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Donald Bailey

travels from USA

Special-needs and autism advocate and financial advisor bringing awareness to the struggles of living with a disability

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About Donald

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Keynote speaker Donald Bailey is the father of his 30-year-old autistic son, and has devoted his life to help other people and families to ensure that their children are taken care of for the rest of their lives. Donald has a career in the financial industry specializing in financial planning. His keynotes offer advice for families with a disabled family member and can truly change a life.

Almost a third of families in the US have at least one family member with a disability. Speaker Donald Bailey is the founder of Legacy Care which is a service for families with a disabled family member, where they offer an integrated approach of planning, strategies and advice to ensure the best possible life for their loved ones. Donald is also the author of “Your Legacy of Care” – a financial guidebook for caretakers as well as the book “LIFE Learning Is For Everyone”.

Donald has experienced first-hand what it’s like to take care of a disabled family member and today his son, Donald Jr., lives a purposeful life with two part-time jobs and is a truly successful member of society. Although Donald has experience in the financial sector he was missing guidebooks and advice for life with a disabled family member and is proud to have contributed with his financial advice and strategies for families.

Speaker Donald has written two books “Life” Learning is For Everyone, and “Your Legacy of Care” Both books are personal reflections on raising his son who was at an early age as being on the autism spectrum.

The books detail personal memories of the many challenges raising a young boy who at four years old was labeled with PDDNOS (Persuasive Development Delay Not Otherwise Specified). The Bailey`s were told their son may need to be institutionalized and they should seek professional help to deal with what the future would bring.  They declined and this was the beginning of a journey with many obstacles, challenges and rewards.

In the book a “letter of care” is provided to help families document their sons and daughters personal needs for future care givers.  Doctors names and addresses, medications, drivers license, social security numbers, credit card numbers and many other important information is provided.

Information on how the Bailey’s have planned financially for when they are no longer here to make sure there are plenty of assets available to take care of their son’s needs for his lifetime.  Wills, trust. guardianship and conservators are also discussed in the book. As one reader said “The book is a practical road map to meet the myriad challenges of providing appropriate and sustainable care for a special needs family member”.

Speaker Donald Bailey is also the founding director of College Transition Connection, Inc. which is a non- profit responsible for the development and funding of programs in five South Carolina colleges for young adults who have an intellectual disability. Donald is passionate about helping other families and bringing awareness to the struggles of living with a disability.

See keynotes with Donald Bailey

    Keynote by speaker Donald Bailey

    Autism Spectrum: Providing a Roadmap for Your Special Needs Child Today, Tomorrow and Always

    Donald Bailey will educate your audience on the necessary steps families should take to ensure a child who has a special need is taken care of for a lifetime.

    • Information will include a Letter of Care document so future caregivers will have vital information on the individual’s needs at their fingertips.
    • Also included will be a Self-Assessment document detailing specific financial, legal, and independent living questions to help families understand the imperative issues to be address and to begin their planning process easily and effectively.

    Keynote by speaker Donald Bailey

    Autistic and Special Needs Children: Meeting the Challenges of Providing Sustainable Financial and Legal Care for a Lifetime

    • Audience members associated with the special needs community will take away valuable information on how to financially and legally care for a special needs child as Donald discusses his book, Your Legacy of Care.
    • Donald Bailey will examine how he and his wife dealt with his son’s autism diagnosis and how they initiated positive change in South Carolina’s special needs community via college “life” programs and much more on a personal, community and state level and now taking his message nationwide.

    Keynote by speaker Donald Bailey

    Families Faced with Intellectual Disabilities: Your Life Plan for Financial and Legal Planning

    With a passion for helping special needs families, Donald, has spent on a personal level more than 25 years living and learning about the challenges families with a special needs member deal with on a daily basis. Having written two books, helped develop five college “life” programs for young people who have a developmental disability and parenting his son who is on the spectrum, Bailey discusses how it’s imperative that the families and caretakers of those who have an intellectual disability have a financial and legal life plan in order.

    • In this presentation, he covers issues like identifying your team of experts, determining how much it will take to provide financially for a lifetime and understanding the independent living issues.


Donald Bailey is a moving speaker who motivates and informs his audience, whether he is sharing how to create postsecondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities, or advising parents of children with disabilities how to plan for the future financially. His clear, engaging style makes complex information understandable to a broad audience and his personal warmth and character shine through in his speeches.

Stephanie Smith Lee

Senior Policy Advisor, National Down Syndrome Congress Former Director, Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

I have had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Bailey on several occasions and hearing him speak as well. The first time we met personally was at the Autism Academy of South Carolina where he spoke to a group of parents who have children diagnosed with autism. His warm and relaxed demeanor drew the audience into his presentation and inspired trust. The audience was very engaged with him. As the parent of an adult child with autism, Donald has tremendous credibility and understanding of the path these families are on. He is extremely knowledgeable and imparts information in a manner that is easy for the audience to understand, regardless of their background or experience. I feel very fortunate to know Donald and appreciate the way he graciously shares his expertise. I myself have an adult child with a permanent disability and it is encouraging to hear someone who has successfully navigated the complex world of special needs. I highly recommend Mr. Bailey as a speaker and hope to be in his audience for future presentations.

Karen Crider

Director of South Carolina Able Program

Interview with Donald Bailey

How did you begin your speaking career?

I really haven’t looked at my speaking as a career. It is something I have done most of my adult life. I have always been comfortable talking about things I believe in from sports, to investment opportunities to the issues of raising a child with a disability.

What’s one thing people often misunderstand about autism?

I love the saying ,”if you’ve met a child with autism, then you’ve met a child with autism.” While people on the spectrum do have similar personality traits, they also have their own unique personalities. They each are their own person and they are all different.

What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?

My goal for the next five years is to continue providing hope for families by helping them understand that their child will continue to grow and learn and may have the opportunity to go to college and have a job and be independent. By sharing my experiences as a father, an investment adviser, and an advocate for the special needs community, I think I can help families simply by understanding and talking their language.

Describe yourself in 3 words – why these words?

Describing myself in three words? Passionate, motivated and honest. Helping families with a disability has become my life. The lessons I have learned as a father raising a son on the spectrum has been eye opening. One that has motivated me to share my life experiences so others will have information that will help them navigate the issues of raising a child with autism or any disability.

I have always been a motivated individual. Growing up in a poor family helped me understand the importance of getting up, getting out and working hard.

I grew up being motivated to be successful and continue to have the outlook that the glass is half full. I learned early in my life being honest was probably the biggest asset a person could have. If you aren’t honest, then you are not trustworthy.

What types of unique experiences have you had as a result of your profession?

The unique experiences I have had professionally is the personal relationships I have built with my clients. Managing families’ financial affairs and having their trust is not only unique, it is also rewarding and it validates who I am professionally. I have met many people from many parts of the country, have been involved in education from K-12 through college and was able to help develop programs on the collegiate level, so young people who have an intellectual disability, can attend college. My profession allowed me the opportunity to pursue that while maintaining my advisory practice.  

Who and what inspires you most?

My family has always been my inspiration. As one of five boys I was always inspired by one or more of my brothers throughout my early life. My wife, daughter and son inspire me daily to be the best that I can be in life. Doing what I can to make our world a better place for all families who have the challenge of raising a family member with a disability is what gets me out of bed every day.

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Keynote topics with Donald Bailey