In 1992, The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed December 3 as International Day for People with Disabilities. This annual day of observance aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights, and well-being of people with disabilities and celebrate their achievements.
27-year-old Amanda is a Grandview Kids Grad with a disability of left-side hemiparesis cerebral palsy, which affects her left arm and leg. Amanda has been a part of Grandview Kids since the age of six-months-old. At Grandview Kids, she received Physiotherapy to help with strengthening her leg muscles, Occupational Therapy to work on fine motor skills, Speech-Language Pathology to build on communication clarity and efficacy, and Botox injections to help reduce spasms in her muscles.
Amanda is a major advocate for people with disabilities. She has shown time and time again how her disability does not limit her. A notable moment of personal achievement was when she made a goal to learn how to drive and successfully earned her driver’s license. She is also always encouraging the growth of other Grandview Kids peers. As an adolescent, she was a founding member of Grandview Kids’ Youth Advisory Council (YAC) to give voice to the unique challenges of disabled youth.
Since embarking on her own journey outside of Grandview Kids, she began a role at the Abilities Centre as a Mixed Ability Sports Facilitator and Ambassador. Her role focuses on making sports/sports clubs accessible and inclusive. She participates in coaching clinics to teach others how to run a mixed-ability sports program. She also provides ambassador training by going to schools to teach students and/or athletes how mixed-ability sports can be successful. “It makes me so happy to see others like me joining sports like everyone else, being on the same team whether you’re disabled or not.”
More recently, Amanda was part of the Steering Committee to build the Grandview Kids Adolescent Transition Program. Her lived experience was an essential asset to the Steering Committee by providing vital insight into the gap in service support and resources between adolescence and adulthood for those with disabilities. With her help, the Adolescent Transition Program Toolkit was built and serves as a roadmap for youth and their caregivers. The program launch has been well-received, and her efforts led her to becoming the 2023 “Spirit of Grandview Kids Award” grad winner of the Elexicon Energy Dream Big, Dream Brighter Awards dinner.
Thank you, Amanda, for being a true advocate for people with disabilities during your time as a Grandview Kids client and even now as a grad! Your work and achievements are inspiring!
Check out more Grandview Kids articles
- International Epilepsy Day – February 12
- Introducing AlayaCare, our new Electronic Health Record
- Rare Disease Day – February 28
- Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week – February 7 to 14
- Feeding Tube Awareness Week – February 5 to 9