Join us for a very special community event in Lexington, facilitating a conversation on Autism Acceptance.
“In a Different Key” is an award winning docu-film, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book. Yet to be released Nationally, March 31, 6.30pm - 9.30pm, will be the Premiere of the film in Massachusetts, hosted by LexSEPTA.
Community members, community leaders, teachers, professional providers, parents and more will be attending this in-person film event, in the auditorium of Lexington High School. An expert panel of speakers will join us for a moderated discussion after the film, to promote Autism Acceptance and reflect on our Town’s efforts on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to date.
You can view the trailer here: https://inadifferentkeythemovie.com
Based on the Pulitzer Prize Finalist book, “In a Different Key" delivers a powerful message regarding the role that community and inclusion has on the life of individuals with disabilities, by intertwining the stories of the modern day families impacted by autism and the first person diagnosed with autism in the US. The film explores how a small Southern town successfully embraced people with disabilities, and the benefits to the community of doing so.
Thank you to our panelists!
Melanie Perkins McLaughlin: Melanie Perkins McLaughlin is an Emmy-Award winning filmmaker, investigative journalist, disability rights advocate, school committee member, and the mother of three children, the youngest of whom has Down syndrome. She has been interviewed nationally by TIME magazine, CBS News, USA Today, HBO, ABC, Japanese Public Broadcasting (NHK), National Public Radio, Fox News and the BBC. McLaughlin recently graduated with a Masters in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she was a Teaching Fellow implementing inclusive education with Dr. Thomas Hehir. She received an honorary PhD from Fitchburg State University. McLaughlin is passionate about creating systemic change for children with disabilities, economically disadvantaged children and minority children.
Maura Sullivan: Maura is The Arc's Senior Director of Government Affairs and Health Policy. She leads The Arc’s advocacy efforts with the legislature. Maura has a special passion for advocating for equity and access to healthcare as well as family supports for people with disabilities. She is a proud mother of three, including two teenagers on the autism spectrum.
Gyasi Burks-Abbott: Gyasi Burks-Abbott is a writer, public speaker, and autism self-advocate. In addition to serving on the boards, committees, and commissions of several autism and disability organizations, Gyasi is a faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital LEND Program which stands for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities. He graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN with a BA in English and psychology, and he has an M.S. in Library and Information Science from Simmons University in Boston. Recently, Gyasi published a book about his life called My Mother’s Apprentice: An Autistic’s Rites of Passage. He lives in Bedford, Massachusetts.
Kate DeAngelis: Kate DeAngelis is the Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for Lexington Recreation and Community Programs. Kate began her career at Burlington Parks and Recreation as their Therapeutic Recreation intern and then moved on to be the Part Time Recreation Therapist. In 2019, Kate joined the Lexington Recreation and Community Programs department in a part time capacity as their first ever Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and began to build a Therapeutic Recreation division. After one year working for Lexington, the demands for programs and services quickly grew and Kate’s position became full time. Kate sits on the Excusive Board for Massachusetts Parks and Recreation Association as the Therapeutic Recreation representative and is passionate about creating inclusive recreation programs and community engagement opportunities for individuals of all ages.
Thank you to our sponsors!
Takeda's purpose is “better health for people, brighter future for the world”. They support Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and are committed to embracing differences and fostering an inclusive environment. They also have a Commitment to Community, through Philanthropic Giving.
Our nationally recognized specialty practice, Special Needs Financial Planning, can help your family plan for their future and the lifelong needs of your child with a disability.
The Dance Inn has offered dance programs for preschoolers through adults since February, 1983. With studios in both Lexington and Arlington, MA, classes are available for both the recreational dancer and the pre-professional student. Adaptive Dance classes are also available for dancers with disabilities, which aim to foster independence, confidence, cooperation, friendships, and to increase strength and coordination.
Lex Communicate offers a full range of speech, language, and family support services, specializing in executive functioning and social communication. They offer individual and group therapy, evaluations, sibling support, behavioral support, consultations, job coaching, transition planning, and parent coaching.
LexSEPTA, the Lexington Special Education PTA, supports LexSEPAC, offering parents a way of connecting with one another, valuable speaker events and workshops and also social gatherings with other parents, the school committee and more. Thank you to the generous donations from so many Lexington families!