Christopher “Mr. Chris” Ulmer
Founder of Special Books by Special Kids
Chris Ulmer is known as the teacher behind Special Books by Special Kids (SBSK), a popular blog that has surpassed a million followers in only two short years. Chris travels the world interviewing neurodiverse humans and sharing their stories. The SBSK community is leading the way towards an inclusive world for those with special needs.
After majoring in Media Effects from Penn State University, Chris worked as a college soccer coach in Kentucky. It was while coaching at University of the Cumberlands that he was offered free tuition and the opportunity to gain his master’s degree in teaching. On a whim, Chris chose special education believing he would not pursue the field, but instead continue working in college athletics. That quickly changed once Chris entered the classroom to student teach. He fell in love with his students and the profession. After earning his MAT Chris hopped on a Greyhound bus in pursuit of his dream to teach special education along the sunny Florida coast.
Upon hire, Chris instantly fell in love with the intelligence and humor displayed by the students in his special education classroom. After two years, this appreciation had reached an all-time high. It was then that the idea for Special Books by Special Kids was born; Chris intended to work with his students to write short stories that explained life from their perspective. He and his class believed these stories would enable the community to better understand neurodiverse individuals.
Life does not always go as planned and the book proposal for SBSK was denied by over fifty publishers. Instead of becoming discouraged Chris and his students decided to start a video blog on Facebook in April of 2015. This decision would eventually change the lives of millions of people across the globe.
After six months of sharing videos featuring the students in his classroom, SBSK had a loyal community of 150,000 followers. Chris began receiving messages from other neurodiverse people around the world in which they confessed their desire to be interviewed. He decided to begin traveling to interview humans of all ages and diagnoses for SBSK in December 2015. A full year into SBSK, the blog was 400,000 followers strong and being run during Chris’s free time outside of the classroom. Chris realized the enormous potential his platform had to impact society and made the difficult decision to leave his teaching position.
It is now 2019 and Chris dedicates his time to traveling around the world to further the mission of SBSK. He serves as a beacon of hope for millions and is an internationally renowned public speaker. Today, the Special Books by Special Kids community has surpassed over 3 million loyal members and is the world’s leading neurodiversity movement.
The Power of Acceptance and Positivity
I have made it my life’s mission to normalize the diversity of the human condition by showcasing how understanding, positivity, and acceptance can make a better world for all. Together, we will explore these concepts and more through my experiences with the worldwide acceptance movement, SBSK (Special Books by Special Kids). (YouTube.com/specialbooksbyspecialkids).