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!”