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Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit

When it comes to interacting with individuals with disabilities, people ask, "What should I do?" How should I respond?" "Is it okay to say that?" and "How can I become an ally?"

Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit attempts to answer some of these questions.

Initiated by Saint Louis University Anne Marie Carroll and developed by other graduate students studying disability in higher education and society under the direction of Karen Myers, Ph.D., The Ability Exhibit launched in 2010.

This traveling exhibit is designed to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities through respect for others, comfort during interactions, and awareness of disability issues.

It is an affordable learning experience that is easy to ship and can be set up in a few hours. The exhibit can be reserved online.

Features of the Ability Exhibit

Using a multimedia approach, The Ability Exhibit offers suggestions for becoming disability allies and educators. It provides interactive stations designed to build awareness about people with disabilities and the disability movement.

Overview of the Disability Movement
The Disability movement in the United States is illustrated through a sample of historical photographs. A pivotal moment in the movement was the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990, the most comprehensive legislation concerning the civil rights of persons with disabilities. Learn more about disability legislation in the "ADA 20th Anniversary" video.
Quiz Yourself: "Ability IQ"

Through computer quizzes, test your knowledge about disability facts, celebrities with disabilities, disability law and appropriate communication techniques. You will be surprised how much you already know and what you might learn.
Who Do You Know with Disabilities?
Indicate if you know someone with a disability, and notice how many people — including you — already are disability allies. Categories include visual (blind, low vision), hearing (deaf, hard of hearing), mobility, psychological, medical and learning disabilities.
Space Rope
Hold one end of the Space Rope and experience the communication distances used by people who are blind and have low vision. Knots on the Space Rope indicate the distance between two people. Used in pairs, the Space Rope helps simulate the appropriate distance between two individuals for public or personal space.
Inclusive Language
You will learn about person-first language and identity-first language. Using inclusive language allows us to show respect and avoid labels.
Silent/Hidden Disabilities
Learning disabilities that are "silent" or "hidden" affect millions of people but often are overlooked. See facts and statistics about learning disabilities in the United States.
Universal Design
Learn about universal instructional design, which relates to curriculum and academic settings and provides welcoming educational environments and equal access for everyone, and universal design in student development. An informational video and several publications provide specifics for using each, as well as an overview of universal design principles in general.

Learning Objectives

After participating in Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, attendees will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of people with disabilities and the disability movement.
  • Display a greater sensitivity to the struggles faced by people with disabilities in the past and to the challenges people with disabilities encounter today and will encounter in the future.
  • Understand the value of such concepts as universal design, and person-first language, after experiencing these concepts in action.
  • Appreciate and understand the concept of and need for ability allies and make a commitment to being an ally for inclusion.
  • Become advocates for awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities in society.


Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit is sponsored by the Saint Louis University School of Education and SLU’s Division of Student Development, SLU's Division of Information Technology Services, Logan College of Chiropractic and Mary Bruemmer.

Host the Exhibit

Since its debut in 2010, The Ability Exhibit has traveled to dozens of colleges and universities across the country.

We can ship The Ability Exhibit to your campus, complete with instructions for setting up and hosting it in a variety of educational venues and spaces. Once you're finished, you'll pack it up and send it back to us.

The exhibit includes 10 stations and weighs about 400 pounds. Pricing and additional rental information is available in the rental and purchasing guide

Upon completion of the training, participants can choose to display an Ability Ally placard at their work space or wear a wristband identifying them as an ability ally.

Reserve the Ability Exhibit

To get started or to reserve dates, simply fill out the interest form and we'll be in contact with you shortly. Questions? We're happy to provide you with more information.

Previous Hosts

The Ability Exhibit: Allies for Inclusion is hosted worldwide. 

