Chicago

JUNE 21-23, 2024

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

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

Register for Free

Activities, Demonstrations, and Special Events!

Here is the 2023 Abilities Expo line-up.

Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2024.

Abilities Expo showcases a wide range of events so you can try sports and dance, discover ways to be fit, and connect to programs in the local area.

All events take place in the Auti Angel Events Arena unless otherwise noted.

There's a lot to explore at Abilities Expo Chicago! Check out the Exhibitors and Workshops!

* The dates, times, topics, and speakers for these events are subject to change without notice. The opinions presented at the events are those of the speakers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Abilities Expo. Event content should not be considered as a replacement or substitute for the services of trained professionals in any field, including, but not limited to, financial, medical, or legal matters. We encourage you to seek the advice of professionals, as appropriate, regarding the evaluation of any specific information presented in these events.

Artist Market

Presented by: Artfully Gifted Foundation

Location: Booth #819

Artist Market

Meet the region's artists with disabilities! Shop their eclectic mix of original, unforgettable art. Featuring photographs, paintings, graphic design, and more. Available for both appreciation and purchase. Artist Market sponsor Artfully Gifted Foundation was founded in 2013 for the purpose of supporting young entrepreneurs with disabilities. With both a retail site and now an e-commerce website, they strive to provide a platform for these entrepreneurs to present their products to a wide audience. Working with the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education—Roosevelt (ICRE-R) they provide a training site for students interested in retail, as well as a means for their students to test-market their works of art and products made in their vocational training classes.

Learn more at artfullygifted.org.

Assistive Technology Showcase

Presented by: Illinois Assistive Technology Program

Location: Booth #521

Assistive Technology Showcase

Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! See and try a selection of assistive technology, with options for all disabilities. Ask questions and discuss recommendations to find the most appropriate technology for your abilities and needs. The Illinois Assistive Technology Program provides services and support to individuals with disabilities and their families so they can lead fuller lives at work, home, school, and play. Their team of technology specialists will offer free hands-on demonstrations of technology and tools throughout the show. From low-tech tips to advice about sophisticated software, we can help you find solutions!

Learn more! Visit iltech.org.

Calm Room

Presented by: Twenty-One Senses

Location: Next to Booth #827

A calm space showing tents, a rocker, and small toys where people can relax away from high-sensory environments.

A calm room is a dedicated space, open to anyone, for use to help them reset and calm their nervous system from the possible sensory overload from the crowds, music and food smells. By visiting this welcoming space for a few minutes, an individual can reset their sensory system through hands-on calming activities, allowing them to return to the expo instead of going home. Twenty-One Senses will have multiple sensory supports available within the calm space, such as alternative seating, play tents, playdoh, coloring books and fidgets.  This space and activities allow kiddos and adults alike a reprieve to help reset. Twenty-One Senses will also have noise canceling headphones and ear plugs available to purchase or borrow for the event.

Learn more at twentyonesenses.org.

Sports Zone

Presented by: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Adaptive Sports and Fitness Program

Location: Booth #124

Sports Zone

Come on by to try a variety of adaptive sports! At the Sports Zone you'll discover equipment and staff support so you can try several different sports. Featured sports will include boccia, cycling, and basketball. The Sports Zone is organized and presented by the Adaptive Sports and Fitness department from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. The Zone will be open whenever the show is open!

Learn more at sralab.org/services/adaptive-sports-fitness-program.

Zot Artz Experience

Presented by: Dwayne Szot, Zot Artz

Location: Booth #801

Zot Artz Experience

Come paint with Zot Artz! Kids love making art and so do we! Everyone can stamp and print to make their mark. Each participant will take home an original work of art and a joyful moment. Please plan 5-15 minutes for the painting activity.

Learn more at zotartz.com.

All About Service Dogs

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, CDK

Location: Events Arena

All About Service Dogs

Service dogs can help you achieve more independence in your life. Assisting with all types of tasks, from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability to counting money, and more! Service dogs are available for people with many different disabilities, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, Autism, and seizure/allergy alert. Learn how one acquires a service dog, support available to assist with covering the costs, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.

Learn More at CDK's website.

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

Presented by: Justin Graham, Certified Personal Trainer, Creator, W.O.W. Wonders on Wheels

Location: Events Arena

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

Ready to have a lot of fun and work out at the same time? Come experience a WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class! The class features movements for seated students and is taught by a seated instructor. Featuring elements of weight training, Zumba, and pom-pom dance. Standing participants are also welcome!

Learn more at wowwheelchairfitness.com.

Everybody Dance!

Presented by: Trish Strong, Jill Waller, and Jenny Higgins, Dance Instructors, Dance Center Evanston

Location: Events Arena

Everybody Dance!

Experience the joy of movement in a safe and fun environment! Engage in dance exercises and also explore building emotional expression through movement. The instructors will lead you through a warm-up, stretching, improvisation and creative movement, simple ballet-based movements, an obstacle course, and a cool down. Attendees will learn how dance improves social integration, spacial awareness, and proprioception.

