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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 25-27, 2021.

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

Past News:

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:
Meeting ID: 945 282 483



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 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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