  •  Tulane University, New Orleans, LA: February 6-8, 2019
  • University of Michigan, Ann, Arbor, MI: February 27-28, 2019
  • Cape Cod Community College, West Barnstable, MA: March 5-7, 2019
  • Lindenwood University, St. Louis, MO: March 19-20, 2019
  • Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ: April 8-10, 2019
  • Highline University, Seattle, WA: April 22-25, 2019
  • University of New Haven, West Haven, CT: April 17-20, 2019
  • ATLIB Summer Professional Development Conference for Tertiary Level Institutions, STANN Creek Ecumenical Junior College, Dangriga, Belize: June 5-6, 2019
  • Belmont University, Nashville,TN: September 24-26, 2019
  • Starkloff Workplace Disability Summit, October 1, 2019
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO: October 14-15, 2019
  • Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH: October 16-17, 2019
  • Parkway South Middle School, St. Louis, MO: October 14-17, 2019
  • Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL: October 29-31, 2019
  • PIUS Library, Saint Louis University, November 7- December 16, 2019
  • St. John's College, Belize City, Belize: May 21-24, 2018
  • St. Charles Community College, Cottleville, MO: April 23-25, 2018
  • Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Webster Groves, MO: April 8-20, 2018
  • Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill: MA April 9-11, 2018
  • Southwest Middle School, St. Louis, MO: March 15, 2018
  • Parkway South High School, St. Louis, MO: March 9, 2018
  • Life University, Marietta, Georgia: March 8, 2018
  • Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, Green Bay, WI: February 27-March 2, 2018
  • Fragile X Conference, Cincinnati, OH: July 11-14,2018
  • Logan University, Chesterfield, MO: July 23-27,2018
  • Accommodations for Success Job Fair, St. Peters, MO: August 8-9,2018
  • EmployAbility Summit, Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce: September 25, 2018
  • Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences, Kansas City, MO: October 2-3, 2018
  • Metropolitan State University, St Paul MN: October 10-11, 2018
  • SUNY Broome Community College, Binghamton, NY: October 24-26, 2018\
  • SUNY Purchase College, Purchase, NY: October 29-31,2018
  • Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield, MO: October 29-November 2, 2018
  • Wells Fargo Financial Advisors, St. Louis, MO: November 2-9, 2018
  • University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA: January 17-19, 2017
  • University of Nebraska Omaha, Omaha, NE: March 1-2, 2017
  • Adrian College, Adrian, MI: March 13-15, 2017
  • John Carroll University, University Heights, OH: March 20-22, 2017
  • Butler University, Indianapolis, IN: March 28-30, 2017
  • Lakeshore Technical College, Cleveland, WI: April 3-5, 2017
  • Estrella Mountain Community College, Avondale, AZ: April 17-19, 2017
  • Inspire Event, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: June 6, 2017
  • Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN: June 14, 2017
  • Leadership Institute, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: June 27, 2017
  • UMSL Cultural Competency Institute, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: July 18, 2017
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 13, 2017
  • St. Mary’s University Twickenham, London, UK: September 25-26, 2017
  • The King’s School, Canterbury, Canterbury, UK: September 28, 2017
  • Gateway Technical College, Elkhorn, WI: October 3, 2017
  • Gateway Technical College, Kenoska, WI: October 4, 2017
  • Gateway Technical College, Racine, WI: October 5, 2017
  • California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA: October 11-13, 2017
  • Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, NY: October 17-19, 2017
  • Connecticut College, New London, CT: October 25, 2017
  • National Association for Interpretation Conference: November 14-16, 2017
  • Wayne State University: November 29-December 1, 2017
  • Siena Heights University, Adrian, MI: January 26-28, 2016
  • Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA: February 8-10, 2016
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA: February 22-24, 2016
  • Oakland University, Rochester, MI: February 29-March 1, 2016
  • Bridge Valley Community & Technical College, South Charleston, WV: March 21-23, 2016
  • Dominican University, River Forest, IL: March 21-23, 2016
  • Washington University-St. Louis, St. Louis, MO April 6-8, 2016
  • Inspire Event at Saint Louis University-Il Monastero, St. Louis, MO: May 26, 2016
  • Sauk Valley Community College, Dixon, IL: August 11-15, 2016
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 12, 2016
  • University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS: September 19-21, 2016 
  • Middle Georgia State, Macon, GA: October 3-5, 2016
  • Concordia University-Wisconsin, Mequon, Wisconsin: October 11-13, 2016
  • College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL: October 17-19, 2016
  • University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, Texas: October 19, 2016
  • Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas: October 25, 2016
  • Wells Fargo, St. Louis, Missouri: October 25, 2016
  • IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN: November 1-3, 2016
  • Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI: November 7-9, 2016
  • Allegany College of Maryland, Cumberland, MA: March 1-3, 2015
  • ACPA, Tampa, FL: March 5-7, 2015
  • Ivy Tech Community College, Lafayette, IN: March 10-12, 2015
  • NASPA, New Orleans, LA: March 23-24, 2015
  • Saint Louis University Law School's ADA Symposium, St. Louis, MO: March 27, 2015
  • Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA: April 7-9, 2015
  • Lafayette College Easton, PA: April 14-16, 2015
  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI: April 14-16, 2015
  • Muhlenberg College, Allentown, PA: April 21-23, 2015
