Chicago

June 21-23, 2019

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

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

Register for Free

Abilities Expo is Back in June!
Summers Really ARE the Best in Chicago

Even better than deep dish pizza, the Chicago Abilities Expo brings you life-changing opportunities. It could be the products and tech. It could be the chance to play quad rugby or dance with the Rollettes. It could be the workshops or connections you make with others in the disability community. It's free so join us and register today.

Latest Tech & Disability Products

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.

Informative Workshops

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!

Interactive Events and Features

Find your new favorite pastime at Abilities Expo! Try such inclusive activities as adaptive sports, dance, assistance animals and so much more for the kids of all ages! If something sparks your interest, you can find out how to engage year-round.

Register Today

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.

Cool Show Features

 

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Using his specially designed adaptive equipment, adventure athlete and Paralympian Mark Wellman will help attendees of ALL abilities scale the wall. Mark is also a Guinness Record Holder for the first paraplegic to summit Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.

Story Time for Kids

The Push is a beautiful tale of a lifelong friendship. Marcus pushes his friend's wheelchair on their countless adventures, while John fuels their escapades with jokes. Inseparable from a young age, the boys learn from each other's unique gifts. Kids will love it; grown-ups will need tissue.

One-on-One Chess Instruction

Accessible to nearly everyone, chess is not just a powerful tool for brain growth, it's super fun! Learn from chess enthusiasts of varying abilities and meet their entertaining mascot, Jibo. This cute little robot will dance, tell jokes, and snap a quick pic of you winning your chess game!

Register Today


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 #809 and test ride!

Learn More


Plan Your Visit to Abilities Expo

Don’t miss our life-enhancing exhibits, dynamic workshops and fun events for kids of all ages!

Calendar

 

View the 2018 Chicago Abilities Expo Show Directory.

All Day, Every Day

All Day Abilities Expo Exhibits Exhibits
All Day Artist Market Booth #1013
All Day Assistive Technology Showcase Booth #813
All Day Adaptive Climbing Wall Booth #917
All Day Free Loaner Scooters Service
All Day Sign Language Interpreter Service
11:00am – 4:00pm Free Wheelchair Repair Service

Friday, June 29, 2018

10:00am – 2:00pm The Application of Power Seating Functions: Beyond the Basics Euphoria Room, Level 2
1:00pm – 1:30pm Boccia Events Area
12:00pm – 12:30pm Anyone Can Dance! Events Arena
2:00pm – 2:30pm The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents! Events Area
3:00pm – 3:30pm Service Dogs 101 Events Area
4:00pm – 4:30pm Paracheer Events Arena

Saturday, June 30, 2018

11:30am – 12:30pm Quad Rugby Demonstration Events arena
12:00pm – 4:30pm Face Painting Near Events Arena
12:45pm – 1:15pm Service Dogs 101 Booth Events Arena
1:30pm – 1:50pm Storytime - The Push A Story of Friendship Events Arena
2:00pm – 2:30pm The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents! Events Area
3:00pm – 3:30pm Miniature Therapy Horse Demonstration Events Arena
3:45pm – 4:45pm Wheelchair Tennis Events Arena

Sunday, July 1, 2018

11:45am – 12:45pm Trends Impacting Accessible Vehicle Innovation Workshop
12:00pm - 12:30pm From the Heart We 2 Can Dance Events Arena
12:00pm – 3:30pm Face Painting Location: Next to Events Arena
12:45pm - 1:15pm Service Dogs 101 Events Arena
1:00pm – 2:00pm Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 101 Workshop
1:30pm – 1:50pm Storytime - The Push A Story of Friendship Events Arena
2:00pm – 2:30pm The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents! Events Area
2:30pm – 3:30pm Living Well with Chronic Pain Workshop
2:45pm - 3:15pm Miniature Therapy Horse Demonstration Events Arena

Register Today. It's Free!

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!

Special Show Services for People with Disabilities

 

Loaner Scooters and Wheelchair Repair

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.

Sign Language and CART Services

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 Accommodations

Braille and large print versions of the exhibitor list and the events/workshops schedule will be available by request at the registration counters.

Don't forget to register.

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 and Therapy Horses

 

We get by with a little help from our furry friends

Service Dogs 101
Therapy Horse Demonstration

Service Dogs 101

Presented by: Jack Giambrone, Barking Angels Service Dogs Foundation

Friday, June 29: 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 30: 12:45 – 1:15 pm
Sunday, July 1: 12:45 – 1:15 pm

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. 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!

Miniature Therapy Horse Demonstration

Presented by Jodie Diegel, RN, MBA, SOUL Harbour Ranch Animal Therapy Program

Saturday, June 30: 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Sunday, July 1: 2:45 – 3:15 pm

Curious about how horses can help people with disabilities? Bring your questions! Miniature horses have been gaining attention for their strengths as therapy animals. This is your chance to meet some "mini's"! Learn why they are called horses (and not ponies) as well as the types of tasks they can perform as service and therapy animals. Time is included to meet the equine staff who will be visiting with their human counterparts.

