URBANA — Toddler Carolina Cravens can "pedal" her adapted tricycle with her arms, an exercise to help strengthen them after an injury.
The AmTryke she used at her therapy session last week is one of many donated to Carle Therapy Services and its clients by the Greater Champaign County AMBUCS. Some are worth up to $800 — a cost many families can't afford on their own, therapist Darcee Divan said.
"We have children who are unable to ride standard bicycles, so it's a way that they are able to exercise in the community with their families and with their friends," Divan said.
AMBUCS will donate two more AmTrykes to Carle and the Urbana school district later this month at the fifth annual Disability Resource Expo at Lincoln Square.
Larry Windingland, a member of Greater Champaign County AMBUCS, said both Carle and the Urbana school districts have been evaluation sites for several years, where children can get fitted for the adaptive bikes after a recommendation from a therapist. The bikes to be donated this month are for children 12 to 14 years old, he said.
"They're amazing," Divan said of AMBUCS. "When a child needs something, they step up to the plate and provide."
That's one of many services to be featured at the "Reaching Out for Answers" Disability Expo, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 22 at Lincoln Square Village, 300 S. Broadway Ave., U.
The expo provides resources for Champaign County residents with physical, developmental, mental or emotional disabilities, from veterans to children with autism. It's also designed to raise awareness and eliminate stigmas about disabilities, said coordinator Barb Bressner, a consultant with the mental health board, who expects 1,200 to 1,500 visitors this year.
"It's just grown immensely," said Bressner, noting that the first event in 2007 had 53 exhibitors compared with 74 this year. "There's obviously a need out there."
The event will include music, entertainment, accessible children's activities, prizes, a "sensory experience" and a Disability Pride area, where nearly 20 entrepreneurs with disabilities will be selling art, photography, crafts and more.
This year's event also will host the "I Have a Voice" traveling display from Gigi's Playhouse, highlighting individuals with Down syndrome.
Visitors can sign up for a chance to win Ebertfest passes, with a drawing at 1:30 p.m., and a Nook.
Entertainment will include:
— 10 a.m.: Ministry In Motion, a signing choir from the Second Church of Christ, Danville.
— 11 a.m.: AmTryke presentation.
— 11:30 a.m.: Barking Angels Service Dogs, with families discussing how service dogs have changed their lives.
— 12:30 p.m.: Michael Powers One-Man-Band, an interactive show featuring a staple at Urbana's Market at the Square.
Children's activities will include balloon animals, bounce houses, a duck pond, face painting, games and prizes.
Kids can also go on a "Becky and Aidan scavenger hunt," based on the Paralympian "Becky" Barbie doll and Aidan Assist Rescue Hero figure sold by Mattell, both with disabilities. Dolls will be hidden at the various displays, and children who find them will have a chance to win one.
Adults can register to vote, get a hearing screening and enjoy the sensory experience, developed by students in a University of Illinois special education class to helps people understand what it's like to be blind or use a wheelchair, for example.
Lincoln Square Village is accessible and many printed materials will be available in alternate formats. Additional wheelchair accessible parking will be set aside for the day.
This event is supported by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board, the Champaign County Mental Health Board and 16 other businesses or groups.