Ollibean Art for Change

One Film Changed Everything for Teen on the Autism Spectrum

Academy Award® Winning Director and Stars of the Acclaimed Documentary Wretches & Jabberers and the director of The National Center on Inclusive Education visit Tampa for a weekend of advocacy, acceptance, and inclusion.

Ollibean Art for Change presents three days of advocacy, acceptance and inclusion April 4th-6th. Three separate events held at three of Tampa’s most treasured organizations – USF, Tampa Theatre, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay- join us promoting community acceptance and inclusion of individuals with disabilities.

The Academy Award® winning director Gerardine Wurzburg, the cast of Wretches & Jabberers – Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette, Harvey Lavoy and Pascal Cheng- ,The National Center on Inclusive Education’s Mary Schuh, PhD, and Tampa advocate, Henry Frost will be discussing the importance of presuming competence, acceptance, and mentorship for students on the autism spectrum and other disabilities.

The Wall Street Journal called Wretches & Jabberers, An ingenious documentary about real autistics.” Newsweek wrote,  “Autism finds its voice.”

After the film came to Tampa for two screenings in 2011, Tampa father of 5, Greg Jones said, “Wretches & Jabberers should be mandatory in every school.”

Wretches & Jabberers, 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 disability.

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, The Tampa Theatre, NCIE (The National Center on Inclusive Education),  Autism Society Florida , CARD (The Center for Autism and Related Disorders),The New York Yankees, 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.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa BayOn Thursday April 4 at 4:30 pm there will be an interactive discussion by Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette, Henry Frost and Dr. Mary Schuh for the members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay about the importance of acceptance, diversity, and inclusion.

More information about The Boys and Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay has been a positive force in the community for 85 years; enabling young people to become productive, responsible and caring citizens through structured programming, safe learning environments and dedicated staff. We provide quality programs and services to over 10,000 youth in 18 Club facilities throughout Tampa Bay – changing lives, providing opportunities, and creating hope.


USF 130 530

On Friday April 5 at 1:30 pm there will be a screening and Q & A of the film at USF‘s Marshall Center in the Plaza Room -2708. The day will be divided into two parts beginning with a 1:30 pm film screening and discussion with Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette and Academy Award® winning director Gerardine Wurzburg. There will be a break at 3:30 for a light snack. Part Two resumes with a workshop on inclusive education, advocacy, and presuming competence at 4:oo with NCIE’s Dr. Mary Schuh, Thresher, Bissonnette, Pascal Cheng, Harvey Lavoy, and Henry Frost.

More Information about The Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) at the University of South Florida

The Center for Autism & Related Disabilities at the University of South Florida is a community-based project that provides information and consultation to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders and related disabilities. CARD-USF offers instruction and coaching to families and professionals through a training and assistance model.

Ollibean Art for Change Tampa Theatre April 6

On Saturday, April 6th, 2013, at the historic Tampa TheatreOllibean Art for Change presents the critically acclaimed documentary by Academy Award® winning director Gerardine Wurzburg, Wretches & Jabberers. A Q & A with Wurzburg, the cast of the film – Tracy Thresher, Larry Bissonnette, Harvey Lavoy and Pascal Cheng- immediately after the screening. They will be joined by The National Center on Inclusive Education’s Mary Schuh, PhD, and Tampa advocate, 13 year old, Henry Frost. Presented and  discussed will be the importance of presuming competence, acceptance, and mentorship for students with autism and related disabilities.

More information about Tampa Theatre

Built in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate “movie palaces”, the Tampa Theatre today is a fiercely protected and generously supported landmark. Designed by famed theatre architect John Eberson, the Tampa is a superior example of the “atmospheric” style of theatre design. Inside the Tampa, audiences are transported to a lavish, romantic Mediterranean courtyard replete with old world statuary, flowers, and gargoyles. Over it all is a nighttime sky with twinkling stars and floating clouds.