Abilities Expo COVID-19 Safety Measures

As Illinois has entered Phase 5 of the Coronavirus Response Plan, we have adjusted our safety measures accordingly:

1. Upon entering the venue, please have your registration confirmation, either on your phone or printed out, ready to show. While masks are no longer a requirement for fully vaccinated individuals, we do encourage all non-vaccinated people to continue to mask for their own safety and the safety of others. Proof of vaccination will not be required. Both masks and gloves will be available for people who would like them.

2. If you have not pre-registered, you will be directed to a designated area where onsite registration will be paperless. Customer service staff will be on hand to assist.

3. Once registered, either in advance or onsite, proceed to the Registration Counter or Kiosks to have your registration scanned and pick-up your wristband and attendee bag,

4. Restroom and public area surfaces will be disinfected regularly during the day. Hand-sanitizing stations will be made available throughout the show floor.

We wish you a safe, informative and enjoyable visit to Abilities Expo Chicago!

Past News:

Toronto, Houston and Dallas Expos Postponed to 2021

Dear friends:

This is a hard, but necessary, letter to write you. Our concern for your safety in the wake of the pandemic has always been paramount and, as a result, the remaining 2020 in-person Abilities Expos have been postponed to 2021. However, we are excited to announce that we will hold a new and improved Abilities Virtual Experience on November 13-15, 2020!

Toronto: Earlier in the year, we had hoped that pushing the Expo back to October would suffice. However, that is still just too soon to ensure the safety and well-being of our attendees. Toronto has now been rescheduled to November 12-13, 2021.

We are thrilled that Ontario has transitioned to Phase 3 where gatherings of 50 people are permitted, and we look forward to continuing this reopening trend so that we can all meet again at Abilities Expo in Spring 2021.

Houston: We have watched with alarm and dismay as the surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has threatened the state's most vulnerable population, many of whom would be attendees to Abilities Expo.

We are terribly sorry for this inconvenience, but the massive coronavirus outbreak has made it impossible to provide you with a safe Expo in October. But be prepared for an unparalleled opportunity to increase your independence on August 6-8, 2021, when Abilities Expo returns to Houston!

Dallas: Back in the spring, when Texans were faring far better against COVID-19, we had hoped that an event in December was a safe distance from the danger. Nevertheless, recent upticks have compelled us to postpone the Dallas Abilities Expo to December 3-5, 2021.

We do not make this decision lightly as we know how much the local disability community looks forward to and depends on the annual Abilities Expo to present the latest products and services. We look forward to seeing you in person in 2021.

Abilities Virtual Experience: And now for some good news! The Abilities Virtual Experience is back and better than before on November 13-15, 2020.

If you attended our first one in June, you will love how we've super-charged the interactivity, accessibility and content. We are determined to bring you the resources you need! There will be so much to see and do, all under one virtual roof.

Stay safe, stay healthy and stay tuned.

The Abilities Expo Team


Phoenix Abilities Expo Debut Moves to September 2021

Dear Phoenix Abilities Expo fans:

We have watched with dismay as the cases of COVID-19 have spiked significantly in Arizona. Our hearts go out to our new community in the Phoenix area facing this hardship.

Because of this sharp increase in the coronavirus threat, we are sad to announce that our inaugural Phoenix Abilities Expo will be postponed to September 10-12, 2021. While we are disappointed to have to delay our Phoenix debut to 2021, the safety of our attendees and exhibitors is paramount.

We understand how excited the Arizona disability community was to have an Abilities Expo come to town and, until we can meet in person, we are working hard create opportunities for you to connect with the products and services you need virtually. Stay tuned to www.abilities.com/virtual for announcements of an Abilities Virtual Experience in the Fall.

If you made hotel reservations through Par Avion, you will receive email notification of your cancellation. And until we have the pleasure of meeting the real-life you next year, we hope to "see" you online at upcoming virtual events.

