday, July 13th at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, across the street from the Broward County Convention Center. This will take place prior to the Fashion Show and will only be accessible by Fashion Show Ticket Holders.

This unique Fashion Show increases self-confidence, motivation, leadership and creativity for youth of all ages!

Featured Personalities
Ms. Wheelchair Florida 2014, Stephanie Woodward, is a feisty Disability Rights advocate who refuses to tolerate discrimination in any form. She began fighting for the rights of people with disabilities at the age of 20 when she started working at the Center for Disability Rights in Rochester, NY. Since then she has worked for Congress, become an active member of the grassroots Disability Rights activist group ADAPT, been arrested twice while protesting disability discrimination, graduated law school at the top of her class, and now works as an attorney.

When Stephanie is not in a courtroom or at a Disability Rights protest, you will likely find her eating a cheeseburger and onion rings at a local burger joint.

Tia Frost is a mother of three, has many talents and is active in several areas in the entertainment industry. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, Associates of Science Degree in Advertising Design from The Fort Lauderdale Art Institutes, Licensed Facial Specialist, and Licensed Body Wrapper. She is the CEO/Owner of Tia Frost Enterprises, LLC and the CEO/Founder of Independence on the Runway, "No Limits!" non-profit organization; Where Adversity Meets Fashion; showcasing persons with disabilities on the runway without limits! She is Ms. Florida Plus America Elite 2011; a Plus Size Model; host, and proud owner of Frost’d Images, which offers makeup for weddings, brides, models, quince, professional portfolio’s, and styling/consultations for photo-shoots.

Tia has graced the cover of Shades Wedding Magazine, Gospel Now Magazine, walked the red carpet with Shirley Murdock, and has been featured on several websites, such as One Chance Entertainment and Glamorous Curves Model of the month. In September 2012, she partnered with Wornbyacelebrity as the Executive Producer to compose "Survivors on the Runway", cancer survivors celebrating life runway style, Fundraising Fashion Show. Currently, she is the official host for Inspiration Runway at Nova University’s Disability Expo, crowned FMPA Lifetime Essence Ambassador and is currently Ms Florida Woman U.S. United 2014.

Yessenia Leyva is Independent Living Specialist/Youth Services Coordinator at the Center for Independent Living of Broward and Co-Chair of DisAbilities Expo’s Inspiration Runway. Her mission is to advocate for persons with disabilities in the community by sharing her experience with the obstacles she has overcome in hopes of raising awareness. She does so by building professional relationships, volunteering, motivational speaking, as well as integrating in radio, music and film production in hopes of increasing the level of acceptance and integration of the persons with disabilities, their talents and abilities. Her hope is that our kids will learn the skills necessary to break down society’s stereotypes of what people with disabilities can achieve. “We may do this differently and it may take us more time, but we are able,” says Yessenia.

Yessenia, was born with Spina Bifida, which is the failure of the spine to close properly before birth. She endured a great deal of suffering for years because of the challenges cause by her condition. As she grew into a young adult, she was determined to make her life a success, despite years of painful surgeries and rehabilitation. Yessie simply forged ahead and became an exceptional student.

She was active in sports, physical fitness, ballet, music lessons, and just about all the same activities that her classmates participated in. Yessie never let her disability get in her way and graduated with honors.

Today, she is an Independent Living Specialist and Youth Services Coordinator for Independent Living of Broward where she advocates for people with different exceptionalities to help them become independent to the best of their abilities. Since 2011, Yessenia has been and continues to be heavy in speaking in the community to parents of children with special needs. Little did she know this would lead to taking part in organizing an event titled Independence on the Runway, “No Limits!” A fashion show showcasing our abilities on the runway- without limits.’ She has had the opportunities of a lifetime promoting on popular radio stations including her first ever 30-minute Spanish segment with Radio Disney! Many more opportunities have surfaced thereafter which she takes with great joy and the feeling of accomplishment.

Yessenia Leyva was recently interviewed by talkshow host, Myra Goldick, for "Dancing on Our Disabilities Radio" regarding the Center for Independent Living of Broward County. To listen to the interview, click here.

Myra Goldick is a speaker, author, talkshow host, professional artist and coach. The lady is also a disability advocate, fueled by passion, creativity, and perseverance. Her mission is to enhance people's lives by spreading creative energy to others. She believes this generates a domino effect and ultimately enriches everyone's well-being, including her own. While inspiring and motivating others to " Dance On Their Disabilities" and to "Never Say Impossible to their dreams" she creates strong positive energy.

Myra not only writes about this theory in books she has authored, but also delivers a powerful message in her keynote presentations. Myra paints pictures with her words as impressively as does with her paintings on canvas. She uplifts the audiences she addresses to search within themselves and unleash their own creativity.

Bottom line, Myra is a survivor who says, "Everyone deserves happiness and success, and it's there for the taking, if are you willing to do what is necessary to achieve what you really want, despite life's adversities". Happiness is there for the taking. There is enough for everyone."

Come join the fun
The Center for Independent Living of Broward County’s goal is to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by offering them opportunities to become better equippedto enjoy life independently and integrate successfully into society. All too often, peoplewith disabilities are forced to live in poverty because society does not view them astalented, productive citizens who can add to the economic value of this countries wealthand financial growth. Often they are viewed as a burden instead of an asset. Wait untilyou here what is going to happen during the two day Expo.

The Center for Independent living Expo doors open to the public at 10 a.m., July12th and13th, 2014 at the Broward County Convention Center, 1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316, Hall A. Questions? Call 954 -722-6400.

Come and meet truly remarkable people. You will be glad you did.


Lamar Morgan is a small business columnist and collaborative evergreen marketer. Through his firm, he creates marketing tools that do not get thrown away. To learn more about Lamar's background, visit his LinkedIn profile. To learn more about his company,Synergistic Business Marketing, visit his LinkedIn company profile. To learn more about SBM's "Better Together Approach, " visit Synergistic Business Marketing - Marketing Florida & The USA with Lamar J. Morgan.