TPSID Speakers for 2015-2016

Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity will be coming to the College of Charleston in February. NeuroTribes is a groundbreaking book that upends conventional thinking about autism and suggests a broader model for acceptance, understanding, and full participation in society for people who think differently. WIRED reporter Steve Silberman unearths the secret history of autism, long suppressed by the same clinicians who became famous for discovering it, and finds surprising answers to the crucial question of why the number of diagnoses has soared in recent years.

Steve will be speaking at the Sottle Theater February 10, 2016, at 7pm. Doors open at 6:15pm. Seating is first come first serve. Books will be available for sale onsite.






Previous Distinguished Speakers

Temple Grandin is a Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, an expert in animal sciences, and an internationally renowned speaker and disability rights advocate. She is also a person with autism. Dr. Grandin has written numerous best-selling books, and a movie about her life and her contributions to the field was produced by HBO. Dr. Grandin came to campus in November 2012.

The College of Charleston was fortunate enough to have Temple Grandin speak at the institution on November 27, 2012. The video from her presentation is available below.


Norman Kunc

Norman Kunc is a writer and speaker with an insatiable interest in how society responds to diversity. Born with cerebral palsy, Norman attended a segregated school for children with disabilities; then, at age 13, he was integrated into a regular school. From there, he completed an Honors degree in Humanities at York University, and a Masters of Science degree in Family Therapy. Norm and his wife Emma currently travel the world speaking to teachers, professionals, and students about the benefits and challenges of inclusive education. Norman met with students, faculty, and administrators to dialogue about ways to create a campus culture in which all students belong.

Michael Berube Michael Bérubé is one of the most well-respected scholars in the field of disability studies. He is Paterno Family Professor in Literature and Director of the Institute for the Arts and Humanities at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the author of seven books. One of these booksóLife as We Know It: A Father, a Family, and an Exceptional Child (1996)óis both a memoir about life with his son Jamie, who has Down syndrome, and an academic exploration of the cultural construction of disability. Michael and his son Jamie visited the College of Charleston for a series of talks and discussions in Fall 2011.
Rosemarie Garland-Thomson Rosemarie Garland-Thomson is the scholar who established and popularized feminist disability studies. She is a professor of Women's Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. She is the author and editor of five books, including Staring: How We Look (Oxford University Press, 2009), Extraordinary Bodies: Figuring Physical Disability in American Culture and Literature (Columbia University Press, 1997), and Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities (Modern Language Association Press, 2002), and she has written numerous articles about feminist disability studies. The Utne Reader named her in its 2009 list of “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” and the Society for Disability Studies recognized her with its 2010 Senior Scholar Award.
Molly Boyle

Molly Boyle is a national expert on instructional design and part of the Think College team and will offer a series of workshops for faculty and staff designed to acknowledge the diversity of student backgrounds on campus and identify ways to improve learning for all students. The workshops were held December 16 & 17, 2013. This set of workshops will allow for an extension and continuation of the effort that was initiated in Summer 2013.

Brad Cohen

Brad Cohen is an educator, author, and motivational speaker who has Tourette syndrome, a neurological disorder that causes the body to make strange sounds and uncontrollable twitches. His award-winning book, Front of the Class, details his experiences as a child with TS and his motivation to become a teacher. The book was made into a 2008 Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. Brad's struggles in school, both with classmates and with teachers, drove him to become a teacher so that he could create the educational experience for students that he never had. When first applying for jobs as a teacher, Brad was rejected 24 times. He did finally get a position at Mountain View Elementary School and went on to earn the Georgia's First Class Teacher of the Year award. He currently is the Assistant Principal at Addison Elementary in Marietta, GA. He spoke February 17, 2014 at Sottile Theater.

Dr. Brian Skotko

Dr. Brian Skotko A Board-certified medical geneticist and Co-Director of the Down Syndrome Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Skotko has dedicated his professional energies toward children with cognitive and development disabilities. In 2001, he co-authored the national award-winning book, Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome and, most recently, Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters. He is a graduate of Duke University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Kennedy School. Dr. Skotko recently authored major research on how physicians deliver a diagnosis of Down syndrome to new and expectant parents. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, NPR's "On Point," and ABC's "Good Morning America."

Dr. Skotko spoke at Grand Rounds for the Developmental Pediatric Grand Rounds at MUSC on Friday, January 31, 2014 at 8:00 am.  He was a keynote speaker for the mini-conference on Disability and Prenatal Testing:  Reasons to Embrace rather than Eradicate, which was held at the College of Charleston campus 12-3 on Friday, January 31, 2014, at the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Beatty Center.  

Pat Bauer

Pat Bauer is a journalist who has served as senior editor of the Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, special assistant to the publisher of the Washington Post, reporter and bureau chief at the Washington Post, and pundit on public affairs television in Los Angeles. Her articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Times and many other publications.She has addressed national and regional conferences on the rights of patients and people with disabilities. During the Carter years, she worked in the White House press office as editor of the White House News Summary. Bauer and her husband are among the founders of the Pathway Program at UCLA, a post-secondary program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. They are the parents of two young adults, one of whom has Down syndrome.

Sue Buckley is an educator, author, and leading expert in education and evelopment for young people with Down Syndrome. Sue began research examining early reading instruction for children with Down syndrome in 1980 and founded Down Syndrome Education International in 1986. She has worked on national and local government bodes tasked with improving services for individuals with disabilities. Her research and contributions to the lives of young people with Down Syndroms has been widely recognized through numerous awards. She came and spoke to educators, parents, care-givers, and students in September 2014.

Dan Habib is the creator of the award-winning documentary films such as Including Samuel, Who Cares About Kelsey?, Restraint and Seclusion: Hear Our Stories, and many other films on disability-related topics. Including Samuel is a "Must See" Film and is a highly personal, passionately photographed film that captures the cultural and systemic barriers to inclusion. The documentary film follows his son, Samuel, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and four other families and their experiences.

In 2014, he was appointed by President Obama to the President's Committe for People with Intellectual Disabilities-a committee that promotes policies and initiatives that support independence and lifelong inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities.

A viewing of his film "Including Samuel" was shown and he spoke at the Sottile Theater on Monday, March 30, 2015.

Randy Lewis is an author of No Greatness without Goodness: How a Father's Love Changed a Company and Sparked a Movement. He is the former VP of Walgreens, Peace Corps volunteer, and Fortune 50 executive and accidental advocate. He introduced an inclusive model in Walgreens distribution centers that resulted in 10% of its workforce consisting of people with disabilities who are held to the same standards as those without disabilities. Its success has changed the lives of thousands with and without disabilities and is serving as a model for other employers in the US and abroad.

He spoke at the Sottile Theater on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

Bryann Burgess

Bryann Burgess

Bryann Buress was an invited speaker for the mini-conference on Disability and Prenatal Testing:  Reasons to Embrace rather than Eradicate, which was held at the College of Charleston campus 12-3pm on Friday, January 31, 2014, at the Wells Fargo Auditorium in the Beatty Center.  She is a 2012 graduate from the USC Carolina Life program in Columbia, SC. She currently works as a Kindermusik Teacher.