John is 32-years old and visually impaired but he doesn't let that slow him down. John is musically inclined and very athletic. The picture here is of John scaling a rock-climbing wall - athletic and ADVENTUROUS.
John attended the MO School for the Blind and formerly worked for the William M. BeDell ARC.
Oliver is 18 and aspiring to be a professional landscape and wildlife photographer. His website, http://oliverhellowell.com offers a wonderful illustration of his life's work.
Oliver was diagnosed with Down syndrome within a day or so from his birth, at three months old he had open heart surgery for three heart defects, at 18-months old he was diagnosed with with severe hypotonia, at two years old he laughed and cried without sound, at three years old he was diagnosed with dyspraxia...he had some challenges to overcome and he did, every one of them.
His mother made physical activity a standard in Oliver's life so the hypotonia (or poor muscle tone) became a non-issue - Oliver is a skateboarder. As for the lack of speech due to the dyspraxia, his mother and sister taught him how to sign. By the time he entered school at four years old he used over 350 signs. Throughout his education he worked on his speech and the boy who would "never be understood by an unfamiliar listener," as stated by the doctor who diagnosed him with dyspraxia, now speaks very well. Oliver has been interviewed on the radio on four different occasions, and was the best man at his mom's wedding where he had to give a speech.
Through his mom's husband, Mike O'Carroll, who became Oliver's role model and mentor, Oliver learned to capture his love for the wildlife through the lens of a camera. Oliver now attends a mainstream college in Taunton Somerset England and hopes to to further his photography to a point where it can be his form of income.
Starting a business is difficult under normal circumstances, but Frames By Devora is a very unique business owned by 28 year old, blue eyed, curly haired Devora Fisher. Devora was born missing the bridge between both halves of her brain, yet her mom Sheila Fisher taught her that she is abled in her own way and not disabled or broken.
In Illinois, when you age out of school at 22 years old, there are no programs available for those like Devora so she is home 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Frames By Devora was born based on Devora’s happy desire to wave her hands up and down as well as her love for music and tactile items. Devora hand paints artisan frames using tactile adapted mittens and is community based helping to educate others about the importance of acceptance and inclusion.
Numerous events and craft fairs have showcased Devora's work, illustrating to the world that EVERYONE is capable of doing something. She has a business license and is a member of her local Chamber of Commerce. It is keeping the smile on Devora’s face and those like her that is of utmost importance.
To learn more about Devora and her business go to the following sites: