Thanks you so much for coming to Landmark College and speaking with us. As a teacher working at a school devoted entirely to students who learn differently, it was inspiring for me, and for the students present, to hear someone who has succeeded in developing a career in a tough field—research science. Not only was your story inspiring, but you were funny and sympathetic to others who may be facing similar challenges. While many of the broad strokes of your story were familiar, it was in the details that the story was most interesting. That is because many of our students share similar experiences like yours but really need to find their own, personal “special sauce” (what you call “jetpacks”) in order to succeed in academe. I am pleased that you are willing to reach out to people all over and share your struggles and successes. I do believe that there are many, many students who could benefit from and be inspired by your wisdom and experiences. So keep on sharing, and I hope the word gets out.
Your example calls us to choose a path that draws on the best in us and is rich in meaning, connection, fun, and compensation that reflects our investment, effort, and contribution. I am lucky to have crossed your path.
I’ve known Collin for many years and have continued to be in awe of his determination and willingness to share his story so that others may benefit from his journey. While there have been many hurdles that Collin has had to find keys to overcome, his ability to share the obstacles that he has encountered and how he found the strength to persevere toward his goals and dreams makes him an excellent example for others with or without disabilities.
Collin is, first and foremost, an engaging presenter who speaks openly about his lifelong struggle with learning disabilities. More than that, he is also likeable, funny, and easy to relate to. Our students were completely at ease with Collin and spent time after his presentation asking questions and sharing their own personal stories.
Dr. Diedrich had our high school Special Education students totally absorbed. I noticed students nodding their heads at several points. We had a great class discussion afterwards. Dr. Diedrich's story resulted in several students finally understanding what it means to self-advocate. It was a great experience for them!
Collin does a great job connecting the dots of reality to the dots of accessibility. His humor and real life experiences really bring home just what it takes to try and excel in a world full of roadblocks, both technical and human.
Collin is an engaging and inspiring speaker. The personal story he tells of the challenges he faced growing up with learning disabilities, is insightful and heartfelt. Collin will leave the audience wanting to hear more.
I had the pleasure of listening to Collin present during an educator's discussion on the importance of using technology to support literacy. Collin was able to share his story as someone who overcame his learning disabilities to become a successful researcher with humor, honesty and passion. Collin's speech was inspiring. His story challenged his audience to re-examine how they treat students who may struggle with learning. He offered 'real life' strategies and ideas that will help educators change the stigma of students with learning disabilities.
Collin delivers powerful messages through his enjoyable presentation, he is passionate about his work and compassionate with the audience he is addressing.
I coordinated a support group for parents of middle school students with learning differences at my child's school. Collin spoke to our group about how he was able to achieve success despite his learning disabilities. It was an emotional and inspiring talk that left all the parents with a sense of hope. Collin presented practical strategies for how he was able to achieve academic success, and graciously answered personal questions about what we as parents can do to help our kids find success and happiness.