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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month in Canada, and Amanda Orichefsky wants to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate the able bodied about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.
Amanda Orichefsky of Toronto, now 27, was born with arthrogryposis, a condition that robbed her of the use of her arms. Despite her disability, Amanda has pursued her passion for art, attending George Brown College where she graduated in 2010 with a diploma in Fine Arts & Animation.
Today, Amanda earns a stipend to further her painting studies as a member of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, an international association of 800 disabled artists around the world. She also sells reproductions of her work to support herself. A younger Amanda was also asked to give a demonstration of her mouth painting skills to Wayne Gretzky, which was filmed as part of the commercial for Ronald McDonald House Charities seen above.
Amanda is also a member of the MFPA which has been operating in Canada since 1961 and is a member of the International Association of Mouth and Foot Painting Artists. There are currently 13 disabled artists working in Canada and over 750 others around the world. For the Silo, Ginny Grimsley.