Boston Abilities Expo Event

Events and Activities make the total Abilities experience

Add some exciting new activities to your life? Abilities Expo showcases a wide range of events that not only entertain, they also give you the opportunity to try new things, expand your interests and discover ways to be more involved in the local Houston area.

More events added each week. Check back for details!

  • Try a variety of adaptive sports
  • Transform your face at the face painters
  • Learn how to work with assistance dogs
  • Break out your dancing wheels
  • Find out what horses can do for people with disabilities

There’s a lot going on at Abilities Expo! Be sure to also check out the Free Workshops

* Please note dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Please check the schedule at the show for final times and events. Abilities Expo is not responsible for the materials or opinions of the speakers.

All Day, Every Day

Artist Market

Artist Market: beautiful sunflower image.

Sponsored by VSA Massachusetts

The area's most celebrated artists with disabilities will feature an eclectic mix of original, unforgettable artistry. From photographs and paintings to graphic design, their amazing works will be available for appreciation and purchase. VSA Massachusetts, the state organization on arts and disability, has made it its mission to create a society where people with disabilities learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. Working at the intersection of multi-disciplinary arts, education reform and disability rights, they serve as an international model in which people with disabilities have complete access to cultural, artistic and educational venues, programs and employment. Learn more at www.vsamass.org.

Assistive Technology Showcase

Artist Market: beautiful sunflower image.

Sponsored by Easter Seals Massachusetts

Explore how assistive technology can help you or your loved ones bridge the gap between ability and disability! The Showcase will feature an array of assistive technology for people of all disabilities to experience hands-on. In addition, the staff will offer suggestions and share their extensive knowledge to help determine the most appropriate technology match for your abilities and situations. Celebrating 25 years of empowering people to reach their full potential, Easter Seals Massachusetts' pioneering Assistive Technology program ensures that children and adults with physical, sensory, developmental and learning disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play. Learn more at www.easterseals.com/ma.

Hand Cycling

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Invacare Top End

Hand cycling is a form of adaptive cycling that enables athletes of all abilities to ride a "bike" exclusively using the upper body. Unlike many other adaptive sports handcycling works to create integrated cycling opportunities for wheelchair users and athletes with lower-mobility impairments. Enjoy this opportunity to try a hand cycle for yourself! Friday's session will specifically focus on what clinicians need to know to confidently prescribe the right handcycle for their patients and Sat. and Sunday will be targeted to consumers of all levels from beginner to elite levels. Learn more at www.topendwheelchair.com.

Manual Wheelchair Skills for Everyone

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Empower Spinal Cord

Presented by Empower Spinal Cord What is your favorite way to hop a curb? What tricks do you use to get yourself off the ground? Never sat in a manual wheelchair and have always wanted to try a wheelie? Stop by the Empower SCI table at the expo and we will help you brush up on old skills and learn new skills from others. The booth will be staffed with both manual wheelchair-users and able-bodied staff to offer education and opportunities to learn new wheelchair skills. Skills will include curb-hopping, fall recovery, wheelie management, wheelchair maintenance, and challenging transfers. Open to both wheelchair-users and able-bodied individuals, there will be several wheelchairs present for able-bodied individuals to try out these skills. Visit us for a personal "Learn New Skills" time where you can spend 15 dedicated minutes getting one-on-one assistance with a skill you'd like to master. Based on availability. Attendees can reserve specific times at the booth. Learn more at www.empowersci.org.

The ADA Legacy Tour

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by the ADA Legacy Project

The ADA Legacy Tour is a traveling exhibit designed to raise public awareness and excitement about ADA25, the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 2015. Produced by The ADA Legacy Project, the ADA Legacy Tour will include historical artifacts from the disability rights movement, including the Road to Freedom RV; information on current issues in disability policy; and video interviews with the next generation of advocates. The Tour will kick off in Houston, Texas July 25, 2014 and travel across the country, making its final stop in Washington, DC July 26, 2015. Learn more at www.adalegacy.com.

Friday, September 5, 2014

12:00pm - 12:30pm

Wheelchair Basketball

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Spaulding Adaptive Sports

In the early days of the sport wheelchair basketball was only played by men with spinal cord injuries. Today it's changed significantly with both men and women and a variety of disabilities, competing in the sport. Many of the same rules from able-bodied basketball apply in the wheelchair game. The plays and strategies are similar. In addition there are special rules in place to adapt to disability. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) governs all aspects of the game in the United States. Learn more at www.spauldingrehab.org.

