Exceptional Children Conference features LeDerick Horne

Held in person for the first time since 2018, the usually biennial NJEA Exceptional Children Conference featured keynote speaker LeDerick Horne. Horne is a graduate of New Jersey public schools who had been diagnosed with a learning disability in the third grade. While he has nothing but praise for his teachers, it was primarily his own determination, intelligence and creativity that ultimately led him to go on to Middlesex Community College and later graduate from New Jersey City University with a degree in mathematics and a minor in fine arts. 

When he was still struggling academically in the 11th grade, he told his IEP team that he was going to go to college. He challenged the team to help him make it happen. 

Today, as an author, artist of the spoken word, and an advocate for people with disabilities, Horne regularly addresses an array of academic, government, social, and business groups, including appearances at the White House, the United Nations, Harvard University, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, the National Association of State Directors of Special Education, and state departments of education across the U.S.  

On April 30, he addressed the NJEA Exceptional Children Conference, where he had been originally slated to speak in 2020. He also presented a workshop titled “Supports for Success: Seven Tips to Empower Students.” His was among 15 workshops presented at the conference, addressing the full range of issues and abilities to meet the goal implied in the conference theme: Creating Learning Environments for ALL Students.