Dr. Christina Edmonds-Behrend, Professor of Special Education, and Mrs. Michele McDaniel, Coordinator of the Ballenger Teachers Center at Booth Library, received a combination of two Redden Grants to bring author and speaker Shane Burcaw and his fiancée, Hannah Aylward, to speak at Eastern Illinois University. These grants compliment a previous gran that received from the Lambda State Foundation to purchase children’s books and educational materials portraying disability experiences.
On Nov. 4, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Shane Burcaw is coming to speak to the EIU community at the Buzzard Auditorium. Shane Burcaw (born May 28, 1992) grew up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He has a disease known as Spinal Muscular Atrophy and has been in a wheelchair since he was two years old. He graduated Moravian College with an English degree. In 2011, he started his blog, Laughing At My Nightmare, where he would use humor to address his struggles with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. His memoir of the same title was shortlisted for the ALA Excellence in Nonfiction Award in 2015. Shane and his cousin started Laughing At My Nightmare, Incorporated in 2012 as a nonprofit organization to help others living with muscular atrophy. His fiancée, Hannah Aylward, and he have made a YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, that gives insight on their relationship and how they live together as an interabled couple. Shane has published three books to date: Laughing At My Nightmare in 2014, Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability in 2017, and Strangers Assume My Girlfriend Is My Nurse in 2019. Not So Different is nominated for two Association of Illinois School Library Educators’ Kids Choice awards: the Monarch Award and the Bluestem Award. Shane will also be visiting the students at Carl Sandburg Elementary and Jefferson Elementary in Charleston and Williams Elementary and Riddle Elementary School in Mattoon while he is in town.
The presentation will be open to the public. Please be prepared to ask questions.
Go to Shane and Hannah’s YouTube channel, Squirmy and Grubs, to see more: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdomP1JqhnyBQGaBmfDl4KQ
This blog post was written by Matthew Eifrid, Booth Library’s writing intern.