Hundreds of people flocked to the Palace Hall in Brooklyn last Tuesday night to attend the biannual BINA Disability and Rehabilitation Expo. Several dozen vendors participated in the event, representing a broad and comprehensive range of companies, agencies and facilities from the world of disability and rehabilitation.

Individuals with disabilities, family members and professionals were eager to take advantage of every possible opportunity to learn from and converse with physicians, therapists and administrators who participated on behalf of top acute, sub-acute, LTAC and outpatient facilities. Information was available regarding advanced and specialized therapy options, devices, communication and technology, as well as home and vehicle accessibility.

Specialists in concussion recovery, neuro-optometry, neuropsychology and driver rehabilitation, in addition to experts in home care, Medicaid and legal services, were on hand to answer questions and share the latest advances and updates in their respective fields.

As at past Expos, the Stroke and Brain Injury Research and Clinical Trials section proved to be immensely popular, with people standing on line to speak to researchers and professionals from Rusk, Burke, Columbia, Cornell and Mount Sinai who are at the forefront of the latest cutting edge treatments, therapies and advances.

Mr. and Mrs. B., whose 14 year old daughter is undergoing rehabilitation for a TBI (traumatic brain injury) suffered in a car accident last year, took a moment at the Expo to share their personal perspective. “Since our daughter’s accident, it’s been quite a challenge to figure out the best ways to help her. We came here hoping to pick up some helpful material,” explained Mr. B.

“To our great surprise,” continued Mrs. B., “we’ve been deluged with information about every possible aspect of rehabilitation since we got here. We’re trying to cover as much ground as we can so we don’t miss out on any potential resource.”

Another parent whose child, now a young adult, suffered a stroke several years ago, commented that as her son gets older, they are trying to “fine tune” his rehab program with devices and other specialty areas. “This was a golden opportunity to speak directly to the companies and therapies that we’re researching. We’re so grateful to you for putting this event together.”

Michael arrived at the Expo eager to learn about anything that could add to his quality of life. “As a person with a disability, it is very empowering to engage with these professionals…it is very important to me to be independent and this expo allowed me to ask my own questions and find out what’s out there for me.”

These sentiments were echoed by multiple individuals from the community who heaped praise on BINA for hosting such an invaluable event. The positive feedback was shared and expanded on by the exhibitors who were highly impressed both with the professional quality of the Expo and the huge turnout.

The vendors also commented on the keen interest and sophisticated questions of the many individuals who stopped at their exhibits to learn about their products and services. In the words of a senior executive at a leading rehab facility, “Congratulations on a job well done! I was amazed at the exceptional level of knowledge of the people who stopped to talk and the scope and depth of the conversations. Even more impressive is their immense drive to leave no stone unturned for their loved one. I can’t tell you how privileged I felt to be part of such a spectacular event.”