Monday, February 25, 2008

The Power of Voice

The ability to communicate with others is something that many of us take for granted.

But, there are students in our public schools who are unable to communicate using their voice, students who are non-verbal and unable to use traditional communication methods. Are there students in your district who depend upon alternative methods to communicate with their peers or teachers?

Watch these two videos that demonstrate the power of voice using technology. The first video was on ABC News and profiles a 13 year old girl who is autistic. It appears that she is using a laptop computer with WordQ, word prediction software which also offers text-to-speech. Even her father was astonished when she demonstrated her skills using technology. She was now able to read, write, spell and articulate her feelings!

How often are we selling our students short? How often are we presuming capabilities far below what our student's actually possess?

I learned about the second video from Kate Ahern's blog. Watch "My Power is My Voice" here:

For additional videos, go to the Assistiveware website to view effective augmentative communication device use by individuals of all ages.


DK said...

Many thanks for sharing - awesome video... purely illustrative!


MediaSnackers Founder

Kate said...

Isn't it an awesome video?

Thanks for the tip of the hat, by the way it is Ahern, not Ahearn, but no big deal. It is not exactly all over my blog.


georgygrrl said...

Terrific video! Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Parisi said...

Thank you so much for sharing. Very eye-opening..powerful.

Kristin Hokanson said...

You may have seen this story but I thought it appropriate to share in this context as well
This link is to an article from pbs, but the video embedded from youtube is really amazing

Here is the actual blog of the woman referenced in the article:

It really helps not just to look at what she has written and her amazing voice, but what people (some of whom have autistic
children are saying about it) Isn't assistive technology amazing?

Kristin Hokanson said...

Will try the links again
Amanda's Story on Teacher Source

Amanda's Blog

Kevin Jarrett said...

Hi Karen,

Tremendously's one I can share:

In My Language

I came across it months ago while doing research about assistive technologies and Second Life. The music seems to go on forever, but eventually, she starts to speak via computer. What she says will positively amaze you, and make you think.


Karen Janowski said...

Lisa, Kristin and Kevin,
Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I've been following Amanda Baggs since watching her "In my Language" youtube video last year. She is an amazing woman and demonstrates the power of assistive technology to give voice to non-verbal individuals.
We can learn a great deal from her insights and perspectives.
My hope is that we do not sell our students short who struggle with verbal communication.