Keynote - Advocacy, Activism, Ableism: Honoring Differences While Increasing Quality of Life

Speakers: Yoosun Chung & Sarah Blackstone

Session Description:
This session will offer participants a framework within which to consider the sojourned experiences and individual goals of individuals who use AAC. We will illustrate the importance of person-centered practices by honoring the uniqueness of individuals, as well as drawing attention to changing communication needs and preferences across the lifespan. We will consider key concepts that underlie the role(s) of multiple stakeholder groups.

  • Describe why it is important to be informed about a person's social networks when making recommendations/decisions related to AAC 
  • Specify three ways Yoosun's story can illustrate how to think differently about the roles we take on as advocates and activists
  • Describe how relationship nuances of individuals within the social networks of those who use AAC affect the communication
Speaker Bios:
Yoosun ChungYoosun Chung, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Division of Special Education and disability research, College of Education and Human Development, at George Mason University. She currently serves as the Past President of the United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (USSAAC). She has worked in the AAC field as a user, advocate, researcher, and speaker. She received the Edwin and Esther Prentke AAC Distinguished Lecture Award from American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in 2017 and WORDS+/ISAAC Outstanding Consumer Lecture Award from the International Society for AAC (ISAAC) in 2006.

Sarah BlackstoneSarah W. Blackstone, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is currently the Primary Investigator of several research projects at The Bridge School. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of USSAAC, The Bridge School, CERV of the Monterey Peninsula, and the Central Coast Children’s Foundation. Over the decades, she has worked in the area of AAC as a collaborator, clinician, advocate, researcher, and author.