Houston

AUGUST 4-6, 2023

NRG Center, Hall E

Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

Register for Free

Houston, We're Back!

We can't wait to show you all of products, technologies and resources to help you up your game! Buckle up for a slew of adaptive sports, fun dance opportunities, cosplay, info-packed workshops and more. It's all free so join us and register today.

FREE COVID-19 VACCINES: Everyone over 6 months of age can receive a complimentary COVID-19 primary or booster vaccine from Texas A&M Health Maroon Line Clinic and Texas Familias Council in booth #629 at Abilities Expo. Learn more.

Latest Tech & Disability Products

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.

Informative Workshops

Attend free, info-packed workshops on issues that matter. Get tips on travel, home accessibility, medical cannabis and...an ALL NEW session on augmented and virtual reality. This tech is transforming accessibility; learn how it can directly help you. There's more, check it out!

Interactive Events and Features

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.

Register for Free Today

Must-See and Can't-Miss Expo Experiences

There is just so much to see and do at Abilities Expo. Here are a few opportunities you don't want to let pass you by.

Cool Show Features

 

Ayita Dance and More!

Time to hit the dance floor and learn the hottest dance moves from the Ayita Wheelchair Dance team. Then join in a creative movement class from the renowned Houston Ballet.

Meet Your Favorite Cosplayers

Which superhero, princess, movie or TV personality do you want to take a selfie with at Abilities Expo? Meet these fun-loving characters as they peruse the Expo Hall on Sunday from noon to 3pm.

Scale the Rock Wall

Whatever your ability, YOU can conquer the completely inclusive climbing wall! With adaptive equipment and some expert coaching from Paralympian Mark Wellman, you can reach the summit.

Are you registered yet?


Plan Your Visit to Abilities Expo

Don’t miss our life-enhancing exhibits, dynamic workshops and fun events for kids of all ages!

Calendar

 

 

All Day, Every Day

All Day Abilities Expo Exhibits Exhibits
All Day Adaptive Climbing Wall Booth #823
All Day Artist Market Booth #226
All Day Assistive Technology Showcase Booth #735
All Day Free Loaner Scooters Service
11:00am – 4:00pm Free Wheelchair Repair Service
All Day Sign Language Interpreter Service

Friday, August 5, 2022

11:45am – 12:45pm Accessible Home Design: The Basics Workshop
12:00 – 12:45pm All About Service Dogs Events Arena
1:00 – 1:30pm Wheelchair Soccer Events Arena
2:00 – 2:30pm WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class Events Arena
2:30 – 3:30pm The "CURE" to Inclusion Workshop
3:00 – 3:30pm Low Impact Combo Adaptive Fitness Class Events Arena

Saturday, August 6, 2022

11:45am – 12:30pm All About Service Dogs Events Arena
12:00 - 4:00pm Face Painting Events Arena
1:00 – 1:45pm Tennis for Everyone! Events Arena
2:00 – 2:30pm WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class Events Arena
3:00 – 3:30pm Wheelchair Fencing Events Arena
3:45 – 4:45pm Wheelchair Rugby Events

Sunday, August 7, 2022

12:00 – 12:30pm Wheelchair Lacrosse Events Arena
12:00 – 3:00pm Meet Your Favorite Cosplay Characters! Throughout the Expo
1:00 - 1:30pm Give Sitting Volleyball a Try Events Arena
1:00 – 2:00pm Creative Movement Workshop
2:00 – 2:30pm Ayita Wheelchair Dance Performance and Class Events Arena

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

 

Loaner Scooters & W/C Repair

Free loaner scooters are available during show hours on a first come, first served basis. Is your wheelchair in need of a tune-up? Swing by the Free Wheelchair Repair Pavilion for minor maintenance.

Sign Language & CART Services

American Sign Language interpretation services will be available for those who need translation. All workshops are captioned through CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) services.

Large Print Accommodations

Large print versions of the exhibitor list and the events/workshops schedule will be available by request at the registration counters.

Don't forget to register.

Assistance Animals Play Critical Role

Animals have become an intrinsic part of the disability community. Some are essential to the healing process, while others help their human partners become more independent.

Service Dogs

 

All About Service Dogs

Adaptive Climbing

Presented by: Kristin Hartness, Canines for Disabled Kids

Friday, August 5: 12:00 - 12:45 pm
Saturday, August 6: 11:45 am – 12:30 pm

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.

