TechAbility highlights technology that affects and enriches the lives of individuals with disabilities. The exhibit looks at the history of mobility, present day technological advances, and the future of accessibility. The exhibit includes interactive timelines and current innovations, such as 3D printing, mobile apps, robotics, transportation, accessibility within cultural institutions, and universal design. TechAbility explores the evolution of technology and how it continues to change the lives of individuals with disabilities.

TechAbility will launch during the ReelAbilities Film Festival. The festival is dedicated to sharing the lives, stories, and art of people with disability. The goal of the festival is to help the public recognize disability as a natural part of the human experience and to expand equal opportunity for people with disabilities to participate fully in the civic, social, and economic life of our region. TechAbility and ReelAbilties are a part of ADA25 Chicago, the 25th anniversary celebration of the Americans With Disabilities Act. We hope that you can join with us to explore the many advancements of technology within the realm of disabilities and accessibility.


NMHM Chicago is proud to partner with ADA 25 Chicago and BACKBONES for this exhibit

in recognition of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

For more information, please visit ADA25 Chicago's website and 



Our Speakers: 

Henry Evans: Henry Evans is the inspiration and instigator of Robots For Humanity. In 2003, Henry Evans became quadriplegic and mute after a stroke-like attack. Now he's a pioneer in adaptive robotic tech to help him, and other disabled people like him, navigate the world. Henry is the creator of The Beam Smart Presence System, which enables users to interact with remote locations by coupling high-end video and audio with the freedom of motion to move about a space.

Carlos Arturo Torres:  Carlos’ passion for design started when he was a kid- always curious, imagination addicted, and fascinated with the ‘What If?’. Carlos has an MFA in Advanced Product Designer from Umeå Institute of Design. He created the IKO Creative Prosthetic System, as part of his degree work. IKO is a prosthetic system designed for children to explore and empower themselves and their creativity in a playful and social way.

Kristi L. Kirschner MD: Dr. Kirschner is a Clinical Professor at UIC  in the Department of Disability and Human Development, the Department of Medical Education, is a physiatrist (physician specializing in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) and is on staff at Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital here in Chicago. She is the founder and former director of the RIC Donnelley Family Disability Ethics Program from 1995-2009 and served as the special issue editor for the ethics column in the Journal of PM&R from 2009-2014.

Greg Rupp: Gregory Rupp is a biomedical engineering student at the Illinois Institute of Technology who hopes to one day work in the design and construction of prostheses. He was a research intern for Dr. Derek Kamper at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and now volunteers there, assisting with Virtual Reality projects.

Special thanks to all of our panelists for their insightful presentations!


TechAbility in the News: 

Check out the “TechAbility” Educates on the History and Future of Disability blog post from BraunAbility! 



Access Living
ADA25 Chicago
Adler University, Community Service Practicum - Danielle Slyder, Lyndsey Hedger, Sarah Weisman, Le’Schon Woodson, Love Aurora, and Zukhra Asqarova
Ali Padilla
Carlos Arturo Torres, IKO Creative Prosthetic System
Evan Hatfield, Steppenwolf Theatre 
Greg Rupp
Henry and Jane Evans
Kevin Brennan, UIC
Dr. Kristi Kirschner
Mohammad Ouyoun, Roll With Me
National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago
Pat Maher, SPR Consulting
ReelAbilities Film Festival Chicago - Reveca Torres, Matt Lauterbach, Grishma Shah
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago - Dr. Derek Kamper, Nikolay Stoykov, and Daria Tsoupikova
ReWalk Robotics
Suitable Technologies
University of Illinois at Chicago, Biomedical Visualization