“I teach Genetic Counseling graduate students at Brandeis University. Much of academic learning around genetic conditions focuses on the condition and the challenges that someone may face.  That is part of the story but there is another very important perspective. In my class we use people first language, we learn that what defines an individual is so much more than a condition.  Brian is awesome: smart, articulate, a self-advocate and advocate of others, talented, responsible, engaged in the world and has an excellent sense of humor.  He is all about can-do.  This is who I want my students to meet.  Everyone should meet Brian Heffernan; he is an extraordinary and accomplished young man who it is my privilege to know! ” - Janet Rosenfield, MS, CGC, Lecturer Brandeis University

“Brian has been a great help to my office and is a wonderful speaker and advocate on behalf of those with Down syndrome.” - Massachusetts State Representative Kay Khan

Brian Heffernan has been a guest speaker in my Development and Disabilities Across the Lifespan class at Sargent College at Boston University for over five years and his lectures are simply the highlight of the semester. Addressing a large lecture class of over 140 students, Brian is engaging, funny, and authentic, and very careful to be detailed and accurate in his presentation. He uses a slideshow of his life in pictures, and answers questions and interacts with his accompanying parent (who spends most of their time in the audience) with a refreshing honesty. Some quotes from their reaction papers to his talk underscore their experience: ‘articulate and not afraid of public speaking; I envy this guy!’ and ‘Brian’s talk was not what all what I expected; so inspiring!” and simply “He blew me away!’ Brian’s very presence and unique ability to consistently connect with a large group of college sophomores and juniors going into the health profession has made a profound impact on them all. He changes their perspectives and delivers a thoroughly enjoyable class. I am deeply grateful for Brian’s guest appearance, and I hope he never stops coming!” - Anne Sullivan-Soydan, Sc.D., CPRP, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy - Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Boston University

From students who have heard Brian speak:
“I left the lecture that Brian Heffernan…spoke at, blown away at what I had just heard…. He lives life to the fullest and takes on the challenges to the best of his ability, which is more than I can say about the majority of people I know. Brian embraces himself for who he is, not his condition, and uses that positive energy to propel himself forward into new and amazing opportunities, like doing presentations on his life….”

“Brian Heffernan taught me more than any other speaker I’ve ever encountered….His perseverance is extremely admirable, and rare among young adults today. Brian is an excellent role model, not just for those struggling with disabilities but also for anyone who allows feelings of inadequacy limit their potential.”