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This is Luke

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Luke Verhoeff is a non-speaking autistic man who was trapped in his own mind for 19 years, and recently found his voice through Spelling for Communication using a letterboard. It was discovered that Luke—despite his Global Developmental Delay diagnosis at age 3.5—was actually cognitively and intellectually intact, but suffered from a brain-to-body disconnect.


The success of the letterboard program involves the support of a Communication Regulation Partner (CRP) to coach Luke’s body to connect to the letters using prompts, which are faded over time. The goal is for Luke to gain full autonomy and independence with his “spelling” and to one day transition from a letterboard to either a computer keyboard, or a HoloLens using eye-gaze and augmented virtual reality technology. This process is arduous, and takes time and practice, and perseverance.


The cost of a certified and professional CRP is @$100/hour; and the only qualified person at this time is Madison Imber of Mentoring Minds Autism Services in Calgary, Alberta. She is the only one in Western Canada that has successfully unlocked Luke. Our current expenses can be anywhere from $1000-$1500 per month for the sessions (6-10) + travel / accommodations which are done over a 3 day period each month. Luke also wants to create more awareness and make this communication program available for all non-speaking autistics, so their voices can be heard too!


We have approached all the right channels (School District, Community Living BC, government) for more funding. Because of the new-ness of this successful communication program, we are finding roadblocks and delays everywhere. We know change takes time, but communication is a right.


We are asking for public support for Luke’s communication program to continue. We have a goal of $36,000 which will cover all letterboard sessions, travel, and accommodation for the next two years. Any extra funding would be used for awareness and advocacy. Thank you in advance for all your kindness and encouragement. Let the revolution begin!


As Luke says, “Be the Change,” quoting Mahatma Ghandi.
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Donations 

  • SIWAN STAINTON
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 1 mo
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 2 mos
  • Rachel Reid
    • $25 
    • 2 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 2 mos
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Fundraising team: Luke's Fundraising Team (2)

David Verhoeff
Organizer
Kamloops, BC
Sandra Verhoeff
Team member

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