Defend Communication Rights!

$35,380 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 6 months
Many children and adults cannot use speech effectively to communicate due to various neurological and motor disabilities, including autism. These people use alternative means of communication to express their thoughts. The right to choose the most effective way to communicate is a fundamental human right. It is a fundamental legal right. Recently, a small group of activists has made it their mission to depict people who cannot speak as people who are not capable of intelligent thought. These activists are waging a well-organized, well-funded effort to deprive non-speaking individuals of their basic human right to communicate in the most effective way. 

These non-speakers are our children, friends and family. Please help protect and defend their basic right to communicate by donating to this campaign. 

Every dollar you donate will automatically be doubled! For every dollar you donate, a charitable foundation has offered to donate a dollar to match your donation, up to $10,000.

The funds raised in this campaign will be used to protect and defend these rights. The campaign will help establish a clearinghouse website for education and advocacy efforts. This new site will share research, evidence  and testimony regarding the successes and best practices of using open-ended augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) methods, like low-tech alphabet or letter boards as well as high tech methods like typing and speech-generating iPads. The campaign will also highlight the ethical and legal obligations of educators and professionals to support the communication rights of people with disabilities. 

Please click to donate. We need your help.
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Thanks to your generosity, United for Communication Choice was able to reach its fundraising goal in just over two months! Your contributions made it possible for the UCC campaign to get off to a roaring start in fighting for communication rights! With your critical help, we accomplished the following in a very short period of time:

Organized a coalition of nearly two dozen national civil and disability rights organizations to express opposition to ASHA’s Board of Directors regarding flawed proposals on FC and RPM put forth by a rogue ad hoc committee;

Organized a letter writing campaign from individuals with disabilities and their allies to respond to the flawed proposed position statements on FC and RPM;

Built and launched a website ( https://UnitedforCommunicationChoice.org) to help begin to shift the narrative regarding nonspeaking and unreliably speaking individuals and how they choose to communicate. This resource aims to begin to fill the void of unbiased, factual, easily accessible information about various augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) teaching methodologies. It describes why efforts to limit communication choice are flawed, provides information about relevant US laws, provides a compilation of summarized and curated research studies, shares videos of advanced AAC learners, and provides other resources to support communication access and choice for people with disabilities;

Created a complementary and supportive social media presence on Twitter and Facebook, attracting almost 1,500 likes in the first week!;

Organized and connected leaders within our diverse communities to create opportunities for dialogue and coalition building;

Began educating the general public on important issues surrounding communication choice; and

Ensured that ethical violations committed by researchers against non-speakers were not allowed to be swept under the rug.

In spite of these significant steps forward, there is still much more work to be done.

We believe that individuals with disabilities who are unable to communicate reliably with speech must be given support and access to their preferred and most effective means of communication.

We believe that access to effective communication is a fundamental human and civil right.

In the face of continued threats from ASHA and others who seek to silence those with complex communication needs, we are seeking to build our capacity to ensure that communication rights for people with disabilities will be protected and guaranteed.

We have formed a new national nonprofit organization to focus on protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities who are unable to communicate effectively with speech.

We need resources to build this new organization while our 501(c)(3) application is pending. We hope that you will help us reach our next goal through considering a personal contribution and/or by sharing the campaign with your personal networks. The new campaign can be found at:
https://www.gofundme.com/sgjdj-defend-communication-rights&rcid=r01-154251796749-f9b7a5c781b24e23&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

It takes all of us working together to bring about the change that we want to see in the world.

Thank you for your support and commitment to protect the civil rights of nonspeaking people!
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We have now raised just over $30,000 through this campaign. Thank you so much for your support!

Your generous contributions have made it possible for us to create a website at https://unitedforcommunicationchoice.org
and have made it possible for a coalition letter with the signatures of 23 national civil and disability rights groups to be sent to ASHA in response to their proposed position statements on both RPM and FC.
You can find a copy of the press release regarding this coalition letter here: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-coalition-united-for-communication-choice-oppose-ashas-attempts-to-restrict-communication-choice-300682257.html?tc=eml_cleartime

Even though we have made great strides in our effort to defend communication rights, in order for this work to continue we will need ongoing financial support.

Please consider sharing this campaign within your personal networks in order to help us spread the news of this important campaign around these critical issues.

Thank you again for your support!
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We met our first goal of raising $10,000 which is being matched by a generous donor! Many thanks to those of you who have contributed so far. Please continue to share this campaign far and wide.
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$35,380 of $35,000 goal

Raised by 147 people in 6 months
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NS
$100
Nika Stirling
26 days ago
JS
$250
Jenn Seybert
2 months ago
$30
Anonymous
3 months ago
$419
Anonymous
3 months ago
$30
Anonymous
3 months ago
DH
$75
DeeDee Hoover
3 months ago
DB
$100
Douglas Biklen
3 months ago
$1,000
Anonymous
4 months ago
$1,000
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4 months ago
EP
$50
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4 months ago
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