Disability Rights Advocate to Speak at Upcoming Autism Forum

Image taken from Facebook

Image taken from Facebook

Cedar Falls, Iowa– Area Education Agency 267 will host Stephen Hinkle at the next Collaborative Autism Team (CAT) forum taking place next month.

Hinkle is a nationally renowned speaker and disability rights advocate who has been delivering speeches to audiences across the country regarding issues pertaining to disability and autism education in the United States for more than a decade.

For almost 15 years he has worked towards providing valuable information derived from firsthand experience in order to assist stakeholders in evaluating and implementing policies that currently exist both in schools and disability organizations.

His decision to become a “voice” for members of the autism community arose from his own personal journey following his ASD diagnosis as a child. Hinkle has revealed that his parents were advised to institutionalize him by healthcare professionals when he was initially diagnosed.

Instead, his mother opted to raise her young son as a neurologically typical child who had special needs, endeavoring to foster his strengths and aptitudes including the advanced computer programming abilities he displayed early on.

Today, Hinkle is an accomplished professional with a Master’s degree in Special Education and Computer Science from the universities of Arizona and San Diego. He essentially serves as a jack-of-all-trades in terms of the services he provides within the autism and disability community.

In a vocation that features a unique combination of advocacy, public speaking and consultative services, Hinkle provides much-needed support to parents, disability organization members and school administrators.

His expertise is widely considered to be invaluable as it provides educators with insight regarding the efficacy of special needs programs in school systems throughout the country. Hinkle aptly refers to the system’s special education programming as the “Hidden Curriculum” and because he was taught within it, he was able to ascertain what “worked” and what didn’t primarily based on his personal experiences and observations.

As a result, he speaks publicly both in primary and secondary schools as well as colleges, universities, school districts and youth groups. Ultimately, his goal is to facilitate and promote inclusion with respect to educating students with special needs and subsequently increase their likelihood of succeeding in the school system and eventually, the workforce.

Hinkle will be speaking at the CAT forum from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on September 16th in  AEA Conference Room A & B on 3712 Cedar Heights Drive.

More information about Stephen Hinkle can be found on his website

The original story on the WCF Courier website can be found here