Please stay safe and healthy,
The Abilities Expo Team


New York Metro and Houston Abilities Expos Postponed

Dear friends of the New York Metro and Houston Abilities Expos:

The pandemic continues to evolve, and our Abilities Expo team is making adjustments to bring you the Expo as safely as possible.

Houston: We have been advised by the NRG Center that it may be difficult to hold Abilities Expo on our original July/August dates. However, the venue was able to provide us with alternative dates later this year and we will hold the Houston Abilities Expo on October 30 – November 1, 2020.

In order to provide the safest possible experience, we will follow CDC and state guidelines on social distancing, and offer such additional sanitary measures as forehead temperature checks, masks, gloves and hand sanitizer.

If you have pre-registered for Abilities Expo Houston, your registration will be saved for the new dates. If you have not yet signed up for this free event, please do so here.

New York Metro: The Expo in Edison, NJ has been a cornerstone of the Abilities Expos for decades so it breaks our hearts to tell you that we must postpone the event to April 30 – May 2, 2021.

The governor has not yet authorized large gatherings and the venue has also advised that they will not be ready to accept shows in their site until later this year or until the beginning of 2021. The safety and well-being of our attendees and exhibitors is paramount and we can't wait to bring the Expo to the NY/NJ/PA community again next year.

Because it is a new year, your 2020 registration does not carry over. Please re-register for the 2021 New York Metro Abilities Expo here.

Abilities Virtual Experience: Even though we can't be there in person now, we are determined to provide all that you like about the Expo in the meantime. The Abilities Virtual Experience, also free, will showcase life-changing products and services, info-packed workshops and on-demand virtual events on June 19-21, 2020. And no masks are necessary because you can access the Experience from your device anywhere in the world! All you have to do is get registered.

Rollettes at Virtual Experience

We thank you for your patience, your understanding and your continued support. Stay safe and we will see you again as soon as we possibly can.

The Abilities Expo Team


Chicago Abilities Expo Postponed to 2021

Dear Chicagoland Abilities Expo fans:

In March, life as we knew it changed. In an effort to combat the global pandemic, we have stayed home, isolated as much as possible and PPE became the uniform of the day. Even then, we had no idea we would be writing you today to let you know that the Chicago Abilities Expo would be postponed to 2021.

At first, in frequent conversations with the Schaumburg Renaissance about the safety of our community and everyone who would be involved with the Expo, the hotel strongly recommended that we move our Chicago Abilities Expo from June to July. 

We initiated a plan to create the safest possible environment for everyone associated with the Expo, including attendees, exhibitors, temporary and permanent staff, security and contractors. We hoped to protect expo-goers with heightened sanitary measures like forehead temperature checks, masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and social distancing.

Recently, Governor JB Pritzker announced Restore Illinois, a five-phase plan focused on saving lives, livelihood and safely reopening Illinois. No gatherings in excess of 50 people are permitted until Phase 5 when there is a COVID-19 vaccine, a highly effective treatment widely available or the elimination of any new cases.

As we consider the safety and well-being of our attendees, exhibitors, staff and hotel personnel, we are forced to follow the governor's order and postpone the Chicago Abilities Expo to JUNE 24-26, 2022.

We know how much the Chicagoland disability community looks forward to and depends on the annual Abilities Expo to bring you the latest products, services and information.

In the meantime and in order to provide all that you like about the in-person Expo, we have leveraged the latest technologies for you to stay informed through our Abilities Virtual Experience, coming your way June 19-21, 2020.

If you have reserved a hotel room through Par Avion, our housing contractor, rest assured that they will cancel your reservation for you. They will reach out to you via email and provide you with a link to rebook a room for the new dates.

We appreciate you visiting us each year at Abilities and apologize that we have been forced to forego this year's Expo because of the coronavirus. But we look forward to "seeing" you online at the Virtual Experience in June and joining you at the real-life Chicago Abilities Expo next year.

Please stay safe and healthy,
David and Lew


Chicago Abilities Expo Moves to July

Dear friends:

The last week was especially difficult for our Abilities Expo family in Illinois and surrounding states and our hearts go out to you.

