The day I say "I do"
Jess, a 21 year old Accent 1000 communicator, lovingly shares with us parts of her story. This complete post was written by Jess on her communication device and truly highlights how powerful AAC can be in connecting and empowering us.
Hey im Jess, i am 24 years old and i have an accent1000
My loved ones know me well enough to understand my other ways of communicating like facial expressions or eye movements but for everyone else my communication device is paramount for me to have a voice.
I use my device to communicate my needs, choices and have conversations with everyone, also for controlling my TV ,using emails, social media, accessing the internet and for using text message function so my device literally allows me to stay connected to the world.
I have now settled into my brand new home that me and my boyfriend Aidan have built.
I was heavily involved in the planning process from the start to the completion.
I used my communication device to make choices about what land we wanted, how our new home would be laid out, our colour schemes, tiles and furniture.
I would regularly use my communication device to respond to emails from the builders
and occasionally have to send emails chasing them up when they were not meeting time frames.
Most of the words needed for these emails are stored in my system in preset categories for example if I needed a colour I would go to the colour button and choose from a whole selection of colour words to add into my sentence.
For most parts I can use preset words from different categories but i do also use individual letters to form any words not already stored.
I am really happy with our new home and feel extremely proud to have been part of the entire process. My communication device allowed me to communicate effectively with many different people throughout the build.
So now i have support workers come in to my home most days to support me to live an independent life, i like to say i am a stay at home wife to be!!
YES i am getting married next year! before i tell you all about my big day i thought i would explain what my stay at home life looks like! I am able to use my device to email my support provider to tell them when i would like support and what times i need support.
I then use my device to communicate to my support worker how i would like to spend my day.
My support worker assists me to do my shopping ( i do the list on my device ) and i make all the decisions around what meals i would like prepared for Aidan.
This enables me to feel useful and that i make a pretty good wife to be! So with the help of my communication device i can tell my staff what the plan is for the day, what i need to buy and what i would like prepared for meals.
Again a lot of the words i need are stored under preset catagories so this speeds up the process. For example if i needed to add bananas to my shopping list i go to the FOOD button, the FRUIT button and theres the words for all the fruits i could need,
so i select the fruit name i am wanting to communicate.
I do also use some stored sentences that i use every day as conversation starters like "Hey, hows it going?" or "what have you been upto"? but for most parts i form my own sentences from my stored words in my system. This is because each of my days are very different and my conversations could be literally about anything!
So my next adventure before my big day is a two week trip to Bali! I am so excited!! I have used my device to communicate via email and during face to face meetings with the travel agent.
I have been able to make flight selections, accommodation bookings and make payments over the internet using online banking.
I was super impressed with the travel agent as they organised the storage for my wheelchair during the flight and for the quick return to me as soon as we land. I will let you know when i return how my trip went.
So now on to the big day! Next year in May i am tying the knot.
I have planned every aspect of my big day. I have chosen my dress, colour schemes, rings, bridesmaid dresses, suits, venue, food, music, vows, hair, make up, flowers, cake, decorations and the list goes on.
As you can imagine i have relied heavily on my communication device as it has allowed me to communicate my choices, feelings, preferences and needs with many different people who for the most part i am meeting for the first time.
I have been able to use my device to research and compare prices, options and look for ideas. I am then able to email shops or people i have chosen so i feel entirely in control each step of the way.
I am also able to keep up with payments using my internet banking or I set reminders on my colanders so i dont forget anything. I also use my notebook section to make my "to do" lists on my device.
Well thats it from me for now but i will be sure to let you know how my big day goes and how i use my device to say those all important words "I DO"