About the Book
Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book is told through the eyes of Michael Jacques, a compassionate and determined young adult with autism and an intellectual disability. His book—which is written by using an iPad’s speech-to-text function—is a down-to-earth collection of compelling life stories and discoveries that teach us how to embrace and celebrate our differences. Michael, who never surrenders to the idea of “can’t,” speaks about topics such as learning, inclusion, advocating, independence, and the power of perseverance.
His insights and views on the world are equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring. Through his witty and positive voice, Michael offers a glimpse on what it’s like to be him.
News & Events
Michael is a young adult who lives and works in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada. He is a determined, compassionate and talented individual who has written his first book. Michael has autism and an intellectual disability and is a passionate public speaker. He has presented to students at the secondary, college, and university levels, as well parents and teachers, about the importance of belonging and inclusion. He sits on the board of Community Living Ontario, through which he advocates for individuals like himself. Michael hopes to write many more books and continue to make an impact in the world through his stories.
‘Here’s My Book’ contains the delightful, inspirational and moving reflections of a young man who overcame obstacles and achieved his goals. I had the privilege of serving as Michael’s elementary school principal in the primary grades. He was a delightful child with a positive outlook and good sense of humour. In my former role as Superintendent of Special Education, I recognize the importance of inclusion for all children and adults alike. It is about focusing on abilities and meeting needs. As a parent of twin daughters with a disability, my wife Darlene and I were very moved by Michael’s story. Everything that Michael touched on felt so relatable. His positive spirit and determination will help increase awareness and carry him far.
– Terry Grand
Retired Superintendent of Special Education, London District Catholic School Board
Michael Jacques’ book, Can’t Read, Can’t Write, Here’s My Book, is a testimony to the power of possibility. Not just for people with disabilities, but for anyone struggling to find their way. He gives practical advice on being your best self and finding places of belonging through school, meaningful work and friendships. Isn’t that what we all want in life?
– Chris Beesley
Chief Executive Officer, Community Living Ontario
I really love this book. It is such a great depiction of Michael's story that is easily relatable for anyone. I especially like how he identifies the things in his school that he felt were unfair like his basketball team not being part of the pep rally or no one with a disability on student council and how he explains that he just went to his principal and said 'this isn't fair' and then things changed. It's a stunning example of the unconscious bias that exists on a regular basis still in many schools that claim to be inclusive. And, all too often go unchanged because our students with disabilities have not been provided with opportunities for social capital and so the generational cycle persists. Michael's empowerment and truth throughout make his message relevant for everyone: students, teachers, community members, human beings.
– Dr. Monique Somma
Assistant Professor in Teacher Education, Brock University