Speakers

Select your type of presenter

For more information on each speaker, click on their name.

Keynote Speakers

Comedians

Performing Artists

Keynote Speakers

Patch-AdamsPatch Adams
Portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie “Patch Adams”, Patch continues to speak world wide on a myriad of topics from “Clowning as Medicine” to “Humanitarian Practices”.

Michael-AroninMichael Aronin
Michael uses his comedic skills to entertain and introduce ideas on how to breakdown attitudinal barriers with humor. He is recognized as a funny stand-up comedian who uses his cerebral palsy as the foundation for much of his humor and as an excellent workshop presenter.

Louise-AshbyLouise Ashby
Author of “The Magic of the Mask”, Louise returns to the speaking platform and as a high fashion model and actress after recovering from an automobile accident that has left her with a brain injury, partial sight loss and 238 bolts, screws, and steel plates as part of her reconstructed face. It’s an amazing story and one that inspires and motivates all to strive to reach their potential.

Barbanell 1Eddie Barbanell
Eddie is a champion of the “R-Word” campaign, an actor, and a Board Member of Special Olympics. With a gift to act and to speak, he has entertained and motivated audiences throughout the country. He is best known for playing the character of Billy in the 2005 film The Ringer and more recently in the TV series The New Normal and Workaholics.

Josh-Blue_thumbJosh Blue

Best known as the comedian who puts the cerebral in Cerebral Palsy, Josh exploded onto the national comedy scene by capturing the attention and endearment of the country as the winner of Season One of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

Ray Bradford_thumbnailRay Bradford
Prior to founding the BradfordAdvocacyGroup, Ray was National Director of Policy & Diversity Advocacy for the 165,000-member labor union SAG-AFTRA. His principal passion rests in challenging discrimination and promoting inclusion in the workplace.

BrewerJamieHSJamie Brewer
Jamie Brewer is certainly and up and coming television actor. She is currently in her third season as a featured character on American Horror Story. She is one of the youngest Arc chapter presidents ever and is a well-spoken campaigner for removing the “R” word.

Kathy-BuckleyKathy Buckley
Kathy is recognized as the country’s first hearing-impaired comedian. Her programs include side-splitting personal stories accompanied by a valuable message. She is frequently requested to be a featured keynote speaker as well as delivering an entertaining stand up program.

Ollie-CantosOllie Cantos
With an expertise in network building, Ollie is a nationally-recognized DC-based civil rights leader, presidential appointee, community activist and inspiring speaker.

Gabriel CordellGabriel Cordell
Already a successful actor and model, Gabriel embarked on an entirely different journey on April 1, 2013. At the age of 42 he rolled 3,100 miles across America – from the Pacific to the Atlantic in a manual wheelchair. The adventure is documented in the soon-to-be-released film “Roll With Me: A Journey Across America” (Fall 2016).

LoLou-Ferrignou Ferrigno
The Incredible Hulk is just part of the powerful story behind Lou Ferrigno. A professional body builder for many years, Lou has never let his hearing impairment stand in front of him as he continues as a corporate spokesperson, actor, health and fitness activist, and motivating speaker.

KevinKevin-Frankeberger Frankeberger
Kevin has an extensive background in Leadership Training, Development, and WINDMILLS Disability Awareness Trainer.

 

Temple Temple-GrandinGrandin
Temple really is a must-hear as the most-noted speaker on Autism.  She is also the author of the best-seller The Way I See It and five other top-selling books on human and animal behavior and the subject of the HBO biopic Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes. A much sought-after speaker her schedule is often filled many months in advance.

Robert Robert-David-HallDavid Hall
David is known internationally for his role as Coroner Dr. Al Robbins the long-running hit series, CSI, Crime Scene Investigation. As a double-legged amputee, he has been honored throughout the country for his efforts to raise public awareness of disabilities and related employment issues.

RupertIsaacsonAuthorRupert Isaacson
Rupert Isaacson is author of The Horse Boy, a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller, which tells the story of his journey across Mongolia on horseback with his autistic son Rowan. His experiences with his son led him to develop Horse Boy Method – how horses can help people with autism and special needs in general.

Geri Jewell Geri-Jewell
Geri is one of the most sought-after speakers. She is a real pioneer in the entertainment industry as the first person with a visible disability to be featured on a primetime sitcom, The Facts of Life. Geri is humorous, enlightening, empowering, and personable as she entertains and motivates in her program on disability and diversity. She will also often add a workshop to her program.

Diana Elizabeth JordanDiana Elizabeth Jordan
Diana Elizabeth Jordan’s commitment to challenging discrimination and stereotypical images of persons with disabilities is matched by her dynamic persona in front of audiences and the camera.

garyheadsuitGary Karp
Gary takes us inside the real, human experience of disability with clarity, passion, and humor. Drawing on his own forty-plus years on wheels since injuring his spinal cord in 1973, he cuts through disability stereotype and obsolete models, painting a clear picture of real people who happen to have disabilities living real lives, emerging on a historic scale in a transformed society. His special talent is to make the conversation comfortable, making a compelling case for embracing the exploding capability of people with disabilities in our communities and in the workplace.

