Allow students with disabilities to take a wide range of classes at the high school level. Psychology? Modern Dance? German? The catalog of possible options should be open to all.

This website is dedicated to promoting inclusive schooling and exploring positive ways of supporting students with autism and other disabilities. Most of my work involves collaborating with schools to create environments, lessons, and experiences that are inclusive, respectful, and accessible for all learners.

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Speaker Spotlight: Jamie Burke

Posted on April 01, 2014 in Inclusion

I simply cannot express in words how excited we are to bring Jamie Burke back to Chicago. Jamie has presented in our area before but it has been quite a few years, so this is a great opportunity for those who have been wanting to see him but have not yet had the chance.

Jamie is a young man on the autism spectrum who spent the first year of his life without any reliable communication. Using his Lightwriter and typing with the support of his parents and facilitators, Jamie worked hard to learn to type independently and, more recently, to speak.

Jamie is a recent graduate of Syracuse University and is passionate about “making communication a happy absolute in autism, simply holding the potential of everyone”. He is an eloquent and passionate presenter on the topics of autism, inclusion, sensory integration therapies and communication.

There is just so much that I can say in praise of Jamie, that I am not sure where to begin (or where to end)! What I can say for certain is that if you see Jamie present, you will not ever forget him or the wisdom he shares. He not only generously shares his story with his audiences, but he provides gentle guidance as well. I have been a fan of his work for years and I am thrilled to not only get to host Jamie at Illinois Includes, but to present with him as well. Jamie will be sharing the stories of this success in two separate sessions on the first day of our conference.

And if that isn’t enough good news, Jamie’s mom, Sheree Burke, will also be presenting alongside her son at Illinois Includes. Sheree is also a popular speaker as well as an amazing inclusion advocate. She has presented across the country and around the world. We feel so fortunate to have them both on the program.

Want to learn more about Jamie and Sheree?

You can get a glimpse of Jamie’s insights in this clip from his autobiographical film, Inside the Edge. You can also read about the communication journey of the Burke family in an excerpt from People Magazine.

Register for Illinois Includes today if you don’t want to miss seeing Jamie & Sheree in Chicago. Be ready to rethink what you “know” about autism.

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