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Lunch & Learn Series:
Disability Education

We Are All...
Inclusive, Accessible, and Welcoming

In partnership with the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and Lowell Arts, ACT invites you to our free Lunch & Learn series!


Join us in the ACT studio for our new Lunch & Learn Series! Each session will focus on an important disability-related topic. We have invited informed guest speakers on each topic to both share their knowledge and deepen our conversation with the goal of becoming more informed about disabilities. ACT is committed to continuous learning so that we can best support and serve our students and individuals of all abilities. We invite you to learn and grow with us as we strengthen inclusivity throughout the community! These sessions are free and intended for ACT teaching artists, board members, and volunteers; in addition to the staff, boards, and volunteers from other area organizations. Come ready to share your experiences, listen, ask questions, and learn together!

Bring your own lunch! Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

Who can attend?

Everyone! There are 30 attendee slots available for each session. This training is geared toward ACT families, teaching artists, volunteers, and staff; as well as local cultural agencies and their staff, volunteers, parents, art educators, and anyone interested in being more inclusive and knowledgable regarding different disabilities!

When and where are the Lunch & Learns?

Lunch & Learns will always be on Tuesdays from 12:30pm-1:30pm. Please see the section below for the full itinerary of program topics and guest facilitators. 

Each Lunch & Learn will be held at the ACT Studio:

1140 Monroe Ave NW, Suite 4101. Grand Rapids, MI 49503


Free parking is available on site.

January 18, 2022

Topic: Down Syndrome Awareness

Guest Facilitator: Nate Clark: Program Director at the Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan

February 8, 2022

Topic: Transition & Workplace Readiness -- Bringing Work Skills Into Programming

Guest Facilitator: Dirk Bakhuyzen, Executive Director of Beyond26

February 22, 2022

Topic: Adaptive Equipment and Physical & Severe Multiple Impairments

Guest Facilitator: Todd Jones, Instructional Coach for Kent Intermediate School District

March 8, 2022

Topic: Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Guest Facilitators:

  • Erica Chapin, Community and Partnerships Manager for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

  • Rowan O'Doughtery, Board President of Deaf & Hard of Hearing Services

March 22, 2022

Topic: Cognitive Impairments

Guest Facilitators: 

  • Shontaye Witcher, MSW, PhD. Director of Disability Support Resources at Grand Valley State University;

  • Jason Osborne, M.ED. Disability Support Resources Senior Program Advisor at Grand Valley State University;

  • Jorden Couture, Campus Links Graduate Assistant for the Disability Support Resources Department at Grand Valley State University.

April 12, 2022

Topic: Visual Impairments

Guest Facilitator: Marcus Manders, MHA. President of the Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired

April 26, 2022

Topic: Autism Spectrum Disorder

Guest Facilitator: Dr. Mira Jourdan (Krishnan), PhD, ABPP. Neuropsychologist & Autism/Neurological Differences Specialist

May 10, 2022

Topic: Mental Health

Guest Facilitator: Christy Buck, Executive Director of the Mental Heath Foundation of West Michigan

May 24, 2022

Topic: Therapeutic Arts

Guest Facilitator: Kat VanHammen, Expressive Arts Therapist


Want to learn more about our Lunch & Learn Series?

What are the Lunch & Learn session topics?
Do I need to register?

Yes. Please register for the Lunch & Learns you'd like to attend by filling out the Google Form below. You can email Allison, ACT's Community Arts Coordinator, at with any questions!

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