Response to ASHA proposed position statement in FC and RPM

Niko’s response to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s [ASHA] proposed position statement on facilitated communication [FC] and rapid prompting method [RPM]. For more information about how you can lend your support to people like Niko who rely on letterboarding to communicate, please see this page. [LB]
My name is Niko Boskovic, and I have used a letterboard to communicate for the past four years. I use it in school, for homework, at work, and pretty much everywhere I need to make my thoughts and desires known. I have about a dozen people with whom I letterboard. They’ve been trained to work with me for a reason that is obvious: to be my voice. If I relied on the words that SLP’s taught me, nothing would be understood because my verbal communication is so affected. Maybe I would have learned to communicate with another modality, but letterboarding was so natural and fit so well with my abilities that I took to it like a fish to water.
Hardly a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that I know how to letterboard. My life would be so different: I wouldn’t be in general education; I wouldn’t be on my way to graduating with a regular diploma; I wouldn’t be working at Trader Joe’s for $13 an hour. The only thing missing is having a girlfriend, and I guess that’s normal for a 16 year old.
What I’m trying to say is that being able to communicate has changed the trajectory of my future. I am irate over the notion of a committee of non-experts is trying to take away this form of communication. It seems like a personal vendetta, to be honest. I can’t understand what their motivation is except to stifle the voices of people with disabilities. This is where we are presently: the able-bodied deciding what’s best for us. I say enough to that historic oppression – your biases aren’t fooling anyone.

2 thoughts on “Response to ASHA proposed position statement in FC and RPM

  1. You GO NIKO! I’m writing to them, too. I’ve already spoken to the president of that organization on the phone. There must be some hidden political or monetary agenda here. What’s up? Why are they so invested in silencing an entire segment of society? Whatever happens, whether they choose to publish or not, WE know the truth and the truth will prevail in the end. ASHA will not keep you down, Niko, or others who letter board. I believe those who will want to use it will still gain access, whether with the “blessing” of this organization or not. Keep on spellin’!
    Your friends and supporters!
    Annette (and Matteo)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Letter to ASHA

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