Post Title: Disability InSIGHTS Speaker Challenges Herself to Encourage Others.

Guest Post by Aimee Eddy Gross.

October Brings Awareness.

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. My good friend, Amy Bovaird, a very talented author, is putting together a seminar called Disability InSIGHTS for October 18. There will be seven speakers on different topics like mental illness, autism, blindness, and deaf blindness. It will be an uplifting seminar that will encourage its attendees to work around their disabilities to inspire and touch the world.

The Invitation to Speak.

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 than 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 made suggestions of different topics I could write about.

Problem Solving.

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 create 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 would share my story about how I suffered with mental illness and struggled to reach for recovery. I would 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.

The Other Speakers.

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.

In Closing.

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 Tom Ridge 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.

Editor’s Note: Aimee not only copes positively and courageously with mental illness, she is a survivor of Breast Cancer.

You have just read “Disability InSIGHTS Speaker Challenges Herself to Encourage Others” guest post by Aimee Eddy Gross on the Amy L. Bovaird blog. © September 17, 2019. All rights reserved.

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5 Stars “…I’m not vision impaired. I don’t read non-fiction for enjoyment. I am not what some might consider the target market for this book, but I can tell you that I would recommend it to my own teenagers, my husband, my teenage students, and anyone else I know as a book of bravery, encouragement, motivation, testimony, and just as a pleasure read. Don’t pass it by: You will be blessed.”–An Amazon Reader

–An Amazon Reader

5 Stars   “Living in the Power instead of the fear!”

Mobility Matters elegantly shares Amy Bovaird’s emotions and experience which anyone going through vision loss can identify with. The transformation as she overcomes her fear and the enemies voices that her loss of vision will now define who she is as a person and dictate the rest of her life, will inspire hope to each reader. Amy’s journey stepping out in faith and how the Lord’s Word gave her the strength to keep going, is a must read.

This book is not only for those going through the hallway of vision loss, but for each family member or any one who loves someone losing their vision would also benefit by reading.

Mobility Matters Stepping out in Faith has left me thinking I will now call canes power sticks!!!

Michael Benson, Founder
Visual Experience Foundation

Michael Benson, Founder, Visual Experience Foundation

4 Stars  “…As a mobility specialist myself, I found this book of great interest to me for its subject matter. I was quite amazed that Amy could get around on her own with her genetic condition, particularly at night, since individuals with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) tend to lose their night vision and are using a cane at night much sooner than Amy was using any assistive device (even a bright light). Amy maintained her positive attitude, her faith and her sense of humour. If only we all could do that in times of crisis!” –Kathryn Svendsen, Mobility Specialist, Canada

–Kathryn Svendsen

5 Stars  “Couldn’t stop reading until I finished. Very inspirational. Will definitely be looking for more by this author!” –Sharon Hannah

–Sharon Hannah

5 stars “…This book really inspired me. Amy’s outlook on life is what I would like to model in my own. Yes, going blind SUCKS but she took it to another level. She made it into an adventure and I needed to be reminded of that again. Her positive outlook on this all has really encouraged me in my current situation now. Taking the step of faith to move on forward and embrace life for what it is. I highly recommend purchasing this book! Be inspired, take a journey behind the life of someone with Usher, smile, laugh, and enjoy! –Andi Nicole

–Andi Nicole

5 Stars “As a person who lives with chronic illness, I sometimes get bogged down with books on illness that feel really heavy. This one does not. Author Amy Bovaird, who is losing her sight, writes so well about her personal experiences, I feel like I’m walking alongside her as I read. I kept coming back to the story to see what happened–was she going to let fear stop her? Would she overcome?
The lessons Amy learns through her experiences apply to any of us who fear aging, illness, new symptoms, or really anyone who needs some inspiration, and that reminder that much can be accomplished if you step out and forward–even when you cannot see beyond that first step. I definitely enjoyed this book. –Kimberly Rae, Bestselling Author of the Stolen Series

–Kimberly Rae, Your Content Goes Here

Blog post review by Gillian Davis, RP Tunnel of Sight
One of the best books I have ever read about mobility and white cane use is called Mobility Matters: Stepping out in Faith by Amy Bovard. It is funny, poignant and packs a lot of tips and useful information. You can find it by following the link below to Amy’s web page and listen to a chapter before you buy, it is wonderful.

Gillian Davis, RP Tunnel of Sight

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