What Types of Groups Do You Speak to, Monica?
As an Inclusionista™, I have spoken to all kinds of people and all sizes of groups. I have presented in front of groups as large as 500+ people, and as intimate as a single powerful individual with an aide or intern in a quiet Capitol Hill office meeting. I’ve read stories to and spoken to children at grade schools on accepting differences, helping one another and stopping bullying, and to senior citizens at senior centers and health conferences about living to your fullest potential at any age. I’ve done public speaking from California to Carolina Beach in person, by teleconference and webinar. And, I’ve spoken at venues ranging from corporate audiences on accessibility and disability as a diversity topic to college campuses before student teachers, architects, rehabilitation counselors and other professionals who will eventually cross paths with someone with a disability at some point in their work and need to learn beyond the textbook about the disability experience. After all, there’s no limit to background, geography, technological connection, life or professional experience, or generation to receiving what you most want and need from my empowering, engaging, educational and energetic #beyondlimits presentations.
How to Be a Better Inclusionista™
We are ALL different, and yet we’re all the same! So why do people without disabilities often feel awkward and uncomfortable around those of us who have disabilities? Disability awareness and understanding accessibility and inclusion are important speaking topics. Fear of saying or doing the wrong thing can totally hijack effective communication. Sympathy and guilt are emotions we all try to avoid. Simply put, we fear what we don’t understand. Empathy, though, is the most important when think of how to be more accessible, accepting and passionately inclusive (an Inclusionista™ !).
Experience my high energy messages of inclusion, and gain the knowledge you need to communicate comfortably across the spectrum of the human experience. Learn to move beyond fear and sympathy to the realization that we are all part of the same interdependent community. We are more alike than different.
You will get answers to the burning, embarrassing questions you’ve always been afraid to ask, and learn how to effectively level the playing field for everyone in your life and/or your organization. Take the opportunity to get firsthand, applicable knowledge of the rights and regulations necessary (the Americans with Disabilities Act for one) to implement a policy and atmosphere of inclusion in any environment for customers, clients, organization members, municipal residents and fellow employees.
I offer several messages that will work for any audience, including:
Speaking with Adults: Living Your Life Beyond Limits
In this presentation, I draw from my personal experiences with disability to paint a vivid and inspirational picture of going over, around and through life’s obstacles to succeed. Your audience will follow my journey from carrying the labels of an academically gifted AND special needs student in a mainstream classroom to blossoming into a fulfilled graduate student and married woman, as I gained the courage to achieve success that goes beyond physical abilities and others’ stifling labels and misconceptions about who I could and have become.
Opportunities in your life, work and personal relationships may seem to be limited by a disability, life or work challenge, or even a crushing limiting belief, but embracing a positive attitude and setting attainable goals directly affects how successful you are in overcoming those obstacles and having a more fulfilling life #beyondlimits. Success and happiness are decisions we all can make for ourselves with the right tools. And, we must show people how we want to be treated by treating our own selves with the same respect and giving off the same Inclusionista™ energy. Let me show you!
Speaking with Kids & Teens: A Woman on Wheels
This is a personal Q & A session geared toward youth in grades K-12. It’s a candid and honest conversation that gives young, inquisitive minds the opportunity to ask someone with disabilities all the questions they may have wanted to ask but were told not to. You can touch my wheelchair, see me get in and out of my adapted vehicle and work my wheelchair lift. We can even share a quick hug goodbye before I leave to dispel the myth that disabilities are contagious. The only thing you’ll catch is a new understanding that life with a disability is just another life experience like anything else. My message focuses on inclusive, accepting behaviors and emphasizes the fact that, although people with disabilities may appear different on the outside, we’re all the same on the inside. I can also teach children and youth how to be better Inclusionistas so they, too, can model ways to be more accepting, inclusive and accessible in their communities to everyone who appears different from them.
I have also used this format with great success at rehab centers and specialized summer camps for kids with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Teachers and support groups often recommend this presentation for special education and accelerated reading groups as well. I can come in as a guest reader with a recommended children’s book about accepting and understanding disability, or getting comfortable with differences that’s perfect for your students’ grade level. I’m a great “roll” model with an uplifting message to share!
Contact me today for more information or to schedule a speaking engagement. Got a corporate or community group you want me to talk to for disability awareness, accessibility training, motivation beyond diversity or another topic? Go here for more speaking topics from my unique #beyondlimits perspective. What about a group of people with disabilities, families who love kids with special needs, educators, medical professionals or disability service providers for me to talk to? Here are even more presentation topics! Or, let’s create one for your group.