Australia’s biggest disability expo program – # MyFutureMyChoice

Disability Expo program - exhibitors

Australia’s biggest Disability Expo program is back in full swing – and we can’t wait to see you. Our disability expo events are back in person with our 2022 Disability Expo program kicking off in Newcastle in May.

Over the past seven years, our 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. Operating since 2014, we operate the largest Disability Expo program in Australia, with at least 7 events across the country each year. We are supported by 1000+ exhibitors and sponsors and more than 20,000+ registered attendees each and every year. Our Disability Expos provide high value opportunities for engagement between disability product and service providers, government and community organisations and people with disability, their families and carers.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, in 2021 we received more than 20,000 registrations, welcomed 800 exhibitors and 100+ sponsors, and scored a 90 percent satisfaction rating from exhibitors and attendees for our disability expo series.

This year, we’ll host Disability Expos in the NSW Hunter Region, Gold Coast, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane and Melbourne. We’ve only just started booking exhibitors, but our expectations have already been exceeded, with many of our sponsor areas sold out.

So what’s going on? Why are these events so popular?

A few reasons, starting with the biggest issue – the NDIS.

The NDIS is designed to provide people living with disabilities a flexible, whole-of-life approach to support.

It encourages them to engage more fully in their community, pursue life goals, and maximise their quality of life. It also gives consumers more control: they have greater choice over the services they receive, including how and with whom they wish to engage.

Well, that’s the theory.

The NDIS remains complex

In practice, enabling choice and control is a complex and inefficient process.

One of the biggest challenges for both consumers and service providers alike is how to best communicate options and narrow down to specific choices.

Navigating the range of options available can be somewhat daunting if not logistically challenging.

I recently interviewed Graeme Innes, AOM, former Disability Discrimination Commissioner about this issue and explored whether the NDIS was a success.

His view was that whilst we should celebrate the success of what has been achieved so far, we must also acknowledge the scheme is far from perfect. That’s why he values expos, commenting, “The expos allow us to make choices that will give us the best results our lives now and to build for our future”.

My journey

My own experience has taught me the NDIS can be complex and difficult to navigate at the individual level.

Advocating for my sister-in-law, who has global developmental delay and requires 24/7 supervised care, we had so many unanswered questions when the NDIS was introduced. Despite being connected to the community, like so many others we were searching for answers to the question – how do we positively impact her ongoing care needs?

Community matters

This lived experience helped shaped the way we continue to approach disability expos.

We continue to work with representatives from the disability community to ensure each disability expo offers real, meaningful solutions and increases inclusion for all people in their community.

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

The disability expo program, which you can see here, reflects this theme with our title – My Future, My Choice.

Our goal is to foster meaningful connections between disability providers, clients and communities in a unique expo format that cannot be replicated by any other means.

It’s a very practical expression of our belief at ImpactInstitute that impact-driven leaders and organisations can change the world in positive, measurable and meaningful ways.

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.

Like I said, our team can’t wait. We’d love you to join us – check out our Disability Expo site for more information.

Ready to increase your impact?

At ImpactInstitute, we partner with our exhibitors and the entire disability community to increase impact and change lives. Contact us if you’d like to discuss how we have help your organisation increase your impact.

Written by: Kathryn Carey.

For more information visit: Disability Expos