Abilities Expo celebrates community of people with disabilities

Friday marked the 24th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and to kick off the start of the 25th Anniversary Legacy Tour, Houston Mayor Annise Parker bestowed a proclamation Friday morning at the Abilities Expo at NRG Center.

"It's fitting that it started here in Houston. It was pushed originally by Lex Freidan. ... The first mayor to embrace it was Kathy Whitmire, and it was signed by Houston resident George H. W. Bush." Parker adds, "Disabilities can cover a range of different impacts, and we as Houstonians need to be familiar with what the legalities are, as well as what the opportunities are to better integrate them into our community."

Houston is home to more than half a million people with disabilities, and this weekend's event is a huge resource for them.

"The Abilities Expo is an event that is held yearly here in Houston that really brings different agencies, non-profit community and highlights what exists out there in the state of TX for people with disabilities," says Ambassador Ana Calvo.

Calvo and Bryan Evans also work with Miss Wheelchair Texas.

"We're here to recruit candidates for our Miss Wheelchair Texaas, and to also find or help people who may know a little girl who uses a wheelchair in her daily life because we also have a Little Miss program," she said.

This year's Little Miss Wheelchair Texas is Chloe Short, 11, who says she is grateful for this meaningful experience.

"I go around and show little girls even if they're in wheelchairs or not in wheelchairs that we have a lot more in common than we do not in common," Chloe explained. "That's my motto this year. 'Just like you, with wheels.'"

The event runs Friday and Saturday for 11am to 5pm and Sunday from 11 to 4pm at NRG Center, and it's free to the public.
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societydisabilitydiscriminationwheelchair accessibleNRG parkHouston
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