1:00pm - 1:30pm

Wheelchair Tennis Demonstration

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Spaulding Adaptive Sports

Players from the Boston area will be on hand to demonstrate Wheelchair Tennis and teach attendees who would like to learn more. Wheelchair Tennis is one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world. It follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis except the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball. It is also one of the few wheelchair sports that is well integrated with the able-bodied community -- our players will be demonstrating UpDown and encouraging participation. There is a growing demand for Adaptive Sports like Wheelchair Tennis, which offer people of all abilities an outlet to play sports both recreationally and competitively. To learn more about this amazing sport, visit USTA Wheelchair Tennis. Learn more at www.spauldingrehab.org.

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Meet Josh Dueck, Professional Skier, Paralympic Gold Medalist

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Bodypoint, Booth #518

Josh Dueck is a T11 complete paraplegic and one of the best skiers of his time. He won gold in the men's super combined as well as a silver in the sit-ski downhill at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games. He's also the first person in the world to do a backflip in a sit ski. Josh has dedicated his life to freedom, adventure and helping others to follow the same path. As a spokesperson for Bodypoint Josh shares how their positioning products improved his skiing performance and how overall the products allow all types of wheelchair users to maximize their independence and live with greater freedom. Meet and talk with Josh at Bodypoint booth #518. Learn more at www.bodypoint.com.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Wheelchair Dancing Demo and Workshop

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Auti Angel, Abilities Expo "Dancebassador"

Dancing is fast becoming a popular activity for wheelchair users. Auti Angel, the Abilities Expo "Dancebassador" will share a dance demonstration with attendees. Then it's your turn to try some steps as Auti leads you in a dance workshop. Auti is the pioneer of wheelchair Hip-Hop dancing, the founder of the Colours~N~Motion Dance Crew, and star of the film Musical Chairs and the TV series Push Girls. Attendees of all ages and mobility levels are welcome to learn fun basic dance steps. Dancing crosses the boundaries of age, gender, and physical ability; it includes individuals using both manual and power wheelchairs. You won't want to miss this unique demonstration and a chance to dance on your wheels! Learn more at www.autiangel.net.

3:00pm – 3:30pm

Assistance Dogs Demonstration

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Jessica Reiss, Canine Companions for Life

More than ever assistance dogs are meeting the needs of people with different disabilities. Meet several assistance dogs and their human partners. Watch them demonstrate the many ways they work together to achieve independence in various areas of their lives. Following the demo, join us to learn some of the basic commands for the dogs. Learn more at www.cci.org.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

12:00pm - 3:00pm

Face Painting

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Kids will delight at the opportunity to transform their face into a beautiful butterfly, a swashbuckling pirate, or a sweet kitten! Stop by the face painter's stand for a complimentary face painting. Select designs only. Paints are FDA approved professional face paints and wash off with water. Just for kids age 18 and under.

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Meet Josh Dueck, Professional Skier, Paralympic Gold Medalist

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Bodypoint, Booth #518

Josh Dueck is a T11 complete paraplegic and one of the best skiers of his time. He won gold in the men's super combined as well as a silver in the sit-ski downhill at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games. He's also the first person in the world to do a backflip in a sit ski. Josh has dedicated his life to freedom, adventure and helping others to follow the same path. As a spokesperson for Bodypoint Josh shares how their positioning products improved his skiing performance and how overall the products allow all types of wheelchair users to maximize their independence and live with greater freedom. Meet and talk with Josh at Bodypoint booth #518. Learn more at www.bodypoint.com.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Wheelchair Dancing Demo and Workshop

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Auti Angel, Abilities Expo "Dancebassador"

Dancing is fast becoming a popular activity for wheelchair users. Auti Angel, the Abilities Expo "Dancebassador" will share a dance demonstration with attendees. Then it's your turn to try some steps as Auti leads you in a dance workshop. Auti is the pioneer of wheelchair Hip-Hop dancing, the founder of the Colours~N~Motion Dance Crew, and star of the film Musical Chairs and the TV series Push Girls. Attendees of all ages and mobility levels are welcome to learn fun basic dance steps. Dancing crosses the boundaries of age, gender, and physical ability; it includes individuals using both manual and power wheelchairs. You won't want to miss this unique demonstration and a chance to dance on your wheels! Learn more at www.autiangel.net.

