Disability expo heads to Geelong

My Choice Geelong Disability Expo provides the opportunity to meet and connect with over a hundred exhibitors. (Supplied)

The My Future, My Choice Geelong Disability Expo is soon to kick off on February 23 and 24 and with more than 100 exhibitors already locked in, attendees have plenty of choice, all under one roof, in an accessible environment.

Over the past 10 years, Impact Institute’s My Future, My Choice Disability Expo series has connected tens of thousands of individuals with disability services and supports that are local to their community.

Established in 2014, the expo program has grown from one event in the Nepean region into a nationally accessible venture, expanding to include 1000-plus exhibitors and attracting celebrity ambassadors from the disability community.

The expo stage program encourages community engagement by showcasing social, recreational and sporting activities in a unique, hands-on environment. The expo series encourages participation and fosters community for long-lasting relationships.

Expos are partnered with different advocates, sports people, and musicians from the disability community to be our Expo Ambassador. This year, triathlete and paralympian hopeful Liam Twomey is on board as Geelong Disability Expo Ambassador.

Liam will share his lived experience with the audience about his amazing journey from cancer survivor and amputee to dealing with substance abuse and mental health struggles, to now being a professional athlete and mental health advocate.

MC extraordinaire is Mel Harrison, Founder of Sitting Low; Reaching High, which captures how Mel lives her life. Starting at the bottom and always conquering a challenge to climb higher, while always using resilience to push through when barriers are in the way by making the impossible possible. Diversity and inclusion are a huge passion for Mel as she strives to break down barriers, remove stereotypes about people with disability and show that there is ability within everyone.

The expo will act as a ‘one-stop-shop’ to bring the disability community together including specialist disability services and product providers, government agencies, advocacy groups, community groups and more in a face-to-face environment.

Entry is free for all attendees. In a bid to make the Disability Expo even more accessible, ImpactInstitute partners with wayfinding and navigation company Bindi Maps. Inside the expo, BindiMaps provides accurate navigation and guidance to all individual exhibitor booths in the space, as well as to bathrooms, information desks, registration, food outlets and other locations.

Work will continue with representatives from the disability community to ensure the expo offers real, meaningful solutions and increases inclusion for all people in the community.

“It’s about positively impacting people with a disability; to not only help them navigate what choice means, but for it to make a difference,” expo director Kathryn Carey said.

“And in our experience, that looks like a (COVID safe) exhibition hall buzzing with the excitement and energy of people discovering disability services and supports that make a long-term, sustainable and positive impact.”

Ready to put your future into action? Want to be inspired with the options for living your best life? Come along and find everyone in the one place:

• Government and advocacy organisations

• Aids and equipment providers

• Financial and legal services

• Education, training, and employment providers

• Social and leisure options

• Transport and vehicles

• Health and medical products and services

• Allied health professionals

• Support services including in home care providers

The team can’t wait to meet you. Geelong Disability Expo is on February 23 and 24 at Geelong Arena, North Geelong. More info: geelongdisabilityexpo.com.au