2016 Keynote Speaker: Christopher “Mr. Chris” Ulmer
Special Education Teacher, Founder of Special Books by Special Kids
To schedule an interview with Mr. Chris during the National Autism Conference, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject NAA Interview. Include your name, diagnosis and Facebook link.
Mr. Chris is a special education teacher is Jacksonville, FL. After spending two years with the same students, he observed a disconnect between his pupils and society. The intelligence and humor displayed by his students was not typically appreciated by those without special needs experience. For this reason, Mr. Chris started Special Books by Special Kids, a multi-media initiative that is now spearheading a worldwide acceptance movement.
We first learned about Mr. Chris when we saw this incredible video that went viral on a Facebook page he created for his “friends” (students) to use as a blog. On this page, students openly discuss and share their unique diagnoses and (dis)abilities through videos and photos taken in their classroom. Mr. Chris starts every day by complimenting each one of his students on all of the wonderful things about them. This seemingly simple act of love and compassion has had a huge impact, not only for the students that Mr. Chris teaches each day, but for the world. Through the Special Books by Special Kids Facebook page, people across the globe are coming to know that our kids are just like everyone else. They’re exceptionally bright, funny, kind and generous to others. Each child has a unique and wonderful personality that they are happy to share with the world to help bring acceptance, compassion and meaningful awareness to individuals with special needs. Be sure to “like” their Facebook page and get to know Mr. Chris and his amazing friends!
Mr. Chris has recently started traveling the world with his partner Alyssa and best friend Noodle Dog, meeting and creating short films about individuals with special needs. This incredible educator is a true hero and we can’t wait to introduce him to all of you at the National Autism Conference!
Engaging Neurodiverse Individuals: The Power of Acceptance and Positivity
We each have a profound power within us, that when harnessed correctly, can enable us to form meaningful relationships with anyone, neurodiverse or otherwise. The fear that comes from not knowing how to access this power, has detrimental impacts. We’ve all seen the effects first hand through bullying and the isolation of the neurodiverse community from the rest of society. In order to create a world of universal acceptance, we have to get past the fear of the unknown and our pre-disposition with labels. I have made it my life’s mission to normalize the diversity of the human condition by showcasing how a little understanding, positivity, and acceptance can make a better world for all.