October is a busy month: It is not only Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it is also International Blindness Awareness Month and National Disability Awareness Month. On October 18 my good friend, Amy Bovaird, a very talented author, is putting together a seminar called Disability inSIGHTS. There will be seven speakers on different topics like mental illness, Autism, blindness, and deafness. It will be an uplifting seminar that will encourage its attendees to work around their disabilities to inspire and touch the world.
Amy Bovaird messaged me on instant messenger, asking if I would be willing to speak about mental illness for this very special event. I was excited and a bit scared. She wanted me to write a twenty to thirty minute lecture. I’ve never written longer then a ten minute speech. My first question was, “Can I do a speech that long, and what will I talk about?” I confided in Amy about my concerns. She was very encouraging. She is a reader of this blog and made suggestions of different topics I could write about.
Then I worried about how I would write my lecture. For a fifteen-minute speech I used index cards, but there would be is a lot of cards for a twenty to thirty minute lecture. So how will I remember everything I want to say? I asked Amy and others who speak. They suggested I do an outline of the different things I want to say. It is my story, so what can go wrong? So I am working hard on my outline.
The title of my talk will be “Recovery from Mental Illness is Possible.” I decided I will share my story about how I suffered with mental illness and struggled to reach for recovery. I will give some examples of coping techniques I used to reach recovery and the steps to take toward recovery. I hope to inspire other attendees to also reach for recovery from mental illness. Just as the seminar states, I want to give insights into living with mental illness and becoming capable of reaching recovery and becoming an important part of society.
I urge you to come and listen to not only me, but the other six speakers. First, I want to tell you about the one putting the seminar together, my friend, Amy Bovaird. She is legally blind and is also losing her hearing. Despite her disabilities, she is an author of three wonderful books, and she is a powerful speaker and a blogger. She is a very determined person who doesn’t let any obstacles get in her way. She has been working tirelessly on making this seminar a success. I find her to be a very inspiring woman who is living her life to the fullest despite her disabilities. Let’s help her make this seminar a success.
Here is some information about the other speakers. Maxwell Ivey, Jr., aka the Blind Blogger, speak about, “Life is like a River: Overcoming Adversity and Moving Forward.” He has a rare, incurable hereditary eye condition that results in blindness. He will have an inspiring lecture about his struggles and how he overcame his disability to become a successful author, speaker, online media coach, and podcast host.
Emmanuel Lee’s topic is, “The Life of a Deaf–Blind Adult.” He will share stories about his life, like facing abuse at home and bullying at school. He’ll tell how the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf–Blind Youths and Adults taught him to adapt to his newfound abilities.
Stephanae McCoy’s topic is “How Losing My Sight Expanded My Vision.” She will share three tips about what she learned to help you also navigate the road to social entrepreneurship.
Chelsea C. Nguyen will have a table center for “Blindness and Adaptive Hands–On Makeup, Hair Styling, and Shaving Demos.” She will give demonstrations on adaptive styling and shaving tools a person with limited or no vision can use. She will give others the opportunities to touch, feel, and practice on a mannequin head.
There will also be an expert panel on Autism, starting with Erica Ploski, MA, LPC, a licensed professional counselor and mother of three children. Casey Ireson is a college senior and public speaker sharing autism awareness and insights from his personal journey. Dr. Paul A. Bensur Jr., who is a published author of Autistic Spectrum Disorder A New Outlook, will also be on the panel.
This will be an inspiring seminar not just for people with disabilities, but for anyone. So come hear me and the others on October 18 at the Tomridge Center, Erie, PA from 10 am to 3 pm. Register now at the site below. Space is limited, so register right away. You can also find out more about the speakers and the conference at this site. Let’s all reach beyond our disabilities and challenges to dance in the light of success.