Jamie Burke’s Indy Visit a Resounding Success!

Jamie Burke and his mom, Sheree welcome attendees to the event.

Sheree and Jamie Burke

Jamie Burke, a Motivational Speaker, Social Advocate, and autistic independent typer, along with his mom, Sheree, made a rare visit to the Indianapolis area earlier this month to participate in a two-day workshop hosted by Saved By Typing.

The event was dedicated to the memory of SBT co-founder Jake Willmann, who passed away on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at age 17. The weekend was made possible by a generous grant from the Jake Willmann Memorial Fund, which is administered by Answers for Autism. We want to thank Jake’s parents, Rob and Karyn Willmann for their gracious support of and participation in the event.

After a brief welcome, Sheree opened the weekend by “Sharing a Familiar Story” and Jamie presented his Keynote address, “My Journey Begins”

Jamie finished the first morning’s session with two additional presentations:

  • “The All-Out Deal of Presuming Competence”: presuming competence initiates a fundamental idea that competence is a beginning point to realize the emotion of great self worth.
  • “The Power of Communication and Collaboration-When Partnerships Support the Potential,” about which Jamie says:

    I would like to say to you all, perhaps hearing my journey in a small portion of telling, will move the ideas and actions that to presume competence is to assume worth. My life is wonderfully loved ,knowing the system of communication I use was supported and invested in as a true system. Without a way to really demonstrate and responsibly develop, how is this experience of life carried forward?

Click here for links to PDFs of Jamie’s presentations to download or print. (password required)

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willmann-posterFollowing a Q&A session, SBT Program Manager Jim Smyth introduced Rob Willmann and presented him with a memorial poster that included memories of Jake from his friends and fellow typers.

Rob and Jim then presented Jamie with a beautiful crystal plaque as the first recipient of the Jake Willmann Memorial Award sponsored by Answers for Autism, which recognizes people that advocate for and work towards making a significant difference in the Autism community.

answers for autism main-logoAnswers for Autism is an all volunteer organization founded by parents of children with autism. Their mission is to increase and broaden public knowledge and awareness of the behaviors, social issues and emotional needs of individuals on the autism spectrum so that all individuals can participate in and contribute to our community without fear or bias or loss of individuality.

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After a lunch break, Jamie and Sheree provided an active demonstration of sensory therapies that have worked over the years to help nonverbals find their voices. Next, they showed a presentation of “Inside The Edge; A Journey to Speech Through Typing,” a documentary written and narrated by Jamie as a 15 years old high school student with autism. While the focus of this documentary is on Jamie’s personal experiences with the use of facilitated communication and developing speech he also talks about being in a mainstream high school.

The full-length video, Inside the Edge: A Journey to Using Speech Through Typing, can be ordered through the Syracuse University – School of Education website. (opens in new window)

Jamie finished up Day 1 with the PowerPoint presentation “My Goal and Dream of College: ‘Congratulations! You’ve been accepted…'” and closing remarks on the subject “Let’s Talk! The Courage to Become a Storyteller.”

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Day 2 began with a presentation by Jamie on the subject “Best Practice & Building Facilitator Skills….
Thoughts and Suggestions from My Experience.” This was followed by a Panel Discussion, “Thoughts from Typers: Working Toward Independence.” The panel included Jamie and typers John Smyth and Connor Ray.

The weekend concluded with closing comments from Jamie about “Thoughts on holding dreams of higher education.”

Click here for links to PDFs of Jamie’s presentations to download or print. (password required)

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