• Abilities Expo Houston Event
    HOUSTON
    August 3 - 5, 2018
    NRG Center, Hall E
    Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Events and Activities make the total Abilities experience

Here's what we did in 2017. Stay tuned for 2018!

Please check back three months
before the Expo for the new schedule.

Add some exciting new activities to your life? Abilities Expo showcases a wide range of events that not only entertain, they also give you the opportunity to try new things, expand your interests and discover ways to be more involved in the local Houston area.

Artist Market

Presented by: VSA Texas

Artist Market

Meet the region's artists with disabilities and shop their eclectic mix of original, unforgettable artistry. From photographs and paintings to graphic design, their amazing works will be available for appreciation and purchase. Artist Market sponsor VSA Texas challenges perceptions of how people contribute by creating an arts-inspired, inclusive community of individuals with diverse abilities. They are an expert resource on inclusive arts – creating and maintaining an accessible and open community where everyone can participate. Their goal is to provide support and training to the public, enhance personal growth, and offer Texans access to the creative work of people with diverse abilities. Learn more at www.vsatx.org.

Assistive Technology Showcase: Interact with Tomorrow's Technology Today

Presented by: Texas Technology Access Program

Assistive Technology

Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! The Showcase will feature an array of assistive technology for people of all disabilities to experience hands-on. In addition, the staff will offer suggestions and share their extensive knowledge to help determine the most appropriate technology match for your abilities and situations. TTAP is dedicated to increasing the access for people with disabilities to AT that offers greater control over their surroundings and an enhanced ability to function independently. They develop programs to improve access, advocacy and awareness of assistive technology to meet the needs of Texans with disabilities. Learn more at http://techaccess.edb.utexas.edu.

Abilities Meet Up Zone

Abilities Meet Up Zone

Come and visit the Abilities Meet Up Zone for a fun place to relax and interact with peers. In the tradition of a town square, the Zone is the perfect place to meet other attendees, share experiences and get answers to your most urgent questions. Enjoy the photo booth and share your pics to Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #AbilitiesExpo.

Face Painting

Presented by: Houston Face Painting

Face Painting

Kids will delight at the opportunity to transform their face into a beautiful buttersy, a swashbuckling pirate, or a sweet kitten! Stop by the face painter's stand for a complimentary face painting. Select designs only. Paints are FDA approved professional face paints and wash off with water. Just for kids age 18 and under. Based on availability; this is a popular activity and we recommend you arrive early to ensure a spot. Learn more at www.houstonfacepainting.net.

Service Dog Demonstration

Presented by Allie Keaton, My Service Dog

Service Dog Demonstration

Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. Several service dogs will be on hand to demonstrate the how they work to achieve independence in various areas of people's lives – from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability, even counting money! Find out how these dogs can help with many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism and seizure/allergy alert. Learn how funding works to acquire a dog and what to expect from your service dog provider organization. Bring your questions! Learn more at www.myservicedog.com.

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Presented by: Ainsley's Angels of America

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Test drive the Ainsley's Angels athletic ride-along experience! Created for anyone who would otherwise not be able to experience endurance events, Ainsley's Angels creates "Angel Teams" by pairing Athlete-riders with runners to compete in endurance events and road races. The Athlete rider is the core of the team and pulls the runner across the finish line with smiles, cheers and immeasurable inspirational spirit. Be sure to visit the Ainsley's Angels of America booth to sign up to experience the thrill TODAY! First person first served. A limited number of race experience times are available on each day of the Expo. Learn more at www.ainsleysangels.org.

Boccia

Presented by: Houston Parks & Recreation Department, Adaptive Sports and Recreation

Boccia

Boccia – pronounced as "botch-ya" or "botch-ee" and also spelled as bocce – is a game by throwing a ball towards a target. It was erst played by the ancient Egyptians with polished rocks. The sport is extremely versatile and inclusive - it can be played indoors or outdoors on a hard, pat surface, in either individual or team play, socially or competitively, up to the Paralympic level. With assistive devices, boccia can be played by anyone, no matter their ability. Come watch a demonstration game and give the sport a try for yourself.

Wheelchair and Ambulatory Tennis

Presented by: USTA Texas Section, Houston Tennis Association, and Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department

Wheelchair and Ambulatory Tennis

Local Houston players will be on hand to demonstrate wheelchair tennis and teach attendees who would like to learn more. Wheelchair Tennis is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world! It follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis, except the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. Mixed play with ambulatory players will also be demonstrated. Adaptive sports like wheelchair tennis offer people with all types of disabilities an outlet to play sports competitively and in recreational programs. Learn more at www.texas.usta.com and www.houstontx.gov/parks/adaptivesports.html.

Meet Jerry Diaz, WCMX (Wheelchair Motocross) Athlete

Wheelchair and Ambulatory Tennis

Meet Jerry Diaz of WCMX fame! Jerry will be demonstrating some of tricks and talk with attendees about WCMX and how he developed his own style. Jerry's mission in life is to show people that he can do anything while riding his wheelchair! When not perfecting his own skills, Diaz conducts seminars and competes in WCMX (Wheelchair Motocross), an organization created by Aaron Fotheringham and Christian Bailey about 10 years ago. He's looking forward to answering your questions about learning what you can achieve with your wheelchair.

Follow Jerry at www.facebook.com/jerrydiaz13, Instagram: @uradrenalinerush, YouTube: Jerry Diaz.

