Stories like this one on CBC about a Nova Scotia woman who is now able to communicate independently for the first time in 21 years show the improvements that are being made in the lives of disabled people. I am sure that many people who were previously thought to be unresponsive will now be shown that they were only waiting for technology to catch them up.
An excellent example of this is my friend Glenda Watson Hyatt. Glenda’s story shows great resilience in finding ways to communicate in a verbal world – check out her website and her blog to learn more about her, in her own words. Using Proloquo4Text as the sound of her voice, Glenda is now a motivational speaker – all from someone whose parents were told to have her institutionalized because she was mentally disabled. (Yep. Lots to think about there). See Glenda for yourself:
I know that my life would be considerably different without technology. It’s my gateway to the world. While I don’t use Proloquo4Text as often as Glenda, knowing that it is always with me means that I’m prepared for the increasingly regular times my speech leaves me. And, of course, it’s always there as a back-up for any presentations I have to do. The ease with which I can advocate from my bed changes the face of advocacy too – it’s not just face-to-face, verbal actions that make change. It’s open to us all.
Our #JustAsk video is a good example of all of these ideas – Glenda and I collaborated over miles, and demonstrated that we are not silent and that we can be heard.