Help us celebrate our 3rd birthday!

On October 7, 2022, we celebrate the third anniversary of our public launch — three years of fighting for communication access and rights for people of all ages and disabilities who cannot depend on speech alone to be heard and understood. Please help us mark this occasion by raising $20,000 — and to ensure we can continue this critically important work! We cannot succeed without your support. Thank you!

$18,007 of $20,000 raised

World Premiere

This is the world premiere of the first film in CommunicationFIRSTs new See Us, Hear Us film series, produced by award-winning filmmaker Dan Habib! In this series, we will be filming and sharing the stories of 10-12 diverse humans who need and use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Your support today will help us carry out this important project, which aims to reduce the bias, prejudice, discrimination, isolation, and dehumanization that AAC users currently face. Let us know what you think!

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Donation Total: $250.00

Three Years!

What we have accomplished with your help

On October 8, 2019, we sued one of the largest school districts in the United States over its discriminatory and harmful use of dangerous restraint and seclusion against students with disabilities. Since then, among other things, we have also:

  • Created a voting rights toolkit for AAC users
  • Hosted a webinar about running for office with a speech disability
  • Submitted multiple comments to government agencies to improve policies impacting people who need and use AAC
  • Coordinated testimony to reform guardianship to the US Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Partnering with DREDF on the AAC Counts Project to reduce data inequities faced by people who need AAC
  • Partnered with The Nora Project to create an easy-read guide on school shootings
  • Worked with a group of nonspeaking autistic people to create a viral, impactful, and award-winning 5-minute film called LISTEN
  • Created a COVID-19 Communication Rights Toolkit
  • Negotiated two nationally precedent-setting complaints with the Office for Civil Rights at the US Department of Health and Human Services affirming the rights of patients with communication disabilities to access a support person in the hospital
  • Hosted two educational webinars on issues with guardianships and conservatorships for people who cannot rely on speech to be understood
  • Created a toolkit about the rights of AAC users to access necessary in-person communication supports during virtual learning
  • Surveyed families of AAC-using students nationwide on their experiences during remote learning
  • Hosted a webinar for AAC users to interact with leading disability rights icon (and CommunicationFIRST Board member) Judy Heumann
  • Sent a Communication Equity Call to Action to the new Biden-Harris White House
  • Filed amicus briefs in several cases, including in support of Britney Spears’ right to choose her own attorney in her conservatorship case
  • Hosted multiple paid guest blogs by AAC users
  • Summarized each of the published studies on COVID-related risks to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities
  • Petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to add text and video options to the Suicide Lifeline
  • And lots more!
  • BUT — we have so much more to do!

Looking for another way to support CommunicationFIRST this week? Were launching three new t-shirts on Bonfire! Here's one with a quote by our Chair, Jordyn Zimmerman: Purple t-shirt with the words "Speech does not make someone more human."

Speech does not make someone more human.