Abilities ambassadors hale from all corners of the disability community. They are leaders, writers, artists, entrepreneurs, veterans, athletes, celebrities, advocates and parents to special needs kids, and they may have just the answers you are looking for.
If you have a story to tell to the disability community, then we want to hear it! It could be an informative article on the range of subjects featured to the left. It could be meaningful advice base on your wealth of experience. It could be serious or entertaining and conveyed through words, video or images. It just has to be your story.
We are thrilled to bring Abilities Expo to the disability community in North Texas. First, we’ll show you all the latest products, tech and game-changing opportunities. Next, you can attend informative workshops on issues that matter to you. Then you can try your hand at a host of different adaptive sports, dancing and fun. After that, let’s all go out for BBQ! Abilities Expo is free, so join us and register today.
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.
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!
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.
Regardless of your level of ability, YOU can conquer the completely inclusive climbing wall! With adaptive equipment and some coaching from Paralympian Mark Wellman, the summit will be within your reach.
Join the world-famous Rollettes for some hip-hoppin’ dance fun! Get a front row seat for their dynamic performances, then you get to learn their signature dance moves and how they make it look so effortless.
Check back 3 months before the Expo for our exciting 2020 line-up.
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
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.
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.
Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Executive Director, Canines for Disabled Kids
Discover how service dogs are meeting the needs of people with many different disabilities. Find out the many ways 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 for many different types of disability, 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.
Canine Companions for Independence – Service Dog Demo
Presented by: Colleen Reilly, Canine Companions for Independence
A demonstration from professional trainers at Canine Companions for Independence to show how expertly trained assistance dogs can enhance the lives of children, adults and veterans with a variety of disabilities by assisting with physical tasks.
Service Dogs: In & Out – Untangling the Laws on Public Access
Presented by: Dorey Petty, Service Dogs, Inc.
In this workshop we will discuss what a service dogs is, as well as addressing service dogs in the law:
Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)
Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA)
We will role play scenarios and discuss appropriate and Inappropriate dog behavior. Fun quizzes – cool prizes.
Meet the young ladies of this amazing Texas-based wheelchair dance troupe! Ayita is a dance class for children who use wheelchairs. Their mission is to inspire, encourage, and build confidence! Abilities Expo is thrilled to welcome these talented young dancers to the show. They will be treating the crowd to thrilling performance. Then it's your chance to join them on the dance floor and learn some new moves at their dance class. Ayita is located in Fort Worth, TX.
The Rollettes Los Angeles Presents!
Presented by: Ayita Wheelchair Dance
Join us for 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.
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.
Face Painting for Kids
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. You’ll get the blood pumping, improve fitness and build confidence
…and the fun factor is off the charts!
Here's what we did in 2019. Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2020.
Yoga IS for Every Body—no experience needed. Bring your body (and whatever you need to support). You are invited to attend a playful 45-minute session to experience how yoga can be accessible and beneficial for everyone. This inclusive and accessible program includes breathwork to illustrate the energizing and calming effects yoga can have on the body and mind, and to prepare the body for movement flow.
Adaptive Climbing Wall
Presented by: Mark Wellman, Adventure Athlete, Paralympian, No Limits Tahoe
Sponsored by: Coloplast
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 adventure athlete, speaker and author Mark Wellman of No Limits. Come climb the wall using Mark's innovative adaptive climbing techniques and adaptive sports gear! Mark is a former Paralympian and the first paraplegic to summit El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.
Presented by: Dina Scott, Drumba Fitness
Drumba is a full-body cardio exercise that uses weighted/non-weighted Drumba Stix! It can be done seated or standing. It relieves stress, helps focus, and improves hand/eye coordination working both sides of your brain. It is a fun cardiovascular workout for all ages and abilities.
One World Karate
Presented by: Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation
Join Texas Adaptive Sports and Recreation for an inclusive and adapted audience participation event from One World Karate. One World Karate specializes in adapting and modifying martial arts instruction to students of all abilities and would like to invite the audience to learn adapted Martial Arts from the instructors which would include some blocking and striking of pads, and various other techniques.
Presented by: ParaCheer Midwest
ParaCheer brings two kinds of athletes together: those with disabilities 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 Midwest will showcase their skills with a demonstration. Then you are invited to try it for yourselves! Bring your cheer!
Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Racing Experience
Presented by: Ainsley’s Angels of America
Test-drive the Ainsley's Angels athletic ride-along experience! For anyone who would otherwise be unable 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 immeasurable inspirational spirit.
Presented by: RISE Adapted Sports
Join us to try out WCMX (wheelchair skate). We will have the ramps, chairs, helmets and knee & elbow pads, you just need to bring yourself! (Please note this event was designed for children.)
AT Showcase: Interact with Tomorrow’s Technology Today
Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved
ones bridge the gap between ability and disability!
Assistive Technology Showcase
The Abilities Expo AT Showcase, sponsored by the Texas Technology Access Program (TTAP) of the University of Texas at Austin, is your chance to explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability!
TTAP is dedicated to increasing the access for people with disabilities to AT that offers greater control over their surroundings and an enhanced ability to function independently. They develop programs to improve access, advocacy and awareness of assistive technology to meet the needs of Texans with disabilities.
Utilizing specially adapted art tools, kids of all abilities can discover their inner artist.
Here's what we did in 2019. Check back 3 months out to find out what's in store for 2021.
ZOT ARTZ FOR KIDS
Not only is this activity completely accessible and a tremendous opportunity for kids to express themselves, they get to take their creation home with them! Hope there's room on the fridge. Stop by booth 357 and join the fun!
Stay on the service road approximately half a mile.
Dallas Market Hall will be on your right.
Directions | From the Tollway:
Take the Dallas North Tollway South to the end.
Once through the toll plaza, exit immediately on Wycliff.
Follow Wycliff until it dead ends into Harry Hines Blvd.
Take a right on Harry Hines and stay in the left lane.
At the next light, take a left onto Market Center Blvd.
Dallas Market Hall will be the closest building on your right.
Directions | From Fort Worth:
Take IH30 East through Arlington, Grand Prairie, and into Dallas.
Once you see the downtown skyline, get into the left lane and prepare to exit on 35E North (Stemmons Freeway).
Once on Stemmons, proceed to Market Center Blvd.
Exit Market Center Blvd.
Stay on the service road and proceed through the light across Market Center Blvd.
Dallas Market Hall is immediately on your right.
Directions | From Irving:
Take 183 East or 114 East to the merge with 35E South at Texas Stadium.
Once on 35E South, go approximately 7 miles to Market Center Blvd.
Exit Market Center Blvd.
Take a left.
Go under the bridge and take another immediate left to stay on the service road.
Dallas Market Hall is directly on your right.
Parking and Drop off
Parking is free. Spaces are located directly in front of the Hall's entrance and in the adjacent 3-level parking garage. If you would like to drop off any passengers before you park, please do so at the front of the hall before proceeding to park.
Transpo to the Expo
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Visit Dart.org to plan your trip to Abilities Expo.
Local disability activists spearhead Abilities Expo's community outreach initiatives.
Meet the impressive individuals who have chosen to represent Abilities Expo to the Community.
Gina Jenkins McWilliams
Gina lost her right leg below the knee as the result of a car accident 16 years ago. As she delved into the world of adaptive sports, she was continually in search of volleyball opportunities for women with disabilities. She finally found them when asked to attend the first ever women’s sitting volleyball camp, held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, in February 2003.
Dylan Rafaty of Plano serves as the Vice Chair of the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Dylan is currently Director of Business Development & Partnerships for C-Hear, Inc., a company that developed a way to make images accessible and heard. He is Founder / Chief Navigation Officer for DylanListed, LLC, a transition and support services provider for people with disabilities and veterans. Dylan also proudly sits on seven boards/committees benefiting local school districts, nonprofits and community organizations.
I went to SMU, Meadows School of the Arts, on a music scholarship pursuing a degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education, hoping to be a professional opera singer. My life took a drastic turn in 1997 when I was hit by a car in front of my childhood home, which altered my path as a classically trained opera singer. This experience, as well as other life changes I experienced as a teenager, made me re-think what I was going to do with my life.