Featured Speakers

Friday's Keynote Speaker:

Shelley Moore

Originally from Edmonton, and now based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Shelley Moore is a highly sought after teacher, researcher, speaker and storyteller and has worked with school districts and community organizations throughout both Canada and the United States. Her research has been featured at national and international conferences and her presentations are constructed based on contexts of schools and communities and integrate theory and effective practices of inclusion, special education, curriculum and teacher professional development. Her first book entitled, “One Without the Other” was released in July 2016 to follow up her TEDx talk hosted in Langley in January 2016. Shelley completed an undergraduate degree in Special Education at the University of Alberta, her masters at Simon Fraser University, and is currently a SSHRC funded PhD candidate at the University of British Columbia. She is also the recent recipient of the Engagement award, a national competition highlighting SSHRC funded research through story.

Topic: Inclusive Education: Who, What, Where, When, Why?!

Shelley will deconstruct what inclusive education means in today’s classrooms and communities. We will also discuss common misunderstandings and myths of inclusion, and leave with ideas and possibilities of inclusive learning communities and all who benefit.

Friday's Evening Speaker:

Ryan Rotundo 

At a young age, Ryan recognized his passion and ability to serve people with disabilities and their families. His personal experience drove him to work as a habilitation technician and special education teacher and share his experiences as a speaker/lecturer.

His role as a sibling of an individual with a disability led him to volunteer as Sibling Coordinator for the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC), where he developed and taught a curriculum focused on communication, advocacy and leadership skills to young siblings (ages 10-18).

Currently, Ryan is a high school special education teacher and social entrepreneur. His primary focus is to advocate and take action to advance employment for people with disabilities. Primarily, he consults with individuals with developmental disabilities and their families to identify and achieve personal life goals. In 2016, Ryan launched his second business, Shabby Chic Consignment Boutique, a retail store that houses a micro-enterprise development program for entrepreneurs with developmental disabilities.

Friday's Evening Speaker:

Nicole Rotundo

Nicole Rotundo was born with Trisomy 21, also known as Down syndrome. Nicole has an all-around passion for life. Her passion is what drives her to overcome obstacles and achieve her goals. She lives life to the fullest by constantly rising to new challenges and reaching for her dreams.

After graduating from public high school, Nicole moved into her own apartment in Asheville, North Carolina. For several years Nicole accessed and participated in her community through part-time employment, an I/DD social group, and a creative arts day program.

In 2007, four years after high school graduation, Nicole decided to go back to school. She was accepted into a four-year post-secondary education program in Greensboro, NC called Beyond Academics. There, Nicole’s self-confidence, social network, and personal vision grew. She graduated in 2012 with a certificate in Community Studies.

In 2015, Nicole moved back to Asheville, to be closer to family and pursue the next phase of her life. She wanted to develop her own small business.

Currently, Nicole lives and creates in Asheville’s trendy River Arts District. Her small business includes her recently published book, “My Fabulous Life,” hand-drawn holiday and greeting cards, and public speaking.