Boston

September 13 - 15, 2019

The Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, Hall C

Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Register for Free

Activities and demos make the total Abilities experience

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 Boston area.

More events added each week. Check back for details!

  • Try a variety of adaptive sports
  • Transform your face at the face painters
  • Learn how to work with assistance dogs
  • Break out your dancing wheels
  • Find out what horses can do for people with disabilities

There’s a lot going on at Abilities Expo! Be sure to also check out the Free Workshops

* Please note dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Please check the schedule at the show for final times and events. Abilities Expo is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speakers.

All Day, Every Day

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Presented by: Mark Wellman, Adventure Athlete, Paralympian, No Limits Tahoe

Sponsored by: Liberator Medical Supply, Inc.

Location: TBD

Adaptive Climbing Wall

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! Climbing has tremendous benefits - building confidence, developing goal-setting skills, increasing strength, and improving flexibility. And it's fun! Mark is a former Paralympian and Park Ranger, and he is the first paraplegic to summit El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. He dedicates his time to improving the quality of life for adults and children with disabilities including disabled war veterans.
Learn more: www.nolimitstahoe.com

Assistive Technology Showcase

Presented by: Easter Seals Massachusetts

Location: Booth #643

Assistive Technology Showcase

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. Easter Seals Massachusetts has provided assistive technology services for over 25 years. One of the first programs of its kind in the country, it began with a few donated computers and one staff member. Today this pioneering program is nationally recognized for the creativity and expertise of its staff as they work to empower people with disabilities to reach their full potential. The program is one of the largest of its kind in the country.
Learn more: www.eastersealsma.org

Emergency Preparedness Resource Booth

Presented by: Boston Public Health Commission and the Office of Public Health Preparedness

Location: Booth #542

Assistive Technology Showcase

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 Boston Public Health Commission and the Office of Public Health Preparedness 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 extended power loss, snow storms, 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: Regional resources - www.readysafehealthy.org; National resources – www.ready.gov (click on Emergency Preparedness) 

Manual Wheelchair Skills for Everyone

Presented by: Empower Spinal Cord Injury

Location: Booth #1047

Practicing Wheelchair Skills at Abilities Expo

What tricks do you use to get yourself off the ground? How are your curb-hopping skills? Able-bodied and would like to learn some manual wheelchair skills? Visit the Manual Wheelchair Skills booth presented by Empower Spinal Cord Injury! We will help you brush up on old skills and learn new skills from others. The booth will be staffed with both manual wheelchair-users and able-bodied staff. Skills will include curb-hopping, fall recovery, wheelie management, wheelchair maintenance, and challenging transfers. Open to both wheelchair-users and able-bodied individuals, there will be several wheelchairs present for able-bodied individuals to try out these skills. Visit us for a personal "Learn New Skills" time where you can spend 15 dedicated minutes getting one-on-one assistance with a skill you'd like to master. Based on availability. Attendees can reserve specific times at the booth.
Learn more: www.empowersci.org

StrokeChannel.TV Support Groups

Presented by Christopher Ewing, StrokeChannel.TV

Location: Booth #1125

StrokeChannel.TV Support Groups

Hosted by Emmy Award winning TV host, motivational speaker & stroke survivor, Christopher Ewing, these daily support groups are designed to provide helpful information, as well as an opportunity to connect with others who may have a physical or mental challenge.

Stroke Support Group 
Strokes can happen at any age, sometimes without warning. This support group session is for stroke survivors to be able to discuss with other stroke survivors some of the challenges, as well as the breakthroughs, they have experienced on their path towards recovery. This session is also open to those who would like to learn more about the signs and risks of stroke. 
Session Times: Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 11:30am 
Go to www.TheStrokeChannel.TV for more information and to pre-register.

Caregivers Support Group 
Caregivers need support, too. This support group session is open to all caregivers, so if you are a caregiver for someone who suffers from stroke, Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimers, Autism, a spinal cord injury, or any physical or mental challenge, then this support group is for you! Come and connect with other caregivers and learn important tips on how to handle some of the challenges that you may face as a caregiver. Note: This session is only open to caregivers. 
Session Times: Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 1:30pm 
Go to www.caregiversupportgroups.com for more information and to pre-register.

Open Support Group 
This support group session is for anyone dealing with a physical or mental challenge who would like to have an open forum and discuss any of the challenges they may be facing, share any of their triumphs, or offer words of encouragement and advice to others! 
Session Times: Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 3pm 
Go to www.TheHealthChannel.TV for more information and to pre-register.