Nelson Nelson-LauverLauver
Known as The American Storyteller, Nelson’s success story is all the more remarkable since it took 29 years before he was diagnosed as dyslexic and unable to read. After three years of vocational rehabilitation he started on his journey as a radio personality, businessman, and speaker.

JerrJerry-Mathersy Mathers
Jerry is a diabetic who travels the country advocating for people with diabetes and talking about being “the Beaver” on the television sitcom series Leave it to Beaver.

RJ MiRJ_Mittette
This young, talented actor portrayed Walter White, Jr. on the hit AMC televion show, Breaking Bad. Both RJ and his character have cerebral palsy. He has since gone on to appear in other TV dramas and speaking to students.

Peggy OPeggy-ONeill’Neill
Walking Tall is a professional presention on “overcoming smallness” by building confidence, personal achievement and harmony. Peggy, who stands only 3’6″, is a dynamite  speaker with a background in psychology.

RicRichard-Pimentelhard Pimentel
Richard is an entertaining professional speaker and an expert in employment issues. He is an original WINDMILLS Disability Awareness writer and is the subject of the MGM movie, Music Within.

NicNick-Popaditchk Popaditch
Nick speaks about his experiences during his military service and the challenges that “wounded warriors” face upon returning to civilian life. As an ex-Marine who was wounded three times in four tours of duty dating back to Operation Dessert Storm, he reflects on his experiences in his book, Once a Marine.

Potter_Lauren_111setupLauren Potter
Lauren is best know for her role as Becky Jackson on the hit television series, Glee. She has become an outstanding role model for those with Down Syndrome. She is an excellent speaker and serves on many national advisory boards for those with developmental disabilities.

Push GirlsThe Push Girls
Sundance Channel’s critically-acclaimed docu-series Push Girls features four beautiful women (Mia, Angela, Tifany, and Auti) who, although different, find themselves sharing their life experiences as wheelchair users.

David-Roche
David Roche
David’s one-person performance of “The Church of 80% Sincerety” allows the audience to share the joys of discovering one’s self-worth following fear of insecurity and the agony of public ridicule of having a facial difference. The subject of an PBS special and the author of his biography by the same name, David is charming, articulate and an entertaining addition to many disability awareness programs.

Marc Marc-RomeroThumbRomero
Marc & Ben present the Adaptive Sports Evolution – Top adaptive athletes Marc Romero (US Adaptive Ski Team, stand-up, amputee) and Ben Mortensen (wheelchair basketball pro, seated athlete, spinal cord injury) project and share with audiences the world’s top adaptive action sports profiles, technologies and “can-do” mindsets. They are grassroots creators, interviewers and story-tellers of today’s top “disabled to adaptive” athletes and have their own long time top adaptive sports pursuits, backgrounds and perspectives. Before and after projecting stories they go behind the scenes in discussions on all the top adaptive sports, athletic mindsets, characters, career possibilities and technologies seen.

Kim Rooster RossiterMajor Kim “Rooster” Rossiter
Rooster and his wife Lori’s middle daughter Ainsley was diagnosed with Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD) just before turning four years of age. INAD is an extremely rare, progressive and terminal illness that has slowly caused global paralysis for Ainsley. Rooster shares the story of how he and his family have found “normal,” connection, and adventure through the sport of marathoning. Daughter Briley has written a book (“Born an Angel“) about running with her sister and occasionally speaks with her father.

Rachel Rachel-SimonSimon
One of our other most sought-after speakers, Rachel is the author of the best selling book and Hallmark Hall of Fame production of the same name, Riding the Bus With My Sister. She is also the author of the New York Times and Independent Booksellers Best Selling Lists disability-themed book, The Story of Beautiful Girl. She is rapidly earning the title of the author for people with disabilities.

Alex-Valdez
Alex Valdez
Alex is the first comedian to gain national recognition as a comedian with a disability. For the past thirty years he has also been a dynamic Keynote Speaker and master WINDMILLS Disability Awareness trainer, Alex presents an entertaining program titled, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Diversity”.

Mallory WeggMallory-Weggemannemann
2012 Paralympic Gold Medalist Mallory Weggemann had her life changed on January 21, 2008. A routine epidural to help treat back pain left the college freshman paralyzed from the waist down. However, having been a competitive swimmer since the age of seven, she found one thing unchanged – her love for swimming. On April 8, 2008, Mallory returned to the pool, and has been breaking national and world records ever since.

Mark WelMark-Wellmanlman
Mark is the pioneer of “extreme athletes” with a disability. and often uses a climbing wall and his adaptive gear to demonstrate team building to corporate groups. Injured during a rock climbing adventure, he documents his recovery and return to rock climbing, sit-skiing and other extreme feats in his presentations and book, Climbing Back. He frequently uses his adaptive climbing gear to scale climbing walls as part of his presentation.

