Technology Integration Specialist / Educational Speaker / “Learning Differently” / Technological Normalization
I have come to embrace challenge. Challenge, is what makes me feel alive. Being diagnosed with a learning disability and ADHD in grade 4, I have experienced challenges all of my life. Dealing with this life of challenges has resulted in me becoming a master of resiliency, technology and advocacy. No challenge is too big–Be challenged. Live life large.
My expertise grows out of my deep personal understanding of struggling through the education system. After finishing high school, I enlisted in the Armed Forces which taught me one life changing lesson–“I learn differently”. Differences are good things and what truly enables us to take on challenges with a more holistic approach. Technology has enabled me to find successes and contribute back to the field of education through supporting implementing UDL and normalization of technology.
My passion and expertise grows out of a deep personal understanding of learning differences. I have a significant learning disability, which resulted in me facing all the issues of those with hidden disabilities: feelings of inadequacy and stupidity, concealment, embarrassment, ridicule, teasing, being viewed as lazy or defiant.
I used common coping mechanisms such as becoming invisible; acting out; and at times and with growing sophistication, “playing the LD card.” Finally at University, I discovered assistive technologies and a door to independence and academic success opened. I have been a user of various technologies for the past 15 years and has trained thousands of students, teachers and administrators.
In 2008, I co-founded LEARNstyle Ltd. as a provider of technology training services for schools and school districts/board. LEARNstyle is now the largest training company in Ontario for Special Education. My vision for Assistive Technology has grown so much and I now sees it as truly necessary for some but beneficial for all. This normalization will create opportunities for all students to reach even higher levels of success than they ever thought possible!
Speaker Menu Items
Building Resiliency in Students, supported by EdTech
Universal Accessibility and Designed Learning- Cloud
Technology supporting all Learners
Developing skills for advocacy and Self-Efficacy
Modern Learning Tools for Educators
Lead with Pedagogy, Implement with Technology
Google for Enhanced Workflow, Assessment and Grading
Personal Journey in Education from Struggles to Success
MaRS Entrepreneur in Residence
What Others Are Saying
The presentation was extremely well put together. It was entertaining, informative and empowering.
DJ is great motivational speaker for students to hear with his message of self-efficacy and self-advocacy.
DJ is a compelling speaker and so “relatable.”
DJ engaged the audience and spoke from the heart.
Along with hundreds of regional, provincial and national presentations to Students, Educational Assistants, New Teacher Programs, Teachers, Administrators and Parents; Here are some highlights:
Centennial College SMART Start Keynote Toronto ON 2016
Learning Disabilities Association of Halton, Keynote, Burlington ON 2016
TedX Youth, Presenter, Toronto ON 2015
Microsoft Canada Educational Summit Keynotes, Various locations 2014-2015
CONNECT Conference, Presenter, Niagara Falls ON
Council for Exceptional Children, Keynote, Niagara Falls ON 2015
MISA Keynote Toronto ON 2014
You Make a Difference (New Teacher Induction Program) Keynote Brantford ON 2014
Regional Special Education Council Keynote London ON 2014
Keynote Google Presenter ECOO Conference Niagara Falls ON 2014