Friday, September 13, 2019

12:00pm – 12:30pm

All About Service Dogs

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

Location: Events Arena

All About Service Dogs

Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. Find out the many ways service dogs can help achieve independence in people's lives – from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability, even counting money! Service dogs are available for many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism and seizure/allergy alert. Learn about funding support, the process to acquire a dog, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.
Learn More: www.caninesforkids.org

12:45pm-1:30pm

Pickleball For All

Presented by: USAPA Pickleball

Location: Events Arena

Pickleball For All

Come check out this fast-growing sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton & ping-pong: a fun, easy to learn & access sport for all skill levels, yet can become a fast paced competitive game with experience! Also called Ping Pong on Steroids, it's easier to learn than tennis and more fun to play. PB is played on a smaller court than tennis with a similar net and can be played doubles or singles like tennis. It uses a whiffle type ball and a paddle like ping pong only bigger.  The serve is underhanded. It is played outside and inside at gyms, senior centers ,YMCA's, grange and church halls all over the country. Depending on your disability it can be played in a sport chair or standup. If you would like to try it out be prepared to become addicted!
Learn more: www.usapa.org

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Learn to Curl Wheelchair Demonstration

Presented by: North End Curling Club, Cape Cod Curling Club and Grand National Curling Club

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Curling

The North End Curling Club, Cape Cod Curling Club and Grand National Curling Club will be providing a hands-on curling demonstration. This fun winter sport is based on honesty, respect, and camaraderie. Join us for this event where we will utilize a street curling kit to simulate ice and rocks, and try your hand at making some shots! There are many clubs in the New England area that are wheelchair accessible, run adaptive leagues and competitions, and would love to welcome new members.
Learn more: http://northendcurling.club , https://capecodcurling.org , https://www.gncc.org

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Wheelchair DanceFIT

Presented by: Maryan Amaral, Director, Aero, Inc. and Wheelchair DanceFIT

Location: Events Arena

Everyone who wants to dance, can dance! Wheelchair DanceFIT brings together Zumba-style fitness with dance and music. For all abilities! Presented by Aero, Inc., the first integrated dance company in Greater Boston to perform in local and national venues. Join director Maryan Amaral for an exciting, fun workshop!
Learn more.

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Wheelchair Tennis

Presented by: Thomas Dodd, USTA New England

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Tennis

Are you looking to try a new sport? Come try wheelchair tennis with local instructors and wheelchair tennis players. Participants will be engaged in games, drills, and skill challenges.
Learn More: http://southcoastwheelchairtennis.org

Saturday, September 14, 2019

11:15am – 11:45am

Fitness for All with Ability Beats

Presented by: Kimberly Ferrara, Inclusive Fitness Coach, WiggleKids® Inc.

Location: Events Arena

Drumming with all abilities

This drumming activity delivers fun as well as a full brain and body workout! It's ideal for all ages and all abilities! Ability Beats follows a Drums Alive routine and sharpens skills such as auditory processing, coordination, balance, cognition, strength, fine and gross motor control while using music and rhythmical applications. Each activity is done with fun music from around the world as well as today's pop charts to keep students engaged and excited to learn more.
Learn more: www.wigglekids.org

12:00pm - 4:30pm

Face Painting

Presented by: Colores Kids

Location: Next to Events Arena

Butterfly Facepainting

Face, arm, and hand painting are great ways for children to dress up - no costume required! Kids delight in this opportunity to transform their appearance! Painting is complimentary, and paints are approved professional face paints that will wash off with soap and water. Based on availability – face painting is a popular activity and we recommend you arrive early to ensure a spot. Please note the line for face painting closes 30 minutes prior to the close of face painting for each day.

12:00pm – 12:45pm

All About Service Dogs

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

Location: Events Arena

Boy with service dog

Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. Find out the many ways service dogs can help achieve independence in people's lives – from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability, even counting money! Service dogs are available for many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism and seizure/allergy alert. Learn about funding support, the process to acquire a dog, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.
Learn More: www.caninesforkids.org

1:00pm – 1:30pm

Adapted Boccia Demonstration

Presented by: Paralyzed Veterans of America, New England Chapter

Location: Events Arena

Boy with service dog

Boccia is one of the most inclusive sports to be featured at the Paralympic Games. It is a sport of strategy and skill and can be played by anyone! Come on by to learn about the sport and give it a try!

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Wheelchair DanceFIT

Presented by: Maryan Amaral, Director, Aero, Inc. and Wheelchair DanceFIT

Location: Events Arena

Everyone who wants to dance, can dance! Wheelchair DanceFIT brings together Zumba-style fitness with dance and music. For all abilities! Presented by Aero, Inc., the first integrated dance company in Greater Boston to perform in local and national venues. Join director Maryan Amaral for an exciting, fun workshop!
Learn more.

