An Autistic Broadway Actor's Transformational Insights
- Disability Awareness
- Motivation & Inspiration
- Professional Development
- Grade 6-12 Students
- College Students
- Educators & Staff
Fee: $5K-10KInvite Mickey
• From Special Education To Broadway
• Founding Artistic Director of the National Disability Theatre
• Featured by NY Times, TODAY show, Wall Street Journal
As an autistic and legally blind person, it was always made clear to Mickey the many things he was incapable of doing. But Mickey did them all anyway—and he succeeded because of, not despite, his autism.
He became the first autistic actor to play the lead role in the play The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, landed the title role in the play Amadeus, and founded the National Disability Theatre.
Mickey faced untold obstacles along the way, but his story ends in triumph.
Mickey inspires all people—autistic and non-autistic alike—that the things that make us different are often our biggest strengths.
Mickey has been featured in the New York Times, the TODAY show, PBS, Vogue, Playbill, NPR, CNN, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Forbes, on Smarter in Seconds.
He has been a keynote speaker at organizations such as the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center, Yale University, Columbia University, Disability Rights Washington, The Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, and more.
SPEAKING TOPICS: 2023 Top College Speakers
Fearlessly Different: Our Differences are our Strengths:
In this engaging keynote, Mickey shares his deeply personal story of growing up autistic and pushing beyond the restrictions of a special education classroom to shine on the Broadway stage. As an autistic and legally blind person, it was always made clear to Mickey the many things he was apparently incapable of doing. But Mickey did them all anyway—and he succeeded because of, not in spite of, his differences.
Rowe shows all of us that whether disabled or not, the things that make you different, or that you might even perceive as your weaknesses, actually make you unique and valuable and might even be your biggest strengths. Ensuring that everyone we come in contact with feels seen, heard, understood, and valued. And that sometimes just one small action can change the course of someone’s life.
- CONFIDENCE: Students leave with a dramatically increased sense of self-worth and self-confidence, knowing that they are more powerful because of everything that makes them unique and that they have agency!
- CULTURE: Students leave seeing all of their classmates differently. Especially the classmates they have had the least interaction with.
- MOTIVATION & GOAL ACHIEVEMENT: Students leave realizing that regardless of their goals, whether they want a strategy to win the next big game or want to ace the next school project, they can best succeed at all of their goals when they work with people who are very different from them.
- UNDERSTANDING: Students leave with a deep understanding and empathy of autism and the disabled lived experience. According to the CDC, 20 – 25% of the population has a disability, so understanding and empathy are essential for everyone.
The Life-Changing Power of Inclusion in Education
Mickey Rowe, Founding Artistic Director of the National Disability Theatre, helps make Universally Designed Instruction easy and fun.
20 – 25% of the population is disabled, according to the CDC. Therefore teachers already interact with students with disabilities, IDEA, and IEPs daily. Mickey empowers educators to make that aspect of every teacher’s day a little easier and less stressful.
When we think with an accessibility mindset, we help all of our students succeed, not just those with disabilities. Teachers change these students’ lives daily and deserve some thanks and appreciation straight from the source.
- OPTIMISM: Educators shape futures daily. Often without realizing it. Mickey’s life was changed by a teacher, Ms. Ritchie, who fought to get him his IEP. Ms. Ritchie doesn’t know she changed Mickey’s life or what he is accomplishing now. Every teacher changes students’ lives in ways they never get to see.
- FLUENCY: Mickey takes IEPs and IDEA from stressful obligations to fun, easy, and empowering frameworks.
- CONFIDENCE: Educators will become confident talking about disability. According to the CDC, 20 – 25% of the population has a disability, so this confidence will make every educator’s life easier daily.
“Mickey’s warmth and grace instantly put our guests at ease. All of the guests I spoke to said that this was the best event we’ve ever had, and last year our speaker was Maya Angelou, so that is saying a lot! He gave our audience the ability to understand their own children and feel hope for the first time.”NC Child Development Center
“Mickey was amazing; I have heard nothing but compliments for his talk and the Q&A session. He was the perfect kickoff to a wonderful day of learning.”City of Rancho Cucamonga
“Mickey’s speech moved one of the attendees so much that he gave us a check for $10,000 on the spot and promised to pay all of the expenses to bring Mickey back next year.”Meristem HS
“Mickey Rowe was wonderful! What a great presentation. He provided our audience with a great keynote. Had the entire audience loving his presentation. He was authentic. Love to have him come back again!”The Family Cafe