Chicago 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 Chicago area.

  • 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 how horses can help 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 Activities

Adaptive Art Activity

Presented by Zot Artz

Adaptive Painting

Art for all! Children of all abilities get to stamp and print to make their mark. Use adaptive art tools and shapes to create your very own exciting art creation! Parents will love the fun and creativity plus this activity also helps develop motor skills, concentration, social interaction, self esteem and more! Each child receives their own print to take home. Plan 5-20 minutes for activity. One print per child. While supplies last. Suggested donation of $5.00 per child to cover supply costs. For attendees under the age of 18. See photos and learn more at zotartz.com.

Hand Cycling

Presented by Invacare Top End

Hand Cycling Photo.  Woman on a hand-cycle.

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.

Manual Wheelchair Skills for Everyone

Presented by Empower Spinal Cord

Manual Wheelchair Skills.  Woman teaching manual wheelchair skills.

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 empowersci.org.

Friday, June 27, 2014

More events to be announced. Check back by April 27, 2014 for the full schedule.

11:45am - 12:45pm

Quad Rugby Demonstration

Presented by the Chicago Bears Wheelchair Rugby Team

Sponsored by Elpis Factor

Rugby Demonstration

Wheelchair rugby has often been 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 not limited to: spinal cord injury, post polio and cerebral palsy. Wheelchair rugby is played with four players on a team on a basketball court. The main message of quad rugby is "Smashing Stereotypes One Hit at a Time" and the sport has proven to be a life changer for those who start playing it. Learn more at ric.org and elpisfactor.com.

2:00pm - 2:30pm

Walk and Roll Dance Team Presents!

Presented by the Walk and Roll Dance Team, formerly known as Team Hotwheelz

Rugby Demonstration

We're kicking off each day with a high-energy, live performance by the Walk and Roll Foundation's inspirational 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. Follow the Team and learn more about them at walkandrollfoundation.org.

2:30pm – 3:00pm

Walk and Roll Dance Team Autograph Session

Meet the members of the Walk and Roll Dance Team! The team will be signing posters and autographs for fans.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Book Signing with Chelsie Hill, Author, Push Girl: A Novel

Book Signing: Push Girl Cover Art

Be among the first to purchase copies of Chelsie Hill's new book Push Girl: A Novel, co-authored with Jessica Love. Push Girls is an inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars Sundance Channel's unscripted series Push Girls, based on her own life. The book will be available for purchase at the special show price of $15.00.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

More events to be announced. Check back by April 27, 2014 for the full schedule.

11:45am - 12:45pm

Wheelchair Basketball

Presented by the Chicago Bulls Wheelchair Basketball Team

Sponsored by Elpis Factor

Wheelchair Basketball at the Chicago Abilities Expo!

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 wheelchairbulls.com and elpisfactor.com.

12:00pm – 3:00pm

Face Painting

Face Painting: Two Girls at Abilities Expo

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.

2:00pm - 2:30pm

Walk and Roll Dance Team Presents!

Presented by the Walk and Roll Dance Team, formerly known as Team Hotwheelz

Walk and Roll Dance Team

We're kicking off each day with a high-energy, live performance by the Walk and Roll Foundation's inspirational 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. Follow the Team and learn more about them at walkandrollfoundation.org.

2:30pm – 3:00pm

Walk and Roll Dance Team Autograph Session

Meet the members of the Walk and Roll Dance Team! The team will be signing posters and autographs for fans.

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Book Signing with Chelsie Hill, Author, Push Girl: A Novel

Book Signing: Push Girl Cover Art

Be among the first to purchase copies of Chelsie Hill's new book Push Girl: A Novel, co-authored with Jessica Love. Push Girls is an inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars Sundance Channel's unscripted series Push Girls, based on her own life. The book will be available for purchase at the special show price of $15.00.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

More events to be announced. Check back by April 27, 2014 for the full schedule.

11:45am - 12:45pm

Wheelchair Tennis

Presented by the Chicago Bears Wheelchair Rugby Team

Sponsored by Elpis Factor

Wheelchair Tennis at the Chicago Abilities Expo!

Local Chicago area players 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. Adaptive sports like wheelchair tennis offer people with all types of disabilities an outlet to play sports competitively and in recreational programs.

12:00pm – 3:00pm

Face Painting

Face Painting: Two Girls at Abilities Expo

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

Walk and Roll Dance Team Presents!

Presented by the Walk and Roll Dance Team, formerly known as Team Hotwheelz

Walk and Roll Dance Team

We're kicking off each day with a high-energy, live performance by the Walk and Roll Foundation's inspirational 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. Follow the Team and learn more about them at walkandrollfoundation.org.

1:30pm – 2:00pm

Walk and Roll Dance Team Autograph Session

Meet the members of the Walk and Roll Dance Team! The team will be signing posters and autographs for fans.

1:30pm – 2:30pm

Book Signing with Chelsie Hill, Author, Push Girl: A Novel

Book Signing: Push Girl Cover Art

Be among the first to purchase copies of Chelsie Hill's new book Push Girl: A Novel, co-authored with Jessica Love. Push Girls is an inspiring, real, and fresh young adult novel about how life can change in an instant by Chelsie Hill, one of the stars Sundance Channel's unscripted series Push Girls, based on her own life. The book will be available for purchase at the special show price of $15.00.

Register for Abilities Expo