  • Saint Louis University, July 23-25, 2015
  • Secret Powers and Super Folks: Heroes of Disability and Determination, Saint Louis University July 23, 2015
  • Allies for Art Show, Saint Louis University: July 25, 2015
  • Lindenwood University-Belleville Campus, Belleville, IL: September 2, 2015
  • Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, KS: September 9-11, 2015
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 16-17, 2015
  • St. Louis College of Pharmacy, St. Louis, MO: September 21-25, 2015
  • Virginia Tech University Blacksburg, VA: September 30-October 7, 2015
  • Ameren Diversity Festival (*partial display), St. Louis, MO: October 3, 2015
  • Moraine Park Technical College, Fond du Lac, WI: October 5-7, 2015
  • Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI: October 13-15, 2015
  • University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH: October 13-15, 2015
  • Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI: October 18-20, 2015
  • Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO: October 19-23, 2015
  • Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL: October 27-29, 2015
  • Arkansas Tech University, Russellville, AR: November 4-6, 2015
  • Wayne State University, Detroit, MI: November 10-12, 2015
  • Chapman University, Orange, CA: November 18-20, 2015
  • Appleton North High School, Appleton, WI: December 1-4, 2015
  •  Southern Illinois University Edwardsville's Tunnel of Oppression, Edwardsville, IL: March 19-20, 2014 (partial display)
  • State Fair Community College, Sedalia, MO: March 25-27, 2014
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA) College Student Educators International Convention, Indianapolis, IN: March 30-April 1, 2014
  • Ability Allies Professional Development Seminar ,Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: July 8, 2014
  • Second Annual Ability Exhibit Trivia Night, Saint Louis University, St. Louis MO: September 13, 2014
  • AJCU Education Dean's Conference, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 18, 2014
  • Busch Student Center, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 22, 2014
  • MoCPA Pre-Conference, Tan-Tar-A Resort Osage Beach, MO: September 28, 2014
  • University of Nebraska-Omaha, Omaha, NE: October 6-10, 2014
  • University of Missouri, Columbia, MO: October 14-16, 2014
  • Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA: October 15-17, 2014
  • Wells Fargo, St. Louis, MO: October 23, 2014
  • South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA: October 29-30, 2014
  • Allegany College of Maryland, Cumberland, MA: November 4-6, 2014
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA), College Student Educators International Convention, Las Vegas, NV: March 3-7, 2013
  • Saint Louis University, The Ability Exhibit Trivia Night Fundraiser, St. Louis, MO: September 20, 2013
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL: September 16-17, 2013
  • Saint Louis University Disability Services Club, St. Louis, MO: September 18, 2013
  • Ability Exhibit Trivia Night, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 20, 2013
  • Mount Union University, Alliance, OH: October 8-10, 2013
  • University of Oregon, Eugene, OR: October 22-24, 2013
  • Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Edinboro, PA: October 28-30, 2013
  • South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA: November 19-21, 2013
  • California State University Northridge, Northridge, CA: November 13-15, 2012
  • Southeast Missouri State University, Cape Giradeau, MO: October 29-31, 2012
  • Pennsylvania State University Abington, Abington, PA: October 22-24, 2012
  • Pennsylvania State University Hazelton, Hazelton, PA: October 16-18, 2012
  • Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA: October 10-12, 2012
  • Augusta State University, Augusta, GA: October 1-3, 2012
  • Bradley University, Peoria, IL: September 4-7, 2012
  • University of Illinois Springfield, Springfield, IL: August 30-31, 2012
  • Seattle University, Seattle, WA: April 30 - May 4, 2012
  • Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA: April 23-27, 2012
  • University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, Oshkosh, WI: April 9-13, 2012
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA), College Student Educators International 2012 Convention, Louisville, KY : March 25-27, 2012
  • Webster University, St. Louis, MO: March 21, 2012
  • Saint Louis University, School of Law, St. Louis, MO: January 18-21, 2012
  • Allegany College of Maryland, Cumberland, MA: November 8-11, 2011
  • Delaware County Community College, Media, PA: October 31 - November 4, 2011
  • Bucks County Community College, Newton, PA: October 24-28, 2011
  • University of Delaware, Newark, DE : October 12-18, 2011
  • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT: October 3-7, 2011
  • Fontbonne University, St. Louis, MO: September 21, 2011
  • Washington University, St. Louis, MO: September 20, 2011
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: September 12, 2011 (sponsored by the Saint Louis University Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action, Division of Student Development, and Department of Human Resources) 
  • Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO: August 15, 2011 (sponsored by the Saint Louis University School of Education)
  • Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Carbondale, IL: April 26, 2011
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA), College Student Educators International 2011 Convention, Baltimore, MD: March 28-29, 2011.
  • In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit was invited by ACPA leadership and hosted by the Standing Committee on Disability.
  • Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO: March 9, 2011
  • Saint Louis University, Medical Center Campus, St. Louis, MO: March 8, 2011