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Monday, August 2, 2010

Update to Communication Bill of Rights

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) web site has a nice summary of the Communication Bill of Rights published by the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities in 1992:
All people with a disability of any extent or severity have a basic right to affect, through communication, the conditions of their existence. All people have the following specific communication rights in their daily interactions. These rights are summarized from the Communication Bill of Rights put forth in 1992 by the National Joint Committee for the Communication Needs of Persons with Severe Disabilities. Each person has the right to:
  • request desired objects, actions, events and people
  • refuse undesired objects, actions, or events
  • express personal preferences and feelings
  • be offered choices and alternatives
  • reject offered choices
  • request and receive another person's attention and interaction
  • ask for and receive information about changes in routine and environment
  • receive intervention to improve communication skills
  • receive a response to any communication, whether or not the responder can fulfill the request
  • have access to AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) and other AT (assistive technology) services and devices at all times
  • have AAC and other AT devices that function properly at all times
  • be in environments that promote one's communication as a full partner with other people, including peers
  • be spoken to with respect and courtesy
  • be spoken to directly and not be spoken for or talked about in the third person while present
  • have clear, meaningful and culturally and linguistically appropriate communications
We at TapToTalk believe that every child has the right to communicate to the best of his or her ability. For some children, that ability is only realized with support, like speech therapy and an appropriate AAC device. Technology has advanced a lot since 1992, providing AAC choices like TapToTalk that did not then exist. This means that today we can add to the following to the list of rights:
  • have AAC that is affordable
  • have AAC that is portable
  • have AAC that is socially acceptable
  • have AAC that is customizable
Let's spread the word and bring these communication rights to every child we can!

If you have a TapToTalk idea or story you'd like us to share with other TapToTalk users, please email us at blog@taptotalk.com.

The TapToTalk Team
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