“It’s not what has happened to you that matters—it’s what you make of it”
About Melanie Taddeo
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!” To spread this message and help change others lives, Melanie shares these experiences and reflections in her critically acclaimed novel My Unforeseen Journey: Losing Sight Gaining Vision.
About the Novel
My Unforeseen Journey: Losing Sight Gaining Vision
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.
Lizz Noble, Filmmaker
“Melanie is a force of nature. Her deep-seated belief in the potential of
everyone inspires all around her. Especially me.”
Kai Black, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Public Speaking Themes and Topics Include:
Melanie helps audiences understand and embrace inclusion whether it is in a workplace, school or community environment.
Achieving Your Goals Despite Barriers:
Melanie shares her personal experience to demonstrate how anything is possible when you set your mind to it and are willing to think creatively.
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 and Disability
Melanie Taddeo shares her experiences and process for regaining her independence at a local conference.
Public Speaking Reviews
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