Expo will show newest products for the disabled

May 17, 1991|By Los Angeles Daily News

LOS ANGELES -- One company will introduce a joy stick for steering a car. Another will bring out a specially designed Ford Thunderbird. Others are marketing products ranging from special scuba equipment to infrared devices for operating a computer.

They are among the innovations to be displayed today as companies that specialize in equipment for the disabled introduce their latest products at Abilities Expo, which runs through Sunday at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Marketing products for the disabled has become a $1.6 billion a year industry.

But selling them is a challenge, said Andrew Loduha Jr., president of Ricon Corp., a maker of wheelchair lifts in Pacoima, a suburb of Los Angeles.

"You can't sell anything with Madison Avenue glitz or gimmicks," Loduha said. "Our shoppers are as smart as they come."

The expo includes 185 businesses displaying their latest versions of such products as transportation equipment, toys, computers and sports equipment.

"The emphasis is not what you can't do," said show producer Richard Wooten. "It is on what you can do."

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