Jacob Bradley is an 11 year old student in the 6th grade who has autism. He lives in Mendon, Vermont with his parents Jeffrey and Jeanne Bradley and sisters Hope and Jillian. Besides autism, Jacob has a congenital heart disease. Jacob's influence can be summed up in the shirt he is wearing above that says, "Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say." Jacob Bradley is an Autism Light for his amazing efforts to be a self-advocate for autism.
Jacob loves Mustangs and has a nickname of "Mustang Jacob". For hobbies Mustang Jacob enjoys skiing and swimming. Jacob participates inclusively in his school and community.
The following is a YouTube video of Jacob sharing his goals with assisted communication.
Jacob's mother Jeanne Bradley says,
It is quite amazing how much we can communicate without talking. Jacob is able to show us over and over again his wants and needs through total communication. Jacob communicates all the time. He does so by using ASL sign, typing, pointing, gestures, point to boards and voice approximations (Jeanne Downey Bradley, Celebrating the Autism Spectrum).Here are some samples of various assignments that Jacob did for his 6th grade class.
1. The following is part of a message Jacob communicated as an introduction to his 6th grade class.
My name is Jacob Bradley and I believe in opportunity for all people regardless of how they communicate. I am an eleven year old boy who lives in my favorite green mountain treat of a state called Vermont. I said a long time ago that I would not only be an real student in a school that supports me but also a self advocate for those lost in segregated settings echoing the dreaded lives of people in the world that are like me without the right supports (11 Year Old Jacob on the Right Thing to Do, Ollibean).2. Jacob wrote this for a class assignment to rewrite the preamble to the Constitution of the United States to reflect goals for the class.
We the students of Mrs. Gallagher's class, in order to form a more perfect in the classroom society in which we are all equal, ensure a classroom that welcomes all pupils regardless of differences, provide kind of fun thinking environment that celebrates individuality, promote greatness among it's students, and secure justice so that dearly all people have a voice. Do ordain and establish this constitution for the love dearly in our hearts for one another (Shared in a letter by Jeanne Bradley).On September 27, 2013, Jacob attended an activity called the Human Library at Castleton State College in Castleton, Vermont led by Dr. Linda Peplar. After his experience there, Jacob said, "Mom I think the session at Castleton State College greatly gave me hope in that all people are part of the human race. We need to greatly see to it the entire human race of dear fellow autistics are given this opportunity to express their feelings and strive to live moments of greatness in popular campuses across the world."
Special thanks to Jacob Bradley for being a self-advocate for autism. We wish Jacob all the best in his bright future and expect to be hearing further things from him in the years ahead. If you wish to follow more current developments in Jacob's life check out his mother Jeanne Bradley's blog on their family called Help Me With My Legacy.
Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.
The photo of Jacob Bradley is used with permission of Jeanne Bradley.