Houston

AUGUST 5-7. 2022

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 an all-inclusive climbing wall, a slew of adaptive sports, fun dance opportunities, info-packed workshops and more. It's all free so join us and register today.

Coronavirus Update: As we welcome you back to live, in-person Abilities Expos, please note that we will follow all venue and local regulations regarding COVID-19 safety measures. As such, we strongly recommend that all Expo-goers wear masks regardless of vaccination status for their own safety and the safety of others, but respect each attendee's decision and personal health situation. Both masks and gloves will be available for people who would like them. Hand sanitation stations will be located throughout the show floor.

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

 

The Rollettes and More!

Learn the hottest dance moves from the world-famous Rollettes and the pint-sized Ayita Wheelchair Dance team. Then join in a creative movement class from the renowned Houston Ballet.

Protect your Loved Ones

Don't be afraid to plan, be afraid if you don't plan. With this workshop, you will equip yourself with the financial savvy to ensure your loved one's current and future quality of life and care.

Scale the Wall

Whatever your ability, YOU can conquer the all-inclusive climbing wall! With adaptive equipment and expert coaching from Paralympian Mark Wellman, the summit will be within your reach.

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

 

2021 Houston Abilities Expo Directory

All Day, Every Day

All Day Abilities Expo Exhibits Exhibits
All Day Assistive Technology Showcase Booth #329, 330
All Day Adaptive Climbing Wall Booth #441
All Day Artist Market Booth #222
All Day Free Loaner Scooters Service
All Day Sign Language Interpreter Service
11:00 am – 4:00 pm Free Wheelchair Repair Booth #246

Friday, August 6, 2021

11:45am – 12:45 pm Accessible Home Design Workshop
12:00 – 12:45 pm All About Service Dogs Events Area
1:00 – 1:30 pm Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles Events Area
1:00 – 2:00 pm Protecting Your Work Place Rights Workshop
2:00 – 2:30 pm Creative Movement Events Area
3:00 – 4:15 pm Tennis for Everyone Events Area

Saturday, August 7, 2021

11:15am – 11:45am Tabata Tuesday Adaptive Fitness Program Event
12:00 – 12:45 pm Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class Events Area
1:00 – 1:45 pm All About Service Dogs Events Arena
1:00 – 2:00 pm Making Mindfulness Meaningful Workshop
2:00 – 2:45 pm Sled Hockey Events Arena
3:00 – 3:30 pm Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles Events Arena
4:00 – 4:45 pm Wheelchair Fencing with Houston Sword Sports Events Arena

Sunday, August 8, 2021

11:45 am – 12:30 pm Creative Movement Events Area
1:00 – 1:45 pm Flag Football Demo Events Arena
1:00 – 2:00 pm Magical Marihuana Workshop
2:00 – 2:30 pm Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles Events Arena
2:45 – 3:30 pm Soccer Clinic Events Area

Register Today. It's Free!

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 and Wheelchair Repair

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.

Sign Language and CART Services

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.

Braille and Large Print Accommodations

Braille and 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 6: 12:00 - 12:45 pm
Saturday, August 7: 1:00 - 1:45 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
Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles

Ayita Wheelchair Dance Presentation and Class

Adaptive Climbing

Presented by Ayita Wheelchair Dance

Saturday, August 7: 12:00 – 12:45 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

Friday, August 6: 2:00 – 2:30 pm

A movement class for students of all abilities and ages, with teaching artist Katey Tidwell and musician Kirk Suddreath.

 

Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles

Dancing with the Rollettes Los Angeles

Presented by Conner Lundius & Samantha Lopez, Rollettes

Friday, August 6: 1:00 – 1:30 pm
Saturday, August 7: 3:00 – 3:30 pm
Sunday, August 8: 2:00 – 2:30 pm

Join us for a high-energy, live performance by Conner & Samantha of the Rollettes Los Angeles, an incredible wheelchair dance team. The dance team performs unique and captivating routines across the globe 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!

