“Mental health as an area of concern and focusing schools is being recognized around the world. There is a growing understanding that emotionally healthy students are more likely to be successful in school and in life. But what of students who require AAC?
This session will raise this issue through stories shared by augmented speakers and connect this to the newly revised Communication Bill of Rights (Brady, et al., 2016).
Stories were gathered as part of a study into the lived experience of speaking through a speech-generating device (Howery, 2017). Although stories of maltreatment, abuse, and ableism were not sought after in the study, such stories emerged both in context of school and larger community experiences. These stories will be shared illustrating mental health issues raised in each and how ignoring or neglecting the communication rights of these individuals negatively impacts their mental health and therefore their lives.”