Special Education Teacher Training Taps Disability Speaker's Use of Humor

By Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, Disability Employment Expert

"I credit my special education teachers for fueling my desire to have an impact on others and for not allowing my life lessons to negatively impact me."

So says Richard James Luby, who was born in 1983 with cerebral palsy (CP).

"In fact, my parents didn’t allow me to use my differences as an excuse for not pursuing an independent life," Luby adds.

That’s precisely why I believe your special education teacher group needs to hear Luby in person. He's the owner of Talk The Walk, LLC, an action-based disability and inclusion training service.

Richard James Luby, speaing at an outdoors event.Richard James Luby in action. See form at end of this page to schedule a TALK the WALK appearance at your next event.

Comedic improv about key lessons

Attend a Talk the Walk event, and you’ll not only be part of the audience. You'll be the lesson, story, and presentation as well. Luby has the ability to capture and maintain the attention of an audience through participation and comedic improv. He has learned that involved attention yields retention of key lessons.

But, things were not always so rosy for Luby.

CP gave him a limp and learning disabilities. As a kid, he was held back in kindergarten and struggled with math in grade school.

“I kind of started giving up on myself at a young age,” he says. “It was a struggle to be accepted. That’s the biggest thing. If I sit down and I’m talking to you, there’s no way you’d know that I have a disability. But, once I get up and walk around, it is noticeable.”

But, in fourth grade, Luby found humor could break down barriers. It became his coping method.

“If I could make people laugh in class — even at the expense of getting detention or suspension — the other students would talk to me,” he explains.

TALK the WALK logo: Providinng the Tools to Walk Your Own WalkSee form at end of page to schedule a TALK the WALK appearance at your next event.

An interactive and entertaining experience

Fast forward into the 21st Century.  Luby has earned a B.S. degree in sociology from Southern Connecticut State University. He is successfully applying his educational and personal experiences to help others grow in self-awareness, self-esteem and self-confidence. After serving almost two years as Director of Partnership Development (for national initiatives/relationships) for Ability Beyond in Connecticut, Luby has opened up shop on his own.

While working at Ability Beyond, Luby has refined his listening, learning, training and placement skills. He has observed the career growth of diverse applicants within the disability community. These applicants have confirmed his conviction that ability defines the individual applicant and employer -- not labels.

He’s also gained strategic planning experience at Ability Beyond, serving PepsiCo, Wounded Warrior Project, and numerous state vocational rehabs and service providers throughout the U.S (in Connecticut, Minnesota, Texas and Nevada).

“What I realized then is that I really enjoy teaching,” Luby says.

Public speaking was the natural avenue.

Today, Luby believes in his ability and considers his disability as an opportunity to show how using appropriate humor can facilitate everyday interaction and help individuals attain goals.

 As a professional speaker and founder of TALK the WALK, LLC., he uses comedic improv to deliver impactful lessons through real-world life experiences.

Here’s how he describes his services:

“We are an interactive and entertaining experience.  We take real-world life experiences and use comedic improv to deliver impactful lessons. Talk the Walk provides viewpoints and tools for you, your company, and community to be successful in walking your own walk. Our interactive approach allows our audiences to not only listen to what is said but put what they hear into action!"

Luby would especially like to help special education teachers work with at-risk students so they can effectively bridge the gap between high school and adult life.

“Richard was faced with a challenge in life and turned it into an opportunity to help others and now serves as a role model,” Dorinda Borer, former West Haven (Connecticut) Board of Education member and PTA president, says.

My recommendation for your special education teacher group: Use the form below to contact Richard James Luby and schedule a personal appearance for your next event.

Luby is ready to help your group address these topics:

Training Modules: Each bullet represents one hour of training information.

1.      Enhancing the Relationship

  • Nurturing the Individual’s Self-esteem: 6 pillars to promote self-esteem
  • Providing an Empowering Environment: 15 factors of an empowering environment
  • Addressing Fears of Employment
  • Attaining / Celebrating Realistic Goals That Build to an Ultimate Goal

2.      Career Planning

  • Creating a Career Check List: Listening to the wants, needs and goals of an individual
  • Understanding Self-knowledge: Assisting individuals in understanding their unique qualities
  • Discovering Four Stages of Career Development: Awareness, Exploration, Planning, and Preparation
  • Addressing Seven Necessities: Involvement, Expectations, Motivation, Care Outcome, Decision Making, Power, and Purpose

3.      Networking

  • Networking Is More Than a Professional Relationship: It is the key to opportunities
  • Understanding Your Contacts: Needs, Desires, Goals, and Industry
  • Expanding Your Network and Reach: Positioning yourself as an ideal contact
  • Utilizing Resources: Social Media, Chambers, Events, and Communities

 4.      Job Developing

  • Understanding the Need: Are the skills and desires of the individual a match for the employer?
  • Identifying Opportunities: The process of job developing
  • Securing and Maintaining Employment: Landing and keeping an employment opportunity
  • Resolving Conflicts: Problem solving and saving a placement

Contact Richard James Luby by using the form below to schedule a TALK the WALK appearance at your next event. He'll help you build an event that will meet your specific needs.

Get Info About TALK the WALK Special Education Teacher Training Modules

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Return from Special Education Teacher to Cerebral Palsy Career Builders

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Originally written and illustrated by Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC, who, as a person with cerebral palsy, served for 10 years as a vice president in a Fortune 500 company during his 29-year career in corporate communication. He’s an Accredited Business Communicator, certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator and author of 14 Amazon books about disability awareness and disability employment issues.