 

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
Flag Football Demo
Roll with the Wind: Ride-Along Race Experience
Sled Hockey
Soccer Clinic
Tabata Tuesday Adaptive Fitness Program
Tennis for Everyone
Wheelchair Fencing with Houston Sword Sports

Adaptive Climbing Wall

Adaptive Climbing

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

All Day, Every Day

Sponsored by Coloplast, 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. And it's fun!

Flag Football Demo

Flag Football Demo

Presented by Houston YMCA and Move United

Sunday, August 8: 1:00 – 1:45 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.

 

Sled Hockey

Adaptive Climbing

Presented by STARskaters and Texas Sled Hockey

Saturday, August 7: 2:00 – 2:45 pm

Discover ice skating sports for the disability community with Sled Hockey! Sled hockey, also called sledge hockey, was invented in Sweden in the early 1960s by a group of people with disabilities. Members of Team Texas will be on hand to demonstrate the sport and give attendees a chance to play. The sport is normally played on ice but sleds with wheels will be used for this demo.

 

Soccer Clinic

Soccer Clinic

Presented by Houston YMCA and Move United

Sunday, August 8: 2:45 – 3:30 pm

Soccer 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.

 

Tabata Tuesday Adaptive Fitness Program

Adaptive Climbing

Presented by Houston Parks

Saturday, August 7: 11:15 – 11:45 am

Tabata is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) where our participants will perform an adapted exercise at a high intensity for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, varying exercises for 4 minute blocks for a total of 20-30 minutes. The Tabata idea is to get a great aerobic and anaerobic workout in half the time of traditional low intensity exercises. Intensity is key.

 

Tennis for Everyone

Tennis for Everyone

Presented by Ms. Cindy Benzon, Mr. Jeff Bourns, Dr. Michael Cottingham

Friday, August 6: 3:00 – 4:15 pm

Come learn more about how tennis has adapted to allow opportunities for anyone to play and enjoy the sport!

 

Wheelchair Fencing with Houston Sword Sports

Adaptive Climbing

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

Saturday, August 7: 4:00 – 4:45 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. 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.

 

Registered yet?

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.

Derinda Cay – Photography and Paintings

Dee Franklin Art

Enjoy the exquisite works of Derinda Cay, whose eye for color and detail makes her creations a must-see. This year, Derinda was honored as a Featured Artist at the 2021 Healing Art Exhibition, an annual installation of work by the Healing Art artists.

Brian Dodd – Doddman Gallery

Brian Dodd – Doddman Gallery

Brian Dodd is an autistic adult who has always loved drawing creatures of his imagination. Encouraged by his friends, Jay and Sherry Chatfield, who owned the Copper Cactus in Ingram, Texas, Brian began to put the ideas from years of his drawings of the creatures of his imagination on canvas in 2009. His works are primarily acrylic on canvas where he shares his sense of humor in the names he gives to his creations. Paintings, prints and gift Items featuring his artwork will be available.

Learn more.

Dee Franklin – Fabled Collages

Dee Franklin – Fabled Collages

Dee Franklin's acrylic and oil paintings with 3D print art are full of commentary on current events and the political landscape with its nasty, nasty politicians. Look to her art for feminist ideals, symbolism, iconic images and fables. Her vast repertoire has been featured at local art shows, including a solo exhibition.

Learn more.

Kelley McClughan – Paintings

Kelley McClughan – Paintings

Kelly McClughan, a celebrated artist involved with the Houston Art League's Healing Arts Program, will be displaying her paintings, including this whimsical painting of a sassy, anthropomorphized cat. Her use of texture, color and brush strokes are unique, inviting and offer a window into her incredible imagination.

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!

Learn more.

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!

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.

Learn more

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 Kirby and McNee (Gate 10) and proceed straight on Reliant Centerway through the second stop sign. Please follow the signage directing you to take a left under the awning at the first NRG Center (formerly Reliant Center) circle drive if you would like to drop off any passengers. Then, please take a right and park in the Red Lot on the left side (west side) of the center. There will be designated ADA parking spots available as long as you have the appropriate ADA plates/tags. Parking is $15/entry and is subject to change.

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.

Register Today

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.

Read More

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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