For the 2017 Puget Sound Buddy Walk, our keynote speaker will be Mark J. Hublar. Mark has his own business in which he speaks to both profit and nonprofit businesses and organizations. Mark turns 53 on September 1 (Happy Birthday!) and is excited to explore Seattle (and hopefully attend a Seahawks game!) while he’s here. We recently spoke with him and asked him a few questions.
Tell us a little about yourself:
I was the 2nd of 4 boys. We kept my parents very busy! I was named after my mom’s father. I enjoy playing football and participating in Special Olympics. I like to swim for exercise and I love watching WWE wrestling and football. In school, I was included in general education classes as well as special education classes. I received my high school diploma. I’ve lived on my own, paid my own bills, and been employed since I was 24 years old. I have also been an owner of two businesses.
What do you think contributes to your success as a spokesperson for people with disabilities?
My family helped me become who I am today. I went to college and majored in public speaking. I also took computer classes, acting classes, and web design. I graduated from Jefferson Community Technical College in 2016.
What do you want people to know about you?
I am a grateful, strong person. I am a good speaker. I like to Aim High and Dream Big. I am currently a self advocate for Down Syndrome of Louisville and the ARC of Indiana.
What do you want people to know about people with Down syndrome?
We are more alike than different. We have feelings just like everyone else. We can go to school, have jobs, get married, and give back to the communities we live in. We can make good money and have a good life.
Mark Hublar has had many accomplishments throughout his life. We thought we’d share some of those with you (from his official bio):
Mark has achieved the following awards for his contributions to the advancement of individuals with disabilities:
- “Citizen of the Year” award by Down Syndrome of Louisville
- “Local Hero Award” awarded by New Albany Parks Department
- “Imagine Award” from Rauch, Inc.
- “Star Award” from Down syndrome Indiana
- “The Employment Client of the Year” with Rauch Inc
- “Five Year Employment Award” from Walmart
- “Wendy M. Wood Award” from the Indiana APSE
- Recipient of “Ruby’s Rainbow” Scholarship
- Recipient of the NDSS Scholarship
Mark has made a video for the National Down Syndrome Congress entitled “More Alike Than Different”.
On December 1st 2016 he received the Laura Lee Self-Advocate Leadership Award at the 2016 State of the Art Conference sponsored by the Helen A. Keller Institute for Human Disabilities, George Mason University – Life Program, and Syracuse University-Lawrence B. Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education
In the Month of March 2017, Mark was a keynote speaker on the campus of Penn State at the DREAM Partnership Symposium. He was also keynote speaker at the 2017 Conference of Kentucky APSE on the campus of University of Kentucky.
On April 20, 2017, Mark was one of twelve individuals honored as a “Face of Compassion – Heroes working on the front lines of compassion with their acts of love and kindness” at the 22nd annual Festival of Faith
“My goal is to become a successful spokesperson for individuals with disabilities, and help everyone to have a full time job and a full time life.” -Mark J. Hublar
To hear more about Mark and his story join us on Sunday, October 1, at the Seattle
Center for the 21st Puget Sound Buddy Walk. See you there!