May 2024 Content Roundup

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Welcome to May 2024’s roundup. As always, we have a collection of thought-provoking stories to share covering topics like nonverbal autism, aphasia, and assistive technology. Check them out!

Speech Spotlight

Her Speech Using a Voice App Made History in Congress — and Sparked a Larger Disability Conversation

Earlier this month, US Representative Jennifer Wexton made history by delivering a speech using an AAC device on the floor of the House of Representatives. Despite the milestone, many in the disability community felt the media coverage focused too much on Wexton’s condition rather than the significance of the moment and the broader implications for AAC users. The 19th published an insightful article on it here.

How Technology Helped a Nonspeaking Autistic Woman Find Her Voice

Jordyn Zimmerman, a nonspeaking autistic woman and notable advocate in the AAC community, recently made a landmark appearance on CBS Mornings. Check out the TV spot and its accompanying article to learn about Zimmerman’s personal journey with AAC and how she’s now using the technology to help her push for change.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication: How Becoming a User Changed My Relationships

Who would have thought Teen Vogue would bring us a profound story about AAC? This piece shares the story of how its author became an AAC user after a life-altering hospitalization. If you’re interested in deeply personal insights about navigating life with a new disability, this is the story for you.

Autism Advocacy

How a Pasadena Poet Uses the Gift of Words to Help Autistic Adults Process Grief — Including Her Own

This story shares how a nonverbal autistic poet from Pasadena uses her writing to process grief and help other autistic adults do the same. Check out the article to learn more about her journey and the work she’s doing with the Autism & Grief Project.

Technology and Communication

Randy Travis Uses AI Vocals To Release First New Song Since Debilitating 2013 Stroke

This article brought something completely unexpected to our attention: country music icon Randy Travis has released a new single despite losing most of his speech and singing ability due to aphasia after a 2013 stroke. Utilizing AI voice-cloning technology, the song features Travis’ distinctive voice, bringing new ethical questions about the use of AI in music. For all the details — and the song itself — go check out the full story.

Communication in Culture

Chris Redding Creates Album to Communicate With Nonverbal Autistic Son

Musician Chris Redding just released Visions of Sounds, an album made to help him better connect with his nonverbal autistic son. The album was also inspired by Redding’s own ADHD and synesthesia. It incorporates elements like stimming sounds and vocal echolalia to resonate with neurodivergent listeners. Read more about it here.

Check out our previous monthly roundup for more great stories!

About Spoken

Spoken is an app that helps people with aphasia, nonverbal autism, and other speech and language disorders.