Abilities Expo brings you thousands of game-changing products, services and technologies all under one roof. Regardless of the type and level of your disability, we strive to provide the resources you need to exceed your own expectations and thrive.
Abilities Expo San Mateo Welcomes NorCal’s Disability Community
Passionate and committed to increasing their independence, people with disabilities in Northern California are poised to take advantage of the game-changing opportunities at Abilities Expo. They’ll come with questions and leave with answers! It could be the products and tech. It could be the chance to scale an all-inclusive climbing wall or play adaptive sports. It could be the workshops or the chance to connect with others in the disability community. It's free so join us and register today.
Attend free, info-packed workshops on issues that matter to you. Get tips on financial planning, making your home more accessible, traveling with a disability and how medical cannabis can help a variety of conditions. There's more, check it out!
Find your new favorite pastime at Abilities Expo! Try such inclusive activities as adaptive sports, dance, assistance animals, an adaptive climbing wall and so much more for the kids of all ages! If something sparks your interest, you can find out how to engage year-round.
Must-See and Can't-Miss Expo Experiences
There is just so much to see and do at Abilities Expo. Here are a few opportunities you don't want to let pass you by.
Kids, this fun play area is just for you! All abilities are welcome to enjoy an assortment of lively activities and interactive toys, an art activity area and tons of free play. Parents will relish seeing their children build social skills. Kids will just have a blast!
The Variety Childcare Pavilion offers a captivating rec-room style area for children to play and engage with trained volunteers so that their parents can experience the Expo kid-free. Attend a workshop, enjoy an event and spend time talk with exhibitors while your little one is safe, secure and having a blast!
Scale "Mini El Capitan," our completely inclusive adaptive climbing wall, sponsored by Liberator Medical Supply! Using his specially designed adaptive equipment, adventure athlete and Paralympian Mark Wellman will help attendees of ALL abilities reach the top. He should know, he's the first paraplegic to summit the real El Capitan!
Jazzy® Zero Turn
The Jazzy® Zero Turn features panted-pending iTurn Technology™ for the ultimate in maneuverability, along with CTS suspension, LED lights, under-seat storage, and feather-touch disassembly for a truly innovative travel scooter.
Come see us at Booth #612 and test ride!
Plan Your Visit to Abilities Expo
Don’t miss our life-enhancing exhibits, dynamic workshops and fun events for kids of all ages!
Disability Services for Expo-goers
In our efforts to ensure a positive show experience, Abilities Expo endeavors to accommodate the disability community with a host of special show services including loaner scooters, sign language interpretation, free wheelchair, captioning services for the workshop and so much more!
For those who would like assistance in getting around the show, free loaner scooters are available during show hours on a first come, first served basis. Is your wheelchair in need of a tune-up? Look to the Free Wheelchair Repair Pavilion for minor maintenance.
American Sign Language interpretation services will be available for those need translation. Workshops will also offer CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services where everything spoken by the presenter will be captioned on a large screen.
Braille and large print versions of the exhibitor list and the events/workshops schedule will be available by request at the registration counters.
Assistance Animals Play Critical Role in Disability Community
Animals have become an intrinsic part of the disability community. Some are essential to the healing process, while others help their human partners become more independent.
Service Dogs Demonstration
Presented by: Abigayil Tamara, MA, MSW, and Nathan, service dog from Canine Partners for Life
Abby Tamara and Nathan, her successor dog from CPL will demonstrate and talk about what it is like to have a service dog. Service dogs have changed Abby's life by allowing her to gain greater independence, advocating for herself and others about assistance animals, promoting issues related to the ADA and accessibility, meeting and having amazing experiences on a daily basis, and creating opportunities to speak in front of large groups about service dogs, and ways to make one's life more meaningful. Please join Abby and Nathan, learn how you or someone you love would be able to benefit from a wonderful partership, or learn more about service dogs in general. Abby and Nathan look forward to meeting you.
Learn the Latest Adaptive Dance Moves
Dancing is great for the body, and even better for spirit! Don't miss your change to get in the groove.
Anyone Can Dance!
Presented by: Margarita Elizondo, Abilities Expo Ambassador, Producer/Host of Wheel Talk Wheel Issues
Join Margarita Elizondo as she shares her love of dance. Her tear-jerking emotional storytelling style performances are sure to move you. She has a special vision to prove that dance is therapeutic and anybody can dance regardless of age, experience, or ability. Margarita, strives to celebrate diversity, promote positive expression, and show that we can create beautiful things through music and movement regardless of ability.
The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!
Presented by: The Rollettes
Kick off the day 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.
Unlock Imagination with Face Painting
Treat your kids to a little magic at Abilities Expo! Let them indulge in the fantasy of transforming into a graceful fairy, a mysterious wildcat, a delicate butterfly, a swaggering pirate or choose from another inspired design.
