Though not diagnosed with autism until adulthood, as a child Dr. Temple Grandin quickly learned that she processed things differently than her neurotypical classmates — only developing speech skills when she was nearly four years old. Drawn to STEM-related activities like electronics and rocketry, she was encouraged to pursue a career as a scientist by her peers and a former teacher and mentor.
Willard Wigan is a micro sculptor, creator of the world smallest handmade micro art in history, who grew up with undiagnosed autism and dyslexia. In 2007, he was honored by Queen Elizabeth II with the distinction of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), the third highest ranking Order of the British Empire award, for his services to art. In 2018, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Warwick in recognition of the significant contributions he has made to art and sculpture. He also holds two Guinness World Records.
S1, E5: Quinn Bradlee — Quinn Bradlee is a filmmaker, author and advocate for improving the lives of disabled individuals. He is the author of A Different Life: Growing Up Learning Disabled and Other Adventures and the founder of Friends of Quinn, an online community for individuals with learning disabilities.
Dawn Prince-Hughes is an anthropologist, primatologist and author who has studied gorilla (and other apes’) cultures. Through personal experience juxtaposed with academic study, she’s become an expert in autism spectrum disorders. She has published extensively including the national bestseller “Songs of the Gorilla Nation.”
Jhillika Kumar — Jhillika Kumar is a social impact entrepreneur, Diversity & Inclusion community builder, and Grace Hopper Celebration keynote speaker as an advocate for disability empowerment. She is an Assistant Vice President focusing on Accessibility at Bank of America and the CEO & Founder of Mentra, a startup focused on enabling individuals on the autism spectrum to find meaningful careers by activating their talents.
U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin — Retired U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is a former Navy jet pilot, a lawyer, who served as a United States Senator from Iowa from 1985 to 2015. He was the chief sponsor of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, the landmark legislation that protects the civil rights of more than 54 million Americans with physical and mental disabilities.