Disability Expo provides information, resources to community


Jesten Richardson

Third-year Marshall University medical students speak with an attendee of the 12th annual One4All Disability Expo, Saturday, April 6 at Huntington High School.

Among tables set up with snacks, activities and informational materials were glimpses of kelly green Saturday, April 6, during the 12th annual One4All Disability Expo at Huntington High School.

The One4All Disability Expo, an event that provides information on resources for individuals with disabilities and their family members and friends, included 75 vendors this year, according to the Herald-Dispatch. Members of the Marshall University community were among these vendors.

“I mean, it’s a fun day for everybody,” said Tim Spurrier, a volunteer and Marshall graduate student studying physical therapy. “Everybody gets to come out and get their faces painted and have some fun, but also it gives people resources. Resources to get things like adaptive equipment.”

At the expo, Spurrier was representing the upcoming iCanShine Bike Camp, which Spurrier said teaches kids how to ride bikes that have been modified for individuals who may have disabilities.

 According to the iCanShine Bike Camp’s brochure, along with these “adapted bicycles,” the camp utilizes a “specialized instructional program and trained staff to enable individuals with disabilities to learn to ride a two-wheel bicycle independently.”

For kids that may not be able to do some things other kids can do, Spurrier said he thinks it is important for them to be able to have those opportunities that other kids have.

The iCanShine Bike Camp will be offered June 10 through 14 through a partnership between Marshall’s College of Health Professions and the non-profit charity iCanShine, according to the brochure.

Members of the Pediatric Interest Group (PIG), a student organization in Marshall’s School of Medicine, were also present at the expo, representing Marshall Health and Marshall Pediatrics.

“We’re here offering our information about where our clinics are located, our NOW care resource that we have, which is like a walk in clinic for pediatric cases of emergencies, things like that, just to kind of get our name out there so people know where they can get health care for their children or even for themselves,” said Eric Mendenhall, a third-year medical student at Marshall and vice president of PIG.

Some children who have disabilities may need “multidisciplinary care” that goes beyond just pediatrics, Mendenhall said. Pediatrics is the “face of receiving their care” and their primary care establishment, he said, but they can also see specialists, such as neurologists, allergists and cardiologists.

“So, we have information, hopefully to get that started out with the pediatrician, if they don’t have one yet, and then, once they establish care with the pediatrician as their primary care resource, we then can plug them in and refer them to our other other specialists,” Mendenhall said. “So, that’s kind of why we’re here. We want them to be able to use us as that resource and just be able to receive the general care that any growing kid needs.”

Mendenhall said he and his fellow third-year medical students who were volunteering at the expo were also there to get exposure to this type of event and to hopefully have PIG be able to be able to volunteer with other organizations at the expo that may be longing for volunteers or shorthanded with volunteers, which is something he said he thinks the group could fulfill.

“I think volunteering, in general, is just kind of a good cause to be able to give back to your community,” Mendenhall said. “So I think us being here, being able to serve a particular population, not just a pediatric population, but a disabled pediatric population, I feel like is a great thing for us to be able to serve, but also it kind of it helps open our eyes to some of the struggles that not only just our future pediatric patients face but their families face as well. And it also kind of gets us in tune to the resources that are available to them and something that we can keep in the back of our minds as future pediatricians as something we can recommend to our future patients or their parents or guardians.”

Jesten Richardson can be contacted at [email protected].