In a world where understanding and support for individuals with disabilities are vital, some rise above and become true champions of change. Andrew Keeping, the renowned concert classical guitarist, has captivated audiences with his musical talents and dedicated himself to advocating for those living with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASDs) and championing disability awareness. Through his tireless efforts, Keeping has become a beacon of hope, fostering understanding and improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities. Let us delve into the inspiring journey of Andrew Keeping and his profound impact on FASD and disability advocacy.
A Personal Commitment to FASD Awareness
Andrew Keeping’s journey as an advocate for FASD began with a personal connection. He and his wife have been fostercarers for two decades, specializing in caring for individuals with complex needs, learning, and behavioral difficulties. One such individual they cared for on respite had Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. In 2018, he played a pivotal role in establishing the charity FASD Awareness alongside founder Tracy Allen. The organization’s mission is to support the prevention of alcohol-exposed pregnancies and enhance the lives of individuals living with FASDs. Recognizing the importance of education, support, and raising awareness, Keeping became actively involved, dedicating his time and expertise to champion this cause.
Leading by Example
For four years, he acted as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for FASD Awareness establishing its governance and policies but took over the role of Chief executive in 2021. His leadership and commitment have been instrumental in establishing programs, initiatives, and campaigns to increase global awareness of FASD. With an unwavering belief in the power of education, he spearheaded the creation of the #BeAware campaign, which utilizes educational films and case studies to shed light on the science behind FASD and its real-life impact. Keeping aims to foster empathy, understanding, and support for individuals living with FASDs through this campaign.
Empowering Lives Through Advocacy
Andrew Keeping’s impact on FASD and disability advocacy extends beyond awareness campaigns. His relentless dedication to improving the quality of life for individuals with disabilities has been transformative. He has worked closely with professionals, specialists, and therapists, leveraging his musical expertise to develop therapeutic programs using music technology as an aid. By harnessing the power of music, Keeping has provided individuals with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral difficulties, including ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorders) and ADHD, with a means of self-expression, communication, and personal growth.
Influencing Policy and Shaping a Brighter Future
Andrew Keeping’s advocacy work extends beyond direct support. His influence reaches the highest levels of decision-making, as he actively engages in policy discussions and seeks to shape a more inclusive society. As CEO of FASD Awareness, he collaborates with government bodies, healthcare professionals, and educational institutions, advocating for policy changes and prioritizing the needs and rights of individuals with disabilities. Keeping’s dedication to bringing about systemic change impacts the lives of those affected by FASDs while ensuring “the lived experience” is at the heart of the message.
A Visionary for Inclusivity
Andrew Keeping’s unwavering commitment to disability advocacy, born out of years of fostering & teaching, extends to his vision for a more inclusive society. Through advocacy, he endeavors to break down barriers and foster a culture of acceptance, understanding, and support. By sharing his personal experiences and the stories of individuals living with disabilities, Keeping encourages society to embrace diversity and recognize the unique talents and potential that exist within every individual.
Andrew Keeping’s impact on FASD and disability advocacy is a testament to the power of passion, empathy, and a determination to make a difference. Through his tireless efforts, he has shed light on the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities, fostering awareness, understanding, and support. Andrew Keeping’s dedication as a champion of FASD and disability advocacy inspires us all, urging us to create a more all-encompassing world where everyone is valued and allowed to thrive. With his relentless commitment and visionary approach, Andrew Keeping continues championing awareness, breaking down barriers, and creating a brighter future with positive outcomes. His legacy is a reminder that advocacy and compassion can transform lives and shape a more inclusive society for future generations.