Our first Change Leader is artist and disability rights advocate, Larry Bissonnette.
Larry’s art, writing, presentations, and films are changing perceptions about disability around the world. His quote in Wretches & Jabberers, “More like you than not” says it all.
Larry, based in Vermont, is featured in the documentary “Wretches & Jabberers” and is both writer and subject of the film “My Classic Life as an Artist: A Portrait of Larry Bissonnette.” He is a contributing author to the acclaimed, “Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone” and his art is featured in museums, galleries, and private collections around the world. In the past year alone, Mr. Bissonnette has been a keynote speaker for TASH, COPAA, The ICI‘s Summer Institute at MIT Media Lab, Autism Society in the past year alone. You can catch his next keynote presentation at the 14th Annual Autism Summer Institute at the Institute on Disability (IOD) at the University of New Hampshire, August 6th through 8th.
Larry answers Ollibean’s Questionairre.
Please give us a brief description of what you do and why ?
I am an artist mimicking Picasso in old Vermonter style and I am opportuning my movie stardom to slay the dragons of institutionally oriented attitudes and launch campaigns to promote inclusion of people with disabilities in mainstream society.
How did you get involved in self-advocacy, art, and typing to communicate?
My smothering canvas with lots of paint style. prolific in amount of paint used, evolved from living in an institution. My typing to communicate looking lost in meaning at first moved to a movie star level when I ordered my patterns of keyboarding more precisely with physical and loaded with, presuming my competence support, from Pascal Cheng, less supporting actor and more professional assistant in the early 1990’s.
Any advice for young kids that have a disability?
Meet with your teachers to more force them to look for your intelligence than ok their plans to teach you making kitchen look cleaner skills.
Any advice for parents of kids who have disability labels?
Leading people to the promised land of inclusion lands you more looks of meaningful appreciation than trips to Mcdonalds for chicken nuggets.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Typing to world audiences, potentially opening their minds to the possibility that I like more kinds of beer than Budweiser.
Which living person do you most admire?
Barack Obama because he not only is the first black president but because he manages to vastly promote acceptance of differences in our society.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
People make me out to be a movie star now instead of odd autistic guy so changing perceptions lands top spot.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Positioning of money as the motivating force in making people plan changes in government or society.
What is your motto?
All people want communication and wanting your own Apple iPad is not wishful thinking but a civil right to be granted.
Larry’s work has inspired people around the world to get involved and Be the Change.