Top four tips for making a difference through community engagement

Have you ever wanted to make a difference but not known where to begin? Our world faces many challenges and times of struggle that raise uncertainties about our place and role in society. As individuals, we have more power than we believe, and it is up to each one of us to channel the potential that lies within.

When we join together, our impact becomes far-reaching. In this video, I will discuss the top four ways you can create positive change through community engagement. Whether it be an independent goal, a family commitment, or a city-wide undertaking, community engagement can become a part of your lifestyle that is both rewarding and transformative for yourself and others.

The ways to become involved in your community can be within your reach and aligned with your passions. Choose to donate your time through volunteering, or contribute money, goods, or services. Educate others about a cause or mission and spread awareness about the organizations that advocate for those causes. Participate in advocacy efforts to create change through legislation, practices individuals engage in, and encourage others to join in and support the efforts in their own way. Join us as we explore these available options that fit your lifestyle and interests.

Volunteer Match is a wonderful resource that supports this very mission and emphasizes the many ways that we can choose to join the movement to do good. If you want to be the change the world needs to see, you can start today. Begin within your community to become engaged in making a difference; discover what speaks to you.

Ajit Narayanan’s FreeSpeech App Empowers Verbally Disabled

A 2013 TED Talk About A Word Game That Transcends Language

Shannon Conner | October 23, 2017

In February 2013 at a packed Long Beach Performing Arts Center, Invention Labs Founder and CEO, Ajit Narayanan, shares a chance encounter that inspires him to develop the Avaz and FreeSpeech apps.

The apps support, and translate for, verbally disabled children by converting pictures into speech. Communication support, that if not started early on, can result in “difficulties in: language development, social interaction, learning, development of life skills” (2017 Kim Bates and Katrina Macleod).

Narayan refers to a Daniel Webster quote when saying his passion is to “empower children with disabilities to be able to communicate and get all the rest back!” Getting all the rest back is exactly the mission of the Conductive Education Center of Orlando (CECO). Reach out to them at:

Adam Pearson’s Powerful TED Talk: Removing the Stigma of Disability


Adam Pearson, award-winning British actor, spoke at a TED conference in Brighton, UK on March 23, 2017. The presenter addressed the issue of removing disability stigma.

Pearson, born with neurofibromatosis, has been involved in special programs to prevent bullying associated with deformities. Due to his face disfigurement, he has been a victim of persecution of bulling In the TEDx Talk, the actor shares the importance of recognizing how prejudice against disabled individuals has been mostly provoked by the media.

“Disabilities and documentaries historically have not been done well,” said Pearson. “If you look at channel five, these programs start with voiceovers like, ‘Jimmy was born with a shark for an arm’ and Coldplay’s ‘Fix You’ starts playing in the background. That’s not how we want to be portrayed on television.”

Research shows that educational conferences such as TED may protest hostile representations of illness as a way to challenge the stigmas they represent. Pearson strives to change the way promotional videos and ads about disabilities are to be done.

To learn more about how you can help those with disabilities in the Central Florida community and contribute to removing the stigma, please visit Conductive Education Center of Orlando (CECO).

Mathew Struthers Explains How to Fall Like a Pro at TEDx Event at Berklee College of Music

On June 5, 2017, Mathew Struthers shares his journey of taking control over his life by learning how to treat cerebral palsy as a nuisance and gives his audience a vision of what it means to be human: imperfect yet illimitable. His story, “Falling Like a Pro was presented at TEDx Talk sponsored by the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts.

When Mathew received his diagnosis, his parents were told he would never walk, run, climb, or swim. Today, Mathew does all of the above, is a recent graduate of the Berklee College of Music, and above all lives his life to the fullest. He says, success begins when you “go to look at your monsters in the face.”

To learn more about ways you can help improve the quality of life of people with cerebral palsy,  contact CECO or any other CP organization in your area.

Sherwin Nuland’s TED talk explores the extraordinary power of ordinary people to inspire us to act

Sherwin Nuland shares his insight on the power of the ordinary person in healing others at his February, 2003 TED Talk presentation, The extraordinary power of ordinary people, in Monterey, California.

The power to change the world lies within each one of us, and it is up to us to act upon this truth every day. Sherwin Nuland is an experienced surgeon and also a writer who combines his unique expertise and passions to share captivating and credible motivation in his TED talk, “The extraordinary power of ordinary people”. His wisdom is striking in simplicity and relevance.

We must believe we can accomplish the extraordinary, rather than limiting ourselves with the fallacy that we are merely ordinary people without the means to influence our world in far-reaching ways. Believing in ourselves allows us to make the change the world needs today, in the realms of hope, healing, and humanity.

Hippocrates wisely stated, “Where there is love of humankind, there is love of healing”. It’s up to us to believe and begin, to meet passion with action and make a change. Start small, begin within yourself. To learn more about ordinary superheroes in our central Florida community, visit Conductive Education Center of Orlando.