Melissa’s story will inspire and inform

Melissa Clarke-Wharff’s son, Jack, suffered multiple strokes at the age of eight, leaving him unable to walk or talk. She founded Courage League Sports because she wanted individuals like Jack to have a safe place to play without fear of judgement. With years of experience in and passion for adaptive play, Melissa will get your audience thinking about how they can foster inclusivity in their communities for individuals of all abilities.

Melissa can speak on a wide range of topics, including:

  • Modifying school PE for adaptive sports and play
  • Incorporating adaptive activities into your community, YMCA, Parks and Rec, etc.
  • Implementing adaptive sports and play without spending a lot of money
  • Training staff and providing techniques for handling behaviors and multiple abilities for those challenged with a special need

Melissa has spoken at a number of events, including:

  • ITA Group’s Women’s Leadership Services Conference, “Resiliency,” Des Moines, Iowa, May 2018. TOPIC: Handling Life Challenges and Work
  • City of West Des Moines Diversity Council Symposium, “Diversity from a Special Needs Perspective and Accessibility to Jobs in Recreation,” West Des Moines, Iowa, May 2018. TOPIC: Perspective and Accessibility in Recreation, Parks and Employment
  • Metro Health Science Symposium, for college students across Iowa, Des Moines, Iowa, February 2018. TOPIC: Hey Healthcare Providers…View from a Parent
  • Therapeutic Recreation Conference at the University of Northern Iowa, “Get in the Game and Adapt Your Play,” Cedar Falls, Iowa, March 2018

Melissa has received honors from sterling organizations, including:

  • 2018 Arthritis Foundation Woman of the Year
  • 2018 Girl Scouts of Iowa, Inspiring Woman of Iowa Finalist
  • 2016 Iowa Social Workers Association: Friends of Children
  • 2016 American Red Cross Hero of the Heartland

Inspire your audience to incorporate adaptive play into their communities — contact Melissa to have her speak at your event!

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