 

Must-see so register today!

Learn the Latest Adaptive Dance Moves

Dancing is great for the body, and even better for spirit! Don’t miss your change to get in the groove while improving fitness, strength and endurance.

Inclusive Dance

 
Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class
Creative Movement

Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class

Adaptive Climbing

Presented by Ayita Wheelchair Dance

Sunday, August 7: 2:00 – 2:30 pm
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.

 

Creative Movement

Creative Movement

Presented by Houston Ballet

Sunday, August 7: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
A movement class for students of all abilities and ages. Discover how to build strength, flexibility and balance through creative movement.

 

Are you registered?

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. Not only will you get the blood pumping, improve fitness and build confidence, the fun factor is off the charts!

Adaptive Sports & Fitness

 
Adaptive Climbing Wall
Give Sitting Volleyball a Try
Low Impact Combo Adaptive Fitness Class
Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience
Tennis for Everyone
WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class
Wheelchair Fencing
Wheelchair Lacrosse
Wheelchair Rugby
Wheelchair Soccer

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Flag Football Demo

Presented by: Mark Wellman, Adventure Athlete, Paralympian, No Limits Tahoe

All Day, Every Day
The Adaptive Climbing Wall is open to people of all abilities! There is no better person to learn adaptive climbing from than Mark Wellman of No Limits. 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. 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.

Give Sitting Volleyball a Try

Give Sitting Volleyball a Try

Presented by: Move United and Kari Miller-Ortiz, Three-Time Paralympic Medalist

Sunday, August 7: 1:00 – 1:30 pm
Kari Miller-Ortiz, a three-time Paralympic medalist, will teach and play the Paralympic sport of sitting volleyball. The fundamentals of the sport will be introduced (including bump, set, and spike). This game can be adapted so that it may be played by practically anybody, anywhere. The best thing is that you'll get to participate in this exciting game!

Low Impact Combo Adaptive Fitness Class

Low Impact Combo Adaptive Fitness Class

Presented by: Katy YMCA Group Exercise Instructor

Friday, August 5: 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Flag Football is an opportunity to work on gross motor skills, agility and endurance in a fun team environment. Our clinics include sport skill development, sportsmanship, and team play. Every activity will have modifications and support available to ensure everyone can participate. The YMCA adaptive sports programs provide youth and adults with disabilities the opportunity to play sports in a safe, fun, accessible atmosphere.

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience

Presented by Ainsley's Angels of America

All Day, Every Day
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.

 

Tennis for Everyone

Tennis for Everyone

Presented by: Cindy Benzon, Community Services Coordinator / Adaptive & Wheelchair Tennis, USTA Texas and Jeff Bourns, American Amputee Tennis Player

Saturday, August 6: 1:00 - 1:45 pm
Come discover how tennis allows opportunities for anyone to play and enjoy the sport! Join us to try both wheelchair and adapted tennis. Meet Jeff Bourns, who helped popularize and pioneer the growth and development of organized Adaptive Standing Tennis. Find out how you can play tennis in your area. All ages and abilities are welcome!

 

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class

Presented by: Justin Graham, Certified Personal Trainer, Creator, W.O.W. Wonders on Wheels

Friday, August 5: 2:00 – 2:30 pm
Saturday, August 6: 2:00 – 2:30 pm


Ready to have a lot of fun and work out at the same time? Come experience a WOW Wheelchair Fitness Class! The class features movements for seated students and is taught by a seated instructor; however, standing participants are also welcome. Featuring elements of weight training, Zumba, and pom-pom dance.

Wheelchair Fencing

Flag Football Demo

Presented by: Liz Mayerich, Daniel Gorman, and Hayley Gillen of Houston Sword Sports

Saturday, August 6: 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Learn about the Paralympic sport of fencing! In this fast-paced version of sword fighting, competitors sit in wheelchairs that are anchored to the ground and use their weapons to attack and defend. There are three weapons, all with different target, rules, and styles. In this demo, you will learn about the three weapons and the basics of wheelchair fencing. You'll get to see two Paralympic fencers in an exhibition bout. And finally, you'll get a chance to suit up and try fencing with one of our coaches.

