by Tony Diamonti
Don't just see me, hear me.
Don't just read my words, listen
Listen to me, then look at me.
If you look first, you'll probably
Listening is the path to understanding
Only seeing me, is blindness.
I'm not an empty dysfunctional carcass
you may see before your eyes,
wallowing in a state of despair.
I am filled with joy and passion.
I have a spirit that moves me, frees
and lets me defy all those who say
I cannot live life to its fullest.
I have a lot of love inside, with
a passionate heart.
I have the humour and laughter of
a circus clown.
I have creativity and intellect,
and I am a sexual being.
In essence, my character identity
by the lack of free flowing dialogue
and interaction with you.
Yet, my inner voice often cries
LISTEN TO WHO I AM, AND SEE ME AS
I TRULY AM!!!
We, who use alternative means of
communication, need to be heard.
We need to be LISTENED to.
Don't just read our words; don't
just hear our mechanical voices.
Listen to us as you would listen
to others, speaking to you with their own voices.
Reprinted with permission from
LOUD 'N CLEAR (Vol. 1, #1, June 2002), the first quarterly newsletter of
Speaking Differently - A national organization for persons with disabilities
who communicate in different ways. Speaking Differently (SD) now has a
website at: http://home.istar.ca/~marshall/Speaking_Differently
You will find a membership application
form there. Annual Membership in Speaking Differently is $4.00 for AAC
users, $10.00 for Non-user Friends, $50 for Non-user Benefactors, and $100
for Non-user Patrons. Send your cheque to Speaking Differently, c/o Department
of Speech-Language Pathology, 6 Queen's Park Crescent West, Toronto, ON