“Not being able to laugh is much worse than not being able to talk.”
Kathrin Lemler, 1995
My name is Kathrin Lemler, I was born in 1985.
Strangers describe me as being “severely disabled“ or “significantly restricted in all aspects of life“.
Friends and colleagues describe me as being lively and talkative, or, an ambitious workaholic.
If I were to describe myself, I’d say that I am a rehabilitation scientist with a master’s degree – a research fellow at the University of Cologne and an expert speaker on Augmentative and Alternative Communication. I am also the boss of seven personal assistants and, incidentally, a woman who happens to communicate by using only her eyes.
Augmentative and alternative communication is my professional calling. I want to connect my own experiences with in-depth knowledge to support other non-speaking people on their search for well-suited means of communication.
Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC):
A field of remedial and special education which aims to enable people without speech to exercise their co-determination in any type of everyday life situation, as well as their active participation in social interaction.
The methods of AAC include endogenous forms of communication, e.g. facial expressions, gestures or sign language, shared glance as well as non-technical aids (symbol- or letterboxes) or electronic communication aids (speech-generating devices).