PHI Spark (No. 10)


Want a Local Speaker for Your Next Meeting?

Whether it’s via Zoom or at an in-person gathering, our communities are full of free resources that can provide valuable information to your group members. Here are a few avenues for finding invaluable group presenters.

Attend Senior Expositions
Once the pandemic is behind us, you will more than likely begin see ads for Senior Expos. These are generally set up for a day or two, so you must take advantage of this opportunity on the dates offered. These expos can be at a church, conference center, senior or community center, or hotel, as these types of facilities can offer large spaces to accommodate a variety of vendors. The vendors offer specialized services for seniors such as  products useful for senior living, senior living options, products or services for people with disabilities and a myriad of other services, programs and products of interest to the specific needs of the senior or disabled population. Often, they give out discount coupons.

You will have the opportunity to make many contacts and they will be eager to connect with your group. Collect as many brochures or contact information as possible that you deem to be of interest to your group. You will probably gather enough information to supply your meetings with great speakers or presentations for some time to come.

Contact Organizations
Here are other suggestions for places to contact that are generally more than willing and prepared to attend your Zoom or in-person meeting, often free of charge: 

Paramedic, Fire Department, Police Department personnel

  • These professionals offer talks on when and why you should call an ambulance, avoid being a victim of crime, emergency evacuations and preparing for an emergency.

Disability or Elder Law Attorney

  • What are your rights?
  • Information on trusts and wills
  • Funding for future disability care along with maintaining Medicaid if, for example, one inherits a small amount of money

Paws with a Cause

  • How might this organization enhance the independence and quality of life for polio survivors in your group through custom-trained Assistance Dogs?


  • What is important for polio survivors to know about medicines they may be taking; or should not be taking?

A company or non-profit such as a Center for Independent Living that specializes in ADA compliance  

  • Learn about potential home renovations and new products and aids that are available.

Hospital Speakers in various medical departments

  • Does not necessarily have to be polio specific. Might ask them to present on taking care of your heart, healthy eating, etc.

Local Area on Aging or Commission on Aging

  • What services they might provide to eligible group members?

Arthritis Foundation  

  • Info on arthritis and the location of any local therapeutically heated pools or swimming programs.


  • What are the latest senior driving recommendations?

Local Libraries

  • May know of local authors willing to come and speak

County Offices

  • Special programs for seniors

State Parks and Recreation

  • Accessible parks, scooter trails, bathrooms, ramps, etc.

And this is just a starter list! We know that you know about and have been tapping into additional resources unique to your area for years. PHI would love to hear about your group’s positive experience with helpful local speakers. What is one excellent example? Send us your story. It may spark ideas to help fellow post-polio support group leaders as they continue to create new meeting agendas. Contact:

Express Appreciation
To show appreciation to your volunteer speaker, your group might choose to buy the individual’s lunch if you met at a restaurant. Or perhaps the group could offer them a $25.00 gas card with a note of thanks.  As we know, any gesture of gratitude is always appreciated and is a thoughtful courtesy.

Good luck and have fun!