EDISON—A program designed to help the Middlesex County College community and the general public learn about individuals with disabilities is being held at Middlesex County College Monday, March 29. It will be at 11 a.m. in the Performing Arts Center.
The event is free and open to the public.
“This annual program is designed to raise the consciousness of the college community that students with disabilities are part of the fabric of the institution,” said Elaine Daidone, counselor for students with disabilities.
“We have more than 750 students who have some sort of disability; others need to understand their needs and understand the assets they bring to the institution.”
This year’s speaker is LeDerick Horne, a Middlesex County College alumnus and a graduate of Project Connections, the college’s program for students with learning disabilities.
Classified as neurologically impaired in the third grade, Horne has become a successful spoken word poet, playwright, motivational speaker, entrepreneur and advocate. He will speak on “Nothing About Us Without Us: How Youth with Disabilities are Helping to Transform Society.”
Using his gift for spoken word poetry as a teaching tool, Horne has been recognized across the country as a motivational speaker and advocate for people with disabilities. After graduating from Middlesex County College and New Jersey City University, Horne released “Rhyme Reason and Song” (2005), an album of his poetry set to music, and he co-created and performed in “New Street Poets,” a spoken word play addressing the effect of gentrification on urban culture.
The play received great critical acclaim at the New York City International Fringe Festival in 2007. He also founded and serves as CEO of the real estate investment firm Horne & Associates, LLC.
Horne has presented to groups as varied as students and faculty at Harvard University, and youth and staff at correctional facilities. His message addresses increasing confidence, academic performance, self-determination and self-advocacy by challenging stereotypes and looking beyond negative labels.
He is currently the board chair of Project Eye-to-Eye, a national nonprofit that provides mentoring programs for students with learning disabilities and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He has also facilitated workshops, delivered keynote presentations, and spoken to thousands of students, teachers and service providers about his experiences.
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