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Heather Stonehouse

Heather Stonehouse has written 20 posts for Shared Voices

Cool Company

I am so pleased to have been nominated by my social media classmate and blogging pal Laura Cicchirillo for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award, the Liebster Award, The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award and The Versatile Blogger. Laura’s blog is the witty and delicious My GI Journey: The Rise of a Gluten-Intolerant Health Nut. Visit her blog for its great … Continue reading

What’s in a Day?

The answer:  24 hours, or 1,440 minutes. Your job, family and friends. Working out, sleeping in. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention snacks and a latte or chai tea. Sometimes, though, somebody declares that a day has a special theme. Today is one of those days: April 16th is World Voice Day. World Voice … Continue reading

Pinterest: Not just for cupcakes anymore

Mashable describes Pinterest as “a social bookmarking site where users collect and share photos of their favorite events, interests and hobbies.” But Pinterest is growing fast, and changing even faster. No longer dismissed as a place to post your favourite cupcake recipe, Pinterest now has a growing professional following among its 48 million+ users. A new site design has recently been … Continue reading

Music as Medicine

“…silence is full of music” – Marcel Marceau, legendary French mime Gabrielle Giffords, former member of the US House of Representatives, lost the ability to talk as the result of injuries sustained in an attempt on her life in January 2011. The bullet caused severe damage to the speech centre in her left brain. She has … Continue reading

Roger Ebert, Voice of the Movies: 1942-2013

Beloved film critic Roger Ebert passed away yesterday at the age of 70. As the world mourns the loss of Ebert, who won a Pulitzer Prize for journalism in 1975, we recognize how much his highly regarded reviews helped us to see through the filmmaker’s lens more clearly: to celebrate and appreciate excellence, and to … Continue reading

It’s on you!

“An Open Letter to the Parent of a Child with Speech Delays,” recently published by Dana Neider on her blog, Uncommon Sense, is a trove of information for anyone who is, as she says, “newly on the road to AAC.” The background:  Dana’s daughter, Maya, is nearly five years old. Using her natural voice, Maya can … Continue reading

No Words….

Today, to celebrate the arrival (finally) of spring weather, here is a video that needs no words to communicate the joy we all share when we’ve seen the last of winter: Thanks to Robin for posting this on her lovely blog, Inspiration Energy. Videography by Katka Pruskova.

Bedside Stories

“Not Another Peep Out of You” is Harriet McBryde Johnson’s compelling account of being rushed to a hospital emergency room with severe abdominal pain. Harriet had a neuromuscular disease that meant she had to be lifted in a certain way in order to protect her fragile joints and spine. She was immediately intubated in preparation … Continue reading

Love App’tually

TapSpeak, LLC was founded by Ted Conley in 2009, in Pittsburgh, PA. Conley’s inspiration was his own child, Pierce, born in 2007 with cerebral palsy. He was frustrated by the fact that he was unable to find an appropriate AAC device for Pierce. Using his background in software engineering, combined with 25 years in corporate … Continue reading

“Change My World In 1 Minute”

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), a US-based organization, found a unique way to tap into the global community in order to empower social responsibility. The “Change My World in 1 Minute” campaign, launched on the first World CP Day last September, makes good use of social media – YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – to spread … Continue reading

Hand in Glove, Part 2

Are gloves the newest thing in AAC technology? After writing last week’s post about Emdad, I came across Enable Talk – speech generating gloves that can translate sign language into text and then into spoken words. Hand gestures are translated through a text-to-talk engine connected to a smartphone. Invented by QuadSquad, a team of four … Continue reading

Sense of Purpose

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink, is all about motivation. According to Pink, “much of what we believe about the subject just isn’t so.” The type of motivation that is based external rewards (money, for example), is what we often assume to be most effective. But intrinsic motivation, which … Continue reading

Hand in Glove

William Broad, a 73-year-old grandfather, had a stroke two years ago. As a result, he lost his ability to speak. Because of physical limitations due to the stroke, he was unable to use a computer effectively to communicate. Clearly, the only other option available to him, spelling out words on an alphabet board, was frustrating. … Continue reading

Back to Basics

Here’s an engaging answer to a simple question: How do you talk to someone who uses AAC? This video takes a back-to-basics approach: Thanks to Judy Bailey for posting this on Facebook!

Preparing for Predictable Natural Disasters

Pam Kennedy of Grand Forks, North Dakota, is an alternative communicator. She has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and vision impairment, and is unable to speak.  She knows first-hand what can happen to people with disabilities affecting speech during a natural disaster: she was caught in a major flood that hit Grand Forks on April 19, 1997. … Continue reading

Books I Like

            In Daring to Dream: Turning dreams into future realities (Kindle edition, 2012), author Diane Nelson Bryen teaches strategies for first allowing yourself to dream and then developing a plan to act on your dreams. Her workshops have inspired hundreds of people who use AAC around the world. She developed this … Continue reading

Good Vibrations

Once in a while you find something priceless among the collectibles on Pinterest. That happened recently when I came across an archival newsreel from 1930 featuring Helen Keller, who became blind and deaf due to an illness at 19 months, and Annie Sullivan, her teacher. Together they demonstrate how Helen learned to speak her first … Continue reading

Nobody Puts Carly in a Corner….

“Have you ever once just sat down and really thought about how important it is to be able to communicate in this world? What if something happened to you and you weren’t able to communicate? Would you still be able to do the same job you are in now? Would you be able to continue … Continue reading

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