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Wheelchair Lacrosse

Presented by: Move United

Sunday, August 7: 12:00 – 12:30 pm
Come try the sport of wheelchair lacrosse and see a game in action! Wheelchair lacrosse is a fast-paced, full-contact sport utilizing the same rules and skills as its field-counterpart. It requires the athlete to catch, pass, and shoot a ball into a goal using a lacrosse stick. Defense uses positioning, chair-to-chair, and stick-to-stick/body contact to prevent the offense from scoring.

Wheelchair Rugby

Wheelchair Rugby

Presented by: Texans Wheelchair Rugby Team

Saturday, August 6: 3:45 - 4:45 pm
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!

Wheelchair Soccer

Wheelchair Soccer

Presented by: Houston Parks and Recreation / Adaptive Sports and Recreation Department

Friday, August 5: 1:00 - 1:30 pm
Wheelchair soccer, known as wheelchair football outside of the USA, is a fun, exciting adaptive version of the international sport of the same name. Enjoy a demo, ask questions, and find out where you can play this sport in the Houston region!

Registered yet?

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

 

Assistive Technology

Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! See and try a selection of assistive technology, with options for all disabilities. TTAP staff are available to offer suggestions and share their extensive knowledge. To help you find the most appropriate technology for your abilities and needs. TTAP develops programs to improve access, advocacy, and awareness of Assistive Technology to meet the needs of Texans with disabilities.

Learn more.

We'll see you there!

Experience Creativity at the Artist Market

The area's most celebrated artists with disabilities will feature an eclectic mix of original, unforgettable artistry. From paintings, 3-D printed art, jewelry, word search books, gift items, prints, photography and more. These amazing works will be available for appreciation and purchase.

Adaptive Art

 

Artist Market sponsor Art Spark Texas challenges perceptions of how people contribute by creating an arts-inspired, inclusive community of individuals with diverse abilities. They are an expert resource on inclusive arts—creating and maintaining an accessible and open community where everyone can participate. Their goal is to provide support and training to the public, enhance personal growth, and offer Texans access to the creative work of people with diverse abilities. Learn more at www.artsparktx.org.

Claire Theriot Mestepey – Word Search Books

Claire Theriot Mestepey – Word Search Books

Check out fun words search coloring books created and published by Claire Theriot Masterpey. Claire is the owner and creator of Whimsy Word Search, an innovative book publishing company. She comes up with the ideas for books and expertly creates each page for final production. She is a strong, physically disabled woman building a business while raising a happy family. Enjoy over 40 varieties that tease both sides of the brain!

Geronimo Morales – Jewelry and Painting

Geronimo Morales – Jewelry and Painting

You'll find gems by GMO Jewelry of all kinds made with different textiles and materials. The wide variety of beautiful, eclectic earrings, bracelets and rings are favorites among Texas locals. But Geronino Morales' talent does not end there! He will also have gorgeous small paintings on canvas painted with acrylic and texture for you to appreciate. They also make great gifts!

Lillian Walker – Stickers

Lillian Walker – Stickers

I'm here, I'm queer, my chronic pain is moderate too severe.

My name is Lilli and I run PolkadotPhantom. I started with just a few sticker designs in 2020 and have grown to over 20 designs and so many more products to keep the humor alive while being disabled.

My designs express an unapologetic attitude about being disabled and the symptoms and daily struggles that come with it.

I am excited to be selling in person for the first time at the Abilities Expo and meet more people from my community in person.

Younique Abilities – Apparel, Jewelry and More

Younique Abilities – Apparel, Jewelry and More

We sell Autism Awareness merchandise which is handmade by individuals with a unique ability. Younique Abilities feel that we should not label people; instead, we should use the words unique, unique abilities, or differing abilities because the world needs to understand that all of us are alike. Our goal is to inspire all individuals to shoot for the stars.

Register Today

Getting to Abilities Expo

NRG Center, Hall E
One NRG Park
Houston, TX 77054

Directions, Parking and Transpo

 

Get Directions to the Expo from any Location

For map of NRG Center (Formerly Reliant Center), click here.


