Amazing things can happen
Kathryn Lyons is a passionate leader, innovator, mentor, advocate, change agent and ambassador focusing on universal inclusion for all. Her vision is to empower and enable people globally, beginning with better access for disabled patrons.
Kathryn has overcome major barriers through her complex disability, a progressive degenerative unidentifiable connective tissue disorder, global in nature, which left her bedbound for nearly six years, as doctors had told her she was dying and to go home and take it ‘easy’.
Educated in a ‘special unit’ in high school, and later changing schools when becoming wheelchair bound, Kathryn was taught that she was limited in her abilities academically and taught to what was considered to be ‘her level’
Kathryn successfully passed year 12 whilst in hospital undergoing major surgery on both legs without assistance. She walked at her grade 12 graduation on crutches less than 6 weeks post op, a testament to her determination and drive.
In 2016, Kathryn embarked on an incredible journey, sharing her vision with many inspirational people, politicians and world dignitaries. Her challenges have at times resulted in her being hospitalised requiring frequent emergency treatment, yet she endured to continue.
Kathryn now delivers motivational talks, public speaking and workshops for community groups and government. Kathryn raises various issues but her main focus is on how disability doesn’t define anybody.
Kathryn believes that everyone has abilities and strengths, that need to be recognised and identified, and that all people have different needs and challenges.
Kathryn identified current public facilities don’t adequately support over 5 million Australians, restricting their most basic human rights.
Through a lack of understanding around inclusion and accessibility, people’s opportunity to connect with society is limited.
Kathryn has advanced her concept of universal change, creating opportunities towards more inclusive communities. As a result of her advocacy work around toileting with dignity, she has been awarded “Young Queenslander of the Year 2016” by the Qld Youth Governor in October, as well as being one of 6 finalists in December for the “Young People Human Rights Medal of Australia, 2016”
Kathryn has also been named Qld Youth Parliamentary Member for Waterford this year.
Part of her leadership role relates to working on a legislative bill associated with mental health & access for Youth Parliament. Kathryn has taken this opportunity one step further by working towards another bill on Inclusion, going into schools as a role model on leadership, creating change and activating social responsibility through compelling speeches and presentations whilst promoting Youth Parliament and Young United Nations.
Kathryn’s not-for-profit company, Accessibili-tis a vehicle for Kathryn to continue to realise her vision of inclusivity.
Alongside her mother Vicki, in collaboration with Queensland University of Technology (QUT) departments, Kathryn is creating innovative product designs aimed at improving quality of lives and standards.
This involves liaising with all levels of government and private corporations to introduce tangible change through the implementation of structural fixtures and waste management modifications.
Negotiations are being conducted with governments on improving formal standards, codes and regulations. The flow on effects will have major socioeconomic benefits through socialisation - for retail, tourism, health, education and employment.
Australian & European corporations are developing products for the world market as a direct result of meeting with Kathryn. These changes will benefit many millions of people around the world.
Kathryn is currently consulting with the Queensland Government and relevant departments to amend the Queensland Building Code to produce a more comprehensive approach to inclusive communities, including new legislation to be introduced, which will create history and with her dedication and determination, spread globally with other governments nationally and internationally.
Through universal awareness, acceptance and inclusion, Australia will be perceived by future generations as a community of people who cared, and acted for positive change.
Amazing things can happen!
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