Student author raises awareness for individuals with disabilities

Amy Shapiro reading her book, "The Music That Gave Me A Voice," on a swing near Butler and Roemer halls.
Photo by Megan Courtney

MEGAN COURTNEY | Reporter

After writing her book, “The Music That Gave Me A Voice,” Amy Shapiro continues to raise awareness for individuals that have disabilities.

The book is about Shapiro’s own learning disabilities and how she was able to overcome them by working with individuals who have disabilities at her high school in the music program, according to a Facebook page about the book.

Along with writing and promoting her book, Shapiro has also been nominated for various awards.

“Dr. Hutcheson nominated me for the Student Research Symposium,” Shapiro said. “I spoke about how music and movement can provide individuals with disabilities and all abilities with a voice. I got first place through the education department.” 

As an education major, Shapiro has to design a lesson plan. She designed one for a class taught by Associate Professor Jill Hutcheson and based it on music and colors.

While keeping up with her studies Shapiro also has three jobs.

“I work at Stages Performing Arts Academy,” she said. “I help individuals with disabilities and all abilities sing, dance and perform.”

The second job involves working with families at a Jewish temple, where she does “everything it takes to allow a child with autism to have their Bar Mitzvah.”

Shapiro’s third job is what she said is her “life inspiration in college.” She works with a child on Sundays, who could barely speak when Shapiro first met her. Shapiro plays piano with the child, where they work on things such as patience, paying attention, reading lyrics and notes, and sensory-oriented tasks.

“My dream for her is to play at Powell Symphony Hall,” Shapiro said.

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