Don't miss this wonderful opportunity for your little one to build self-esteem, develop a sense of self-importance and showcase their individuality. If your child has sensitive skin, don't worry. Only high-quality, non-toxic, professional, FDA-approved theatrical make-ups will be used to capture your son or daughter's fancy. And when you can convince them to transform back into their real selves, some good old-fashioned soap and water will do the trick.
Get in the Game with Adaptive Sports
The sidelines are no place for you so take your pick from a variety of interactive, adaptive sports. Not only will you get the blood pumping, improve fitness and build confidence, the fun factor is off the charts!
Adaptive Archery Demonstration
Presented by Janice and Courtney Walth, See No Limits Competitive Archery
Archery is a sport that is accessible to just about everyone, regardless of disability, including the visually impaired. You may be surprised to know that Sighting (seeing the target) is really not the most important part of a good shot. The technique used to shoot a good shot is at least 95% form. Body awareness and muscle memory are very important for any archer. Watch World Championship gold medal winning blind archer Janice Walth demonstrate the sport and hear from both Janice and her husband/coach Courtney about how you can get involved in the sport of archery, a fun challenge that is inclusive of persons with virtually all abilities, physically beneficial and can increase your body strength and focus. Archery equipment will be available for attendees to see and touch.
Presented by: USA Boccia
Come learn to play the ancient game of Boccia - a fully accessible sport for everyone that combines wits, skill and strategy! Boccia is extremely versatile and inclusive - it can be played indoors or outdoors on a hard, flat 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.
Adaptive Climbing Wall
Presented by: Mark Wellman, Adventure Athlete, Paralympian
Sponsored by: Liberator Medical Supply, Inc.
Adaptive climbing is a sport that is open to people of all abilities! It's not just for experienced athletes. There is no better person to learn adaptive climbing from than Mark Wellman of No Limits. Mark has SCI and is an adventure athlete, speaker and author. Come climb the wall using Mark's innovative adaptive climbing techniques and adaptive sports gear!
Adaptive Rowing and RowofLife
Presented by Angela Madsen, California Adaptive Rowing Program and RowOfLife
Try an adaptive rowing machine and discover how it can open up the world of adaptive rowing for you. No access to water is needed! Rowing is a sport that is accessible to most people with disabilities. Learn about the many benefits of rowing, such as exercise, fitness, improving self-esteem, setting goals, and a sense of accomplishment. Angela and other disabled rowers will be on hand to show you the ropes. Angela will also share her stories of rowing across three oceans as a paraplegic (Atlantic, Indian, and the Pacific), medaling at the Paralympics (2012 London and 2008 Beijing Games) and more. Angela's book Rowing Against the Wind will be available for purchase.
Presented by: Bay Area Disabled Sailors
Think sailing is not for you because of your disability? Be prepared to be surprised! Adaptive sailing is a remarkably accessible sport. Meet members of the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors as they showcase the sport of adaptive sailing which can accommodate people with mental, physical and developmental disabilities. Two dingy boats (small sail boats) and an array of adaptive equipment will be on display
Presented by: JoAnn Lyons, Piedmont Yoga Community
Learn about yoga and its many benefits during this abbreviated adaptive yoga class. All abilities are welcome. Attendees will learn about using meditation, breathing and yoga asanas (poses) to develop your own yoga practice for your individual needs. Movements will be gentle and modified. You'll also discover resources for continuing a yoga practice where you live.
Presented by: The Skate Connection
The Skate Connection is committed to providing opportunities for people with and without disabilities to skateboard together and cultivate an integrated community deeply rooted in the love for skateboarding. Founded in 2011 by Adam Grijalva, The Skate Connection is a simple, dynamic organization that has sprouted from a small crew of skateboarders to a movement that is reaching communities all across California and connecting the hearts of skateboarders worldwide.
Wheelchair and Adaptive Tennis
Presented by: USTA Northern California
Everyone can play the sport of tennis, with the appropriate equipment. People of any age, environment, condition or ability are invited to enjoy the game, recreationally and competitively. Wheelchair Tennis is one of the world's most popular wheelchair sports, with a growing base of players in the U.S. While the rules for wheelchair tennis may be slightly different, the game remains the same, regardless of whether you're playing against another wheelchair tennis player or an able-bodied player.
AT Showcase: Interact with Tomorrow’s Technology Today
Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved
ones bridge the gap between ability and disability!
Explore how assistive technology (AT) can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! Discover an array of AT for people of all disabilities to experience hands-on. Staff will offer suggestions and share their extensive knowledge to help determine the most appropriate technology match for your abilities and situations. Ability Tools, formerly the AT Network, provides a variety of services for Californians of all ages with disabilities including: AT exchange marketplace, device lending libraries, financial loan program for AT and information and referrals.
Get Directions to the Expo from any Location
Parking and Drop-off:
Enter the grounds through the entrance on Saratoga Drive and pay at the parking booth. You may drop passengers off at Gate 5 or proceed directly to parking in the East Parking Lot.If you would like to drop off any passengers, please do so at the Expo Hall entrance before proceeding to park in the East Parking Lot.
The parking price per vehicle for attendees is $12 per day, excluding stock trucks, RV's and trailer storage. Exhibitor parking is $10 per day.
Transpo to the Expo
- Visit BART for specific journey details.
- Take BART to Millbrae Station.
- Exit the Millbrae BART Station across the parking lot to the Millbrae Caltrain Station.
- At Millbrae station connect in Southbound Caltrain going towards San Jose.
- Exit at the Hillsdale Station to El Camino Real Blvd.
- At Hillsdale you can either take a bus, walk/roll or use a taxi service. Follow "Via SamTrans" or "Walking/Rolling from Hillsdale Station" instructions below.
- Visit Caltrain for specific journey details
- Take Caltrain and exit at Hillsdale Station
At Hillsdale you can either take a bus, walk/roll or use a taxi service. Follow "Via SamTrans" or "Walking/Rolling from Hillsdale Station" instructions below.
- Visit SamTrans for specific journey details
- Take SamTrans and exit the stop located at 25th Ave. and El Camino Real.
- The Event Center is located 2 blocks from El Camino Real Blvd. at the end of 25th Avenue at 2495 S. Delaware Street.
Walking/Rolling from Hillsdale Station:
- Take El Camino Real Blvd. heading North.
- Turn right onto 25th Avenue and the San Mateo County Event Center will be at the end of the street. It is approximately 1/2 mile walk/roll over straight paths with no hills.
Free Shuttle from San Francisco International Airport to San Mateo Marriott SFO
A complimentary, accessible shuttle runs from the San Francisco International Airport to San Mateo Marriott SFO once an hour between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm at approximately 15 to 20 minutes after the hour. There are two ADA wheelchair seats available on each shuttle and it departs from the hotel to the airport at the top of the hour. The shuttle will pick up and drop off on the departure level in the center island under the sign that says "Hotel Shuttle." No reservations are necessary and, if you have questions, please contact the hotel at (650) 653-6000.
Meet the Ambassadors
Local disability activists spearhead Abilities Expo's community outreach initiatives.
Meet the impressive individuals who have chosen to represent Abilities Expo to the Community.
Bob Coomber is a lifelong Bay Area resident, raised in Piedmont and currently calls Livermore home.
Bob acquired juvenile diabetes in his early 20’s and Bob struggled with the illness and its complications, including irreversible osteoporosis. After multiple leg, ankle and knee fractures, Bob finally took his doctor’s advice and began life in a wheelchair.
National Parent Ambassador
Karen Kain—a parent of a medically fragile, vaccine-injured child named Lorrin for fifteen years—teaches parents how to enjoy their children no matter their abilities. She shares how she bridged the gap from special needs to mainstream experiences in all arenas of life: best friends, slumber parties, concerts, camping, beauty pageants, Girl Scouts, school dances, musicals and endless travels.
Karen is committed to helping children who are living a unique life experience by supporting their parents. In 1994, Lorrin was severely vaccine injured and at that time Karen’s world fell apart. Life as she knew it was put “on hold” as she tried everything that she could to “heal” Lorrin and give her the best life possible.
Bonnie Lewkowicz grew up in Detroit and knew at an early age that she wanted to be a dancer, yet she never imagined that her dance career would take the form of dancing in a wheelchair. From age five to fifteen she studied all forms of dance (ballet, tap and jazz) until an all-terrain vehicle accident left her a quadriplegic in 1972 and her dream of a dance career seemingly out of grasp. With the harsh winters of Michigan and the difficulties of getting around in them in a wheelchair, she packed her bags and headed for the Left Coast immediately following graduation from high school. It was at her new home in California that she discovered a way to be the physical person that she was prior to her accident and where she learned to embrace Ghandi's philosophy to, "be the change you want to see in the world."
Driven by the desire and need to be physical, she explored wheelchair sports. (At this point, she had never seen anyone dance in a wheelchair and did not even consider it as an option.) A newly created adapted PE program at Santa Rosa Community College offered wheelchair racing and swimming and, after trying both, Bonnie felt like she had found her place. She went on to compete and medal in track, field and swimming events for 10 years. Following per participation in a quad rugby exhibition game at one of the Wheelchair Games, she and some fellow athletes fell in love with the sport and formed the California Quad Rugby League where she competed for eight years with the team she founded, Quadzilla. In the summer of 2010, she received the honor of an induction into the Northern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.
