Note: As there are many videos below, we have had to bundle them together into galleries in order to avoid making a mess out of the text. If you’re using a screen reader, please maneuver to the gallery immediately following the text you’re reading to find videos on the
topics in that section of the page.

 

MOTIVATIONAL & TOPICAL SPEAKING

As a motivational speaker, I focus on the importance of connection and community in our lives. We can access nearly infinite opportunities when we get help from others in achieving our goals, while joyfully offering it to people around us to help them accomplish theirs in return. 


I would have never done many of the things I have had people around me not chosen to learn about and assist people with disabilities, knowledge, and experience they have used in their lives as current and future health professionals, policy makers, and community leaders. Their growth as individuals and the experiences and accomplishments I’ve had would not have happened without their willingness to assist me and my ability to recognize - and choose to act on - my need for assistance in achieving my goals and dreams.

 
 

I enjoy using my own history of overcoming a double disability with the help of literally thousands of people to encourage people to find ways to connect with others and strengthen their communities in order to improve our society and make the world a better place to live.Without the help of so many, I would not have been able to earn four Ivy League degrees; complete a rollerblading marathon;  build my consulting practices;  become a skier, climber, and kayaker; and travel around the world—twice.Giving and getting help is the best, most empowering, and longest lasting way, for all of us to get what we need to be great ourselves, make our communities and countries the best they can be, and help others achieve their goals. My talks focus on helping people bring the resources together we need to reach our maximum potential, be healthy, succeed and empower ourselves—and our society, too.I have spoken to a wide variety of groups, including the Colorado, Connecticut, and Sacramento-Sierra, California chapters of the American Diabetes Association, Squaw Valley/Achieve Tahoe’s “Achieve Tahoe” and private schools on the U.S. East Coast. I’ve also spoken to Chinese schools, universities and organizations including Hongdandan, the largest advocacy and resource for the blind in Beijing. You can see highlights of some of my talks in the video clips linked to this page.

 
 

As a topical speaker, I focus on calling for change in how we train health professionals to focus more on how patients live and work; helping students and their support networks find and apply to the right colleges or graduate/professional schools; discussing career opportunities and challenges associated with academic programs ranging from Political Science and Public Health to bio-Ethics and Genetics; and helping people see the impact on our lives and society of inconsistent regulations on how controversial science and technology are used and marketed.

Nearly three decades of teaching, training and working with our health professions students has convinced me that we are not properly teaching them how to support patients with chronic health needs outside the clinical setting.My long-standing experience as a patient and mentor lead me to believe that health professions’ schools are often disinterested in exposing their students to how patients live and work outside of the clinical setting. Health professionals’ resultant inexperience in thinking outside of the clinic all too often leads to miscommunication; patients’ struggles to comply with med protocols; can encourage implicit bias against people with chronic health challenges on the part of their graduates; and, at worst, adds to unnecessary suffering and early death.Without better exposure to how patients live and work, health professionals won’t have either the needed empathy for people’s real-world challenges, or the essential knowledge of how others have solved similar problems that they will need if they are to help their future patients live as fully, independently, and productively as possible. Problems that will only grow and deepen as our population ages and is forced to face increasing physical, practical and social challengesas it does so. I have spoken on this topic at Yale University, for the American Medical Students’ Association’s 2012 national conference in Houston, Texas, at the American Public Health Association’s 2015 national meeting in Chicago, Illinois, and for a local  council of governments in thePikes Peak area.I have spoken on the issue of implicit bias to a number of health professions programs and anticipate more such presentations in the coming year./professional schools; discussing career opportunities and challenges associated with academic programs ranging from Political Science and Public Health to bio-Ethics and Genetics; and helping people see the impact on our lives and society of inconsistent regulations on how controversial science and technology are used and marketed.

 
 

Having advised hundreds of students on getting into, and succeeding in, college and graduate school, I write and speak about how people in students’ support networks at home and on college campuses can best advise them on selecting schools and majors that will be a good fit for them over the short and long term. I have presented on this topic for high schools in Colorado. I have given a remote talk to an audience in China on majoring in Bio Ethics and Public Health. I can give similar presentations to English speaking audiences anywhere.Finally, I have presented on how controversial science is used and regulated, having spoken on the topic at Yale University and Arizona State University. I believe if we, as individuals, communities, and nations are to make choices and take realistic actions that will have the best chance to make the world better than it was when we entered it, whatever we do will require facts, not speculation; a mix of realism and idealism; and a true desire to both ask for and accept help, while showing empathy for others around us if we are to succeed as individuals, communities, and nations.I am happy to speak to your organization, school, company or community on the topics described on this page. After reviewing this site, you will see I present comfortably on disability accommodation as well. I am willing to consider speaking on other matters that I welcome you to propose based on what you have read of me on this site or on my social media.I charge my cost of travel plus that for a sighted guide/medical assistant as well as a figure to be negotiated for in-person talks. I can also speak remotely. I can negotiate rates for those sessions.  I am glad to speak to community groups at no - or limited - cost, if other activities makedoing so possible.To discuss fees, dates and times, or to schedule a session, I can be reached via my website.