Disability Public Speaker
My Va-LEND 2022 leadership Project
By Amanda Forry/Fino
Va-LEND Long-Term Non Academic Trainee – Advocate, CP Gal, and Author.
“If I do not give the naked truth about life with cerebral palsy, autism, or any other disability who else will?”
Why I chose my leadership project?
I can honestly say picking this project was life-changing. I considered a wide range of topics for my LEND leadership project. It was almost a sexuality centered project, combined with awareness of family abuse as I thought of becoming a peer mentor. On Oct 25, I presented as a panelist on my lived experience to a Disability Studies class. My networking efforts were geared toward establishing myself as a presenter with the JMU sexual disability program and RespectAbility. As of Halloween Day, my life changed forever as I took my vows and became a Christian. The experience caused me to reconsider the project from Sexuality to Presenter.
Focusing on the goal of this leadership project, my first step was trying to get into RespectAbility’s Disability Speakers Bureau. It was definitely a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. I had to take nine classes and pass a test to qualify. Due to the fact that I am helping to start the Christian faith-based part of the business, I am still waiting for the final word on when I can start. One of my primary speaking topics is Disability and Faith, as well as telling my life story and advocating for others.
What I did for my leadership project?
The impact I hope it will have for children with disabilities 0-21 and their families.
I hope to bring Christian churches, children with disabilities, and their families together by teaching and helping where I can, since having a church family is important and beneficial at any age. Hopefully, I will be able to guide several churches into being more disability-friendly, including how people with disabilities wish to be treated. Even though the task is immense, because of LEND, I know that I’m ready to take it on!
In Memory of Alexis Nichols
Gone way too soon, Alexis had reached so many people and LEND was just one slice of it. In honor of the amazing work she did as a leader…May we carry on her work.
Thank You so much!
You can get a free eBook or an audible copy from me or just keep in touch with me.