2019 TASH Conference has ended
Each year, the TASH Conference brings together our constituents to share resources and success stories, learn about field-driven best practices, and network within a community engaged in shared values. The Conference is attended by passionate leaders, experts, and advocates from every corner of the disability community. Conference attendees are influential in their fields and communities, and play an important role in the provision of services and supports for the millions of individuals and organizations around the world; and include professors and researchers from leading institutions; those involved in local, state, and federal governments and public policy; special and general educators, and school administrators; self-advocates, adult service providers; students, family members, and many others.  This year’s conference theme, Building Diverse and Inclusive Communities, reminds us that equity, opportunity, and inclusion relies on the input of broad perspectives and experiences.
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Friday, December 6 • 1:05pm - 1:55pm
The Role of Self-Advocacy in the Fight for Communication Choice Seating Available

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Limited Capacity seats available

In this session, attendees will receive a first-hand account from seasoned self-advocate and communication rights activist Tracy Thresher on his role in getting Facilitated Communication Training officially recognized as a fundable service in the state of Vermont. Through adversity, controversy, and push-back from top officials Tracy used his typing voice to educate and advocate for his right to communicate using his method of choice. From Tracy's presentation: "In the spring of 2015, the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living (DAIL) began the process of examining how funds were used to pay for a variety of developmental services, including Facilitated Communication Training. I was invited to join a Developmental Disabilities Clinical Services Task Force as a self-advocate who types to communicate. With the doubt and continued controversy faced by typing individuals around the globe it is encouraging that in Vermont my typing is seen as valuable input and a valid method of accessing true communication. Thinking that I could move the hearts and minds of the big time decision makers with my typing strengthens my resolve to keep using my voice to spread my message of presumed competence and communication choice."

avatar for Tracy Thresher

Tracy Thresher

Mentor and Communication Consultant, Washington County Mental Health
Tracy Thresher is a native Vermonter who lives and works in Vermont. Tracy began using Facilitated Communication in 1990 and was one of the first individuals with autism in Vermont to be introduced to the method. He has presented at local, statewide and national workshops and conferences... Read More →
avatar for Harvey Lavoy

Harvey Lavoy

Director Communication & Training & Resources, Community Developmental Services
Harvey F. Lavoy, 3rd has a B.S. in Special Education and has worked in the field of Human Services since 1973. He has worked for Community Developmental Services (CDS), a division of Washington County Mental Health Services, in Barre Vermont since 1994. He currently is the Director... Read More →

Friday December 6, 2019 1:05pm - 1:55pm MST
Meeting Room: Bird 5594 West Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Phoenix, AZ 85226