SOURCE: National Disability Institute

National Disability Institute

November 14, 2014 11:27 ET

Hays, Kansas Woman Wins National Disability Institute's My American Dream Video Contest

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - November 14, 2014) - Amanda Thompson of Hays, Kan. received great news today when National Disability Institute surprised her at a Fort Hays State University event to announce she won National Disability Institute's My American Dream -- Voices of Americans with Disabilities Video Contest

A graduate student in the Department of Communication Disorders at Fort Hays State University, Thompson was one of five finalists in National Disability Institute's video contest encouraging people with disabilities to share their American dreams to show that having a career, succeeding in college, achieving financial independence and homeownership are the dreams of all people. As the grand prizewinner, Thompson received $1,000, a digital tablet and a team of professionals to help her take the next steps toward her dreams.

Thompson, who acquired a traumatic brain injury following an automobile accident, hopes to work as a speech therapist to help other people living with brain injuries. Currently involved in the accessibility community at Fort Hayes State University, Thompson's inspiration to help and serve others is a result of a close bond that she formed with her speech therapist at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Neb. Thompson hopes to work at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in the future.

"We congratulate Amanda on winning this year's contest and look forward to working with her to turn her dreams into a reality," said National Disability Institute Executive Director Michael Morris. "Amanda's can do spirit and selfless attitude are inspirational. I have no doubt she will put both to good use helping countless people in similar situations. Amanda shared with us her one time goal of becoming a lawyer. We all know the world has plenty of lawyers. However, we are in dire need of more people like Amanda willing to make a real difference in the lives of people with diverse challenges," continued Morris. "It is my hope that through Amanda's story, and the stories from this year's finalists, more people will recognize the universal desire we all have, people with and without disabilities, to find a path to achieve the American Dream." 

Thompson will work with National Disability Institute staff and Fort Hays State University officials, as well as the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, to develop an action plan to put her on the path toward a future helping others once again find their voice and move toward their American Dream.

Each year, National Disability Institute invites people with disabilities to submit a video highlighting their American Dream. The videos paint a diverse portrait of Americans with disabilities, displaying their talents and sharing their aspirations to be a part of the economic mainstream. An independent panel selects five finalists and the general public votes to determine the grand prizewinner. 

For more information and news on National Disability Institute's My American Dream Video Contest, or to view Thompson's winning video, visit: http://dream.realeconomicimpact.org

About National Disability Institute 
National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, NDI affects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. National Disability Institute and its Real Economic Impact (REI) Network have helped more than 2.3 million people with disabilities receive nearly $2.3 billion in tax refunds and credits. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org. Engage with National Disability Institute on Facebook: RealEconImpact or follow NDI on Twitter: @RealEconImpact.

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