Meet the Event Speakers!
Here are 2023 Abilities Expo presenters.
Check back to find out what's in store for 2024.
Meet the speakers for the activities, demonstrations, and events at Abilities Expo Dallas! They bring years of experience and knowledge to the events they will share with you. Many are recognized regionally and nationally for their ongoing work with the disability community.
All Abilities Expo speakers have apparent or non-apparent disabilities, work in the disability field, or are the sibling or parent of a person with disabilities.
* 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.
Art Spark Texas
Art Spark Texas challenges perceptions of how people contribute by creating an arts-inspired, inclusive community of individuals with diverse abilities. Their vision is to foster equity across all cultural sectors of society, we believe that arts experiences enhance the skills, confidence, and quality of life for all people, and our goal is to ensure that these experiences are fully accessible, welcoming, engaging, and respectful. Visit their website for programs, classes, artist awards, and more.
Event: Artist Market
Ayita Wheelchair Dance
Ayita Wheelchair Dance is a dance class for children who use wheelchairs. Their mission is to inspire, encourage, and build confidence. Most recently the dancers were part of the Rollettes Experience, presented annually in Los Angeles by Chelsie Hill and The Rollettes. At the Boundless Talent Showcase (part of the Rollettes Experience) the ladies won for their group performance and Mayli won for entertainment! Ayita offers dance classes at their Fort Worth, TX dance studio.
Event: Ayita Wheelchair Dance Performance and Class
Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavs
The Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks offer wheelchair basketball to kids from ages 5-18 years old. Their mission is to offer a competitive and recreational atmosphere in which children with disabilities can have a happier and healthier lifestyle. The Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks Basketball Association comes from a long tradition of Junior Wheelchair basketball, dating back to 1979. The program has had several teams with many different children participating in the program. Several of the children have gone on to compete at the collegiate level hoping to use the knowledge gained in this program as a stepping stone to the Paralympics. In 2006, the Dallas Junior Texans became the Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks in order to unify all the local wheelchair basketball teams: men, women and children.
The program offers three teams for players of different skill levels. Seasonal practice is at Bachman Recreation Center. Contact the League Administrator via their website if you are interested in getting started or need specific practice times.
Event: Wheelchair Basketball
Dallas Wheelchair Tennis Club
Dallas Wheelchair Tennis Club is the oldest remaining wheelchair tennis club in Texas and one of the oldest in the country. With 45 years of experience, the club guides the sport of wheelchair tennis in the Dallas region. The club coordinates play in the area for new players as well as experienced recreational and competitive players.
Event: Tennis for All!
Jamie Bunch Elliott
Jamie Bunch Elliott was a standing pickleball player for 11 years until a spine surgery gone bad caused a spinal cord injury in 2019. She now plays pickleball in a sports wheelchair! Jamie works in the Dallas region to organize opportunities for wheelchair pickleballers to play. Join the Wheelchair Pickleballers Facebook Group to learn more.
Event: Wheelchair Pickleball
FEMA Region 6
FEMA has information to help you prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters specific to your location. Use this page to find local disaster recovery centers, flood maps, fact sheets, FEMA contacts, jobs and other resources. FEMA Region 6 office, located in Denton, TX, partners with federal emergency management for 68 Tribal Nations and Texas, as well as the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Visit the Texas page for Texas-specific content, such as disaster recovery centers, flood maps, fact sheets, jobs and other resources. For other states and national resources visit fema.gov.
Event: Emergency Preparedness Resource Booth
U.S. Paralympian and Paralympic Medalist
Pam Fontaine is a United States Paralympian in the sports of table tennis and wheelchair basketball, as well as an avid recreational player of wheelchair pickleball. She is a Bronze Medalist from the Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games. Together with Jamie Bunch Elliott, she works to increase opportunities for wheelchair pickleball in the Dallas region.
Event: Wheelchair Pickleball
Certified Personal Trainer and Founder, WOW Wheelchair Fitness
Justin Graham, creator of WOW Wheelchair Fitness, is a Certified Personal Trainer who has been working with the disability community since 2018. He has taught classes with Paralyzed Veterans Association (PVA), Triumph Sports Festival, Ability360 in Phoenix, Spina Bifida Association, and the Abilities Expos shows around the country. His dynamic charm attracts everyone to join his wheelchair fitness classes, combining strength training with dance, pom-poms, and just plain fun! Justin teaches fitness classes daily on the virtual platform WOW Wheelchair Fitness, which provides consistent, organized fitness and personal training via online sessions to increase healthy happiness in the disability community! Whether seated, standing or rolling, W.O.W. is designed for everyone to use! Justin excels at enticing even the shyest student to play along and get valuable exercise. Justin is based in Phoenix, AZ where he teaches live classes and one-on-one personal training in addition to his online classes. His joyous energy is a gift, bringing people of all ages and abilities together to dance with their peers.
Event: WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class
Executive Director, CDK
Public awareness and education are very important to CDK – so important that they travel the country to talk to students of all grade levels, civic groups, religious groups, and businesses about assistance dogs. CDK also offers different ways to help educate the public about service dogs including Educational Presentations, Booth Event Participation, Americans with Disability (ADA) consulting. Members of CDK staff and volunteers travel all over the country for these opportunities. Please contact the CDK team to learn more about how we might participate in your school, business, or community event.
Event: All About Service Dogs
Jasmine's Beat Adaptive Dance Company
Jasmine's Beat Adaptive Dance Company is an adaptive dance company for persons of all abilities. They aim to empower people of all ages, sex, race, and ability to embrace the power of dance and healthy movement. They work to increase awaremenss about the avenue of dance for health, emotional self-esteem, and social and physical well-being. They aspire to enable the fusion of any cultural music and dance. They provide education on rhythm, beat and sequence of intercultural dance, as well as promote creativity and self-expression through dance. They formulate goals with customers in terms of time used, type of dance learned, final production, and the means to enlighten others about adaptive dance beyond obstacles. The team at Jasmine's Beat will assist in facilitating exhibitions of dance creations as well as rehabilitative goals. Finally, their ambition is to be skilled at having fun through dance and to share this skill as a continued passion in the community.
Event: Adaptive Dance Workshop and Performance
Lone Star Adaptive Soccer
Lone Star Adaptive Soccer Association is an organization established to provide opportunities for athletes of all ages with a variety of limb differences to play soccer both in recreational and competitive settings. They are working hard to build local teams in the Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, and San Antonio-Austin areas, in order to better serve disabled athletes in your communities. They believe teamwork and cooperation are important skills that apply both on and off the field. Both youth and adults who have limb differences currently aren't afforded the same team-sport opportunities offered to able-bodied athletes and Lone Star Adaptive Soccer is working to change that.
Event: Adaptive Soccer
Rise Adaptive Sports
The mission of RISE Adaptive Sports is to assist persons with physical challenges to "Reover, Inspire, Succeed, and Empower" themselves and others by providing inclusive adaptive recreational sports programs. To accomplish the RISE mission at the highest level possible, all RISE programs are FREE of charge for persons with physical challenges and family members or friends.
Event: Sports Zone
One Handed Lady Golfer and Founder, Adaptive Golfers
For Gianna Rojas, no obstacle is too daunting to tackle. Born without fingers on her left hand, Gianna is known world-wide as the "One Handed Lady Golfer." She strives to bring attention to golfing success stories people with physical, cognitive, sensory, health, and age-related challenges. She does not like the word "disabled." "We are all able, just differently ABLED," says Gianna. Despite her own challenges, she inspires and motivates others to "get out of bed, and out of their head." By sharing her own story she hopes to inspire others who may question their own abilities. Named by the LPGA as one of the TOP 22 Women "Disrupters" in the golf industry, Gianna is the epitome of adaptive empowerment through golf. Today, Gianna collaborates, sits on committees, and is an active member of many organizations. She represents the USAGA as their Director of Global Brand Awareness. She is an adaptive athlete and a two-time division winner in the Adaptive and Para Long Drives and is a member of the USA Disabled Team participating in International and National Events. Find her online by searching for "One Handed Lady Golder" or at her website, adaptivegolfers.org.
Event: Adaptive Golf