253: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure with LeDerick Horne

I’m joined on this episode by LeDerick Horne.  LeDerick is a poet, leader, speaker, and disability activist.  LeDerick was diagnosed with a learning disability in the third-grade.  A tireless advocate for people with all disabilities, he uses his gift of the spoken word as a gateway to larger discussions on equal opportunity, pride, and self-determination.  

LeDerick has appeared at the White House and the United Nations.  He co-authored the book, Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success. He has also released two spoken word poetry albums.  I met LeDerick and had the opportunity to see him speak at the CHADD Conference, and I’m excited to have him on the podcast.  

In this conversation, you will hear LeDerick share his personal educational story and explain how the help from different people helped him be successful.  As a poet and writer, he shares some useful tips on writing and he points out that “everybody edits.” LeDerick has a lot of great insight into disclosing disabilities, specifically in the workplace.  He shares how by sharing your strengths, weaknesses, and the accommodations you need and using resources and allies, you can set yourself on a path for success.

Connect with LeDerick Horne

Website – http://lederick.com

You’ll Learn:

  • [03:00] – LeDerick shares his story.  He talks about his educational journey and explains how it lead to where he is now.
  • [06:49] – LeDerick talks about his decision to self-disclose on the job. He describes self-disclosure as a powerful set of skills.
  • [10:53] – There is a risk in self-disclosure, and LeDerick describes how he explains this situation.
  • [13:03] – LeDerick reads some poetry from his first album. It’s a piece entitled “Nina.”
  • [18:07] – A counselor encouraged LeDerick to forget about his spelling, but just focus on writing.  He explains how she helped him get past the things that tripped him up with writing.
  • [21:35] – LeDerick talks about his writing process.
  • [25:33] – I share that I have changed my internal dialogue about how I think about myself as a writer.  LeDerick shares some of his wisdom in this area.
  • [30:14] – As adults, relying on the people around us is something that can help us be successful.  
  • [42:13] – LeDerick shares his thoughts on self-disclosing without risking a loss of employment.  He shares a resource, the 411 on Disability Disclosure.
  • [44:12] – The understanding of our rights as people with disabilities is essential.  
  • [47:16] – We talk about using discretion in disclosing in the workplace.  
  • [49:40] – LeDerick ends out discussion with another poem, “An American Idea.”

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