3:00pm – 3:45pm

Demonstration of NEADS World Class Service Dogs

Presented by: Katy Ostroff, NEADS

Location: Events Arena

Demonstration of NEADS World Class Service Dogs

NEADS staff, clients with their Service Dogs, will discuss and demonstrate some of the task work that help facilitate independence in the everyday lives of persons with disabilities.  NEADS World Class Service Dogs can pick up dropped items; retrieve cell phones; turn on lights; and open doors. For persons with hearing loss, Service Dogs can alert their handlers to cell phone ringing; emergency sirens; smoke alarms and when loved ones are calling their names.  The Service Dog program for children is designed for children with autism and other developmental disabilities.  The dogs, under the leadership of the parent or guardian, perform tasks to assist children with sensory integration and increase social interactions.  NEADS staff and clients will be ready to answer your questions including the differences among Service Dogs, emotional support dogs and therapy dogs.    Veterans – be sure to ask about the NEADS programs that are available to you.  

Learn more at www.neads.org 

4:00pm – 4:30pm

Seated Stretching and Fitness

Presented by: Maria Rabaino, The Rollettes

Location: Events Arena

Seated Stretching and Fitness

Adapted fitness guru Maria Rabaino (of The Rollettes fame!) will lead us through a series of seated stretches and fitness techniques.  Join us to learn about ways to improve your fitness routine!
Learn more: @mariamuscle_

Sunday, September 15, 2019

11:45am – 12:15pm

Fitness for All with Ability Beats

Presented by: Kimberly Ferrara, Inclusive Fitness Coach, WiggleKids® Inc.

Location: Events Arena

Fitness for All with Ability Beats

This drumming activity delivers fun as well as a full brain and body workout! It's ideal for all ages and all abilities! Ability Beats follows a Drums Alive routine and sharpens skills such as auditory processing, coordination, balance, cognition, strength, fine and gross motor control while using music and rhythmical applications. Each activity is done with fun music from around the world as well as today's pop charts to keep students engaged and excited to learn more.
Learn more: www.wigglekids.org  

12:00pm - 3:30pm

Face Painting

Presented by: Colores Kids

Location: Next to Events Arena

Child at Abilities Expo with face painted unicorn

Face, arm, and hand painting are great ways for children to dress up - no costume required! Kids delight in this opportunity to transform their appearance! Painting is complimentary, and paints are approved professional face paints that will wash off with soap and water. Based on availability – face painting is a popular activity and we recommend you arrive early to ensure a spot. Please note the line for face painting closes 30 minutes prior to the close of face painting for each day.

12:30pm – 1:30pm

IMPACT: Ability Personal Safety Training

Presented by: IMPACT Self Defense

Location: Events Arena

IMPACT:Ability is a comprehensive abuse prevention program that provides personal safety training for youth and adults with disabilities. In this session we will teach basic self-defense stance and awareness skills, as well practice introductory self-advocacy and self-protection skills through role play.
Learn more: http://impactboston.com

2:00pm – 2:45pm

Learn to Curl Wheelchair Demonstration

Presented by: North End Curling Club, Cape Cod Curling Club and Grand National Curling Club

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Curling

The North End Curling Club, Cape Cod Curling Club and Grand National Curling Club will be providing a hands-on curling demonstration. This fun winter sport is based on honesty, respect, and camaraderie. Join us for this event where we will utilize a street curling kit to simulate ice and rocks, and try your hand at making some shots! There are many clubs in the New England area that are wheelchair accessible, run adaptive leagues and competitions, and would love to welcome new members.
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Learn more: http://northendcurling.club , https://capecodcurling.org , https://www.gncc.org

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Service Dogs: Pawsibly the Best Medicine

Presented by: Amy Sherwood and Dolly

Location: Events Arena

Service Dogs: Pawsibly the Best Medicine

Learn how service dogs can change the life of someone with a disability for the better. Amy Sherwood joins Abilities Expo to share her personal journey with Dolly her service dog. Discover the children's book wrote about Dolly – Pawsibly the Best Medicine. In it Sherwood tells the tale of Dolly's group of sibling puppies, and how Dolly found her way into the Service Dog world. Amy will speak from her perspective as a person with a disability about the process of acquiring a service dog, including pitfalls to avoid, options available to you, and successes you can discover.
Learn more: "Friend" Dolly at www.facebook.com/missdollypawton

Sherwood's book, Pawsibly The Best Medicine, can be purchased on Amazon.

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