ABOUT GYE DI
Gye Di is a non-profit organization that aims to change the world through play by creating an environment without limitations for children with and without disabilities to learn, grow, and play together.
OUR BIG DREAM
Gye Di was created to fulfill the vision of our BIG DREAM. Our BIG DREAM is to create an indoor recreation center for children with and without disabilities to play and explore together without the limitations that typical playgrounds and parks have. We strive to build a community that closes the gap on the stigma of what it means to have a disability.
MELANIE THOMPSON, OTR/L, ATP
Melanie Conatser has been an OT in Arizona for over 18 years as a private practitioner.
She works for Advanced Therapy Solutions and provides service both in-home and clinic based. Melanie has a unique skill set in training very young children to operate powered wheelchairs as she helps all her clients work toward independent mobility. Melanie has presented her knowledge at Closing the Gap (2016), her collaborative research on accessing AAC at ATIA (2019) and a variety of topics at AZTAP over the years. She is also the Co-Founder of Believe Beyond Ability, which is a non-profit organization that evaluates and facilitates the acquisition of assistive equipment for those with multiple disabilities.
ERICA TARDONE, MOT, OTR/L, ATP
Erica Tardone is an Occupational Therapist in the Phoenix Valley as a private practitioner.
She graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport in 2016 with a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science, followed by graduating from Midwestern University in 2018 with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. After moving to Arizona for school from Syracuse, NY, Erica decided to stay and continue her work in pediatrics, specializing in assistive technology for children with complex bodies. Her professional interests include alternative access powered mobility and switch scanning to access communication devices as well as environmental controls. Erica’s interest in intensive therapy was driven be seeing the gains that were possible for the kiddos with complex needs and using the physical gains to improve access to assistive technology to further independence. In her spare time, Erica enjoys rooting for the Syracuse Orangemen basketball team and the Buffalo Bills, spending time with her 1-year old rescue chihuahua, and traveling to see friends that are country wide!
RIMA MEHTA, MBA, COTA/L
Rima Mehta is Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, and mom of three, practicing in the Phoenix Valley.
She received her degree for Occupational Sciences from Pima Medical Institute in 2019. Rima’s areas of interest include; sensory integration, developmental therapy, Neuro-sensory-motor and rhythmic movement reflex integration. She stands in a unique position as a mother of one son with global developmental delays, she understands the struggles of coping with a challenging child on a difficult day first hand. In RIma’s spare time, she enjoys traveling and exploring as well as having a passion for nutrition and organization!
LAUREN JANKE, OTD, OTR/L
Lauren was raised in Tucson, AZ and completed her Bachelor’s of Science at the University of Arizona in Care, Health & Society with a minor in Public Health. Lauren completed her Level 2 Fieldwork with Melanie and developed a passion for pediatric care in the process. Lauren completed her doctoral capstone component with Melanie and focused Gye Di’s program development, professional leadership, advancing clinical skills, and education. Her special interests include; powered mobility, intensive therapy, and adapting environmental controls and toys for kids. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys exploring different areas of Phoenix with her friends and heading down to Tucson to be with her family.
Lauren Janke recently graduated in April 2021 from Northern Arizona University’s Doctor of Occupational Therapy program.