This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Kids with special needs are marginalized in our communities, and we are doing it with the best of intentions. Inclusion expert Torrie Dunlap shares why we need to change our thinking when it comes to special needs.
In 1998 Torrie Dunlap’s worldview changed when she taught a theater class for children that included a boy with Down syndrome. Through this experience Torrie found her life’s purpose and developed a vision for a world where everyone feels a sense of belonging in their community. This is also how she came to know the work of Kids Included Together, a non-profit where she started as a volunteer and today is the Chief Executive Officer. Kids Included Together (KIT) works nationally and internationally to help child and youth programs engage children with and without disabilities.
Torrie is a nationally-recognized thought leader in the field of inclusive education and recreation. She has delivered keynotes and trainings on inclusion around the United States and in Europe, and she has been published in textbooks, professional journals and trade magazines. She is a regular contributor to the advocacy website Think Inclusive and is a frequent guest host on the online radio program The Inclusive Classroom.
Torrie supports other organizations that promote inclusion by serving on the board (Vice Chair of Unified Theater in Hartford, CT), or as an advisor (Adaptive Design Association in NYC and the youth-led inclusion campaign I Am Norm). At KIT Torrie leads a staff team of 25 “Inclusionistas” who teach over 25,000 people a year, changing attitudes toward disability and providing best practices training using a blend of live workshops and innovative technology.
Torrie is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance and in 2013 was selected as a Social Innovation Fellow at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)