Chicago

JUNE 23-25, 2023

Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center

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 Chicago area.

  • Try a variety of different adaptive sports
  • Learn adaptive climbing
  • Discover how assistance dogs can support you
  • Break out your dancing wheels
  • Meet a miniature horse!

There's a lot going on at Abilities Expo! Be sure to also check out the Free Workshops.
Here's a few of the events we have planned. More will be added so check back for details!
All events take place in the Auti Angel Events Arena unless otherwise noted.
* PLEASE NOTE dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Abilities Expo is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speakers.

 

All Day, Every Day

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Presented by: Coloplast and Mark Wellman, No Limits Tahoe

Location: Booth #515

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Discover adaptive climbing! This sport is open to people of ALL abilities! There is no better person to learn adaptive climbing from than Mark Wellman of No Limits. Mark has a spinal cord injury (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. Plus, 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! Visit No Limits Tahoe online.

Artist Market

Presented by: Artfully Gifted

Location: Booth #909 and #917

Artist Market

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 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! Visit Artfully Gifted's website.

Assistive Technology Showcase

Presented by: Illinois Assistive Technology Program

Location: Booth #421

Assistive Technology Showcase

Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! The AT Showcase features an array of assistive technology for people of all disabilities to try. Staff are available to offer suggestions and share their extensive knowledge to help determine the most appropriate technology match for your abilities and needs. 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.

Free COVID-19 Vaccination

Presented by: CIMPAR SC

Location: Booth #107

COVID-19 Vaccination

CIMPAR SC will provide free COVID-19 vaccines at Abilities Expo. First, second and booster doses of both Pfizer and Moderna will be available, while single and booster of Johnson & Johnson doses will be on hand. Vaccine cards are encouraged but not required.

Please take a moment to register for the vaccination you would like to receive using the links for Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Presented by: Ainsley's Angels of America

Location: Booth #124

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Test drive the Ainsley's Angels athletic ride-along experience! This experience is 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 spirit. Visit the Ainsley's Angels of America booth so you can 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! Visit the Ainsley's Angels of America website.

TheStrokeChannel.TV Support Group Sessions

Presented by: The StrokeChannel.TV

Location: Booth #907

Adaptive Climbing Wall

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. To register for these sessions, visit  http://www.thestrokechannel.tv/.

Stroke Support Group
Friday, Saturday and Sunday: 11:30 am
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.

Caregivers Support Group
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 1:30pm
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, Alzheimer's, Autism, a spinal cord injury, or any physical or mental challenge, then this support
group is for you!

Open Support Group
Friday, Saturday & Sunday: 3:00pm
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!

Zot Artz Experience

Presented by: Zot Artz

Location: Booth #820

In booth with hanging art pieces and a rainbow-colored carpet, a little boy creates his own masterpiece using a giant red and white adaptive stamp. Two others are supporting his efforts.

Come paint with Zot Artz in booth 820! 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! Visit ZotArtz.com and watch a video of the table-top printer in action.

Friday, June 24, 2022

12:00pm – 12:45pm

All About Service Dogs

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, CDK

Location: Events Arena

All About Service Dogs

Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with different disabilities. Learn how 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 people with different disabilities, 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

Adaptive Cycling Demonstration

Presented by: Adaptive Sports Program, Shirley Ryan AbilityLab

Location: Events Arena

Adaptive Cycling Demonstration

Learn about the benefits of and how you can get started with adaptive cycling. See and try several adaptive bikes and find out how the equipment supports various disabilities. This sport is a great way to engage in cardiovascular and strength training fitness. It works for both recreational and competitive riders of all ability levels. Find out how you can get involved with adaptive cycling in the Chicago region via the Adaptive Cycling Program at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab.

Learn more! Visit sralab.org/adaptive-sports/cycling-program.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Intro to Chair Yoga for Adults and Kids 13 and Older

Presented by: Jackie Gadd, Accessible Yoga Ambassador and Owner, BYOMyoga

Location: Events Arena

Intro to Chair Yoga for Adults and Kids 13 and Older

Join accessible yoga instructor Jackie Gadd for an adaptive yoga class of gentle stretching and strengthening, with explanations of body-appropriate adjustments and/or use of applicable props. We'll begin with centering, flow through easy-to-follow (and remember) sequences, and close with meditation/relaxation to refresh both the body and mind. Jackie will share tips for finding adaptive yoga in your community and how yoga can benefit everyone.

