Friday, October 28th, 2011
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to stand before my legislators at the Washington County Mental Health legislative breakfast. My good friend, Kyle, presented beautifully the connection between communication and productivity. Because of the communication support he receives, he has worked as a legislative intern which gave him the opportunity to work on the Respectful Language Law. Our state now is looking to work on how to fill gaps due to the impact Irene had on our state. It has come down to communities being open to supporting one another. Another part of progress is recognizing the willingness of service recipients to be part of the problem solving. My state is leading the way; pay attention to Vermont. My piece to the legislators follows:
Supporting the Right to Communicate for people with Significant Disabilities
Good morning. I am Tracy Thresher from Barre, Vermont. I would like to talk to you about the Washington County Facilitated Communication (FC) Task Force. The group formed in 2008. We are a group of individuals who type to communicate. We advocate for people with communication challenges, for Quality of Life initiatives and for increased public awareness.
How would you feel if you had no voice? It is the hardest part of dealing with life, in the way people make the assumption that we do not have intelligence. Our group works to do outreach and advocacy for ourselves and others. As my idol Anne MacDonald said “Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say.” Understanding Anne’s statement paired with knowing communication is the right of all is necessary. Having the support of people like Master Trainer, Harvey Lavoy, is the primary reason I have the communication needed to be successful. I urge our legislators to make communication a priority for all. Thank you.