View highlights from our first Disability InSIGHTS seminar.

A special thank you to everyone involved. 

Because of you, we had an amazing day together!


Our Interview with Erie News Now…

Amy Bovaird and Aimee Eddy Gross with Lisa Adams, the veteran news anchor of The Insider program.

Erie News Now The Insider Interview with Amy Bovaird and Aimee Eddy Gross promoting Disability InSIGHTS

Below are the original event details from

Disability InSIGHTS 2019

Join us for an EXCITING and EMPOWERING series of events celebrating National Disability Awareness Month. 

This inaugural tour begins with a series of author events leading up to the key event, Disability InSIGHTS, a seminar featuring various speakers who share their personal stories, the challenges they have gone through as well as their accomplishments.  In addition, they address stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding their disabilities. Talks will focus on coping with Vision Loss, Deaf Blindness, Mental Illness and Disability in general.



Free and Open to the Public

Chat with an Author!  Prizes & Giveaways!  Listen, Learn, Laugh!

Featured Authors:  Maxwell Ivey, Jr. and Amy Bovaird

Tuesday, October 15 | Heartland Gifts  | 12 pm – 2 pm

Tuesday, October 15 | Pressed  | 4 – 6 pm

Wednesday, October 16 | Sight Center of NWPA Vision Loss Support Group | 11 am – 2 pm

Thursday, October 17 | Hofmann Church & Religious Goods  | 2 pm – 4 pm


Friday, October 18 | Tom Ridge Environmental Center  | 10:30 am – 3 pm | $10.00

Our goal for the seminar is for you to leave being more confident and inspired to accomplish your goals and achieve your dreams!   

Click To View 2019 Event Highlights

Scroll down the page to learn more about the Speakers who will be sharing their inspirational stories at this empowering event!


picture of Amy Bovaird



Amy Bovaird

Amy Bovaird has both vision and hearing loss. She is an author, blogger, speaker, and continues to educate others through her books, blogs and public speaking events.

Disability InSIGHTS was a spark of an idea not so long ago.  Through the hard work and collaboration of many people, this event has come to fruition with an amazing panel of speakers who will share their experiences; leaving you feeling inspired and empowered to push beyond your limits to live the life you imagine.

Maxwell Ivey, Jr. 

“Life is like a River Overcoming Adversity and Moving Forward”

Maxwell Ivey, Jr., aka ‘the Blind Blogger,’ will share his experience with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a rare, incurable hereditary eye condition that results in blindness.  He will address the many struggles of starting his first online business and what it took to become a successful author, speaker, online media coach, and podcast host.

Aimee Eddy Gross

“Recovery from Mental Illness is Possible”

Aimee Eddy Gross will share how bullying in school and a chemical imbalance contributed to depression, anxiety, self-injury and Borderline Personality Disorder. She will talk about her struggles and how she fought to reach recovery. She will give tips on techniques she used to reach recovery. She will encourage others to fight for recovery, gain control over their illness, and find happiness.

Emmanuel Lee

“The Life of a Deaf Blind Adult”

Emmanuel Lee will speak about how becoming deaf as a toddler led to an abusive home situation and extensive bullying throughout school. He will also share how in his 30s, he began losing his sight. This crossroads resulted in Emmanuel attending the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf Blind Youths & Adults. He concludes by explaining how his stay at the HKNC taught him how to adapt to his newfound abilities.

Stephanae McCoy

“How Losing My Sight Expanded My Vision”

When you change the way you see things, the things you see CHANGE.  In “How Losing My Sight Expanded My Vision” I share three tips to bring to light what I have learned on my journey to help you also navigate the road to social entrepreneurship.

Chelsea C. Nguyen

“Blind and Adaptive Hands-On Makeup, Hair Styling and Shaving Demos” 

At my demo exhibitor table, individuals of all abilities will have the opportunity to touch, feel and practice on a mannequin head with various adaptive styling and shaving tools, such as a safe and easy beeping curling iron and a blow dryer brush as well as get to quickly learn how to apply lipstick on or trim their nails easily and correctly with limited or no vision.

image of Chelsea_Nguyen
hope martinson chair yoga

Hope Martinson

Hope Martinson is a childrens yoga teacher specializing in adaptive and accessible instruction for students with disabilities.   Hope will be facilitating chair yoga during our mid-day stretch.


Erica Ploski, MA, LPC

image of Erica Plosky

Licensed Professional Counselor and Mother of Three Children.

Casey Ireson

image of Casey Ireson

College senior, and public speaker sharing autism awareness and insights from his personal journey.

Dr. Paul A. Bensur, Jr.

image of Dr Paul Bensur holding his book, A New Outlook

Published Author of Autistic Spectrum Disorder A New Outlook.