Listen 2 Us - Literacy, Self-Determination, and Interdependence for Nonspeakers



Fully included in the regular education curriculum from K thru college graduation, I had the good fortune of studying with 52 teachers, 22 professors, 18 school support assistants, 15 after school assistants, 5 speech therapists, 4 occupational therapists, and 6 principals in 2 different school districts over 18 years. Listen2Us is my way of giving back to each and every one of you with the hope that every child receives the same kind of education I’ve enjoyed and benefitted from. Inclusion shouldn’t be a lottery.

– David James (“Deej”) Savarese

Upcoming Events!


September 2019

September 12-13th

Albion College:  Film Screening, Community Discussion & Poetry reading

September 17th

Alliance for Citizen-Directed Supports Board Meeting (Baltimore)

September 19-21  

& Now2019: Points of Convergence Poetry Conference

University of Washington/Bothell

Friday, Sept 20, 1:15-2:30

Panelist, Neurodivergent Poetics: The Writing Lives of Exceptional Minds

September 28-29

Alliance for Citizen Directed Supports Webinars

  • Developing Self Directed Supports at College/University

October 2019

October 10th

Palo Alto School District, CA

2 Film Screenings & Discussions

October 11th

UCSF Screening and discussion

October 11-13th (postponed)

Love and Autism Conference (San Diego)--presentation on self-love

October 22

University of Pennsylvania--film screening and community discussion

November 2019

November 1-2

AUTCOM Conference (New Hampshire)--keynote speaker

November 5

Macalester College (Minnesota) -film screening and community discussion


See Past Events


2019 United Nation's World Autism Awareness Day


This year's theme for the UN's Autism Awareness Day was Assistive Technologies, Active Participation.  The focus was on leveraging the use of assistive technologies for persons with autism as a tool in removing the barriers to their full social, economic, and political participation in society.  Also, to promote equality, equity, and inclusion.  Several self-advocates and experts were invited to speak at the UN Headquarters in New York on April 2, 2019.   Here is a link to the full program video.  The opening session address is at 5:30 minutes on the video and runs for about 20 minutes.  Here is a link to the transcript of the keynote address.

Some additional links:

UN News:  Strengthen inclusion, participation of people with autism to 'acheive their full potential' says UN Chief

Balitang America:  Raising awareness, Communication and Tech Accessibility for those with Autism

Words with Perspective:  Goal 10.  Reduced Inequalities




Teen Mentoring blog post: "How to Become an Artful Activist" by DJ 

"Each of us has the capacity to make our world a better place. Knowing and believing that is called 'self-efficacy'."-- DJ Savarese

"Write Everyday, Make it a Practice" by DJ

Contributor's Spotlight, Bellingham Review No. 77

What the Movie Deej Means To Me As A Non-Speaking Autistic Man

Film review by Jeremy Sicile-Kira

Documenting Disability:  The Importance of Disability Expertise

  • Be sure to check out this amazing post about the contribution of disabled documentarians and filmmakers, including DJ Savarese.  "We need disabled filmmakers to propel the new documentary cinema forward, challending assumptions of disability by shedding light on the diversity of experiences people with disabilities encounter."  -Dr. Emily Beitiks

DJ Savarese Tells His Story in New Documentary 'Deej'

Deej Highlights Interdependence, Challenges Assumptions  The Oberlin College Review, October 6, 2017

ASAN Harriet McBryde Johnson Award for Non-Fiction 2018 - Gala speech by DJ Savarese

Deej, an America Reframed documentary film received a 2017 Peabody Award!

WXXI - Connections: Discussing the Reel Mind Theatre and Film Series

  • Evan Dawson at Rochester, NY--Excerpt from panel discussion: