Special Education Conference Special Education Conference

Date: November 15-16, 2021
Location: Kalahari Resort and Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells, WI


Featured Speakers

Temple Grandin

Dr. Grandin did not talk until she was three and a half years old.  She was fortunate to get early speech therapy.  Her teachers also taught her how to wait and take turns when playing board games.  She was mainstreamed into a normal kindergarten at age five.  Oliver Sacks wrote in the forward of Thinking in Pictures that her first book Emergence: Labeled Autistic was “unprecedented because there had never before been an inside narrative of autism.”  Dr. Sacks profiled Dr. Grandin in his best selling book Anthropologist on Mars.

Dr. Grandin became a prominent author and speaker on both autism and animal behavior.  Today she is a professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University.  She also has a successful career consulting on both livestock handling equipment design and animal welfare.  She has been featured on NPR (National Public Radio) and a BBC Special – "The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow". She has also appeared on National TV shows such as Larry King Live, 20/20, Sixty Minutes, Fox and Friends, and she has a 2010 TED talk.  Articles about Dr. Grandin have appeared in Time Magazine, New York Times, Discover Magazine, Forbes and USA Today. HBO made an Emmy Award winning movie about her life and she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2016.


Anthony Ianni

Anthony Ianni is one of the most sought-after motivational speakers and autism advocates in the United States..

At the age of 4 Anthony was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Doctors and specialists told Anthony’s parents that he would barely graduate from high school, would never graduate from college, would never have a shot at being an athlete and would likely live in a group institution with other Autistic kids for his adult life. His family was devastated but pledged they would help Anthony be successful no matter what. 

And he is. Despite bullies, adversity and numerous personal challenges Anthony worked hard and never gave up. Not only did he earn his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Sociology he is the first known athlete with autism to play Big 10 basketball.  Anthony played for legendary coach Tom Izzo while at MSU. He won two Big Ten Championships, a Big Ten Tournament Title, was the recipient of the 2011 Tim Bograkos Walk On Award and the 2012 Unsung Player Award, and was also a member of the 2010 Final Four team. 

As a speaker, Anthony has won a number of awards for his work. In 2013, he was a finalist for the Detroit Pistons Game Changer award and won the 2014 Epling Agent of Change Award. He was one of Autism Speaks’ “10 Individuals who Inspired in 2014,” and named to the CBS News national list of “Inspiring People on the Autism Spectrum.” He also received the 2015 BOOM Athlete of the Year Award and the 2016 Autism Support of West Shore “You Make a Difference” Award.

 Anthony has pledged his life and career to help those who face similar challenges. He has been invited to tell his story and share his message across the country and has inspired countless individuals to be “Relentless” and achieve their goals and dreams. His first book, Centered, based on his life experiences, was released in September 2021.