2016 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference strengthens the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world. This year’s conference theme, “Gateway to Equity,” explores inclusive communities, schools, and workplaces that support people with disabilities, including those with complex support needs, in living a fair, just, and balanced life. Return to TASH website.
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Friday, December 2 • 1:30pm - 2:20pm
Pushing Through Life with Multiple Disabilities: My Story LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Growing up with a learning disability is difficult. Growing up with a learning disability, Tourette's Syndrome, OCD, anxiety, and phases of depression FEELS impossible at times. When I was in grade school I distinctly remember being "different". I was pulled out of class for "math games" and I was given a different set of notes and tests than my classmates. I was sent to separate rooms to take tests, but I never knew why. This all started in 3rd grade, in 3rd grade I knew I was different but no one would tell me. As I got older I began to understand that I had a hard time in school and that I needed a little more to be successful, I began to see my friends realizing I got a different test, a copy of the notes, or went to another room to take tests. I started attending these "meetings" in middle school where teachers would talk about me as if I wasn't there. They would say all the things I was not good at and they would often forget to talk about my strengths. My mom became my advocate, she became the person who fought for my education. When the schools told me I couldn't do something or be in a class because I wasn't smart enough, she fought until they reluctantly gave in. They would say things like "she cant handle this class, it is an honors level course and she writes at a 3rd grade level....". Through it all, my mom pushed and pushed. She taught me that sometimes I had to speak up for myself, even when it was hard. She taught me that I was going to have to be my own advocate. I went on to "beat the odds". I was accepted to Texas A&M DESPITE the majority of my teacher's "best efforts" to help me. I beat the odds because my mom pushed, I beat the odds because of the handful of teachers that believed in me, I beat the odds because I wanted to prove them all wrong. A bachelor's degree in Education and a Master's degree in Education Psychology: Low Incidence Disabilities later I am finally comfortable in my skin. I am open about my disabilities, my weaknesses, my STRENGTHS, and my drive. I am now a Transition Coordinator for Bryan ISD and I get to help students pursue their dreams, I get to remind them about what they are good at, and I get to guide them through their adolescents the best way I know how. My job is to inspire parents and students. My job is to help them achieve their goals, whether it be community involvement, employment, or post secondary education. My job is to help them realize that just because you or your child has a disability (or 5) doesn't mean that they are a lesser person, it doesn't mean that they don't deserve the best, and it doesn't mean they should not have dreams. It is my job to tell parents to push, it is my job to empower students with disabilities, and I think my job is one of the best there is. I share my story with people because I want to help. I share my story because I want people to know that sometimes the system is broken but it is our job to fix it.I share my story because I want people to see that what they are told is impossible is only impossible if you believe it. 1. By the end of the session, participants will be able to identify a minimum of 3 ways to teach/implement self advocacy skills to students or themselves. 2. By the end of the session, given a variety of assessments, surveys, and worksheets, participants will be able to effectively become an informed and active member in their IEP meetings. 3. By the end of the session, using presenter provided tools, participants will be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses in order to have a better idea of their transitioning needs.

avatar for Brynn Biggs

Brynn Biggs

Transition Specialist, Bryan ISD
Brynn is a graduate of Texas A&M University and a former member of the Aggie Corps of Cadets and Fightn' Texas Aggie Band. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in Special Education and a Master's degree in Educational Psychology. After completing her master's degree, she received... Read More →

Friday December 2, 2016 1:30pm - 2:20pm CST
Midway Suites I 1820 Market Street, St. Louis, MO 63103