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Who is responsible for bridging communication gaps?

mwernick's picture

In reflecting after class this week, I have been thinking a lot about communication. In Mel Baggs' video, she mentioned how "it’s only when I type something In your language that you refer to me as having communication." I wondered how I have judged folks for this same notion in the past. How have I considered people who may not communicate in ways I do as lacking intelligence, or even personhood? How can we work to value all types of communication? When Mel mentioned this in the video, I immediately starting thinking about ways to fix this issue, but it has been difficult for me to imagine ways to acknowledge and understand different types of communication that differ so far from our perceived norm. But additionally, what am I missing out on because I lack the communication skills that Mel has? Why is the deficit-mindset placed onto non-speaking or "non-communicating" folks? Why is it not me, or other neurotypical folks, that are seen as lacking? Whose job is it to bridge these gaps? I don't really have good answers to any of these questions and would love to hear your thoughts. I am a "fix-it" person; I like to have action plans, goals, to-do lists, and concrete steps to take to fix problems, and I am coming up blank here. What can we all be doing to value all different forms of language and communication?