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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: Lauren Potter

Posted on February 19, 2015 in Inclusion

Today begins my “speaker spotlight” series designed to introduce you to some fabulous advocates in the field and to give you a peek at the sessions you will see at this year’s Illinois Includes Conference.

I’m thrilled to begin with our closing keynote speaker, Lauren Potter.

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If you want to hear some words of inspiration on taking risks, living an “inclusive life” or pushing past barriers, you will love this session.

Lauren Potter has proven herself to be a young woman of strength and character. When professionals told her she “couldn’t” or “wouldn’t” she worked harder—sometimes to the point of exhaustion. Barriers and limitations put before her became a personal challenge to let people know she is worthy of high ideals and capable of great expectations.

Lauren danced before she could walk. She began classes at the age of three and has been doing ballet, tap, jazz and even hip-hop ever since. She made her acting debut in the movie “Mr. Blue Sky,” playing a young Andra Little. The producers of “Glee” were quite impressed and offered her a part on the hit FOX television series. Her role as spunky cheerleader, Becky

In 2012, Lauren was nominated for a SAG Award in the category of “Ensemble in a Comedy Series” for her work on Glee. She was also honored with the SAG/AFTRA Harold Russell Award at the 2012 Media Access Awards.

Lauren shares that she is thrilled to be using her public “voice” that “Glee” has given her to speak out for other people with disabilities who may not have the same opportunities. Lauren most recently accepted an award on behalf of “Glee” from the National Down Syndrome Society at their annual gala in New York City where she talked about the enormous impact her casting in the ground-breaking show has had not only on herself, but for all people with disabilities.

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