Learn more at dancecenterevanston.com/accessible-dance.

Para Pickleball

Presented by: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA)

Location: Events Arena

Para Pickleball

Pickleball is a fun sport that is gaining popularity among people of all ages. Players use a paddle and wiffle ball plus a sport chair if needed. The game combines elements of ping pong, tennis, and badminton. Come try pickleball for yourself and see if this could be your new adaptive sport! Sports chairs not required - feel free to try the sport using your everyday chair.

Learn more at glasa.org.

All About Service Dogs

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, CDK

Location: Events Arena

All About Service Dogs

Service dogs can help you achieve more independence in your life. Assisting with all types of tasks, from picking up a cell phone to providing physical stability to counting money, and more! Service dogs are available for people with many different disabilities, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, Autism, and seizure/allergy alert. Learn how one acquires a service dog, support available to assist with covering the costs, and what to expect from your service dog provider organization.

Learn More at CDK's website.

Miniature Therapy Horses

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

Location: Events Arena

Miniature Therapy Horses

Did you know horses can help people with disabilities?! It's true! Horses help in many ways and miniature horses have been gaining attention for their strength as therapy animals. Come meet some "mini's"! Learn why they are "horses" (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.

Learn more, including videos of the horses, at soulharbourranch.org.

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

Presented by: Justin Graham, Certified Personal Trainer, Creator, W.O.W. Wonders on Wheels

Location: Events Arena

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

Ready to have a lot of fun and work out at the same time? Come experience a WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class! The class features movements for seated students and is taught by a seated instructor. Featuring elements of weight training, Zumba, and pom-pom dance. Standing participants are also welcome!

Learn more at wowwheelchairfitness.com.

Sled Hockey Demonstration

Presented by: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA)

Location: Events Arena

Two sled hockey players battle for the puck while the referee looks on. Other sled hockey players are shown in the background.

Come learn about sled hockey! Sled hockey follows most of the typical ice hockey rules with the exception some of the equipment. Players sit in specially designed sleds that sit on top of two hockey skate blades, and the players use two sticks instead of one. See the equipment, hear from coaches, ask questions, and find out how you can get started playing sled hockey! GLASA offers youth competitive, adult recreational, and adult competitive teams, and provides all hockey gear and equipment needed to play.

Learn more at glasa.org.

Equine Therapy for All

Presented by: Presented by: Carla Johnson, EdD and The Legacy Ranch

Location: Events Arena

A man reaches out to a chestnut brown horse. The man is using an off-road wheelchair and they are in a riding arena.

Horses can provide support to people in many different ways. Therapies and programs exist that assist people with all types of disabilities through occupational and physical therapy, mental health care, therapeutic riding, and competitive opportunities. Come learn about the many options available! Including hippotherapy, equine-assisted therapy, life skills, and more! Plus, you'll discover the unique ways that just being around horses can boost self esteem. Horses will be available for attendees to meet and learn about.

Learn more at thelegacyranch.org.

Wheelchair Rugby

Presented by: Chicago Bears Wheelchair Rugby Team

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair rugby is often 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 is not limited to spinal cord injury, post-polio and cerebral palsy. Enjoy a demo of this dynamic sport and even try it out for yourself!

Learn More! Visit sralab.org/wheelchair-rugby.

Help Hope Live Adaptive Bike Giveaway

Presented by: Sonny Mullen and Kelly L. Green, Help Hope Live

Location: Booth #104

Help Hope Live Adaptive Bike Giveaway

National medical fundraising nonprofit Help Hope Live will present a customized adaptive bike from The Bike Rack to Anna-Stella Charlotte Roberts and her family. Anna-Stella was diagnosed in utero with a rare genetic syndrome known as Costello Syndrome and, as a result, has a number of diagnoses.

Her parents want the best quality of life for her and to provide her with every tool and opportunity. "We want to help her be the happiest and best version of her she can be." This bike and the opportunity to get outside and play will make all the difference!

Funding for this giveaway is made possible through a partnership between the Help Hope Live (Booth #104) and the Esther & Pedro Rosenblatt Foundation.

Miniature Therapy Horses

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

Location: Events Arena

Miniature Therapy Horses

Did you know horses can help people with disabilities?! It's true! Horses help in many ways and miniature horses have been gaining attention for their strength as therapy animals. Come meet some "mini's"! Learn why they are "horses" (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.

Learn more, including videos of the horses, at soulharbourranch.org.

Adaptive Dance

Presented by: Momentum Dance Studio

Location: Events Arena

Adaptive Dance

Join us for an adaptive dance performance by dancers from Momentum Dance Studio! Then it's your turn to try a mini dance class, focusing on stretching, building inner core strength, and enjoying the movement and music of dance! The studio has been teaching adaptive dance for 14 years and they offer adaptive classes and performance opportunities designed specifically by children and young adults with disabilities.

Learn more at momentumdancestudio.com.

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