Skip Links | Access/General info |
Centre for Disability Studies Disability Studies Conferences Archive Lancaster University home page
2008 Conference Archive
Your are here: Home > Presenters and Abstracts > Wickenden

Listen to Me: How 12 teenagers who use AAC represent themselves

Mary Wickenden, Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth, University of Sheffield


This paper will start by showing a short video made by a group of 12 teenagers communicate with a range of high and low tech communication aids. The dvd was the result of an intensive weekend of collaborative work by the teenagers with assistance from a team of adults with a variety of technical skills. The aim of the project was to make a 'pop video' which would express the youngsters individuality and also help audiences of many sorts to understand how these young people would like to be related to and understood.

This group of disabled young people have complex impairments which affect their ability to use physical speech. The nature of this difficulty means that their views are often not asked for and assumptions are made about their interests and abilities. As a group they are often excluded from research as well as from community projects. However they wanted to show that they have many similar understandings about their worlds, interests and concerns to those of their non-disabled teenage peers.

The presenter was part of the team who facilitated the making of the video. Her role in particular was in helping the teenagers to think about their individual preferences and priorities for the film and about what messages they wanted to put across. She will describe the kind of underlying ethos, communication methods and approaches which make it possible for this group of disabled children and young people to be successfully included in such projects and to represent themselves rather than being represented.

The dvd was made by 1Voice an organisation for Young people who use AAC and their families, with technical support and sponsorship from Silverfish film makers and funding from a Guardian Community Award. The dvd can be accessed on Youtube

«Back to Presenters

| Home 2008 | Programme | Keynote Speakers| Presenters and Abstracts| Conferences Archive |