I will share my communication journey and experiences covering the highs and lows that I have been through and some of the battles that I have had to get my AAC needs met through the system.
My presentation covers the story of my communication journey and the huge progress and changes in technology during the last 30 years that have helped and improved my potential and ability to communicate with the outside world. From early beginnings of simple 'Yes', 'No' questions to Bliss boards, Possum typewriter, new styles of larger accesible keyboards to the constantly changing world of high end communication devices. Of course, along the way there were many people that helped, from family members, school staff, specialists etc.
As my communication needs were being addressed, there was also the aspect of how I wished to live. With the power of communication I was able to state my wish to live independently. Moving from care home settings, into my own home with personal assistants to support me, provided its own ups and downs, highs and lows.
Once settled into the home life I desired, I began looking outward to find ways of interacting further with society. The charity 1Voice - Communcating Together was brought to my attention.
I think my communication journey has been made much easier because of all the advances in technology that have happend in the last 30 years. However having the knowledge and ability to access this technology and constantly having to fight the system to obtain it through funding and resources can be an extremely lengthy process, which my parents and I have had to go through many times.
I think that people in a similar situation to me should always get proper support to access and obtain the assistive technology that they need and deserve to enable them to communicate with the outside world.