I've seen Ben at several venues including the MEGA Conference (sponsored by the Wyoming Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities) and he is awesome. Not only is the message 100% on point but nothing is so believeable nor so persuasive when it comes from a person with a developmental disability. "If I can do it, you can too!"
I enjoyed his workshop at an early childhood conference on special needs children. Very motivating for me and he gave me sense that I can now help my students.
Ben has always impressed me with his positive and caring attitude. He openly shares his personal experiences in an honest and direct way that motivates his listeners to treat others with greater respect. He is warm, caring and genuine.
I am a Nigerian living with disability but upon this challenge, i finished my university degree program and served my country in the mandatory youth service program after graduation. But can you believe that i am still unemployed after four years of my graduation. I strongly believe in my abilities to do a lot of jobs, please extend your hands of fellowship to Nigeria and see that there is ability in disability.
Thank you for your comment and review. Hopefully people all over the world will see the "abilities" that other people may have. You too have talents that should give you gainful employment and a happy life. Everyone needs to be included.
Review from Guidestar
In 1978 I had a dream about helping people to knock down walls about their disability. I am very pleased this day to be able to travel and sit down with folks on a one-to-one basis and talk to them about my disability. Many times I find out they have a hidden disability and they talk about being made fun of and being misunderstood. After we get done they realize that they are not alone in that everybody has a "disability" and we must educate others not to prejudge. It has been my honor to be able to serve in this capacity as an educator to help the general public to realize that people with disabilities have gifts and talents. They are people first. My wife Dee and I thank all that read this and the many people that have supported us with Break Through Inc. for these past 32 years.
I happened to attend a conference for parents of children who had disabilities in North Dakota. I was impressed by the person who was talking about his experiences growing up in the 1960's when his disability was little understood by the educational system and general public. His name is Ben Anderson and he is part of this Break Through non-profit. I would love to hear him again. His story was very educating and it left me with a better understanding about disabilities and mostly about the people that are sometimes left by the wayside and not befriended because of misconceptions about their disability.
Ben was a guest lecturer in my graduate level SPED professional and family partnership class. His life story completely mesmerized my students. Many of my students later told me that Ben's story more than moved them - it changed them. Ben taught my graduate students something that classes filled with textbooks could not - how to walk in the shoes of a thriving individual who has spent a live time with a disability.
I met Ben at a National Paraeducator Conference in Salt Lake City, UT. He is just an amazing guy and with all of his struggles through his life he has created this great non profit and tool for others to learn. But not only for other adults to learn but a tool to teach with. I might work with students who might not get what Ben is doing but we have helpers in the classroom that do. I love using his story to help them understand you don't pity those in my classroom and you never under estimate them either. I think every teacher should read his book and hear him speak. Being part of the Special Needs area I strongly feel it should be a requirement.
Ben has been a long family friend and educator for over 20 years. Through the years we have worked closely with Ben sharing stories and experiances. He has a wonderful way of educating children and adults through sharing his years of gathered information and knowledge. Break Through Inc. is a large asset to all of us who work in the field with those who have disabilities.
I met Ben about 30 years ago when I began teaching. We had Special Education in common. He with disabilities and I facing day to day teaching of regular 5th graders who needed more understanding for disabled children in our class, school and community. Ben was gracious to come to my classroom each year and talk to my students about the struggles he had in school. He answered any question they had about disabilities and his disability. He won them over with his wit and frank talk. He gave the students ideas for helping, connecting and seeing each other as equals. I still hear from students who remember "Benny" and his message of Good Will.
I have had the great privilege of Ben making presentations to our Church family (Faith Lutheran Church, Seguin, Texas) and to the clients of my agency (Caldwell County Adult Probation) over the years. Through his presentations, I have witnessed the heightened awareness, sensitive, and Christian compassion gained by Ben connecting with his audience. He has great skills as a speaker and educator. Marvel Maddox, Sept. 28, 2010, Seguin, Texas
I work at a camp that welcomes 4000+ campers every summer and thousands of retreaters throughout the year. For almost 30 years Ben has opened campers' eyes to his faith, to the gifts of folks with disabilities and to the work of giving equal opportunities for all whatever their abilities are. He's helped kids take others with disabilities out of their 'box'.
In my early work, as a counselor and program developer with the Regional Mental Health and Retardation Center in Grand Forks, N.D. I met Ben. I found him to be a determined and energetic young man with a vision to overcome the limitations of his cerebral palsy, some at a physical everyday level and others dictated by public and professional impressions. I soon realized that Ben had the intelligence and drive to make a real and positive impact in the field of developmental disabilities. Very soon he was making contact with groups and individuals in churches, schools and other locations. He provided encouragement to those with disabilities and their family members and provided education to professionals and to the general public. His message was one that helped open doors to persons with disabilities, while breaking through the stereotypes that many people held on to. One of the services he provided was his involvement in early ground work in setting up a drop-in center in Grand Forks, N.D. for people with disabilities. In a recent contact a professional in Grand Forks I learned that the drop-in center is still operating and doing well. After having contact with Ben and Dee, in recent years, I have seen the success that they have achieved. I have witnessed the positive impact they are having, with Ben's fellow members on the Governor's Rehabilitation Council in Madison, Wi; with Dee's fine assistance in organizational aspects; and with the respect they have garnered in northern Wisconsin. It is refreshing to see them respond to calls for their involvement in events throughout the country. This program is an important one and Ben and Dee have grown with the times, through taking the initiative to obtain the training and education they need to carry this out. They have worked as a team to provide a needed service.
