Speaking Engagements

Stratford Northwest Secondary School

Earlier this summer I was invited to speak to a group of potential principals about teaching youth with “exceptionalities.” It was a really interesting group and I learned during our subsequent discussion that the education system doesn’t just have trouble handling students with disabilities, but also students with above average intelligence. As it turns out, teachers are beginning to look at these two populations in the same way–students whose needs go beyond the standard level required by “average” students. Interesting indeed.

It was at this presentation that I met Jana Bayer-Smith, a teacher from Stratford who expressed interest in me coming to speak to her english class. After a bit of scheduling and a few months waiting, I finally made the trek up to Stratford to speak to her class at Stratford Northwest Secondary School. The kids were awesome (as to be expected) and I had a ton of fun sharing stories and meeting the other teachers. I even managed to make a few friends who share my anti-Bieber sentiment.

Thank you to the staff and students of SNSS for all the support, kind words, and willingness to listen. Also, a special thanks to Jana for bringing me in to visit. You’re an amazing teacher Jana, keep up the great work!

By Jeffrey Preston

Born with a rare neuromuscular myopathy, Jeff has spent his life dedicated to advocating for himself and others with disabilities. With a PhD in Media Studies from Western University, Jeff's research focuses on the representation of disability in popular and digital culture. Jeff is currently an Assistant Professor of Disability Studies at King's University College @ Western University in London, ON.