Sophomores Present Video: Dungeons and Distractions at International Conference

Feb 2, 2018

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Dungeons & Distractions from Tyler Comeau on Vimeo.

On January 4, 2018, Franklin Pierce University students, Teagen and Tyler Comeau, joined Franklin Pierce Assistant Professor, Dr. Jacqueline Kelleher, at the 16th Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education.  The main goal of the Hawaii International Conference on Education is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various education related fields from all over the world to come together and learn from each other. An additional goal of the conference is to provide a place for academicians and professionals with cross-disciplinary interests related to education to meet and interact with members inside and outside their own particular disciplines. More than 1375 participants representing more than 35 countries attended this years’ conference.

The trio presented a film, Dungeons and Distractions, created by Teagen and Tyler Comeau that presents a first person perspective on what it is like to have autism and go through the experience in a general education, middle school classroom. In addition, Dr. Kelleher presented a curriculum guide piloted with pre-service and in-service teachers with activities and problem-based learning on autism spectrum disorders.

The Comeau twins, who are sophomores, collaborated with Dr. Kelleher to create a curriculum guide that provides many activities to use with viewers to drive home critical thinking, discussion, and perspective-taking concerning autistic people and other disabilities. The activities have been tried with hundreds of pre-service teachers, teachers, related service staff, and parents of children with disabilities. It was a privilege to share the work, and the Kelleher-Comeau team is inspired to create more projects that raise awareness of individuals with disabilities. Paper submissions were subjected to a full peer review so it was an honor to be selected as presenters. The room was full and there were many requests for copies of the guide from professionals across the country, Canada, and Denmark.

Dr. Kelleher and the Comeau twins plan to continue their work in advocacy and deepening perspective taking through film and public speaking. Dr. Kelleher hopes to create a film series of shorts that depict what it is like to have disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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