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My Farewell to My Storytelling Fellowship

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It is time to say goodbye to my Story Telling Fellowship with Making Contact. I had amazing time producing the radio segment on changing the public’s perception of people who use Augmentative Alternative Communication (A.A.C.) with the Making Contact staff, most notably George Lavender and Kwan Booth.  They both assisted me greatly in producing and marketing my radio segment and I owe them gratitude for the segment’s success. I am excited to share this radio segment with everyone and give more insight on the A.A.C. community.

For the segment I was fortunate to interview four people that were either people who use A.A.C. or worked in the A.A.C. field: Dr. Samuel Sennott, April Bryant, Dr. Sarah Blackstone, and Dr. Bob Segalman. Dr. Sennott is a professor at Portland State University and is the co-creator of the A.A.C. app, Proloquo2Go.

In our interview I mostly discussed with him the new innovation with technology in the A.A.C. field. He addressed the trend in the A.A.C. technological field to move to more natural voices in A.A.C. devices. He described how in developing Proloquo2Go he worked with Acapella voices so the program will have natural sounding voices for the users to choose from and he mentioned the work the company, Vocalid, is doing to make sure people who use A.A.C. have voices that sound like them.

Final Day at Making Contact Pizza Party

Lateef at the Making Contact office with some of the staff.

In my April Bryant interview I conversed with her about her interaction with community while she uses A.A.C. and her relationship with her A.A.C. device. April gave me some good quotes of how she asserts herself and makes people address her like when she goes into the department store. With Dr. Sarah Blackstone I discussed her extensive years working as a pioneer in the A.A.C. field as a speech language pathologist and what inspired her to work with people who use A.A.C.

With the Dr. Bob Segalman interview I discussed with him his successful career receiving two doctorates while having severe cerebral palsy and the program he developed to assist people who has severe speech disabilities to use the phone entitled Speech to Speech.

I am definitely excited for people to hear my radio segment with Making Contact that became live on their website on October 8th.

People listening will definitely obtain more knowledge on how people who A.A.C. define ourselves and how we interact with society.

I am proud of what I produced with Making Contact and I hope people will be able to listen in.

Web Extra: Lateef tries to order a pizza using his speech generating device. Will the delivery service take his order? (Photo credit: Slice of pizza by Su-lin)

Listen to the full 29 minute radio show here.

Find out more about the fellowship.


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