Register Today

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 with the Rollettes dance team and Vincent Tufano's From The Heart We 2 Can Dance.

Inclusive Dance Performances

 

Anyone Can Dance
From the Heart We 2 Can Dance
The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!

Anyone Can Dance

Presented by: Vincent Tufano, Founder, From the Heart We 2 Can Dance, Adaptive Dancer, Para-triathlete, Abilities Expo Ambassador

Anyone Can Dance

Friday, June 29: 12:00 - 12:30 pm

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.

From the Heart We 2 Can Dance

Presented by: Vincent Tufano, Founder, From the Heart We 2 Can Dance, Adaptive Dancer, Para-triathlete, Abilities Expo Ambassador

Sunday, July 1: 12:00 - 12:30 pm

Join Vincent as he guides you in finding your inner dancer. This one-of-a-kind workshop will teach dancers the most fundamental thing when it comes to dancing—it starts with the heart. You do not need any previous experience to participate. All levels of ability are welcome! You are guaranteed to experience firsthand the process a dancer goes through before the audience sees the finished project. Join us for a workshop filled with surprise, fun and see that you too can dance!

The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!

Presented by: The Rollettes

Friday, June 29: 2:00 – 2:30 pm
Saturday, June 30: 2:00 – 2:30 pm
Sunday, July 1: 2:00 – 2:30 pm

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.

Register Today

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.

Free Face Painting for Kids

 

Saturday, June 30: 12:00 – 4:30 pm
Sunday, July 1: 12:00 – 3:30 pm

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 Sports

 

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Adaptive Climbing

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

All Day, Every Day

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!

Boccia

Adaptive Boccia

Presented by: Elpis Factor

Friday, June 29: 1:00 – 1:30 pm

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.

ParaCheer - First Time Ever at Abilities Expo!

Paracheer

Presented by: Elpis Factor

Friday, June 29: 4:00 – 4:45 pm

Discover the new sport of ParaCheer, only in its second year! ParaCheer brings two kinds of athletes together: those with disabilities — or "with limitations," according to Team USA — and those without.

Quad Rugby

Quad Rugby Demonstration

Presented by the Chicago Bears Wheelchair Rugby Team and Elpis Factor

Saturday, June 30: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Competitive wheelchair rugby is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world. The Chicago Bears will join us to demonstrate this exciting game - a cross between wheelchair basketball, ice hockey, and soccer. 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. Find out more at this demo and learn about opportunities to get involved for yourself.

Wheelchair Tennis

Adaptive Tennis

Presented by: Elpis Factor

Saturday, June 30: 3:45 – 4:45 pm

Local Chicago area 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. Adaptive sports like wheelchair tennis offer people with all types of disabilities an outlet to play sports competitively and in recreational programs.

Register Today

Experience Creativity at the Artists Market

The area's most celebrated artists with disabilities will feature an eclectic mix of original, unforgettable artistry. From paintings to photos to poetry and more, their amazing works will be available for appreciation and purchase.

Adaptive Art

 

Artfully Gifted, Artist Market Sponsor

Artfully Gifted is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that supports and promotes artists with disabilities. The organization provides an avenue for disabled artists to show and sell their work. Artfully Gifted is currently located at the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education at Roosevelt (ICRE-R) in Chicago.

In addition to housing the Artfully Gifted Storefront, ICRE-R offers two programs aimed at improving the independent functioning and facilitating vocational outcomes for people with disabilities. The first program is a residential program for transition-aged youth with physical disabilities; the second program is a day program called the Vocational Initiative Program (VIP) that includes individuals with a wide variety of disabilities, autism, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, as well as physical disabilities. Artfully Gifted works with both programs to provide comprehensive services for artists like the individuals featured at this year`s Expo.

David Farber, Photographer

David Farber, Photographer

David's interest in wildlife and nature photography began at the age of 13 and has been his passion for the last 42 years. Not even his 1981 motorcycle accident which left him a triplegic could distract him from one of the great loves of his life. Able only to move his right arm, David shoots photos with the help of a utility frame to hold his camera and sipping tube to take the picture. His one functioning hand never has to leave the focusing ring. David also does all his own processing, mat cutting and frame building. For more information, visit Naturally Farber Photos at www.naturallyfarberphotos.com

Jerwayne Balentine, Poet

Jerwayne Balentine, Poet

Jerwayne Balentine is a passionate writer and gifted artist. Jerwayne was born in San Diego, California in 1992, and then moved to Chicago as a young boy. At the age of six, he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. He uses a power wheelchair and accesses his computer via an adapted mouse and voice-recognition software.

