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!

SLPs as AAC Gatekeepers

By Communication FIRST | Dec 12, 2022
A smiling white woman in her 20s with medium length brown hair wearing a light pink blazer over a grey t-shirt that says "Speech does not make someone more human" and a conference lanyard around her neck that says "Jordyn" and "Presenter" and has a mini-fidget attached. She is standing in front of a screen that says "2022 ASHA Convention - SLPs as Gatekeepers: Reimagining, Challenging, and Pushing Our Assumptions - 2:45-3:45". The bottom of the screen says 2:22 PM and November 18, 2022, and New Orleans Convention Center.

Guest blog by Jordyn Zimmerman, M.Ed. On November 18, 2022, CommunicationFIRST Board Chair Jordyn Zimmerman gave an invited presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)’s Annual Convention in New Orleans entitled, “SLPs as Gatekeepers: Reimagining, Challenging, and Pushing Our Assumptions.” The presentation generated lots of discussion, with one attendee…
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Kids Need to Be Able to Communicate with their Doctors

By Communication FIRST | Nov 23, 2022
White text on a green-shaded background with an image of a child being examined by a doctor, reading " Ignoring a child’s need, ability, and right to express themselves and be understood in a health care setting is dangerous to their health, well-being, and life. -- Bob Williams" and the CommunicationFIRST logo in black and white, with the tagline, "Because communication is a human right."

Bob Williams Testimony on behalf of CommunicationFIRST on the Rights of Children and Youth to Effective Communication and Quality Health Care in Pediatric and Other Health Care Settings  Supporting Access for Everyone (SAFE) Initiative https://safedbp.org/  October 6, 2022 Good afternoon. I am Bob Williams, Policy Director of CommunicationFIRST. We are…
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Run for Office with a Speech Disability?

By Communication FIRST | Nov 4, 2022
Yellow background with black text that reads, "Run for Office with a Speech Disability?"

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CommunicationFIRST joins other disability rights advocates to express dismay at the public and media response to a current political candidate’s communication disability. Over the past few weeks, the media has focused unduly on communication-related accommodations reasonably requested by the candidate, and cast the candidate’s apparent audio…
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CommunicationFIRST Urges HHS to Strengthen Communication Regulations for People Who Need AAC

By Communication FIRST | Oct 5, 2022
stock photo image of a government building looking up at columns and a blue sky with clouds

On October 3, 2022, CommunicationFIRST submitted comments to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on its proposed rules to implement and enforce Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. These regulations include protections for people who cannot rely on speech to be heard and understood, and…
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Brain to Text Technology?¿Tecnología de Cerebro a Texto?

By Communication FIRST | Sep 27, 2022
Attend this live webinar (with CART and ASL and Spanish interpretation) to learn from Board Member Pancho Ramirez and the University of California San Francisco neuroscientists about groundbreaking technology to reduce communication barriers for people with speech disabilities

(Leer en español abajo) In this open-captioned, ASL-interpreted webinar, which originally aired live on October 19, 2022, you’ll hear from CommunicationFIRST Board Member Pancho Ramirez about his personal journey becoming paralyzed and losing the ability to speak at age 20, and his pioneering role in a clinical trial that is developing…
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How Do You Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month?

By Communication FIRST | Sep 26, 2022
Text that reads “Let’s make this Hispanic Heritage Month impactful, and help our people with communication impairments to have the communication tools necessary to make big things, and contribute to our community! Pancho Ramirez full time AAC user.” Blue and white background. A set of black and green quotation marks are above the text. CommunicationFIRST logo is below the text

Leer en español How we Communicate our Culture September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month-long celebration to recognize and honor the diverse cultures, histories, and experiences of Hispanic Americans in the United States. (The terms Hispanic and Latinx are not entirely interchangeable, but some…
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¿Cómo Celebras el Mes de la Herencia Hispana?

By Communication FIRST | Sep 26, 2022
Texto que dice “¡Hagamos que este Mes de la Herencia Hispana sea impactante y ayudemos a nuestra gente con problemas de comunicación a tener las herramientas de comunicación necesarias para hacer grandes cosas y contribuir a nuestra comunidad! Pancho Ramírez usuario de CAA tiempo completo.” Fondo azul y blanco. Sobre el texto hay un conjunto de comillas negras y verdes. El logotipo de CommunicationFIRST está debajo del texto

Read in English Como Comunicamos Nuestra Cultura Del 15 de septiembre al 15 de octubre es el Mes Nacional de la Herencia Hispana, una celebración de un mes para reconocer y honrar las diversas culturas, historias y experiencias de los hispanoamericanos en los Estados Unidos. (Los términos hispano y…
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We Are Growing! ¡Estamos creciendo!

By Communication FIRST | Aug 4, 2022
abstract stock photo of fireworks and lights

Leer en español Please join us in welcoming our new Chair and Program Associates We are pleased to announce that, effective August 1, 2022, Jordyn Zimmerman, MEd (she/her), is the new Chair of CommunicationFIRST’s Board of Directors. We thank India Ochs, JD, MPA (she/her), for her critical leadership during…
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