Everyone deserves a voice

Thanks to the Power to You Program, Matt Horan shares his video story about Augmentative and Alternative Communication on the big screen.

May 17, 2024

Matt Horan is a 26-year-old autistic man who is nonverbal but has found his voice using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC).

Thanks to the Power to You Program delivered by Aruma, Matt has had the opportunity to share his video story, “Adventures in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and being the boss of my Life,” on the big screen.

You can check out a sneak peek of the video here.

Matt’s story premiered at Five Star Cinemas in Brisbane on Friday May 3rd. It was a successful event with around 60 people coming down to show their support for Matt.

“We had Matt’s friends, family and allies attend the event. There was also the Liberator team from QLD and NSW, the Queensland Public Advocate, lecturers from Speech Pathology department at the University of Queensland, capacity building organisations, a local advocacy organisation and more. It was a great event,” said Aruma Manager Allied Health, Marissa Carlyon.

The short film celebrates Matt’s communication and his autonomous life – where he is supported to have a say about decisions that affect him. In the film, Matt says:

“You might not understand me, but I understand you. It helps when people believe in me. Please remember that all adults should be the boss of their own lives.”

Power to You Project Lead, Tracie-Lee Little, believes Matt’s story will encourage more people with disability to be empowered.

“Matt’s story embodies everything we’re about here at Aruma and in the Power to You program. We support the human rights of all people, especially people with disability who communicate in diverse ways. We want people to feel empowered, to stand up for themselves and develop their self-determination,” said Tracie-Lee.

Many of the people who share their lived experience stories in Power to You videos, use some form of speech. The Project team invited Matt to share his story as a way of raising community awareness that Human Rights are for everyone. Sharing Matt’s story ensures that people who communicate through Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) are represented in Power to You.

The Power to You program is a suite of nine online learning modules where users can explore topics like human rights, legal rights, discrimination, and decision-making at a self-guided pace. In addition to the online program, there are also online and in-person workshops.

Power to You is funded by an Information, Linkages and Capacity Building Grant from the Australian Government, Department of Social Services and is now proudly delivered by Aruma.


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