In partnership with The UP Experience, this event is the official kickoff of the festival, and opens the festival on February 15 with presentations from extraordinary thought leaders on mental and physical disabilities and topics of inclusion. After the speakers' presentations, attendees can attend smaller Q&A sessions with the speaker of their choice.
Mandy Harvey, an American singer-songwriter who is deaf and a 2017 finalist on «America's Got Talent.» She is a spokesperson for No Barriers USA and Invisible Disabilities Association and travels the country to heighten awareness, break down barriers and challenge stereotypes.
Caroline Casey, an award-winning serial social entrepreneur, is both an adventurer and business woman based in Dublin. The subject of the National Geographic documentary «Elephant Vision,» she recently completed a 1,000-kilometer journey on horseback to raise awareness for #valuable campaign, her global effort to bring inclusion to the workplace.
Joseph Bensmihen, born with cerebral palsy, became a self-advocate at the age six when he met with Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. By age 11 he was the first disabled Canadian student to ever be mainstreamed in a public school. As an adult, JB has been a highly successful business owner, an advisor to many members of Congress and a strong advocate for people with disabilities.