Events and Activities make the total Abilities experience
Here's what we did in 2016. Stay tuned for 2017!
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.
Assistive Technology Showcase: Interact with Tomorrow's Technology Today
Sponsored by Texas Technology Access Program
Location: Booth #231
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 www.techaccess.edb.utexas.edu
Sponsored by VSA Texas
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.
Emergency Preparedness Resource Booth
Presented by: Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities and Galveston County Office of Emergency Management
Meet representatives of disability and emergency management organizations who are active in emergency planning and are working to ensure the Boston region will be more resilient when disaster strikes. Representatives from the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities and Galveston County Office of Emergency Management will be on hand share vital personal preparedness tips to help individuals with disabilities and their caregivers create realistic plans to meet your needs, maintain your independence, and recover from emergency and disaster situations like hurricanes, extended power loss, flooding, fire, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and more. Visit the Emergency Preparedness Resource Booth and exchange your questions and concerns for free information and resources so you too can prepare and personalize your own emergency plan. Learn more at www.gov.texas.gov/disabilities and www.gcoem.org. For national resources visit www.disability.gov (click on Emergency Preparedness).
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 for your chance to win prizes. You'll also have the unique opportunity to sit down with Disability Funding Specialist Tamara Simmons (or one of her expert coaches) to get one-on-one advice on how to put a fundraising plan into action.
Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department
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.
Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience
Presented by: Ainsley's Angels of America
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.
Service Dog Demonstration
Presented by: Jane Boone, Freedom Service Dogs
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.freedomservicedogs.org.
Walk and Roll Dance Team Presents!
Presented by: Walk and Roll Dance Team and Foundation
Kick off the day with a high-energy, live performance by the Walk and Roll Foundation's 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 about them at www.walkandrollfoundation.org.
Wheelchair and Ambulatory Tennis
Presented by: USTA Texas Section, Houston Tennis Association, and Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department
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.
Indoor Wheelchair Soccer
Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation - Adaptive Recreation Department
Indoor Wheelchair Soccer is a fast-paced, fun game that is very popular in the Houston region. The sport is a hybrid of basketball, soccer, and European team handball. It’s considered the most inclusive sport for all disability groups! Both power chair and manual chair uses are allowed to play. Come for the demonstration and then try it for yourself. Learn more at houstontx.gov/parks/adaptivesports.html.
Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation, Adaptive Recreation Department
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.
Presented by Houston 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
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.
Sled Hockey Demonstration
Presented by: STARskaters and Texas Sled Hockey
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.
Mock Cosplay Competition
Presented by: CosAbility
CosAbility will host the Abilities Expo's first Cosplay Competition. 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! Sign up to participate at the CosAbility Booth #247. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/CosAbility.
Power Soccer Demonstration
Presented by: U.S. Power Soccer Association
Watch and learn as members of the U.S. Power Soccer Association demonstrate and train attendees on the techniques of power wheelchair soccer. Discover this very active and growing sport that is open to power wheelchair users of all ages. See how players combine their skills as wheelchair users with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in this extremely challenging game similar to soccer. Then try the sport out for yourself and learn where you can get involved in the local area. Learn more about power soccer at www.powersoccerusa.net and www.houstontx.gov/parks/adaptivesports.html.