This was written for iSpeak’s Facebook site in July this year — it’s now October — SM Awareness Month and thought it might be a good idea to publish this here too.
“I would love for SM events (or any event) to be more inclusive of those who might find it difficult to give a speech or even ask a question, but who would like to contribute — there are other ways to speak (have been banging on about this for years…)
Since what they are supposed to be doing is supporting children/people to communicate, it is ironic, and actually appalling that the SM community of professionals doesn’t seem to have considered access for SMers — in effect denying them a voice.
It is 2018 and there are many ways to communicate and contribute. Or perhaps they default into thinking in the way that those of us with lived experience of SM know only too well — if you are silent you have nothing to say?
I’m sorry if this comes across as frustrated and angry, but again, as those of you with lived experience of SM know — this is how not having a voice makes you feel.
SM professionals might reply — that they often include people with SM in their events — however this is wholly on their terms, and it is often about inviting us to ‘tell our story’. This link explains why this can be problematic and actually does not help those it purports to help.”
Some of us are tired of not having a voice so we are doing it for ourselves with a campaign — ‘Raising OUR Voices‘ launched during SM awareness month.
More to come…