Dr. Amanda Blackwell, SLPD, CCC-SLP
After serving for a year as a volunteer speech-language pathologist at an orphanage in Guatemala in 2013, Amanda Blackwell has been living and working full-time in the country for nearly 7 years. She founded DIGNA International, a non-profit vocational training program for adults with disabilities which helped several Champions secure dignified, fair-wage employment in their communities. Amanda completed a clinical doctorate in speech language pathology and started the official professional association for local Guatemalan speech therapists, which has grown to more than 300 members over the past year and provides frequent continuing education opportunities. In January 2020, she began working toward a Doctor of Education degree at Murray State University with the goal of opening a university for allied health professions in Guatemala to improve the quality of services across the country. She currently directs the speech therapy departments at FUNDAL (for individuals with deafblindness and multiple disabilities) and the Guatemalan Association of Down Syndrome in Guatemala City, provides teletherapy services for public school students in the United States, runs an autism education project for Spanish speakers called LUNA, and volunteers her services wherever she feels called to do so.