Gail WilGail-Williams-Blairliamson
Gail is a past “National Mother of the Year” and currently advocates as a parent of a child with Down Syndrome. She is past director of the Media Access Committee, a Los Angeles based Down syndrome organization and currently heads up an organization that assists actors with Down Syndrome in the entertainment industry. She is a delightful, frank and professional speaker whol always receives rave reviews.

 Comedians

Michael Michael-AroninAronin
Michael uses his comedic skills to entertain and introduce ideas on how to breakdown attitudinal barriers. He is sharp with a quick wit and his Washington, DC background gives him much material for his ever-changing routine.

Josh BluJosh-Blue_thumbe
Best known as the comedian who puts the cerebral in Cerebral Palsy, Josh exploded onto the national comedy scene by capturing the attention and endearment of the country as the winner of Season One of NBC’s Last Comic Standing.

Kathy BucKathy-Buckleykley
Recognized as the country’s first hearing-impaired comedian, Kathy’s side-splitting personal stories come with a valuable message. She has headlined at The Improv, The Ice House, The Laugh factory among other top-named clubs throughout the country. She is favorite on college campuses and at corporate functions.

 

ChriChris-Fonsecas Fonseca
Chris is quick, cutting edge, and one of the funniest on the circuit. He is the only comedian with a visible disability to perform on the Late Night Show  With  David Letterman. His  credits include headlining at the Montreal Just For Laughs Festival, The San Antonio Latino Laugh Festival before 16,000, and a frequent opener for Gabriel Iglesias. He has also performed on college campuses throughout the country as well as many disability special events.

 

Brett Brett-LeakeLeake
After eight appearances on The Tonight Show, Brett has never scoffed at the title of “cleanest comedian on the circuit”. Sharp, witty and intelligent are three frequently used words to describe his comedy. Brett has MS and was recently recognized by the State of Virginia as their “Caregiver of the Year” as his father also has MS. Brett is truly an exceptional person.

 

Performing Artists

Mark-GoffeneyMark Goffeney
Mark has been entertaining as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist with no arms since he was a teenager. Today withh over 3 million YouTube hits, Mark has entertained and told his story throughout the world. Mark’s mastery of the guitar is accompanied by a beautiful voice and comedic stories.

Diana Elizabeth JordanDiana Elizabeth Jordan
“Diana is superb in Watch Your Head” is just one of the things audiences members have said about Diana Elizabeth Jordan’s powerful performance in Watch Your Head by Lynda Rodriquez (www.ellesview.com) and directed by Paul Kampf. Diana captivates audiences in this one person show about an actress’s journey of “re-self” discovery following a brain hemorrhage. The performance is followed by Q&A with Diana Elizabeth Jordan where she shares her personal journey of living with cerebral palsy and conquering adversity, Diana is committed to changing perceptions about disability diversity and inclusion through her work as an actress.

Light-MotionLight Motion
An integrated dance team like no other. Light Motion has been described in the New York Times by three simple words – “A Must See”. The two-women team has been recognized for their grace, agility. and creativity. They deliver both a classical performance or a combination performance and disability awareness dialogue.

Lynn ManLynn-Manningning
Lynn’s autobiography play, WEIGHTS, has brought him notoriety from the White House to college campuses across the country. He has used his blindness as the foundation for his writings, poetry and screen plays. He has established a predominantly African-American theatre group in Los Angeles but tours the country performing one of several creative programs.

Dat-NguyenDat Nguyen
Dat came to the United States from Vietnam as a young, self-taught guitarist. Within a short several year period of time he mastered the language and enrolled in college. Described by his college professor as one of the finest young classical guitarists in the country, Dat went on to win many national competitions. He has played with Stevie Wonder and continues to entertain audiences with his classical guitar compositions.

Matt SavageMatt-Savage
Matt was diagnosed with autism at young age and by the time he was eight, he was labeled a musical savant. At 23, he has had a fourteen-year professional career as a jazz musician, bandleader and composer with ensembles of different size. He’s played with some of the biggest names in jazz, including Chick Corea, the Ellington All Stars, Chaka Khan, Wynton Marsalis, Bobby Watson, Clark Terry, Jimmy Heath, Jason Moran, Arturo O’Farrill, John Pizzarelli, Joshua Redman, Terri Lyne Carrington, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi and Donny McCaslin among others. Along the way, he’s recorded eleven albums as leader and one as collaborator. He is a Bösendorfer piano artist.

Afi-Tiombe-Kambon(thumb)Afi-Tiombe Kambon
Afi is a historian, actress and storyteller. Her stirring and powerful one-woman show of “Black Diamond” and “An Extra Cup of Molasses” unites disabilities with African-American history on the stage. Truly a moving experience, her performances have graced the stages of college campuses throughout the country.