The Reach of my Voice: Towards Autonomy
AGOSCI National Tour 2020
Dr Kathy Howery
Every person has an individual voice. Every voice is authentic and an expression of our being. This is true for those of us who speak with the voices out of our mouths and for those of us who speak with AAC.
Today, AAC enables communication for people who are unintelligible with their “natural” voice – for children and adults who are “speechless”. AAC enables the ordinary by giving everyone something most humans take utterly for granted – the power of speech. But speech is not taken for granted by AAC users. Their experience of having a voice, a voice that is theirs, a voice that enables (but not quite) the ability to participate in the flow of human conversation is different.
What can we learn from the lived experiences of those who use AAC? How can their experiences, words and knowledge inform our AAC practice and teaching?
You will leave with greater understanding and practical strategies to extend the reach of every individual’s voice towards autonomy – so come along and join us!
Drawing upon Kathy's own research into the lived experience of speaking through Speech Generating device and current research in the field of AAC, participants will:
- Explore the meaning of voice in the lives of aided communicators (Howery, 2017; 2018), focusing on how current research can empower practitioners, parents, and aided communicators with practical strategies to extend the reach of every individual’s voice towards autonomy.
- Be able to articulate key evidence based features of an accessible communication environment (von Tetzchner, et al, 2005; 2107) and how addressing these can provide the context for AAC as the foundation for communication and language
- Explore the Communication Bill of Rights (Bailey, et al. 2016) with a focus on how to use these rights to extend the authentic power of each person’s voice in the world
- Gain an understanding of the impact of having complex communication needs on mental health and how providing an autonomous voice is the key to positive mental health outcomes (Howery, 2019).
- Gain an understanding of the impact of time and timing on AAC users (Howery, 2017; Higginbotham & Wilkins, 1999), with a focus on how to address these issues in ways that are both realistic and practical.
This one-day workshop is for everyone who wants every individual with complex communication needs to be heard. This workshop will be relevant and beneficial for people with complex communication needs, teachers, family members, support workers, educators, leadership teams and therapists who work with people with complex communication support needs.
About the Presenter
Dr Kathy Howery received her PhD in Special Education from the University of Alberta in 2017. She is currently an educational consultant and a sessional lecturer at several Universities in Alberta. Her doctoral research drew upon hermeneutic phenomenology to seek to understand what is it like for young people with complex communication needs (CCN) to speak with (or is it with) speech generating devices.
Kathy has presented at scores of educational conferences at both the national and international level including the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC) Conference, the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA) Conference, and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference. Kathy has also presented her research in the area of CCN, and in the area of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), at numerous conferences in Alberta, British Columbia, and Quebec.
Please note: registration includes all catering for the day. Please specify dietary requirements when registering for the workshop.
Registration and Cancellation Policy
Registration is only confirmed upon full payment of fee. Dates by which payment is required will be communicated by email if timely payment has not been received following registration. Registrations not paid by stated due dates can be cancelled. To access discounted rate for members you must be logged into your AGOSCI member account prior to registration.
Cancellations: Full refund until 60 days before event. 50% refund between 8-59 days before event. No refunds within 0-7 days of event start date.
Applications are subject to final approval by AGOSCI to ensure fair and equal access to events across organisations. Waitlist registrations will be taken upon all positions being filled.