Note: Jerry's flips and tricks are not for everyone, and are risky. Please consult with your physician and use common sense before attempting something that may be dangerous for your specific condition.

Service Dog Demonstration

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, Canines for Disabled Kids

Service Dog Demonstration

Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. A service dog will be on hand to demonstrate how dogs work to achieve independence in various areas of people's lives – from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability, even counting money! Find out how these dogs can help with many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism and seizure/allergy alert. Learn how funding works to acquire a dog and what to expect from your service dog provider organization. Bring your questions! Learn more at www.caninesforkids.org.

Wheelchair Rugby

Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair rugby has often been described as a combination of football, hockey and basketball in a wheelchair. Any individual with impairments in three or more extremities may be eligible to play. This may include, but not limited to: spinal cord injury, post polio and cerebral palsy. Wheelchair rugby is played with four players on a team on a basketball court. The main message of quad rugby is "Smashing Stereotypes One Hit at a Time" and the sport has proven to be a life changer for those who start playing it. Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/parks/adaptivesports.html.

Mock Cosplay Competition

Presented by: CosAbility

Mock Cosplay Competition

CosAbility is back this year to host another Mock Cosplay Competition. This event was an attendee favorite last year! Dress as your favorite character and show off your best cosplay costumes. If you use a mobility device deck it out as part of your costume! It's not necessary, but it will look great! Meet fellow cosplayers from the disability community and express your style. All ages are welcome and all participants will receive a prize! Learn more at www.cosability.com and www.facebook.com/CosAbility.

Sled Hockey Demonstration

Presented by: STARskaters and Texas Sled Hockey

Sled Hockey Demonstration

Sled Hockey was invented in Sweden in the early 1960s by a group of people with disabilities. The sport is known as Ice Sledge Hockey outside of the United States. Members of Team Texas will be on hand to demonstrate the sport and give attendees a chance to play. Come learn about this sport which follows most of the typical ice hockey rules with the exception of modiQcations to the equipment and the use of the sleds. The sport is normally played on ice but sleds with wheels will be used for this demo. Learn more at www.texassledhockey.org and www.starskaters.org.

Wheelchair Basketball

Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department

Wheelchair Basketball

One of 26 Paralympic sports and played by both men and women, this sport is open to players with a variety of disabilities. Many of the same rules from able-bodied basketball apply in the wheelchair game. The plays and strategies are similar. In addition there are special rules in place to adapt to disability. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) governs all aspects of the game in the United States. Try the sport for yourself and follow Team USA at the Paralympics this September! Learn more at www.houstontx.gov/parks/adaptivesports.html.

Wheelchair Lacrosse Demonstration

Presented by: Wheelchair Lacrosse USA

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Since 2009, Wheelchair Lacrosse has been turning heads. Lacrosse is a new and challenging game for players interested in demanding, fast paced action. It has many benefits and is becoming a popular option for wheelchair athletes. Watch local Houston athletes showcase the sport and try it for yourself as well. Learn more at www.wheelchairlacrosse.com

Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class

Presented by: Ayita Wheelchair Dance

Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class

Ayita is a dance class for children who use wheelchairs. Their mission is to inspire, encourage, and build confidence. Abilities Expo is thrilled to welcome these talented young dancers to the show. Join us for a performance and an open dance class. Ayita is located in Fort Worth, TX. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/Ayitadance/.  

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Presented by: Ainsley's Angels of America

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Test drive the Ainsley's Angels athletic ride-along experience! Created for anyone who would otherwise not be able to experience endurance events, Ainsley's Angels creates "Angel Teams" by pairing Athlete-riders with runners to compete in endurance events and road races. The Athlete rider is the core of the team and pulls the runner across the finish line with smiles, cheers and immeasurable inspirational spirit. Be sure to visit the Ainsley's Angels of America booth to sign up to experience the thrill TODAY! First person first served. A limited number of race experience times are available on each day of the Expo. Learn more at www.ainsleysangels.org.

The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!

Presented by: The Rollettes

The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!

Kick your Abilities day into gear with a high-energy, live performance by The Rollettes Los Angeles, an incredible wheelchair dance team. The dance team performs unique and captivating routines across the country as well as sharing their stories of adversity and how through determination and high spirits they've gone on with their lives to fulfill their dreams to dance. Following the performance it's your turn! Everyone will have a chance to get out on the dance floor and learn some moves. Follow the Team and learn more at www.rollettesdance.com.

Pantomime Performing Troupe of the Down Syndrome Association of Houston

Presented by: Julithe Garrett, Artistic Director, Down Syndrome Association of Houston

Pantomime

The Down Syndrome Association of Houston (DSAH) Pantomime Troupe has been entertaining the Houston community since 2010. The Troupe consists entirely of adults with Down syndrome who share a love of music, creative movement, and performing for others. Under the Artistic Direction of Julithe Garrett and his MimaShow, the Troupe has performed at Jones Hall, the Goodwill corporate offices, the Houston Buddy Walk, and various other DSAH events. Mr. Garrett has over 20 years of experience working with special-needs performers and enjoys giving them an opportunity to shine in their own way. He believes that learning to use gestures to communicate actions and emotions is particularly beneficial to individuals with Down syndrome, who often have some degree of speech impairment. Mr. Garrett has seen his students thrive and develop greater self-confidence as they learn and demonstrate Pantomime techniques and discover the depth of their inner creativity. Learn more at http://dsah.org/programs/pantomime-classes/. 

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