Ollibean Art for Change USF 130 530

One Film Changed Everything for Teen on the Autism Spectrum

Academy Award® Winning Director and Stars of the Acclaimed Documentary Wretches & Jabberers visit Tampa for a weekend of advocacy, acceptance, and inclusion.

On Friday, April 5th, 2013, in the Plaza Room 2708 at the Marshall Center at the University of South Florida (USF), Ollibean Art for Change, is sponsoring a day of inclusive education, community acceptance, and self-advocacy. Presented and  discussed will be the importance of presuming competence, acceptance, and mentorship for students with autism and related disabilities.

The cast and director of the acclaimed feature documentary, Wretches & Jabberers, will be at USF for a screening of  their film followed by Q and A .  They will be joined by The National Center on Inclusive Education’s Mary Schuh, PhD, and Tampa advocate, 13 year old, Henry Frost.

This powerful film, directed by Academy Award® winner Gerardine Wurzburg, follows two men, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonette, who are on the autism spectrum, as they embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability, intelligence, and communication.

The film and its stars have had a huge impact around the world and our Tampa area is no exception. Henry Frost, who also types to communicate, was greatly inspired by the work of Thresher and Bissonette. The film and mentorship of the pair lead Henry to get involved in disability rights advocacy when he was just twelve years old. Henry spearheaded a campaign that garnered over ten thousand participants worldwide to take a stand for the civil and human rights for persons with disabilities.

Dr. Mary Schuh of The National Center on Inclusive Education and University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability has more than 20 years of experience in inclusive schools and communities and is currently collaborating with the SWIFT national project for inclusive schools.

Dr. Schuh and then 11 year old Frost met at a conference at Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology in 2011. She and Frost spoke about inclusive education and advocacy and have worked to make that a reality. For the first time in Frost’s life, Henry attends his neighborhood school with his typically developing peers.

Wurzburg’s films ‘Wretches & Jabberers’ and ‘Autism is a World’ and Henry Frost’s ‘I Stand With Henry’ Campaign and Civil Rights video are required viewing in many graduate level special education classes.

Ollibean Art for Change is hosted by Ollibean.com, Autism Society Florida , CARD (The Center for Autism and Related Disorders) , NCIE (The National Center on Inclusive Education), The New York Yankees, The Tampa Theatre, The Autistic Self Advocacy Network, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay, and Autism Women’s Network. 

More information about Wretches & Jabberers

Directed by Academy Award®-winner Gerardine Wurzburg (EDUCATING PETER), WRETCHES & JABBERERS follows self-advocates Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette as they challenge global attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful message to reconsider competency. A powerful story about personal struggle that rings with intelligence, humor, hope and courage, the feature documentary is about the life-sustaining power of relationships – the personal connections that people make through communication. It is produced by Douglas P. Biklen and Gerardine Wurzburg, and funded by the John P. Hussman Foundation. WRETCHES & JABBERERS features original music by composer J. Ralph (THE COVE, MANON WIRE) with a soundtrack featuring original songs written and produced by J. Ralph in collaboration with Antony, Devendra Banhart, Paul Brady, Bonnie Bramlett, Vashti Bunyan, Martin Carthy, Judy Collins, Lila Downs, Vincent Gallo, David Garza, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johannson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Leah Siegel, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills, Ben Taylor and Bob Weir.

More Information about NCIE

The National Center on Inclusive Education at the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Institute on Disability (IOD) is helping to lead the development of schools where students of all abilities can learn successfully. NCIE advances the view that disability is a natural part of the human experience and promotes the inclusion of all students within general education classrooms and school communities. The NCIE accomplishes its mission through (a) personnel preparation, (b) professional development and technical assistance, (c) research, (d) systems transformation, (e) leadership development, (f) dissemination of information and resources, and (g) fostering a culture of inclusion.

More Information about Henry

Henry Frost is a 13 year old Tampa resident who is known around the globe for his efforts to promote inclusive education for students with disabilities.  He is the creator of the I Stand With Henry campaign and numerous You Tube videos promoting civil rights for people with disabilities.  He loves NASCAR, his family and community,  and all things Wretches and Jabberers.


USF 130 530


On Saturday April 6 at 5:00pm there will be a screening and Q & A of the film at the historic Tampa Theatre.