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Fostering Support of a Full Range of Communication Methods and Empowering Users of Facilitated Communication and other Augmentative and Alternative Communication Methods

TASH is an international association of people with disabilities, their family members, and professionals advocating for inclusion of all people in all aspects of society. The aim of this project was to identify and overcome barriers that stand in the way of people with communication differences and difficulties self-directing their lives and becoming full participants in their communities and the disabilities rights movement. Project teams, including people with autism who have communicated using Facilitated Communication (FC) and TASH staff, accomplished this goal by: 1) broadening the voice of Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) users by building better connections with self-advocacy, advocacy and the disability community regarding communication rights; 2) building a comprehensive website which will provide resources on FC, including research articles, training information, and information on legislative action; 3) increasing the number of organizations that understand the importance of communication and accept as a valid, evidence-based practice the full range of AAC methods; 4) bringing AAC users and advocates to Washington, DC to participate in an organized public policy day; and 5) making Hill visits to educate elected officials about the issues regarding the need for research about and access to funding and services for AAC.