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The Gordon School

An afternoon with Jordyn Zimmerman

Advocate for autistic people meets with fifth grade

Thank you to Jordyn Zimmerman for spending time this afternoon connecting with fifth grade.

Zimmerman is a nonspeaking autistic person who is emerging as a leader among advocates for autistic people. She was the subject of the 2021 documentary, This Is Not About Me, and in 2022, she was appointed to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

Students watched This Is Not About Me earlier this week and shared questions with Zimmerman, who spent an hour this afternoon answering their questions. Students were curious about every aspect of Zimmerman’s life, ranging from her work with Communication First and the Nora Project, to life with her dog (as seen in the photo).

The visit was a powerful addition to the fifth grade curriculum’s study of disability advocacy and their work recognizing, interrupting and dismantling ableism. Every year, fifth graders’ reading of the novel Wonder and other books on the theme of disability is supplemented by authentic, rich conversations with a range of people with disabilities; past guests have included Sam Drazin, Chris Waddell, guests from the Rhode Island School for the Deaf, activists from Communication First, and Gordon staff member Graham Watkins ’08.

More about Jordyn at https://www.jordynzimmerman.com/
More on her film at https://thisisnotaboutme.film/

Gordon has had a three-year relationship with Communication First, a group advocating for people who cannot rely on speech alone to be heard and understood. We were the first school they ever did outreach with! Learn more about them at https://communicationfirst.org/

Jordyn Zimmerman currently works at the Nora Project, a nonprofit working to help include disability in educators’ definition of disability. Learn more about their work at https://thenoraproject.ngo/

 

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