Ashley Lyn Olson
Ashley Lyn Olson has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all her life, but ventured south to go to school at the University of Southern California where she received a full-ride scholarship and graduated with honors. She is motivated for life and becoming paralyzed at fourteen has not slowed her down one bit. To Ashley, everyone has their barriers to overcome—some are even unseen.
Ashley wants to see and experience the world, so after more than three years at her first job working as the Executive Assistant to Marketing and Production for the Concerts at Wente Vineyards she left to invest her full time into wheelchairtraveling.com—a California not-for-profit. The site is a community for people with limited mobility who are interested in travel, whether it is a far-off destination or local gem. Wheelchairtraveling.com also provides the tools and tips for people to plan an independent adventure or organized tour, including resources on lodging, transportation, activities and the equipment that makes access possible
Eliza Riley wants to encourage young people to speak out, to know that they have a story and it needs to be told.
Youth Leadership and Outreach Coordinator for Silicon Valley Independent Living Center, Eliza, who herself has cerebral palsy, was an early promoter of self-advocacy for people with disabilities “I want to be a role model for working in a new and different way," she explains.
A Santa Clara native, Eliza graduated from Oakland’s Mills College. An activist from a young age, she was a founding member of the Alliance of Professionals with Disabilities. After graduating from college with a degree in theater arts, she dabbled in many different worlds. After doing shows with Alchemy Works/PEP, she eventually needed to transition to the full time employment world.
The Rossiter Family: Ainsley, Briley, Kamden, Rooster and Lori
As the first ever National Ambassador Family, the Rossiters are truly honored to represent Abilities Expo across the nation. Ten-year-old Ainsley is an amazing young girl living with INAD, an extremely rare, terminal, progressive disorder of the nervous system. Years ago, Ainsley participated in a marathon where her father, U.S. Marine Major Kim "Rooster" Rossiter, pushed her in her stroller. Ainsley's elation over the experience was the inspiration for Ainsley's Angels of America, an organization which helps people with disabilities participate in long distance events as a team. They are the "captains" in the wheelchairs pushed by "angels" through the races. Many of you might have met the Rossiter family during the 2014 Houston Abilities Expo, where they offered expo guests the unique opportunity to test drive the Ainsley's Angels athletic ride-along experience created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who normally would not be able to experience endurance events.
Rooster, currently in his 20th year of active duty service, serves as the President of Ainsley's Angels of America, the Vice President or Executive Director for more than a dozen independent Ainsley's Angels public charities, and as the Chairman of the Board for Team Hoyt New England. He and Lori, his wife of 16 years, hail from Lake Charles, Louisiana and are parents to Briley, Kamden and Ainsley. After serving tours in North Carolina, Washington DC, California, Okinawa, Africa, Korea, Norway and Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, the Marine Corps currently has the family stationed in Virginia. Over the last four years, 13-year-old Briley has pushed Ainsley in more than 30 road races as a way to ensure the two sisters share special moments together. When she was 11-years-old, Briley wrote the children's book Born an Angel to share their inspiring true story and to spread the message of inclusion in all walks of life. Published in 2013, the story of sibling love will warm your heart and encourage any reader to change someone's world for the better. For more information about the family and their efforts, visit www.AinsleysAngels.org.
National Disability Law Ambassador
Stephanie Woodward is a passionate Disability Rights activist and proud disabled person. She is the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR) a disability led, not-for-profit Corporation that works for national, state, and local systemic change to advance the rights of people with disabilities. Stephanie is also a member of ADAPT, a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. Stephanie has been arrested multiple times while advocating for Disability Rights.
Prior to joining CDR Stephanie worked as a litigator in Miami, Florida focusing on Disability Rights. Stephanie attended Syracuse University College of Law where she earned her J.D. with a certificate in Disability Law and Policy and her M.S.Ed. in Disability Studies. Stephanie previously worked for Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and assisted his Disability Counsel on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions by researching, drafting legislation, and making recommendations for legislative action in regards to disability rights issues. Most recently, Stephanie, along with fellow members of ADAPT, assisted in drafting the Disability Integration Act (DIA) – a piece of legislation that, if passed, would affirm the rights of people with disabilities to receive long-term services in their homes, rather than nursing facilities and other institutions.
While Stephanie’s work spans across all areas of Disability Rights, she is particularly interested in deinstitutionalization, community living, ending violence against people with disabilities, and improving access in the community. She loves talking about legislation that will impact the Disability Community and helping others to become activists for Disability Rights. When Stephanie is not doing Disability Rights work, she can be found playing with her adorable nieces, taking care of her four cats, and eating copious amounts of cheeseburgers and onion rings.