Artist & Educator
Kevin Spencer, Ph.D. is the leading international authority on the therapeutic and educational application of magic tricks to assist individuals with disabilities in improving the skills they find challenging. As an award-winning performer and a respected academic, he brings his unique experiences and expertise to each of presentations. He combines magic, wit, charm, and personal insights that will encourage, motivate, inspire, and challenge your audience.
Spencer is the creator of the Magic Therapy™ and Hocus Focus™ programs.His work focuses on using the art of magic to impact change in the lives of individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, intellectual challenges, emotional disturbance, and those who have experienced trauma.In 2016, he produced a short documentary – Powerful Medicine: Simply Magic – that showcases individuals of varying abilities who, through the art of magic, have overcome physical, developmental, and intellectual challenges. It has earned 18 international film festival awards and continues to inspire audiences around the world.
Hocus Focus™ is the 2022 Silver recipient for “Best Innovation” and Spencer is the Gold recipient for “Leader of the Year” awarded at the inaugural Anthem Awards in the category of Education, Art, and Culture. Hocus Focus™ was also a 2022 finalist for the Zero Project Award which recognizes innovative persons, practices, and models that improve the daily lives of persons with disabilities.
Spencer and his wife, Cindy, were named 2009 International Illusionists of the Year. Theyare also the recipients of the art of magic’s most prestigious award given by The Milbourne Christopher Foundation – the2015International Illusionists of the Year for notable contributions to the art of magic. Topics include Demystifying Disability, Overcoming Adversity, and the Impact of CPR.
Dr. Spencer’s vast knowledge and deep experience working with people with disabilities have helped the Lone Tree Arts Center develop and evolve programming for people with autism and other disabilities. As soon as we saw Kevin present one of his sensory-inclusive programs to our patrons, we knew we had a lot to learn, and we were thrilled to have Kevin’s expertise to figure out how we could make sure that our programming was open to everyone – including people not traditionally welcomed at theatrical performances. Sensory inclusive performances have become an important part of our programming in large part thanks to Kevin, and we look forward to continuing to learn from him as the field itself progresses.
– Leigh Chandler | Executive Director, Lone Tree Arts Center, CO
“Dr. Spencer was the Keynote Speaker for the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association during our annual fall conference in 2018. Not only was he engaging, but he provided a personal story that fits so well with the profession of occupational therapy. Given his past and present experiences, he can no doubt relate to many varied professions as a speaker. I highly recommend Mr. Spencer without reservation as a keynote speaker and/or workshop presenter. He will capture your audience regardless of the size or type, and he will leave a positive and lasting impression with everyone, along with a bit of awe-inspiring magic!”
– Erin Clemens, OTR/L, BCP (VA) | Virginia Occupational Therapy Association
“Dr. Kevin Spencer set new expectations this year as OTAC’s Keynote speaker! He captured the audience by connecting with everyone in the room, both professionally and personally, through his talents and his own therapy story. Therapists were stunned and motivated by his program, which includes simple and effective “tricks of the trade” that are easily applicable to client goals. Above all, he was relevant, engaging, inspiring, and approachable to all throughout our conference.”
– Akemi Davies, OTR/L (CA) | Occupational Therapy Association of California
Previous Speaking Engagements
Magic as a Non-pharmacologic Sedation Technique (2022, Feb). Presentation at the 16th Annual Pediatric Sedation Conference of the Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital and Boston Children’s Hospital: Sedation Techniques Outside the Operation Room. San Francisco, CA.
Arts Integration Interventions for Individuals with Disabilities (2018, December). Presentation and workshops for rehabilitation specialists, psychologists, social pedagogues, educators, and university teacher preparation (pedagogy) programs in Tyumen, Yekaterinburg, and Izhevsk (Russia).
It’s All About the Magic: Engaging Individuals with ADHD (2018, October). Presentation and workshop at the 15th Annual ADHD and Related Concerns Conference in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Creative Aging & the Arts (2018, April). Presentation and workshop at the Creative Aging Conference in Warsaw, Poland.
The Intersection of the Arts for Special Populations (2018, April). Presentation and training with teacher preparation program at The Cardinal Wyszyński University in Warsaw, Poland.
Celebrate the Magic of Child Life (2017, May). Keynote presentation at the international conference of the Association of Child Life Professionals, Las Vegas, NV.
Inspirational and transformational work with children with special educational needs and disabilities. (2015, October). Keynote at the annual conference of the National Association of Special and Non-Maintained Special Schools, Brighton, United Kingdom.