Perspectives will be updated regularly with profiles and guest blogs from our members and allies, essays, news, photos, videos, and other features. Come back often!

OCR MedStar Hospital Visitor Policy Complaint Resolved

By Communication First | Feb 16, 2021
artsy black and white stock photo looking upward at modernist concrete scaffolding on the outside of a building

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a resolution that applies to all MedStar Health Inc. (“MedStar Health”) care locations in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, MedStar Health has agreed to end its discriminatory treatment of patients with disabilities, including William King, a 73-year old man with communication-related disabilities, and to modify its policies to ensure patients with disabilities can access the in-person supports needed to communicate and have equal access to medical care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Statement: MUSIC Reinforces Dangerous Stereotypes, Practices

By Communication First | Feb 12, 2021
the word "listen" in all caps white text on a black background over the CommunicationFIRST logo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CommunicationFIRST, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), and the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint (AASR) today condemned the Golden Globe-nominated movie MUSIC, directed by singer-songwriter Sia Furler. The film, released widely via video on-demand services today, contains a number of deeply disturbing and potentially harmful scenes.

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GUEST ESSAY: Off Key from the Start, Sia’s Music Fails to Ring True for Nonspeaking Autistics

By Communication First | Feb 12, 2021
stylized stock photo of trumpets

I had to stop watching the movie because I found it too disturbing to continue to do so.

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Disability Organizations: MUSIC Is Dangerous

By Communication First | Feb 3, 2021
blurry white and blue lights on a black background

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CommunicationFIRST, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, and the Alliance Against Seclusion and Restraint today expressed grave concern about the soon-to-be-released, Golden Globe-nominated movie MUSIC, directed by singer-songwriter Sia.

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Dear Parents Who Want to Keep Their Nonspeaking Children Safe as They Go Out Into the World

By Communication First | Jan 27, 2021
A Black non-binary person with a filtering face mask walks down a neighborhood street with one hand in their pocket and the other hand on their cane. They have a short mohawk and are wearing a jacket, shorts, tennis shoes, and glasses.

Every day, your child is growing up, and there is a world out there for them. You want that for them – you want everything for them – and yet, the world can be a scary place.

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Communication Equity Call to Action

By Communication First | Jan 14, 2021
"Communication Equity Call to Action" in white letters on black background with CommunicationFIRST logo in green, black and white, and tagline "Because communication is a human right"

CommunicationFIRST and the 47 undersigned supporters of communication rights, access, and equity urge the incoming Biden-Harris Administration to take immediate and specific steps to safeguard and advance the human and civil rights of people with disabilities, especially individuals who have little to no understandable speech and rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

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National Survey Reveals Students with Communication Disabilities Are Being Denied Safe Access to Education

By Communication First | Jan 4, 2021
12 year old AAC and wheelchair user Leo True-Frost participating in virtual learning on a laptop with the support of his father Jim True-Frost. Both are smiling. Leo is looking at the laptop and using his left forefinger on the trackpad of the laptop. Jim is seated to his left, wearing glasses, and is smiling with a bemused look at the camera. Both are white. Leo has dark hair and is wearing a navy long sleeved shirt. Jim has light hair and is wearing a grey short sleeved t-shirt. They appear to be seated in a living room facing windows with a fireplace behind them.

In November and December 2020, CommunicationFIRST surveyed families of students with expressive communication disabilities and significant support needs about how well they are being supported to access their education during the pandemic. Families were invited to participate if the student had been enrolled in a public or private Pre-K to…

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Are AAC Users at Greater Risk of Dying from COVID? (Updated)

By Communication First | Dec 20, 2020
two people in blue-green scrubs and masks hovering over a patient

These nine studies, published between May and December 2020, tell us people with intellectual or developmental disabilities (including those who rely on AAC) are between 1.7 and 16 times more likely to die from COVID if they get it than those who do not have I/DD. 

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AAC Users Chat with Disability Rights Legend Judy Heumann

By Communication First | Nov 28, 2020

Those are just three of the questions asked by people who rely on augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) at our first in a series of events with civil and disability rights leaders. The July 17 event, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), featured disability rights…

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