“It’s not what has happened to you that matters—it’s what you make of it”
My Unforeseen Journey: Losing Sight Gaining Vision is the deeply moving story of a young woman, Melanie Taddeo-Nxumalo, whose life changes drastically after suffering a massive stroke that leaves her legally blind and completely paralyzed on her left side. Melanie, the author of this empowering narrative, imparts her experiences in a unique and inspiring way, providing profound insights for the reader to relate to in their own unforeseen journeys. After years of therapy, Melanie was able to regain her independence and go onto become the first legally blind teacher to graduate in Ontario—a certified special education teacher with over ten years of experience in program development, fundraising, community outreach, volunteer management, and public speaking. Based on Melanie’s personal experiences with respect to the lack of support and opportunities to foster independence for individuals with disabilities, she also founded Connect 4 Life and Voice 4 Ability. Melanie has assisted hundreds of people through her program, An Accessible Voice in Broadcasting; it’s the first training program of its kind, an enriching life-skills course which helps participants access education and training to achieve their dreams. Melanie has been an accomplished Toastmaster since 2014. She now shares her message to encourage and enable others—entrepreneurs, professionals, and community leaders alike—to embrace life’s challenges and overcome adversity with dignity and ease.
Melanie Taddeo is a passionate advocate who at the age of 21 suffered a massive stroke that left her completely paralyzed on her left side and legally blind. After years of therapy she was able to regain her independence. She went on to become the first legally blind teacher to graduate in Ontario, a certified special education teacher with over 20 years of experience in program development, fundraising, community outreach, volunteer management, and public speaking. Melanie founded Connect 4 Life and Voices 4 Ability based on her personal experience of the lack of programs
for people with disabilities that promote independence. She has made it
her goal to help empower others to achieve their dreams despite the challenges they may face.
Drawing on her life experience, Melanie effectively illustrates the impact that one’s attitude can have on the final outcome when faced with great adversity and uncertainty. She then draws parallels between her professional and personal experiences to help audience members identify the importance of being adaptable in the workplace and in life. She reminds everyone that challenges at work and at home should not translate into a negative outlook overall.
As Melanie astutely observes: “It’s not what has happened to you that matters—it’s what you make of it!”
Speech Topics Include
Melanie helps audiences understand and embrace
inclusion wither it is in a workplace, school or community.
Achieving Your Goals Despite Barriers
Melanie shares her personal experience to demonstrate
how anything’s possible when you set your mind to it and
are willing to think outside the box.
Have you ever encountered a challenge/barrier that has gotten in your way? Or are your employees having difficulty dealing with change, Melanie will help inspire audience to overcome adversity in both personal and professional scenarios.
Workshop Topics Include
- Employment & Disability
- Sensitivity Training