We received a letter from the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center (see below) informing us that they believe that the stay-at-home policy will not end in time to have the Abilities Expo previously scheduled for June, but that they had a cancellation and they were able to offer us alternative dates for July 10-12. Governor Pritzker's recent decision to extend the stay-at-home order to May 31 has only reinforced how important it is for us to change the date of the Chicago Abilities Expo to July 10-12.

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We have ongoing discussions with the Renaissance and are always looking at other options they may have if, in fact, there are more delays from the Governor's office.

No matter when we see you at Abilities Expo, we can assure you that we are committed to delivering the products and services you need, while also providing for your safety. We will equip visitors with safety measures that will include face masks, gloves and disinfection stations throughout the show floor while simultaneously ensuring social distancing in accordance with CDC recommendations.

If you have pre-registered, your registration will be saved for the new July 10-12 dates so that you do not have to go through the process again. If you have not yet signed up for this free event, please do so here.

If you have reserved a hotel room through Par Avion, our housing contractor, rest assured that they will cancel your reservation for you. They will reach out to you via email and provide you with a link to rebook a room for the new dates.

Thank you for your understanding and your continued support. Slowly, but surely, the curve is flattening and we look forward to seeing you in a time that is less "unprecedented."

The Abilities Expo Team

Letter from Renaissance Schaumburg


Join #Unite4CRT Virtual Town Hall Meeting, March 24 7 pm EST

For people with disabilities, and especially wheelchair users, COVID-19 poses unique challenges because wheelchairs are touched frequently and in many places. Karen Roy and Madonna Long will lead a discussion with tips for wheelchair users to keep in mind when taking care of their mobility equipment and staying healthy in the environment around them.

Please join #Unite4CRT for this important discussion on Tuesday, March 24 at 7 pm EST. They will be on Facebook Live or Zoom.

Join Zoon Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/945282483
Meeting ID: 945 282 483

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unite4CRT/


New York Metro and Toronto Abilities Expo Postponed Due to COVID-19

EEvery reporter in every newscast says the same thing when describing this contagion that has taken the world by storm. They say that the Coronavirus preys most heavily on those whose immune systems are compromised, seniors, and people with disabilities…basically the Abilities Expo family.

So we’ll do what we need to do to help stay safe. We’ll isolate as much as we can, we’ll scrub our hands whilst humming Happy Birthday twice, we’ll flatten the curve and we’ll wait it out. Abilities Expo will reschedule the New York Metro and Toronto shows from May to August 14-16 and October 2-4, respectively. Chicago, still months away on June 14-16, will proceed as scheduled, as will the Houston (July 31- Aug. 2), Phoenix (Sept. 11-13) and Dallas (Dec. 11-13) Expos. Any changes to this schedule will be found on Abilities.com.

Abilities Expo Thrilled to Offer New Dates to Continue Serving the Community

When the pandemic dust settles, Abilities Expo will be there for the disability community with thousands of products and services to boost independence. We’ll bring the info-packed workshops, the climbing wall, the inclusive dancing, the adaptive sports, the service animals and so much more.

If you have pre-registered for NY Metro or Toronto, your registration will be saved so that you do not have to go through the process again for the new dates.

In the meantime, we’ve gathered some COVID-19 resources and interesting reads for your consideration while you are social distancing.

New Mobility: COVID-19 Disability-Specific Coverage
Disability Scoop: Coronavirus Brings Added Worries for People with Disabilities
Psychology Today: Chronic Illness and Coronavirus
Vox: How Cancelled Events and Self-Quarantines Save Lives, In One Chart
Forbes: 5 Things to Know About Coronavirus and People with Disabilities
Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 FAQs and Info
World Health Organization
Public Health Agency of Canada

And here’s a great video from one of our favorite YouTubers with some pro tips for wheelers.

Stay safe and we can’t wait for you to join us at a future Abilities Expo!

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