Communicate Your Way: Everyone Has a Story

Question:

Everyone has a story and experiences which prompts them to want to change the world. 

This morning, I had the opportunity to share my story and experiences with educators, professionals, and families at the Closing the Gap conference — a story that is filled with some of the best AND worst ordeals, and one that is way too common in public education. As a nonspeaking autistic student, many other people were writing my story for me… and it was one where I was underestimated, my actions were misinterpreted, and I was continuously judged incorrectly. Luckily, everything began to change when, at the age of 18, I was more appropriately supported and began utilizing iPad to communicate, and tell my own story to inform my future. Today, I can tell you that my story is one focused on what’s possible. You can support your students in this way too when you choose to presume competence and knowledge in everyone, provide tools, and honor all of the beautiful ways of being present.

How are you empowering your students and those around you to own and share their stories?

You can learn more about my story by watching the documentary film “This is not About Me”, which is about my life growing up nonspeaking. (https://itunes.apple.com/movie/this-is-not-about-me/id1615786728)

Tagged in: Accessibility, Inclusion, Special Education
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Posted on October 22, 2022 in response to Jordynbzim

Thank you for sharing your story with us in the Forum, Jordyn! I work with future teachers and plan to share your story and the documentary film with them in class. As you noted, it is so important for teachers to empower all students to share their own stories in the ways that work for them. iPad, with its many opportunities for creativity and accessibility, can be a really helpful tool in the storytelling process.

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Posted on October 19, 2022 in response to Jordynbzim

Jordyn,

Thank you so much for sharing your story here in the Forum! I also saw your tweet about your keynote yesterday - congratulations! Your courage and strength to share your story is admirable, and I'm so glad you had the opportunity to share your voice with so many that need to hear you. Despite your many obstacles and assumptions from others, your commitment to looking forward is inspiring! Again, thank you for sharing how iPad gave you the ability to tell your story. I can't wait to keep learning from you.

Question marked as Helpful

Posted on October 22, 2022 in response to Jordynbzim

Thank you for sharing your story with us in the Forum, Jordyn! I work with future teachers and plan to share your story and the documentary film with them in class. As you noted, it is so important for teachers to empower all students to share their own stories in the ways that work for them. iPad, with its many opportunities for creativity and accessibility, can be a really helpful tool in the storytelling process.

Posted on October 25, 2022 in response to Jordynbzim

Jordyn,

Thanks for your powerful Keynote presentation and the film showing at the Closing the Gap Conference last week. Your message about the importance and power of communication, assuming competence and putting the right tools into the hands of people who need it is so powerful. I saw you present several years ago and your message resonated with me back then. Shortly after I was your presentation, I started working in higher education. One of my goals after hearing you speak was to start an autism support program at our University. Putting the right tools and supports in place is critical to providing supports needed for diverse learners.

Question: Communicate Your Way: Everyone Has a Story

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