Learn more! Visit BYOMyoga's website.

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Wheelchair Basketball

Presented by: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA)

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair basketball players

Wheelchair basketball is played by individuals with varying physical disabilities that precludes them from playing competitive stand-up basketball. One of the misconceptions of wheelchair basketball is that you must use a chair for everyday mobility to play the sport.; In fact, many wheelchair basketball athletes are ambulatory. Come try the sport! Experience a sports chair, learn skills, and find out how you can start playing!

Learn more! Visit https://www.glasa.org/sports-programs/programs/.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

11:45am – 12:45pm

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.

1:00pm – 1:30pm

Miniature Therapy Horses

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

Location: Events Arena

Miniature Therapy Horse Demonstration

Curious to learn 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"! Discover 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.

Learn more! Visit the SOUL Harbour Ranch website and see many videos of their horses at work.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Adaptive Dance

Presented by: Momentum Dance Studio

Location: Events Arena

Adaptive Dance With Momentum Dance Studio

Join Momentum Dance Studio for a performance of some of their most recent Adaptive Dance works. Momentum Dance Studio has 3 Rhythm Works Integrative Dance-certified teachers, and the studio has been teaching adaptive dance for 13 years. Their upcoming summer program includes dance styles such as hip hop, tap and rhythm, lyrical and jazz. Momentum has worked with students of all ages and abilities and takes the time to understand each dancer's individual needs.

Learn more! Find info about classes at their website.

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Everyone Can Make Art Demonstration!

Presented by: Zot Artz

Location: Events Arena

Zot Art

Discover how anyone can make their mark in art! Learn about tools and art experiences that make art accessible to all. See how the Zot Artz tabletop printer can be used to paint t-shirts and so much more. Gain tips for how art experiences can become accessible to everyone and every ability.

Learn more! Visit watch a video of the table-top printer in action.

4:00pm - 4:45pm

Adaptive Cheer and ParaCheer

Presented by: ParaCheer Spirit Wolves: the 2022 US National Adaptive Abilities Team, representing USA Cheer and the International Cheer Union

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Rugby

Discover the new sport of Adaptive Cheer/ParaCheer! Adaptive Cheer/ParaCheer brings two kinds of athletes together: those with disabilities—or "with limitations," according to USA Cheer—and those without. Cheerleading, by nature, pushes boundaries and questions limitations, and these athletes are doing just that, modifying stunts, and adjusting routines to create something new. ParaCheer Spirit Wolves will showcase their skills with a demonstration. Then you are invited to try it for yourselves
with the US Nationals Team! Bring your cheer!

Learn more! Visit usacheer.org and paracheerspirit.org.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

12:00pm – 12:30pm

Wheelchair Football

Presented by: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA)

Location: Events Arena

Wheelchair Football

Wheelchair football is usually played on a standard basketball court and follows similar rules to the able-bodied game of American football - with modifications. Players build quick, powerful movements, as well as cardiovascular and muscular strength. Join members of the GLASA Bears to try this sport! GLASA Bears is a team in the USA Wheelchair Football League (USAWFL) - the first-of-its-kind football league for adults with disabilities to reach their highest potential through a competitive, fast-paced team sport. All are welcome to try and sports chairs will be available!

Learn more! Visit https://www.glasa.org/sports-programs/programs/.

1:00pm – 1:30pm

Wheelchair Tennis

Presented by: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA)

Location: Events Arena

Girls playing Wheelchair tennis

Adaptive tennis follows generally the same rules as able-bodied tennis as endorsed by the International Tennis Federation, except the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. Tennis improves hand-eye coordination, strength, and concentration. Come try this exciting sport! All are welcome. Sports chairs will be available!

Learn more! Visit https://www.glasa.org/sports-programs/programs/.

2:00pm – 2:45pm

Miniature Therapy Horses

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

Location: Events Arena

Miniature Therapy Horses

Curious to learn 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"! Discover 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.

Learn more! Visit the SOUL Harbour Ranch website and see many videos of their horses at work.

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