{national harbor} yes i can!

May 6, 2011

The absolute highlight of the Council for Exceptional Children Convention & Expo was the Yes I Can! awards. What are the Yes I Can! awards, you ask? Well, the awards honor children and youth with exceptionalities who excel in a number of different areas. They can receive awards for academics, arts, athletics, community service, employment, extracurricular activities, independent living skills, self-advocacy, or technology. Find a complete list of the 2011 winners here.

Sitting through the awards was incredibly inspirational and really reminded the special educators in the room why we do what we do. It’s incredible to see these children/youth accomplish so much despite whatever exceptionalities they live with on a daily basis. One of the most moving stories was of a young man from Winnipeg, Manitoba who was a talented photographer. He uses a digital camera adapted with switches because he has cerebral palsy which affects his mobility, speech and processing, coordination, and posture. His photography, however, seems to speak the words he is unable to express verbally. In June 2009, he held his first exhibition titled Life Through the Lens.

Also very inspiring was the ballad Danny O’Flaherty, Irish ballader, wrote specifically for the Yes I Can! awards many years ago. Since 2004, O’Flaherty has also traveled to the awards to perform the ballad each year. The ballad, aptly entitled Yes I Can, speaks of the drive and commitment the young award winners have to succeed!

Yes I Can! programs

During the awards


Danny O’Flaherty singing the Yes I Can! ballad


One Response to “{national harbor} yes i can!”

  1. "sanjie" said

    wow that looks really cool! i wish i could see some of his photography!

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