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Julian Francisco, Kiwi Photography

Julian, Photographer

Julian Francisco Aparicio Gomez is the owner of Kiwi Photography. In the summer of 2005, Julian`s life took a dramatic turn when he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after an accident involving a car. Through Julian`s willpower and support of his family, he not only regained his ability to walk—he completed high school and graduated from Harrington College of design with a degree in digital photography.

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Marlena Danice Gamble, Jewelry and Ceramics Artist

Marlena, Artist

Marlena Danice Gamble is an artist. She has been involved with creating and crafting since she was a child. Because of her learning disability, traditional academic activities that showed her talents were difficult for her. Marlena learned to express herself best by using her hands. When she was 12 years old, she took a ceramic class at the Beverly Arts Center. Her grandmother taught her to crochet and, in 2015, she took a jewelry making class.

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Taron Parker, Lampshade Artist

Taron Parker, a 20-year-old with an intellectual disability, resides in the Southside of Chicago. Currently enrolled in the Vocational Incubator Program, Taron is committed to doing something positive for his community and becoming a successful business owner.

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Register Today

Getting to Abilities Expo

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center
1551 North Thoreau Drive
Schaumburg, IL 60173

Directions, Parking and Transpo

 


View Larger Map

Directions From the North:

Take 294 South or 94 East. Take 90 (Northwest Toll way) West. Exit on 53 North. Take first exit - Algonquin Road – and turn right/West. Turn left on Thoreau Drive or Meacham Road.

Directions From Chicago:

Take I-90 (Northwest Toll way) West from Chicago. Exit on 53 North. Take first exit - Algonquin Road – and turn right/West. Turn left on Thoreau Drive or Meacham Road.

Directions From O’Hare Airport:

Exit airport and take I-90 (Northwest Toll way East. Exit on 53 North. Take first exit - Algonquin Road – and turn right/West. Turn left on Thoreau Drive or Meacham Road.

Directions From the West:

Take I-90 (Northwest Toll way) East. Exit on 53 North. Take first exit - Algonquin Road – and turn right/West. Turn left on Thoreau Drive or Meacham Road

Directions From the South:

Take 294-N - Merge on 290 West. Exit on Algonquin Road- turn right/ West. Turn left on Thoreau Drive or Meacham Road.

For maps and directions, please visit google.

Parking and Drop-off

To access complimentary parking, enter the Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center (RSHCC) and proceed to the convention center entrance located on the East end of the complex by following the posted signage. If you would like to drop of any passengers before you park, please do so at the entrance facing North and just to the East of the ballroom entrance. Then proceed to the outdoor lot all around the building.

Self Parking is free. If you would prefer to valet your vehicle, the costs are $13 for daytime valet and $17 for overnight. 

Map of Schaumburg Convention Center

Chicago Map

Transpo to the Expo

Public Transportation Accessible travel

Metra

Metra provides accessible travel all over Chicagoland and most of its stations are wheelchair accessible. Click here for details. Please visit www.metrarail.com to plan your itinerary. The closest train station to the Schaumburg Convention Center is the Arlington Park station on the Metro Union Pacific Northwest line.

Pace Suburban Bus Service

All Pace fixed routes are accessible for persons who use mobility aids and service is available in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties. Please visit www.pacebus.com to plan your itinerary.

Pace ADA Paratransit Service

Reservations hours for Pace Suburban ADA services will be taken Monday through Friday 6:00am to 7:00pm, Saturday 8:00am to 5:00pm (when Sunday ADA service is available) and Sunday 8:00am to 5:00pm. Please click here for details and fares.

Woodfield Trolley

The Village of Schaumburg provides free accessible service from the Woodfield Mall to the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center. The trolley runs during show hours every 20 minutes on Saturday and every 30 minutes on Friday and Sunday. The Woodfield Mall stop is located on the lower level between Nordstrom and J.C. Penney. This may be a viable option for those travelling to Abilities Expo via public transportation and are having issues with the timing of the Pace Bus. Please visit the Woodfield Trolley website for more information or call (847) 923-3880.

Register Today

Meet the Ambassadors

Local disability activists spearhead Abilities Expo's community outreach initiatives.

Ambassador Program

 

Mike Ervin

Mike Ervin

Mike Ervin is a writer and disability rights activist living in Chicago. His plays have been produced in theaters across America.

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Karen Kain

Karen Kain

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.

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The Rossiter Family: Ainsley, Briley, Kamden, Rooster and Lori

The Rossiter Family, National Ambassadors

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.

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Vincenzo Tufano

Chicago Ambassador

Vincenzo Tufano

For some it would seem like an impossible situation being told that you would never walk again and not to bother, but for Vincenzo it was a challenge worth meeting head on. The former aspirations of becoming an EMT were a thing of the past as, after a fall and a diagnosis of Muscular Dystrophy, he was paralyzed on his whole right side. It would take around five years for Vincenzo to be able to gain enough function in his arm to use a manual wheelchair and begin his journey into a new life he never thought was possible. 

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Stephanie Woodward

National Disability Law Ambassador

Stephanie Woodward

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.

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