ATSA Independent Living Expo – May 2018
The ATSA Independent Living Expo returned to Melbourne Showgrounds on May 16 and 17, and Spire and Qualcare were excited to be one of the exhibitors again! The ATSA Expo is a great opportunity for anyone wanting to learn more about assistive technology, mobility solutions, employment support, accessible holiday options and more. It is a free expo for people with a disability, seniors, their families, friends and carers, and health professionals.
Dressed in our famously bright orange Spire t-shirts, we were more than ready for the busy two days! Our stall was set up with information sheets, goodies from Spire and Qualcare, and a monitor showing our YouTube videos!
Many of our amazing peer-support volunteers supported us by sharing their lived-experience stories and interests with visitors to the stall. It was great to see so many familiar faces from Spire and Qualcare –past volunteers and current members all came by to have a long awaited catch up! We made valuable connections with many occupational therapy students, health professionals, as well as a variety of people who just wanted to know “what’s out there” -which Spire understands all too well with its regular What’s Out There (WOT) days at the Royal Talbot Rehabilitation Centre in Kew!
The ATSA Expo has gotten bigger and bigger over the years, with a variety of exhibitors, food trucks, and even a portable accessible toilet which had a large amount of space to move around in! With over 100 exhibitors displaying their products and services, it can be overwhelming for any first time visitor, so we recommend future visitors to make the most of it by attending both days and taking time to ask questions with relevant stallholders. We also advise that you take flyers from those you think may be beneficial to you and your life; and slowly go through them at home by going on their website or giving them a call.
Overall, it was an engaging and successful two days for Spire and Qualcare! We loved being able to support people in the community living with a spinal cord injury, and make our presence known in the wider disability field. Every year the ATSA Expo changes its location, so we look forward to being a part of it again when it returns to Melbourne in two years!