Ben speaks with experience through his own journey. He is passionate in his support of and opening of doors for dis-abled folks. He has provided cousel for parents and direct support to young people. He is authentic in his presentations and displays his passion for advocacy for those with disabilities.
I hired this organizaton to come and speak to the community service providers and others about disability and what the impact really is for the individual and the family. The message delivered was clear, meaningful, and inspirational. Because they have actually walked in the shoes of disability they are able to speak in a strong and specific voice when talking about the needs, dreams and ambitions of individuals with disabilities.I have attended classes tought at other events by Ben and walked away with a deeper and more meaningful understandin of both my work and the child I am raising. (she also has a disability) The books written by Ben through Break Through Inc, have been a wonderful tool in the work in our community. Recently one of our schools adopted it as part of their curriculum!
I worked closely with Ben for the first ten years of Break Through Inc. As co-presenter or observer, I have seen him present on many occasions. He really "delivers the goods" in that he tells his story in a sometimes humorous, impactful, and spellbinding fashion, as other reviews will attest. While his work is helpful to all ages, his presentations appear to have a particularly strong effect with younger adults who have not heard the story of a person with a disability told so personally and dramatically. In addition, his insight-producing consulting and in-service presentations have helped adults learn how to work in more effective and respectful ways with persons with disabilities. He's an effective and dynamic professional in the field of disabilities education and training.
I work for a company that is a website for persons with disabilities. Last year I had the opportunity to meet, through our website, Ben and Dee Anderson and our organization purchased a few copies of his book to give out at our holiday giveaway. I also bought one for myself, because I was intrigued with his story and wanted to learn more. I was very moved by the book that I read and the journey this wonderful person had undertaken. I loved the fact that the book was written in such a manner that you felt you were almost just having a conversation with Ben about his experiences. Because of his "no airs" approach I really feel it is a story that anyone could relate to. You can't help but want to cheer Ben on through the obstacles that he has faced. I have the utmost respect for individuals who rise above adversity with this determined spirit to want to reach out and help others, and I only hope I am fortunate enough to meet Ben and Dee in person some day.
Greetings Breakthrough Ministry, It has been such a great blessing seeing your ministry grow and offer such an incredible service to individuals and churches/schools. You have simply taught me, that every human being plays a vital role in making this world a better place and that God uses all of us to bring His Kingdom to light in this world. Ben you have changed my family in a way that has given my four daughters a passion and heart for the physically challenged. One is in a full time profession with the physically/emotionally challenged because of your friendship. Keep up the fantastic work, David W. Saving, Executive Director Children's Christian Concern Society
In June of 2008, our oldest daughter (then 12) came home from a week at Camp Lutherhaven in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. She had learned a new word during her week away at camp: "disability." It's not that she was unfamiliar with the term, of course, but more that she'd never given it much thought. We have a close friend confined to a wheelchair, but as is the nature of children, our daughter always just sort of "accepted" the fact that our friend can't walk, and never looked further. But then she heard Mr. Ben Anderson of Break Through, Inc. speak at camp, and was deeply impressed by what was said. She talked about the presentation for weeks, and still mentions it to this day (two years later). The topic was reinforced by her camp counselor that year who used a walker, despite her young age. Our daughter came home with a much more mature understanding of human nature and the ability to see limitations as gifts and opportunities. I applaud Mr. Anderson’s efforts to increase awareness of the potential of those with disabilities by his campaign to teach those who may not have had much prior experience with disabilities.
It has been my pleasure to be associated with Break Through. Director Ben Anderson is able to be particularly helpful to everyone needing to know more about disability awareness. His presentations come from his own life experience as a person born with cerebral palsy. Ben's courageous perserverence in education accomplished a BS in Vocational Rehabilition, which puts him in a unique position to help our culture with understanding and direction.
Break Through Inc. is a non-profit organization providing educational workshops and media for and about people with disabilities. It was founded in 1980 in Minnesota by Ben D. Anderson who was born with cerebral palsy. I have traveled with Ben D. Anderson and have heard him speak and give workshops and presentations to parents, educators, young students and the general public around the U.S. The organization provides a positive and supportive educational forum for advocacy and inclusion for people with special needs. I was enthused the first time I heard him present a full day of workshops- so much so that a year after (when he proposed to me) I married him and we have been married for almost 5 years now. He and his organization is the heart and soul of inclusion and education.