Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Meeting other Cool Communicators

I attended a convention of sorts on Sunday at Holland Bloorview Children's Rehabilitation Centre. The event is called Breaking the Ice and it is put on by the March of Dimes and ISAAC Canada for adults and teens who use AAC (augmentative and alternative communication), professionals in the field of AAC, and parents and family members of AAC users. I didn't take Carter because I didn't think the program would be suitable for an active eight year old.

The day consisted of various speakers and presentations and it finished off with a screening of the movie, Only God Could Hear Me.

I met some amazing people and I learned some things too. Here's what I enjoyed most about my experience:
  • meeting Jess, Emily and Carolyn -- three adult women who use voice output devices to communicate. 
  • speaking with Jess and hearing about what she has accomplished.
  • listening to Skye Wattie and his mom, Gail Fisher-Taylor tell about their trip across Canada to raise awareness and funds for people who use AAC.
And WOW...
  • I actually got to meet Gail Fisher-Taylor and her eldest son, Kerr Wattie. He is a cool communicator just like Carter (I'm borrowing that term from Gail, Skye and Kerr. Love it!).
To me, Gail, Kerr and Skye are like celebrities -- VIPs in the world of AAC. So, meeting Gail and Kerr really meant a lot to me.

Skye and Kerr Wattie
Unfortunately, I did not get to meet Skye. He is Kerr's younger brother and what an inspiration he is. Fed up with the treatment his brother, Kerr was receiving as an individual who communicates differently, Skye decided to do something about it. What he decided to do was no small thing. Over the course of two and a half months, 19 year old Skye rode his bike across this vast country in an effort to raise awareness and funds for people who use AAC. The campaign was called Kilometres for Communication.

I followed their blog last year which tells the amazing story of their cross Canada trip.

Here are some links (also embedded above) where you can read more about the Kilometres for Communication campaign:




2 comments:

  1. Wow! Sounds like an incredibly inspiring day. I also love the term "cool communicator".

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    1. Definitely inspiring. Thanks for your comment, Amy.
      I'm going to be meeting with Gail Fisher-Taylor in the near future to find out how I can get more involved with the K4C campaign and do some advocating for 'cool communicators.'

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