2:45pm – 3:45pm

Power Soccer Demonstration

Power Soccer in Action!

Presented by the U.S. Power Soccer Association

Watch and learn as US Power Soccer Association players demonstrate and train attendees on the techniques of power wheelchair soccer. Discover this very active and growing sport that is open to power wheelchair users of all ages. See how players combine their skills as wheelchair users with the speed and power of the chair itself, to participate in this extremely challenging game similar to soccer. Then try the sport out for yourself and learn where you can get involved in the Bay area. Learn more about power soccer at www.powersoccerusa.net.

4:00pm – 4:30pm

Assistance Dogs Demonstration

Assistance Dogs Demonstration

Presented by Jessica Reiss, Canine Companions for Life

More than ever assistance dogs are meeting the needs of people with different disabilities. Meet several assistance dogs and their human partners. Watch them demonstrate the many ways they work together to achieve independence in various areas of their lives. Following the demo, join us to learn some of the basic commands for the dogs. Learn more at www.cci.org.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

11:45am – 12:30pm

Beep Baseball

Beep baseball is the adaptive version of America's favorite pastime and is open to people who have visual impairments or legal blindness. It's a high action sport, with athletes diving to the ground to stop a beeping ball, or running full speed toward the sound of a buzzing base to score a run. "See" a demonstration of the sport and also take this opportunity to try it for yourself. The presenting organization is the focus of the world's first feature length documentary about beep baseball. The film, entitled "Renegades: A Beepball Story" was produced by Best Dog Ever Films and copies will be available for purchase during the demonstration. Learn more at www.blindcitizens.org/renegades.

12:00pm - 3:00pm

Face Painting

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Kids will delight at the opportunity to transform their face into a beautiful butterfly, a swashbuckling pirate, or a sweet kitten! Stop by the face painter's stand for a complimentary face painting. Select designs only. Paints are FDA approved professional face paints and wash off with water. Just for kids age 18 and under.

1:00pm – 1:30pm

Wheelchair Dancing Demo and Workshop

Manual Wheelchair Skills

Presented by Auti Angel, Abilities Expo "Dancebassador"

Dancing is fast becoming a popular activity for wheelchair users. Auti Angel, the Abilities Expo "Dancebassador" will share a dance demonstration with attendees. Then it's your turn to try some steps as Auti leads you in a dance workshop. Auti is the pioneer of wheelchair Hip-Hop dancing, the founder of the Colours~N~Motion Dance Crew, and star of the film Musical Chairs and the TV series Push Girls. Attendees of all ages and mobility levels are welcome to learn fun basic dance steps. Dancing crosses the boundaries of age, gender, and physical ability; it includes individuals using both manual and power wheelchairs. You won't want to miss this unique demonstration and a chance to dance on your wheels! Learn more at www.autiangel.net.

1:00pm – 2:30pm

Meet Josh Dueck, Professional Skier, Paralympic Gold Medalist

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Bodypoint, Booth #518

Josh Dueck is a T11 complete paraplegic and one of the best skiers of his time. He won gold in the men's super combined as well as a silver in the sit-ski downhill at the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games. He's also the first person in the world to do a backflip in a sit ski. Josh has dedicated his life to freedom, adventure and helping others to follow the same path. As a spokesperson for Bodypoint Josh shares how their positioning products improved his skiing performance and how overall the products allow all types of wheelchair users to maximize their independence and live with greater freedom. Meet and talk with Josh at Bodypoint booth #518. Learn more at www.bodypoint.com.

2:00pm – 2:30pm

Assistance Dogs Demonstration

Paralympic Gold Medalist skis

Presented by Jillian Gartner, Program Director, American Poodles At Work, Inc.

More than ever assistance dogs are meeting the needs of people with different disabilities. Meet an assistance dog / human partner team and enjoy their demonstration of some of the ways they work together to achieve independence. You'll learn that service dogs help with many different types of disability, including vision and hearing loss, mobility, autism and seizure/allergy alert. Discover the process for obtaining a service dog, who qualifies and what to expect from your service dog provider organization. Following the demo, meet the team and ask your questions! Learn more at www.americanpoodlesatwork.org.

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