View Larger Map 

Directions From the North:

  • Take I-45 (south) or Hwy. 59 (south) to Hwy. 288 (south)
  • Take Hwy. 288 (south) to 610 Loop (west)
  • Take 610 (west) to Fannin or South Main exit
  • Exit and turn right on Fannin or South Main
  • From Fannin turn left on Naomi or Holly Hall
  • From South Main turn right on McNee
  • Enter main gate at Reliant Center

Directions From the South:

  • Take I-45 (north) or Hwy. 288 (north) to 610 (west) to Fannin or South Main exit
  • Exit and turn right on Fannin or South Main
  • From Fannin turn left on Naomi or Holly Hall
  • From South Main turn right on McNee
  • Enter main gate at Reliant Center

Directions From the East:

  • Take I-10 (west) to 610 (south)
  • Take 610 (south) to Fannin or South Main exit
  • Exit and turn right on Fannin or South Main
  • From Fannin turn left on Naomi or Holly Hall
  • From South Main turn right on McNee
  • Enter main gate at Reliant Center

Directions From the West:

  • Take I-10 (east) to 610 (south)
  • Take 610 (south) to South Main or Fannin exit
  • Exit and turn left on South Main or Fannin
  • From Fannin turn left on Naomi or Holly Hall
  • From South Main turn right on McNee
  • Enter main gate at Reliant Center

Parking and Drop-off

To access parking, exit Kirby Drive off of 610, enter property at Gate 11 on McNee and proceed to the Red Lot. Accessible parking is in the Red Lot, Zone 3 and 4. There will be cones and staff to help guide everyone during event days as well as to help with parking the ADA spots (as long as you have the appropriate ADA plates/tags) in Red Lot and drop offs.

Parking is $20/entry and is subject to change.

Gates 3 and 12 will all open at 8:00 AM each day of the show. On Saturday, Gate 11 will also be open at 8:00 AM. Please visit www.nrgpark.com for up-to-date information.

Map of NRG Center

Reliant Park Directions

Transpo to the Expo

Public Transportation Accessible travel

Free Curbside Shuttle Service between the Abilities Expo Hotels and NRG Center:

Provided by NRG Center

Complimentary accessible shuttle service will be offered by NRG Center to service Abilities Expo hotels. Each shuttle can accommodate up to 20 people and two wheelchairs. Service will run continuously one hour prior to the start of the Expo through the end of the show each day.

METRORail:

METRORail provides accessible travel for people with disabilities all over Houston as both the stations and rail cars are easily accessed. On the train, four benches with white embroidered seats with the universal logo of a person in a wheelchair clearly mark the section reserved for wheelchairs. The benches flip up so a person in a wheelchair can glide into that space and sit securely during a ride.

Please click here to plan your itinerary. METRO has a Reliant Center stop.

METRO Busses:

METRO buses have ramps or lifts and two designated wheelchair spaces on every bus. Most busses are “kneeling” buses, which means the bus can lower itself closer to street level, so a person can more easily step on-board. METRO ADA Administrator Ann Dendor recommends that people with a disability look to engage the regular service first because it is so accessible. "We are committed to a public transportation system that everyone can use. We encourage persons with disabilities to take advantage of the freedom, independence, flexibility and reliability that is provided by our accessible bus and rail network," she says. Click here for bus schedules.

METROLift:

People with a disability that prevents them from boarding, riding or disembarking from a regular fixed-route bus—event a bus equipped with a wheelchair lift or ramp—may apply to be eligible for METROLift, METRO's curb-to-curb, paratransit, shared-ride service. More than 6,000 patrons are transported by this service each day.

METROLift uses wheelchair lift- or ramp-equipped vans, four-door sedans and minivans to provide service. Persons using wheelchairs and scooters will be accommodated with lift- or ramp-equipped vans. Boarding chairs are available to assist any patron who is unable to access the van using the stairs. Please note that patrons cannot request specific vehicle types. Patrons who can walk will ride on vans and/or sedans based on which vehicle is nearest the patron at the time the trip is scheduled.

As METROLift is a shared-ride service, each vehicle makes several stops en route to its various destinations. When scheduling, patrons must remember to allow sufficient time to stop and pick up others. A minimum of one hour travel time should be allowed for your trips and two hours for longer trips traveling across the service area. If you have an appointment, it is highly recommended that you move the appointment time one hour earlier to allow for unexpected delays in service.

You may make reservations seven days a week between 5 am and 5 pm. Now, with three ways to book your trip, getting around town has never been easier.

