Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 24

Copeland is advising The
Georgia Trust for Public Land,
which is based in Atlanta, on its
project to create a trail from
Buford Dam to Chattahoochee
Bend State Park in Newnan.

Aimee Copeland feeds her service dog, Belle, using a Touch
Solutions i-Limb prosthetic hand.

"Oh, I stalked her!" she admits. "I saw her on 'Good Morning America' about five years ago. She was talking about her love
of nature and her advocacy for connecting people with nature.
I thought we could work together to promote each other's
missions, so I went through LinkedIn and found a contact who
knew her and got her to come out to the center."
Copeland has since partnered with the center on various
programs and consulted on ways to make the facility more accessible. She's also conducted chair yoga sessions and counseled clients from her Atlanta psychotherapy practice at the
center. And Fordham has witnessed how Copeland serves as an
inspiration for breaking down barriers and limitations.
"We do a wilderness inquiry with city of Atlanta middle
schools, and one year we were getting ready to canoe," Fordham recalls. "One girl who didn't know how to swim was very
scared. Aimee happened to be here, and when the girl saw her
roll out in her wheelchair and get placed in a canoe, then row
with adaptive paddles, she said, 'If she can do it, there's no
reason why I can't.' She got into the canoe with Aimee, and she
wouldn't have done that without her."
Copeland is advising The Georgia Trust for Public Land,
which is based in Atlanta, on its project to create a trail from
Buford Dam to Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Newnan.
"The design team has been very open and extremely compassionate; they even rode around in wheelchairs so they could
see the trail from the perspective of a chair user," Copeland says.
"It's important to remember that people in wheelchairs want to
be in the wilderness, too-not just on a paved path. And that's
where there needs to be a lot of out-of-the-box thinking."
Copeland's foundation recently launched a capital campaign to purchase 10 $15,000 all-terrain wheelchairs with tanktough tires that can take riders up steps, across shallow water
and through sand.
"We'd like to put them in parks throughout Georgia
so people with disabilities can reserve them," she says.
"They already exist, so we're not reinventing the wheel.
But it's going to take initiative from our legislators and
government to make it happen."
Copeland's busy, active life goes beyond working
on accessibility issues. After earning a master's degree in
psychology, she established a practice out of her home
in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, where she
counsels about 25 clients a week. She's in the process of
becoming a licensed clinical social worker, and she's also
taken up wheelchair dancing, oil painting, playing the
drums and swimming, going as far as to win gold medals
at the 2018 U.S. Paralympic National Championships.
"I love being a therapist, and I love building community," she says. "It's all been a process of evolution."
H.M. Cauley is an Atlanta-based freelance writer.

Copeland leads an adaptive yoga session for people with disabilities.

Learn more about the Aimee Copeland Foundation at
aimeecopelandfoundation.org.

24

Georgia Magazine

February 2020


http://aimeecopelandfoundation.org

Georgia Magazine - February 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - February 2020 - Cover4
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