Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation Inclusion Supervisor Michelle Yadon received The North America Drama Therapy Association 2019 Performance Award Nov. 8 at NADTA’s 40th Annual Conference in Philadelphia.
The award is given to an individual who best utilizes live or recorded performances to facilitate individual or collective awareness and transformation.
“I see the benefit of supporting folks in the community, supporting folks who have disabilities, advocating for themselves and positive communication skills and supporting folks who have disabilities and breaking stigma and stereotypes around our culture,” Yadon said.
Yadon was nominated by her peers.
“I was very humbled that one of my colleagues got a whole group of people together to nominate me for this award,” Yadon said. “Only members of the North American Drama Therapy Association can nominate a potential recipient, and they’re a diverse group of people.”
In 2016, Yadon launched The Roundabout Playback Troupe, the nation’s first inclusive playback troupe. She then introduced Shakespeare in the Park in 2017 and her take on Barrier-Free Theatre – as developed by Sally Bailey – in 2018.
“These programs support an inclusive group of individuals, with and without disabilities, increasing their self-awareness, self-determination, their communication skills, how they work together in a group and allowing them to do something extraordinary,” Yadon said. “For the community, these programs continue to create acceptance for folks with disabilities and show their strength.”
Yadon is thrilled to receive the award but also acknowledges the support she’s received to make her successful.
“I feel very lucky to work for Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation,” Yadon said. “This organization believes so much in inclusion and believes so much in what recreation and leisure can do for the impact of our community. I feel very humbled that the community sees the importance of this work.”
For more, visit nadta.org.