Finding My Voice

By: Luke Verhoeff


I am a non-speaking autistic man from Kamloops with a story to share with you. I went nineteen years without a voice. And because of that, so many people were wrong about me and my capabilities.

I found my voice through AAC, more specifically a letterboard. It was great as it opened up my world. My family calls it the ‘Great Awakening!’ They always saw more in me and I love them infinitely.

My family didn’t know how to unlock my potential until my mom found spelling. Spelling is the single best thing to ever happen to me. Through it, I can finally show the real me.

For the first time in my life, the people I love are getting to know who I am inside. It’s a beautiful thing. Many tears have been shed. It’s overwhelming to have my voice unlocked.

I am now on a mission to help other non-speakers. I am also passionate about educating professionals who work in this field. I invite all to have a conversation with me. We can be the face of change.

I’m stepping into a new version of myself and I am excited for my next chapter to begin. I need more allies to make change. I need better funding and more support from people trained in spelling-based communication. I believe this is achievable. You too can help voices flourish. Are you ready to be the change?

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