Down Country works to bring nationally recognized speakers and exhibits to the Tri-State area, while also recognizing and hosting local “outside the box” experts on educational, technology and/or medical issues.

To request a speaker on a subject area, contact:  Down Country 5028 County Road 304 Taylor, MO  63471; e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 217-617-3568.

Past speakers in the I Speak have been:

Michael Remus, Special Education Director (Inclusion)

Sean J. Smith PhD, University of Kansas Education & Technology

Jim Faber, President of the National Down Syndrome Congress

Stacy Taylor, Expert on Behavior

John Effinger, Missouri Assistive Technology

Dr. Jim Nuttall PhD, Educational Apps for Struggling Readers, Writers

Katie Roe, Illinois Assistive Technology Program

Stacy Kintigh, Expert on Transitions

Suzanne Faber, Master in Public Health, MPH and Certified Nutrition and lifestyle Coach

Dr. Nathan Seaman, General Practitioner and Local Expert on Diet and Nutrition

Penni Ippenson,  Cognitive Behavior Therapist and Local Expert

“I Have a Voice” display from Gigi’s Playhouse

“Million Voices” display from Gigi’s Playhouse

 Tara Shade- Autism Expert/Advocate & Parent

Kate Dougherty- Educational Technology & Down Syndrome

Jeff Zanger- Educational Technology

Chris & Larinee Dennis- Educational Technology

Michelle Todd- Educational Tehcnology

Barb Speckhart-Educational Tehcnology

Brad Kurz-Educational Technology 

Dr.Marilyn Tolbert Ed.E. Texas Christian University 

Karen Gaffney-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker

Lee Jones-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker

Tim Harris-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker/Former Owner Tim's Place Restaurant/Founder Tim's Big Heart Foundation

Tony Piontek-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker

Nancy Gianni-Founder Gigi's Playhouse

Christine Maxwell-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker

Carrie Bergeron-Self Advocate/Inspirational Speaker