Prospect Development 2023 Keynote Speaker

Being Fearlessly You: Valuing Everyone's Differences for Greatest Success!

Mickey Rowe, Speaker, Author, Consultant

As an autistic and legally blind person Mickey Rowe believes that when we design for accessibility, we help everyone perform at their best, not just disabled folks. Mickey has had to advocate for himself his whole life, yet becoming better at advocating for oneself and one’s company is a skill we all would benefit from. When we embrace all of our differences and value the things that make our colleagues' lived experiences different from our own, we are better able to collaborate with each other, embracing all of our different strengths. In this keynote, Mickey share's his own lived experience before emboldening participants to value their own differences and the differences of their colleagues and dares guests to advocate for themselves and others so they can truly perform at their best.

About Mickey Rowe

As an autistic and legally blind person, it was always made clear to Mickey the many things he was incapable of doing. But Mickey did them all anyway — and he succeeded because of, not despite, his autism.

He became the first autistic actor to play the lead role in the play "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time," landed the title role in the play "Amadeus," co-created the theatre/philanthropy company Arts on the Waterfront and founded the National Disability Theatre. 

Mickey faced untold obstacles along the way, but his story ends in triumph. He inspires all people — autistic and non-autistic alike — that the things that make us different are often our biggest strengths.

Mickey has been featured in the New York Times, New York Times Magazine, the TODAY show, PBS, Vogue, Playbill, NPR, CNN, Wall Street Journal, HuffPost, Forbes and on Smarter in Seconds. He has been a keynote speaker at organizations including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center, Yale University, Columbia University, CUNY, Disability Rights Washington, The Gershwin Theatre on Broadway, the DAC of the South Korean government and more. 

He was the founding artistic director of the National Disability Theatre, working in partnership with Tony Award-winning companies such as La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.