I know a spunky, upbeat woman named Katie Banister. She is a woman of achievement, a dynamic speaker, an inspiration. She happens to be disabled, or rather “dis-abled,” as she prefers to call it, driving through life seated in a wheelchair. Many would be disheartened in her situation, giving up on dreams, resigned. But Katie is a fighter. She took the bitter fruit of a terrible accident and created her own recipe for success as well as a life mission. Through her company, Access-4-All, Inc., which includes husband Steve, Katie works to educate and advise businesses about the needs of the disabled community, motivates others dealing with physical setbacks, and speaks to school children to help them better understand and feel comfortable around people with disabilities.
Katie has also channeled her experiences into books: Aunt Katie’s Visit for children, The Personal Care Attendant Guide for those needing to find or become a care-giver, and most recently, A Pocket of Poems which is an guide for looking upward and forward through poetry – there can be comfort and healing in the writing of poems.
October is Disability Month. I dare say many of us have a “dis-ability” in some way, whether a physical problem, anxiety or depression, an addiction, a fear, a simmering anger, a feeling of inadequacy – some roadblock in our lives that prevents us from being all that we might dream of. I look to those like Katie, who dare to look life in the face and make a go of it. Yes, she drifts backwards with the current, but she always finds the strength to go on with a good attitude and a sense of what she CAN do. And she uses that can-do energy and talent to help others with her books, her experience, her life story. Give Katie a call if your school, business or organization is looking for a motivational, inspirational and educational speaker.