Saturday, May 30, 2015

Typed Words, Loud Voices: Review

Review of Typed Words, Loud Voices (edited by Amy Sequenzia and Elizabeth J. Grace)

First, read "Why This Book" by Amy Sequenzia, and get the entire point of the book.

Because everyone has something to say" and "Everybody communicates. Words are beautiful. Our words have value." (pp. 10-11) Don't need much more than that to get your point across. Her introduction is short and concise, to the point. A bit of the personal story mixed into a question many people are undoubtedly asking, whether their voices count. Of course they do. 

Also read Elizabeth J. Grace's part of the introduction, iterating the point that that "scientific style testing is not a fitting a viable way to hear what we are saying about our own lives and experiences. An excellent way to understand us to really listen to what we have to say." (pg. 14) 

It's important to note that there is a disclaimer: not all these essays are about joy.  Not all these essays reflect disability in a positive light. This doesn't mean you should have pity or less acceptance for disabled people. These essays are published raw and full of their authors' truths.

So who is this book for? Who wrote this book? What visions are in this book? And would I recommend this book to you?

Who is this book for?

This book is for anyone who types. Anyone who types, part time or full time or wants to type, to know that they are not alone. This book is for the people who don't believe that autistic people have voices.

This book is for anyone who wants to learn more about autistic people's voices, typed or not.

Who wrote this book?

A global autistic and disabled community, people who type full or part time to get their messages across. Some authors are as young as six years old. They are autistic or disabled in a way that requires them to use alternative communication. They are girls, boys, men, women, people who identify outside the gender binary. They are in all grades of school or didn't attend traditional school.

What visions are in this book?

Correcting mistaken beliefs. This book has poetry in it (because autistic and disabled people can be poets), prose, memoir and vignettes, and other such writings.

The book's main goal is to correct the impression that people who use Facilitated Communication, or other types of communication, have no voices and no thoughts.

Sometimes, this book acknowledges that being disabled is hard. Being disabled is difficult in this world, especially one that places emphasis on spoken words. Mostly, the book illustrates the diversity of people who use alternative communication, and their lives that are still rich.

Would I recommend this book to you?

Yes, I would. It's written in a blend of poetry and prose and words that make your heart angry that some people would discount typed words. I would especially recommend it if you fall into a category of not believing disabled people's experiences and words.

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