  • Reservations via phone: Call (713) 225-6716 to speak with a representative to book your trip.
  • MACS: Call (713) 225-6716 then press the #1 to use the automated trip scheduling system.
  • MACS-WEB: Schedule your trip online quickly and easily

Private Transportation

Uber WAV (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle)

Phone: (713) 699-0000

Uber has brought in a number of accessible vehicles to accommodate travel to teh Expo. If you need an accessible vehicle, go to your Uber app and, when it tells you to choose a vehicle, keep swiping right until you get to WAV.

United Cab Houston

Phone: (713) 699-0000

Website: http://www.unitedcab.com/wheelchair_taxi.aspx

United Cab offers wheelchair accessible vehicles that accommodate wheelchairs and scooters up to 31" wide. Indicate your preference for a wheelchair accessible taxi when you call in and please note that these vehicles are limited in availability. Regular taxi fares apply for wheelchair accessible taxis and up to three additional passengers ride at no extra charge.

Yellow Cab Houston

Phone: (713) 236-1111

Website: https://houstonyellowcab.com/wheelchair_taxi.aspx

Please specify that you require a wheelchair accessible taxi when you place your order. Each wheelchair accessible Yellow Cab uses a fully modified lowered floor with rear-entry access and accommodates wheelchairs and scooters up to 31" wide. Regular taxi fares apply for wheelchair accessible taxis and up to three additional passengers ride at no extra charge.

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Meet the Ambassadors

Local disability activists spearhead Abilities Expo's community outreach initiatives.

Ambassador Program

 

Ana Calvo

Ana Calvo

It was at the University of Houston-Downtown that Ana Calvo became the president of the student organization for people with disabilities and, through this role, that she discovered her love for advocating for the rights of others with disabilities.

Ana received her Bachelors in Arts of Social Science with concentrations in Psychology and Sociology and a Minor in Political Science in 2002. She went on to get her Masters in Social Work from the University of Houston College Of Social Work in 2007.

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Michelle Colvard

Michelle Colvard

A native Houstonian, this former Ms. Wheelchair America (2009) and Ms. Wheelchair Texas (2008), graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of Houston and earned her Master's degree in Health Promotion from the University of Texas School of Public Health. Born with spina bifida, Michelle has used a wheelchair since the 6th grade, but those who know her don't think of her as "disabled."

With her background in health research, Michelle emphasizes the importance for everyone to make their own health a priority. She reminds us that those of us who have physical limitations can still be healthy and active. She herself stays active with daily exercise at her gym, and through recreational activities such as snow skiing, wheelchair sports, kayaking and Taekwondo.

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Olga L. Guerra

Olga L. Guerra

My name is Olga L. Guerra and I am a parent of an adult child who has cerebral palsy. I am a very involved parent and have been advocating for Araceli since she was diagnosed at the age of six months. 

Araceli was born “normal,” but as she grew she was not meeting developmental milestones. Her pediatrician suggested we see a neurologist, so we did. Dr. Bohan diagnosed Araceli with microcephaly, but he explained that he was going to label her with CP so she could access more resources. This was Greek to me but I agreed. Little did I know that having the CP label was a good thing. As she grew, she was also diagnosed with mental retardation, speech impairment, an orthopedic impairment and a physical impairment.

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Meridith Silcox

Meridith Silcox

Meridith has a Master's degree in developmental psychology and 15 years of experience in the field of disability, including 3 years of experience in adaptive sports at the Y. She is currently the Association Accessibility and Inclusion Director for the YMCA of Greater Houston. She will be supporting efforts to create inclusive opportunities across the association and within our communities.

When she is not at the Y she serves as a commissioner with the Houston Commission on Disability, Chair of the Disability Employment and Transition Committee, and has recently completed the Texas Partners in Policymaking program. In all areas she continues to advocate for access and inclusion for ALL, with a particular passion for access to meaningful employment.

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Stephanie Woodward

Stephanie Woodward

Stephanie Woodward is a passionate Disability Rights activist and proud disabled person. She is the Director of Advocacy at the Center for Disability Rights, Inc. (CDR) a disability led, not-for-profit Corporation that works for national, state, and local systemic change to advance the rights of people with disabilities. Stephanie is also a member of ADAPT, a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. Stephanie has been arrested multiple times while advocating for Disability Rights.

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