Beam Press Release

Chicago Welcomes Beam Smart Presence System

National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago makes cutting-edge 
technology available for patrons with disabilities.


July 30, 2015 (Chicago) – The National Museum of Health and Medicine Chicago (MNHM Chicago) will house a Beam Smart Presence System from Suitable Technologies during the month of September in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The BeamPro is part of the TechAbility exhibit which will launch at NMHM Chicago September 11th with the ReelAbilities film FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement. This is the first time this technology will be in Chicago!


NMHM Chicago is participating in Suitable Technologies Museum Partnership Program. Sites receive a BeamPro SPS to grant access to people who are physically unable to travel. From anywhere in the world, a user may “beam” into participating museums to view galleries and experience museums firsthand from the comfort of their computer. BeamPro will have special appearances at Opening Night and other ReelAbilities events. The system will also be available to patrons who wish to visit the museum remotely throughout the month of September.


In July President Obama spoke in the White House about the 25th Anniversary of the ADA and interacted with Alice Wong, Founder and Project Coordinator of the Disability Visibility Project. She attended the event remotely using BeamPro via webcam and moved around simply by clicking the arrows on a laptop’s keyboard. Alice was the first person to use this type of device in the White House.


ReelAbilities Film Festival (RAFF) is the largest film festival in the United States dedicated to sharing the human experience of disability through art and film. The Chicago festival is hosted by BACKBONES – a local nonprofit providing support for people with spinal cord injuries – and supported by a partnership with ADA 25 Chicago, a citywide initiative and public awareness campaign that is commemorating and leveraging the 25th anniversary of the ADA. RAFF Chicago is scheduled for September 9 -13, 2015 and includes films with engaging panel discussions, guest speakers, exhibitions, performances, and opening/closing night celebrations. 


All events are FREE to the public and ADA friendly.