Tuesday Aug 19 2008
Expo opens eyes, minds to disabilities
By: Eileen Wilson Special to The Press-Tribune
The man who brings Through the Roof Ministry to Bayside Church in Roseville plans to raise the roof Friday and Saturday when the 4th annual AccessToCare Expo gets underway. Dan Adragna, the special needs outreach leader for the church, is thrilled to be involved in the expo and is especially excited about being a participant in a celebrity wheelchair basketball game starring current and former NBA players like Kevin Johnson and Bobby Jackson, as well as a few Bayside pastors. Adragna predicts the NBA players will be thoroughly trounced. Sponsored by Sutter Neuroscience Institute the Bayside expo is the only event of its kind in Northern Califor-nia. AccessToCare will feature more than 60 exhibitors including the Alzheimer’s Associa-tion, Autism Speaks, Cure for Cancer, Saddle Pals and many other organizations each with representatives available to discuss special-needs topics that affect all members of the community – and admission is free. In addition to the exhibition hall, 16 seminars are scheduled, broaching topics like ADHD, autism, the aging brain and dementia, stroke prevention – even special-needs financial planning will be discussed in an hour-long sessions. Exhibitor Steve Weaver, owner of EASE, or Eagle Accessibility Solutions and Equipment, is excited to be a part of the event. “I’ve been a gold-sponsor vendor for a few years,” he said. “I think it’s a great venue – a way to let the community know about services provided by all the vendors, not just myself.” Weaver is a licensed contractor who makes homes and businesses more accessible to disabled individuals by instal-ling elevator lifts, ramps, en-larged doorways and more. He was inspired by his 10-year-old daughter, who is wheelchair-bound. Weaver left a technical job in Silicon Valley to follow his heart. “My daughter really opened my eyes to the need,” he said. “I want my home to look like a home, not a hospital. I instal-led a roll-in shower that’s beautiful. It looks like a typical bathroom, and if anything, it adds to the value of the home. Weaver believes with baby boomers aging, the more that can be done to homes and businesses to remove barriers for the disabled, the better. According to Adragna virtually everyone can benefit from attending the expo, including health-care professionals, teachers and school personnel, senior citizens and their families and people interested in starting their own disability ministry. Last year’s expo drew a crowd of 2,000, but Adragna hopes to see even more folks come out during the two-day event this year. In addition to disability awareness, the free event offers child care with fun and creative activities, various health screenings, wheelchair safety and tune up, shoulder massage, a wheelchair collection site for Wheels for the World, prize drawings and more. Reservations are recommended for child care and seminars. For information visit www.baysidecares.com.